Electrical Wiring in the Home/upgrading elec outlet


QUESTION: Do I have to upgrade my breakers to higher amps after adding more outlets?,  If, so typically how many outlets in addition require amount of amps for upgrade with respect to home square footage for san mateo county, ca.


ANSWER: Robert Wilber
Licensed Philadelphia Electrician
Philadelphia License # 3516 - 16765
Electricity is dangerous!
You can be injured or killed!
Improper installations can cause fire, injury and death!
Are you qualified to do this work?
National Electrical Code definition, NFPA 70 2008 Article 100: Qualified Person. "One who has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and installations and has received safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved."
Electricity is fire in a box!
Always check with the local “Authority Having Jurisdiction” for an official interpretation before making installation decisions.
In Philadelphia, it is unlawful for anyone except an individual licensed by the City of Philadelphia to install electrical equipment and wiring.
Homeowners are not allowed to install wiring.
The owner of any property wherein any such installation is discovered shall be issued a violation by the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
The limited exceptions include replacing devices and fixtures at existing outlets.
Contact the Department of Licenses and Inspections for more information.
You are more likely to be killed by 120 volts than any other voltage [120 volts creates the PERFECT fatal current through the human body's electrical resistance!]
This information is provided for the use of parties as they see fit!
I am not responsible for the application of this information by any party, including those lacking sufficient skill or knowledge to perform these steps safely and any hazard created is the SOLE responsibility of the user.
The number of outlets has no bearing whatsoever on the amperage of the breaker, which is limited by the size of the conductor. You can install as many outlets as you want on a circuit in a residence. They are called convenience outlets, because they are installed where it is convenient to the occupant for deriving power for devices.
On the other hand, if you want to add more outlets in a specific location because you have a new big load, then you need to have a new circuit installed. This should be done by a skilled electrician because they will be able to determine what kind and size of circuit is needed for your new load and install the circuit so it will be safe and function properly.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I'm a disabled Electronics Technician by trade, /AV/PC technician by experience.  I'm not an electrician, although even though I'm out west, a mid west legislative lupole states, and also in San Mateo county, ca as well if I'm not mistaken, minor repairs can be done if your the primary occupent, owner of the house, which would include breakers, outlets, as well as the main power to lugs, judging that the job is as of relative ease, taking into precaution the risks.  Very minimal if you request for a temporary disconnect from your local power company.  

Just had another question, and appreciate your elaborate emphasis on the safety and local law issues.

About the main going into the lugs, for a different voltage, amperage, do you have to pull out another main to lugs wire, and how many can you have or typically available from the transformer for a 1300 Sq. foot house neighborhood out in San Mateo county, ca?

3-5K worth of work was already done to the house which is preety much all included above and possibly could have been done by us, since I have a strong background in electrical regarding low voltage, preety much the same principals but more risks i suppose as you stated with the 120V.  All my work done was testing in the lab, with about the same Voltate/Amps but for low voltage devices.

thanks again,


One house, one service!
It is, however, allowed to have as many as six disconnecting means grouped together.
Be that as it may, the service drop and meter enclosure would need to be increased in size to add any substantial load, for example changing from one hundred amp to two hundred amp, whether by installing a 200-amp main panel or adding an additional parallel 100-amp main panel, subject, of course, to load calculation and utility approval, limitations by the local "authority having jurisdiction" and so forth.
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Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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