Can I move the main breaker box to inside a small bathroom?

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Question: Breaker Question - 20 Amp Breaker, 14 wire

I recently purchased a house, and it is clear that the previous owner had not always done things correctly. My present concern is that there seems to be 14 gauge wire running off a 20 AMP breaker. I believe this is a code violation, and more importantly a fire risk. I would rather not open up the walls to replace the wire. Assuming the circuit would be OK on a 15, can I just have the breaker replaced? Is that an adequate solution?

Thanks,

Concerned

Answers

February 2, 20050 found this helpful

Best Answer

Yes, that is a code violation and a fire risk.

And it invalidates the insurance.

To fix the problem,
1) get a breaker from the same brand and series but with a 15 Amp rating
2) turn the 20 Amp breaker off and pull it out.
3) swap the wire, that goes to it, over to the 15 Amp breaker
4) Make sure the 15 Amp breaker is turned OFF
5) insert...

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The electrical panel is a major component when it comes to understanding how your home operates, so knowing its anatomy is important. The panel is usually mounted in a garage, basement, or a laundry room. When you open the panel, you’ll see single circuit breakers in two columns. Additionally, there’s a main switch above the columns that controls power to the whole house.

A single circuit breaker controls the electrical current that flows to a specific outlet and it’s meant to protect your home from power surges or current overloads. A surge is when there’s a brief spike in your home’s electrical current. It can occur when large appliances, such as refrigerators or air conditioners, kick on or when there are nearby lightning strikes. An overload is when more amperage travels across a circuit than it is set to handle. For example, a wire that can safely carry 15 amps should be protected by a 15-amp breaker. If the wire is connected to a 20-amp breaker, it allows 20 amps to...

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First, thanks much for the detailed response Tim.

The builder, Centex, has been great about non standard options and little customizations, but won't budge on this - and I have essentially walked from the deal, and had my bluff called. They claim if they do this, they'll have to offer it to everyone... Whatever.

As for why I don't want it outside, it's a sore spot right now. The house I'm in, a real POS rental built by KB Home, has window AC's and blows circuits every day. It wasn't designed for windows ACs, but doesn't have central, even though it's only 3 years old. The other day my wife was in one shower, I was in the other, and the circuit blew. Of course I was the one to throw on a robe, soaking wet, and walk outside and around the back to reset the breaker. Plus, we're in Northern Colorado, and I will NOT be happy about putting on boots in the dead of winter to reset a breaker because two people are drying their hair at the same time with their Robo-Do 4000...

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Hello.

New home owner here, and my first post.

On Friday I was painting my second bedroom and all was well with the electricity. The outlets were working, lights as well, and setup everything to paint...everything went well. Paint is dry by Saturday and everything is still working as expected, electrically that is.

Yesterday evening after coming home from work, the power in this same room (second bedroom) is not working; meaning the lights and the outlets. First thing that I do is check the breaker box to see if anything is tripped. Nothing!

So, I try the room again and still nothing. I sleep on it thinking it may be just me and a long day of work. Try again today and still nothing.

Reaction - Flip the bedroom switches in the breaker box to see if that changes anything. Nothing.
Reaction - Flip every switch in the breaker box, including the main switch just in case something may happen. Nothing.

Now I'm here and frustrated. The...

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I used a Circuit Breaker Finder for the first time while working on my kitchen entry makeover and IT WAS AWESOME! The days of running up and down the stairs 20 times, turning off one breaker at a time and checking to see if it was the right one — are over!

This post is sponsored by Zircon. All projects, work, ideas and opinions are 100% my own.

When I started building the Hutch in the kitchen entry, I decided I needed an electrical outlet in that space. Luckily, there was an outlet in the kitchen, on the opposite side of the hutch side-wall. I could tap into that and bring power over into a new junction box for the hutch.

Using a Circuit Breaker Finder

The first step in doing that is shutting off the power to the existing receptacle.

In the past, in order to turn off a breaker when I was alone, I had to resort to the “20 times up and down the stairs” option. If anyone else happened to be around, I had them on the cell phone waiting to tell me...

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@ACM, "Can you frame in the corner and put a decorative shelf above it and a cupboard below it, with the fuse box cover painted discreetly in between?" - NO.

"I don't think a fuse box can go outdoors!" - It CAN, and often is, just to avoid the OP's situation... even in the coldest and snowiest parts of North America.

@Renee Texas, "I'd put it outside, unless it's the front of the home. For whatever reason- mabey to save the 3K (what we were quoted), builders are putting them exterior closest to the box (I'm talking 500k+ homes!)" - EXACTLY the reason.

@Jeff Jones, "It is my understanding that electric panels should not be hidden, in event of emergency where power needed to be turned off. I have only seen panels indoors." NOT TRUE. If the panel is inside, it is, by definition, hidden behind a door somewhere. It can be in a utility room, or closet without storage. There is nothing saying how deep the closet needs to be, just that there must be 30"...

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My wife and I are considering adding a major addition onto the back of our house. When thinking about where to put the door the best location is right where our main underground electrical line enters the house and terminates in the main circuit breaker box (with the meter on outside wall right there). This seems like it would be a big deal to move, but is it really? The cable tv and phone also come into the house in the same area, but these seem relatively easy to move. The electrical has me worried. Has anyone actually had to move the main box? Thanks for your help.

Can it be done? Yes.

Will it be cheap? NO!

Unless you have a bunch of extra wire in the wall for each run in the house, and I doubt you do. You will have to re route, and/or PROPERLY splice each run to a new location.
You will also have to have each utility company re route their connections, they will charge you for this. You will have to have everything...

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