Go Back   SOCNET: The Special Operations Community Network > U.S. Army Special Operations > Special Forces

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 23 January 2016, 21:04
CDRODA396's Avatar
CDRODA396 CDRODA396 is offline
BTDT
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Raeford, North Pineland
Posts: 2,453
18C Vertical Construction (Electrical) [or anyone else] question

Put this in SF to get 18C input, although I guess it could go in the lounge as well...

Question is, I like to keep the upstairs relatively cool, 62deg, except in the morning when its nice to "take the edge off" of the cold.

So, I bought a knee-high, portable electrical heater and plugged it into a bathroom outlet where it works fine. Get up, go to the head, crank on the heat and in literally two +/-minutes or so, the bathroom is plenty warm for shower time.

The problem is when I move the portable unit into the bedroom it blows the fuse for whatever room its plugged into. It dims the lights, then in a few seconds trips the fuse. I've tried an extension cord and ran it into other rooms, same result. Except the bathroom.

I thought it was the heater, so I picked up one about the size of a shoe box, works great, except... In the bathroom it works great, doesn't dim the lights or trip the fuse, but in all the other upstairs rooms/hallway, it blows the fuse.

So my questions for the electricians are:

Are bathroom outlets/fuses different than the rest of the house?

...or why do the portable units trip all the fuses BUT the bathroom?

Finally, do power strips/surge protectors work both ways?

Mostly curious, but also has practical application.

Thanks in advance for any insight.
__________________
"You cant walk on water if you dont get out of the boat," the Infamous Mike Brown

"The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm." CR
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23 January 2016, 21:29
Boyo72's Avatar
Boyo72 Boyo72 is offline
Been There Done That
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Amongst the masses
Posts: 278
The outlets in your bathroom are different, they have outlets with a GFCI. They are used in rooms with wet areas to prevent electrical shock. Also I only think power strips work with the current outgoing, in the case of lightening or surges leaving the house. Hope this helps.
__________________
“The nation that will insist upon drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking by cowards.” -William F. Butler
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 23 January 2016, 22:31
IronCross IronCross is offline
Supporterator
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Dallas
Posts: 643
Sounds as though your heater pulls too many amps through the circuit:meaning your bathroom most likely has a breaker with higher amperage than the rest of the house.
__________________
“We’ve got to ride this global warming issue.
Even if the theory of global warming is wrong,
we will be doing the right thing in terms of
economic and environmental policy.“
- Timothy Wirth,
President of the UN Foundation
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 23 January 2016, 22:39
SpudWrench SpudWrench is offline
micro-aggressive
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 967
Check the rating on your heaters. The biggest electric space heaters will be around 1500 watts. Your smaller one is likely less. That's the difference between your heaters, now apply that information here:

The bigger heater draws enough current to dim, then trip the breaker. 1500W equals about 12.5 amps, leaving you another 2.5 amps for everything on that circuit. Assuming you're on a typical 15A residential circuit, and your breakers aren't shit (some trip 10-15% high or low).
That big heater, plus 3 or 4 incandescent lights, or a television can be enough to pop a breaker.
The little heater draws less current, so doesn't trip anything.

Now the bathroom, as Boyo stated, has GFCI outlets - these do nothing for your current rating, however a correctly wired bathroom will not have the wall receptacles on the same circuit as the lights. You don't want to get electrocuted in the dark. That's why the lights stay on in the bathroom, but not the other rooms.

When I design commercial spaces, I always keep the lighting and receptacles on different circuits. You always know your lighting load, but you have no control over what gets plugged in where.

My current house was not wired this way, and the upstairs (one BR, on bath, one den) is only on two circuits. When I trip a breaker (space heater, scentsy, hitachi magic wand, and a television) I lose everything except for the bathroom receptacles.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 23 January 2016, 23:08
cedsall's Avatar
cedsall cedsall is offline
giving you a number
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 271
The outlet in your bathroom is different. As someone else mentioned, it's a GFCI but it may be a GFCI at the breaker panel or wired through another GFCI outlet in another area of the house.

All the outlets in common areas are going to be wired onto a single circuit so (example) all the outlets in all your bedrooms are going to be on a circuit, all the outlets in your living/dining room, all the outlets in your kitchen, etc. Also, your bedroom/living room outlet circuits are probably 15 amps where the circuits for your kitchen/bathroom should be 20 amps.

The practical effect is that there is going to be less load and higher amperage on the circuit in your bathroom. Less load because there are fewer outlets and higher amperage because bathrooms require a 20A circuit.

On the power strip question, they should be fused to trip if overloaded but there are a broad range of power strips/surge protectors out there. Some of them just extend the number of available outlets, some provide surge protection. The primary protection on the circuit would be the breaker at the panel.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 24 January 2016, 00:11
The Fat Guy's Avatar
The Fat Guy The Fat Guy is offline
The Sagacious One
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Pushing string down the hall
Posts: 13,035
Run your extension cord from bathroom. The GFCI has nothing to do with the amount of amps pulled through the circuit, its typically a ground fault indicator in the event you mix electrical stuff with water. Not a good combo. Cedsall gives sage advice on the amperage, typically due to fans and perhaps heaters.

