Electrical Wiring in the Home/Increasing Electrical output

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Question
Hi I have a question that I have been having a very hard time finding an answer online.  I have a bunch of reptiles that have lights on them.  They are growing so when they grow I need to get a bigger habitat and a stronger light bulb to heat up the habitat.  The thing is with having a lot of lights and I know if I upgrade the lights I would put a lot of strain on the wiring and their could be a risk of fire.  So my question is, Is their a way to upgrade the wiring to handle the amount of electricity?  I donít know anything about this subject Iím not going to do this myself I wanted to talk to an expert first about this subject to see if thatís possible.  And if so who do I call to help with this, I would think an electrician or is their someone else that specializes in that?  Thank you for your time.

Answer
An electrician would be your source for an upgrade, but I can give you a simple formula to determine the point at which an upgrade will be necessary. You will need to determine the breaker that is feeding the lighting circuit in question. Lets say it is a 15 amp breaker. The formula to determine the light load requires the light load to be converted to amps from watts and every bulb is rated in watts. Watts divided by the voltage = amps, so if you have 10 - 150 watt bulbs you have a total of 1500 watts. If the voltage is 120 and it will be if they are are on a single breaker and 240 volts if it is a double breaker, but most will be on a single one so 1500 watts divided by 120 volts = 12.5 amps, so it is within the rating of the 15 amp circuit. When the formula of converting the watts to amps exceeds the circuit rating, it will then be necessary to have an electrician modify the circuit. Thanks J
About Electrical Wiring in the Home
This site answers questions related to home electrical wiring, home wiring, general electrical help,and other electrical questions related to aleternating current (AC). You can find help on the National Electical Code, home electrical issues, wiring electrical outlets, installing lighting, electrical grounding, and general electrical help for do-it-yourself projects not require an electrician. If you do not see your home electrical wiring question answered in this area then please ask your electrical wiring question here

Electrical Wiring in the Home

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J Cook

Expertise

General electrical wiring, including but not limited to, residential, panelboards, control wiring, low voltage wiring, Heating and A/C control wiring, single and three phase wiring.

Experience

I have been doing electrical since high school. I have been licensed by the State of North Carolina for ten years and am currently the Building Maintenance Superintendent for a municipality. I have extensive control wiring experience.

Organizations
Refrigeration Service Engineers Society.

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