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I do not believe I have enough power to really go all out this year. So I think I am limited or clueless.  I had everything plugged into 1 outlet and have now split to 2 outlets, each on different circuit breakers.  Both circuits are 15A.  I am fairly clueless when it comes to electricity, but with a little guidance, I could probably figure it out.  

 

So this is what I have:

 

All of my lights are running on 2 outlets, each on different 15A circuits in my garage.  These were re-wired from the main panel and moved to the subpanel.  

 

I'm sitting on 2 30A circuits that give juice to a weird looking outlet (technical term) that I would like to have converted into multiple outlets.

 

Now here is my dilemma, can I split up the wires that run to the weird looking outlet and create multiple outlets?  

 

Or do I just remove the 2 30A + the wire to the outlet and install multiple circuits and run new wiring to multiple outlets? 

 

Can I even run a decent sized display or is that laughable with the power I have? I only have a little over 3000 lights now and that is just not enough.  I'm looking at using 50k-75k lights next year.  

 

Currently, I'm only running 861w on one circuit and 864w on another.  I know that's a small number  on each, but because the location of the decor, it made sense to split it that way.  Plus everything is run off of 2 remotes and those claim to handle 1000w each. :/

 

Sorry if I have confused you, for I am confused myself.  I'm not afraid of running wire or splitting wire; however, I've only played around with elementary bits, like changing out the old outlets for new white ones during a remodel.

 

Also - 2 60A circuits feed the subpanel.

 

 

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call a professional electrician if you are not 100% sure of what you are doing.Those empty breaker slots should have covers over them,and are a potential electrocution hazard as is. the current air compressor outlet and its 2 30 amp breakers could be converted to 4 15 amp breakers resulting in 4 15 amp,120 volt dedicated circuits with the correct hardware if you are no longer using the air compressor.Again,unless you are experienced,leave it to a pro.....your life,and the value of your home are not worth saving a few bucks for!

Edited by merrymidget
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Seek a professional. It will save your sanity along with your valuables. This is one part of creating a beautiful display where you need the professionals. Plus...they might be able to get you more power from a better subpanel in your garage.

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Well first if you are going to run LED's for a majority of your display you wont have to do much to your electrical. IF you are going to do it with more Incans they yes you will absolutely will. Right now you are running about 7 amps per circuit soa bout 14 amps total for your display.

 

I run 33000 lights and 80% are incans and I pull 75 amps at about 9000 watts. I have 8 20 amp breakers dedicated to Christmas lights. As I convert to LED, I will use less and less.

 

If you have the knowledge to swap the breaker out and wire in the new outlets go for it... but it is tricky and you need to do it correctly.

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As an electrician, here's what I see so far.  You've got a double-pole 30amp breaker feeding a 20a 250volt receptacle with an unknown wire size gauge connecting them.  Regardless, it's not simple or cost effective to split this into 2 circuits.  You've got 2 hots and a ground wire going to the receptacle and will need 2 hots, 2 neutrals (or 1 shared neutral) and a ground wire for the 2 circuits. This means you're already short a wire right off the start unless you combine your grounds and neutrals (not recommended even though they are technically tied together within the circuit panel box).  Also, the box you have is fed by a 2 pole 60amp breaker so it is not 2 60amp circuits as you noted but rather 60amps total.  My biggest concern is the blank spaces in the panel box cover.  That shiny silver stuff is bare buss bar exposed back there.  For the love of god, get yourself over to the home center and spend the 8 bucks for some pop-in plastic cover fill plates.  You have a GE TML series box which will take almost any brand of 1" wide fill plate.  You've got plenty of room to take a lot of power from that box and not much of a load in place already.  Please do the right thing and call in a pro when the time comes.  You might lament the cost up front, but you'll never regret having it done correctly and safely.  

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Thank you all. Looks like I'll be calling my father in law in the near future for the number to his electrician. Definitely not something I want to get a major zap over or worse. I can admit that I am far from confident in myself when it comes to the panels...considering that I didn't know that it wasn't 2 60A but rather a 2 pole 60A breaker. I guess by going the pro route, I will have a lot of outlets installed outside rather than a million extension cords running under my garage door.

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Make sure you don't accidentally stick anything (a finger, a tool) in the open section of the breaker box where the breakers are missing. I'd even tape a cardboard or plastic cover over the big holes. It's way to easy to be killed or start a fire with what you have now.

As for power, a 15A circuit can handle 1800W non-continuous or 1440W continuous load, so you are way under that with 800W per circuit.

/mike

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I've been thinking of adding LEDs to my display.  It only makes sense in the future with the amount of lights that I am after.  Good news is that I spoke to my father in law and he can help me out.  He remodels homes and used to build them - I did not know he actually could do electrical work.  Saves me major bucks.  He promised to donate 20 strings of lights to my sad yard if I promised to not touch or even look at the box.  Work will begin after the holidays.

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Ok, thats a bribe worth Taking.. do be careful.... Christmas lights are supposed to be fun... only the displays are supposed to be shocking, not the plugs using to light it! after the work is done.. make him get you 20 strings of LED lights to conserve on that power he just put in...! 

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