You may have both bedrooms wired on the same circuit or you may have the wrong sized wire, but I really doubt that. My house in LA had some really crazy shit going on, like bare connections connected with scotch tape.

Here is a chart. Typically 12 ga is in yellow sheath, 10 is in orange and 14 is in white.

__________________
No one will take better care of us, than us: Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Last edited by The Fat Guy; 24 January 2016 at 11:54.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 24 January 2016, 08:26
CDRODA396's Avatar
CDRODA396 CDRODA396 is offline
BTDT
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Raeford, North Pineland
Posts: 2,453
Thanks to all for the insight and advice, I actually learned something . I think running the extension cord from the bathroom is going to be the answer as I'm not really looking for a permanent set up, at least now I have a better understanding of the issue.
__________________
"You cant walk on water if you dont get out of the boat," the Infamous Mike Brown

"The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm." CR
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 24 January 2016, 08:50
B 2/75's Avatar
B 2/75 B 2/75 is offline
Been There Done That
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Black Mountains
Posts: 9,984
That reminds me, I've got a damn nice portable heater sitting unused beneath the stairs... gonna dig it out and press it into service in my bathroom.... mornings are brisk, what with the garage below
__________________

.
"To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee, for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee"
Melville / Captain Ahab
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 24 January 2016, 15:11
jportal50 jportal50 is offline
Confirmed User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Great State of Texas
Posts: 377
Out of my lane. Check the wattage of the heater(s) and the length of the extension cord to where you may run it, to insure the cord is rated for whatever distance. Without knowing the length of the move, I would hate for you to have a fire hazard on your hands, if a substandard extension cord, or underrated, over heats or what have you.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 24 January 2016, 16:08
SF_BHT's Avatar
SF_BHT SF_BHT is offline
Been There Done That
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Escaped from the islands!!!
Posts: 1,765
Quote:
Originally Posted by jportal50 View Post
Out of my lane. Check the wattage of the heater(s) and the length of the extension cord to where you may run it, to insure the cord is rated for whatever distance. Without knowing the length of the move, I would hate for you to have a fire hazard on your hands, if a substandard extension cord, or underrated, over heats or what have you.
This is a good point. Many a house fire in the winter is because of an extension cord and heater that is not of proper ratting. Also if your room has carpet get a large ceramic tile to set it on.

If it was me I would check the circuit breaker and verify it is 15 Amps. The I would open up the outlet in the bedroom and check the huge of he wiring. If it is 12 or 10 gauge I would switch out the breaker for a 20amp. That is just me....... Do not do it unless the wiring is the proper gauge as you are inviting a wall fire.......
__________________
BTDT Just marking time to Retire again....
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 24 January 2016, 20:01
crapstash's Avatar
crapstash crapstash is offline
Divides by zero
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Probably Oconus
Posts: 261
+1 on the extension cord safety. I bet the portable heaters even say "Do not use an extension cord". You really have to add it all up before you leave it alone or sleep with it in the room. Might even look into a permanent wall mounted electrical heater. They can be hardwired in on a switch and save some space.
__________________
No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.
Lin Yutang
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 25 January 2016, 04:00
davidjones davidjones is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: San Diego
Posts: 9
I had a worst situation once at my home in winter and the reason behind that electrical shot and fire was using low rating wires. But thank to my fire monitoring alarm system.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 25 January 2016, 06:45
CDRODA396's Avatar
CDRODA396 CDRODA396 is offline
BTDT
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Raeford, North Pineland
Posts: 2,453
Thanks again to all for the additional advice. Both heaters have "Do not use with extension cords," warnings either right on it (big one), or on the tag attached to the cord (little one).

Quote:
Originally Posted by crapstash View Post
You really have to add it all up before you leave it alone or sleep with it in the room.
Per the original post, the only time I use either is in the morning for about 5-10 minutes to take the chill off the air when first crawling out of bed. Our central heat works fine, we just like to sleep with a little chill in the air, and don't mind it being cool during the day. The portable heaters are meant to be a alternative to turning up the heat in the mornings when it would have to run for a bit to raise the heat of the entire floor, then down again.

With all the check wire gauge, extension cord rating, fuse ratings, I will stick to running the small unit in the bathroom to break the chill and leave it at that. Haven't had any issues with dimming lights or tripping fuses there.

Again, appreciate the time to provide the advice from all!
__________________
"You cant walk on water if you dont get out of the boat," the Infamous Mike Brown

"The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm." CR
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 26 January 2016, 20:50
Stretch Stretch is online now
The atomic zit
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Capital of the Old North State
Posts: 2,644
I am a ME by education, not an EE.

I first thought was a brief ME based explanation of Ohm's Law. Then I had a better idea...

I called my best electrician!

When was your house built, and is your stated location mostly accurate?

Today's electrical code requires a 20amp circuit in bathrooms and a 15amp circuit for other rooms. Exceptions: HVAC, electric cooking, electric clothes drying, and anything else that generates heat through electricity.

GFCI is not relevant. Breaker size is.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Our new posting rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 23:20.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Socnet.com All Rights Reserved
SOCNET