Electrical Load Calculation


Lets Do The Math

Sizing your electrical wires and electrical breakers correctly is one of the most important steps for installing a new electrical circuit. You want to reference the Ugly’s Handbook for this calculation. Watts divided by Volts equals Amps. After you figure out how much load is on your electrical circuit, you want to make sure you install the right size wire with the appropriate breaker.

You can pull up a wire ampacity chart to help you figure this out. If you are installing lights or electrical receptacles, most of the time you will be using 14/2 or 12/2 wire. 15 and 20 amp circuits. It is never ok to install a larger breaker on a smaller wire. This is a fire hazard and will cause damage to your electrical system. It is ok to install a smaller breaker on a larger wire, and you may have too if you are also dealing with voltage drop. Voltage drop occurs if you are running a circuit that is longer than 100 feet. You need to upsize your wire one wire size for every hundred feet of wire.


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