Electrical Questions? Ask an Electrician Online.

Ask an Expert, Get an Answer ASAP!

Electrical Circuit Related Questions

Do you have questions about installing an electrical circuit? Are you looking for solutions to existing circuit problems? Electricity issues, if not handled correctly, can have serious consequences. Having your questions answered by Experts will give you the guidance you need to ensure that your problems are resolved in the right way. A few of the many electrical circuit questions answered by Experts can be found below.

If a hot tub is to be installed 125 feet from the panel, what should be the electrical circuit specifications?

Case Details: The manufacturer’s recommendations are for a 230 volt single phase 50 amp circuit.

The National Electrical Code requires that voltage drop be 3% or less. To ensure this, 6 AWG stranded copper wire should be used. This will limit the drop to 2.5% (6 volts) on a 50 amp/240 circuit with a distance of 125 feet. The circuit should be 4 wire using 2 hots, 1 neutral and 1 equipment grounding conductor. The equipment ground should use 10 AWG stranded copper wire type THWN. The THWN conductors should be installed using Schedule 80 gray electrical PVC conduits. Although Schedule 80 conduits need to have a 1 inch diameter, using a 1¼ inch size will make pulling the wire easier. If the circuit or a portion of it will be below grade, the burial depth needs to a 18 inches below grade level. If UF cable is being used, the depth should be 24 inches. A layer of sand bedding a few inches thick should be used above and below the conduit or cable to prevent any damage due to shifting of soil that could result in puncturing by rocks. It would be a good idea to run a warning ribbon tape 2-4 inches below grade level along the entire circuit to provide a warning if any digging is done here in the future.

Would it be code complaint to move a GFCI away from its present location in a bathroom to a place upstream so as to provide for protection for all the outlets on the electrical circuit?

A GFCI for the bathroom may be located in any accessible place. The protection can be either a GFCI receptacle or a GFCI circuit breaker installed in the main electrical panel. Both options are code compliant. 

If permissible what is the less expensive option?

Installing a GFCI receptacle upstream will be the most cost efficient option. A standard receptacle should cost around $14 while a single pole circuit breaker should cost between $35 to $50.

Will it be okay to install a second GFCI outlet to a kitchen counter top electrical circuit to enable a heater to be used?

The National Electrical Code states that kitchen counter top circuits are to be used only for counter top receptacles and for no other loads like lighting or heating. This is to ensure that adequate wattage is available for the use of microwaves, toasters and other appliances. Also, a typical heater has a 1500 watt rating. If this load is added when other appliances are in use, there may be an overload which would cause the branch circuit breaker to trip.

If an electrical circuit is to be provided to an outside shed to power one fluorescent light, can an existing 120 volt circuit be tapped and will a sub panel be required?

A detached structure like a shed can have only 1 circuit fed to it from a main house panel without the need for a sub panel. If there is more than one circuit, a sub panel will be required. There should not be any problem in tapping an existing 120 volt circuit to power the light.

What kind of electrical circuit is required for a gas range that has an electrical convection oven?

The circuit specifications will depend on the wattage rating of the convection oven. A typical connection for this kind of appliance is 240 volts with a 40 or 50 amp double pole circuit breaker. Most ovens of this type plug into a wall receptacle but some models are hard wired and do not require the receptacle.

What could be the reason for the power to randomly go off and come back on across 2 or 3 electrical circuits in a home?

Case Details: Neighboring homes do not have this problem.

There are a number of possibilities. The most common are:

  • A loose connection at the meter or the lugs of the main breaker. This is a common issue in regions that are subject to both very high and low temperatures. The conductors at the lug terminals expand and contract with the temperature changes and this can cause them to become loose.
  • There may be a loose connection at the main electrical panel where the main breaker makes contact with the hot bus bars. Another possibility is that the main breaker itself is faulty.
  • Loose lug termination could also be occurring in the electrical utility transformer. This is rare but possible.

It is advisable to have the problem diagnosed by a licensed electrician.

What is the maximum load allowed for electrical circuits with 15 and 20 amp circuit breakers and how is the calculation done?

The National Electrical Code states that plugged in loads should not exceed 80% of the breaker rating. The formula for calculating is as follows:

  • A 15 amp breaker has a maximum wattage of 15 amps x 120 volts = 1800 watts. 80% of 1800 watts = 1440 watts.
  • A 20 amp breaker has a maximum wattage of 20 amps x 120 volts = 2400 watts. 80% of 2400 watts = 1920 watts.

Ensuring that electrical circuit issues are dealt with in the correct manner is vital to safety. The recommendations of Experts will assist you in finding the right solutions to your circuit related problems. You can contact Experts online from the comfort of your home.

Please type your question in the field below

3 verified Electricians are online now

Electricians on JustAnswer are verified through an extensive 8-step process including screening of licenses, certifications, education and/or employment. Learn more


Master Electrician

Working on MBA

1426 positive reviews

Service Technician

Associate Degree

4922 positive reviews
Mike G.

Master Electrician

Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho

9751 positive reviews
See all Electricians