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Thread: Condo Questions

  1. #1
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    Default Condo Questions

    I put in a bit on a condo, in StPetersburg. I did my inspection today. The building was built in 1971 and as I suspected not all is up to snuff.

    Other than needing a good cleaning and fresh paint, I'm concerned about the electric circuits. All are 15amp even in the kitchen. There are two circuits for the kitchen at least. The Fridge and one counter outlet and the floor outlet are on one. The other only two counter outlets. Then the living room and bedroom are on one! It's a small condo, only 640 square feet. I worry though about the living room and bedroom on only one 15amp circuit. In all there are only six outlets, three for each room. The dishwasher is on a dedicated outlet also only 15amp. The service panel is 125 amp and there are two extra slots. There are also two circuits not being used. One for a no longer disposer, and one mystery circuit marked, "AC Fan". However the AC works without it. So I don't know what it's for.

    I'm just curious. Should I not worry and take the place? This is my only concern. The rest is no problem. I'm a good carpenter, and construction person, but electricity? Well it scares the hell out of me.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Condo Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by KeninFlorida View Post
    I put in a bit on a condo, in StPetersburg. I did my inspection today. The building was built in 1971 and as I suspected not all is up to snuff.

    Other than needing a good cleaning and fresh paint, I'm concerned about the electric circuits. All are 15amp even in the kitchen. There are two circuits for the kitchen at least. The Fridge and one counter outlet and the floor outlet are on one. The other only two counter outlets. Then the living room and bedroom are on one! It's a small condo, only 640 square feet. I worry though about the living room and bedroom on only one 15amp circuit. In all there are only six outlets, three for each room. The dishwasher is on a dedicated outlet also only 15amp. The service panel is 125 amp and there are two extra slots. There are also two circuits not being used. One for a no longer disposer, and one mystery circuit marked, "AC Fan". However the AC works without it. So I don't know what it's for.

    I'm just curious. Should I not worry and take the place? This is my only concern. The rest is no problem. I'm a good carpenter, and construction person, but electricity? Well it scares the hell out of me.
    Ken the loads you described seem fine for the service you have if you have gas heat, water heater and the A/C load is small.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Condo Questions

    Back in the 70s most people used less electricity. We didn't have so many electronics. We had no charges (we now have a charger for everything), our kitchens were simple. Heck, many people didn't even have a color TV, I know I didn't. But today things are different.

    If you feel you need a bigger panel, find out from the association if it's OK to upgrade, BEFORE YOU COMMIT and have them give you a written approval, then go ahead with the purchase.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Condo Questions

    For the size of the unit the 125 amp panel is more than adequate. Life still will determine if you need to upgrade some circuits or add additional ones. Up until 1983 we only had a 60 amp service in our old farm house which is 2000 sq ft and we had color TV.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Condo Questions

    OK, thanks for your replies.

    I was concerned because I had read elsewhere on this website that Kitchens must be twenty amps per code. Of course I'm sure many homes are not totally up to code, unless they are newly built!

    The AC, Stove are both on separate 20/20 circuits.
    Was just worried about burning down the place, with a refrig on a 15 amp shared circuit.

    Thanks
    Ken

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    17

    Default Re: Condo Questions

    Refrigerators don't really draw that much amperage except at startup of the compressor. Even then it should not exceed 15 amps. You probably want to do a few electrical upgrades, but what you have should also work fine for now.

    My 1940 house is wired with the kitchen (all outlets) on the same circuit as the kitchen lights and various outlets and lights in the bedrooms and bath upstairs. The entire house (3 floors and about 1900 sq ft) only had six circuits, since the major appliances were gas and there was no A/C. I've been surprised what one 15 amp circuit can carry in normal use. However, I finally had to add a two new 20 amp circuits upstairs because the 15 amp circuit could not handle the combination of the refrigerator and my wife's curling iron at the same time without tripping the breaker.

    Bruce

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Condo Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by KeninFlorida View Post
    OK, thanks for your replies.

    I was concerned because I had read elsewhere on this website that Kitchens must be twenty amps per code. Of course I'm sure many homes are not totally up to code, unless they are newly built!

    The AC, Stove are both on separate 20/20 circuits.
    Was just worried about burning down the place, with a refrig on a 15 amp shared circuit.

    Thanks
    Ken
    True the most recent Code requires two dedicated 20A 120V counter top circuits.

    The refrig. can either be on one of the kitchen counter top circuits or any other branch circuit.

    But, if it passed inspection once and has never been altered, it's still OK. The calendar can't make you an electrical criminal.

    The existing fuses or circuit breakers should trip if there is a problem with shorts or overloads.

    A quick check by a licensed electrician should set your mind at ease.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

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