Electrical Wiring in the Home/SEPERATE CIRCUIT


BOB hi,  I Want to run a separate citcuit for a floor heater which takes 1500 watts.  I have some open areas in my circuit breaker panel.  This extra panel was put in to handle a microwave but has some extra aread for more circuit breaker switches.  How can I tell if this pane can handle the extra load. What steps should be taken to put in a seperate line.  Thank you Ken

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.
I am not familiar with Maryland's requirements, but 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.
Heater means continuous load, as it is considered likely to operate for more than four hours at a time. That means 125% circuit sizing compared to load. 1500 watts is more than 80% of 15 amps so you need a 20 amp circuit, which means 12 wire.
What is the sub-panel fed with? Wire size? Breaker size?
What is the existing connected load of your house? How big is the service?
Then you can figure how much 'room' you have left.
Next, hire an electrician if required, or learn how to install wiring. Lucky for you that much of what you need to learn can be found, more or less correctly, on the internet.
My insurance will not allow me to do basic design work for non-clients, but if you come up with a basic plan I would be happy to look it over and offer suggestions.
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

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.