Guidance/rules on using powerstrips?

MoshJosh

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 27, 2022
Messages
3,618
Reaction score
4,015
Location
Grand Junction
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Whoever invented the house clearly had no idea what they were doing. . . only two wall outlets on my back wall??? How am I supposed to run lights (six of them no less), heaters, wave makers, return pumps, dosing pumps, media reactors. . . . ?

But for real, I am thinking about adding another tank to my bookshelf, but to run all the needed equipment I would need to run two power strips in each available outlet. . . is this safe? I am sure there are folks running more equipment than me. . .how do y'all do it?
 

Barrett T

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
33
Reaction score
11
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Standard U.S. outlets are rated at 15 Amps (per receptacle, each usually has 2 plugs on it) at 120v. Since Power (in Watts) is equal to Voltage x Current, you can handle up to 1800W of equipment (I assume both of the outlets are on the same breaker, as they are close to each other. Since you have 2 receptacles, you may be able to do more, as long as you don't draw more than 15A from each receptacle. Check what the breaker they are on trips at, and i would say you can have:

Breaker trip current x 120v = Total number of watts you can draw (but no more than 15A from each receptacle).

For example,

Breaker trips at 20A

You can draw 10A from each receptacle (AKA 5A from each plug on each receptacle)

20A x 120v = 2400W Maximum combined power draw from all of your equipment

(I would try to stay a few hundred watts below the max)

If your lights are led, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Could you give me some more info on the power draw of the equipment you plan to use?
 

fish farmer

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
3,758
Reaction score
5,493
Location
Brandon, VT
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I try not to overload the circuit. My house is wonky too, very old, but upgraded wiring. I have bathroom and parts of my kitchen on the same breaker. Another breaker has some basement lights and kitchen lights. Two outlets in the living room are 20 amp, both on the same wall, but you would think they would have run a 20 amp upstairs to our bedrooms, but...no, both bedrooms are on the same 15 amp breaker.

It's like the electrician was using left overs from another job.
 

Reefer Matt

Reef Cave Dweller
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
25,987
Location
Michigan, USA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
In the U.S…As stated above, you have to add up how many watts you are using in equipment. Then convert that to amps by dividing by 120. If both outlets are on the same circuit, you are limited to 80% circuit capacity as stated on the circuit breaker in the panel. So a 15 amp circuit, regardless of the number of outlets, can safely handle 80% of the stated load, or 1440 watts. Also consider other appliances on the circuit as well, like tv’s etc.
 
OP
OP
MoshJosh

MoshJosh

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 27, 2022
Messages
3,618
Reaction score
4,015
Location
Grand Junction
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Standard U.S. outlets are rated at 15 Amps (per receptacle, each usually has 2 plugs on it) at 120v. Since Power (in Watts) is equal to Voltage x Current, you can handle up to 1800W of equipment (I assume both of the outlets are on the same breaker, as they are close to each other. Since you have 2 receptacles, you may be able to do more, as long as you don't draw more than 15A from each receptacle. Check what the breaker they are on trips at, and i would say you can have:

Breaker trip current x 120v = Total number of watts you can draw (but no more than 15A from each receptacle).

For example,

Breaker trips at 20A

You can draw 10A from each receptacle (AKA 5A from each plug on each receptacle)

20A x 120v = 2400W Maximum combined power draw from all of your equipment

(I would try to stay a few hundred watts below the max)

If your lights are led, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Could you give me some more info on the power draw of the equipment you plan to use?
Thanks for the incredibly detailed reply!!!

I am currently using :
5 Fluval nano LEDs (20W each)
Aqueon "pro" heater (50W)
One Jabao wave maker think the 4 or 8 version (I can't find out if the number denotes their wattage?)
One Sicce Nano Stream (2.8 - 3W)
Tidal 35 Filter (6W)
Kamoer F1 dosing pump (can't find wattage)

and if I add another tank I assume I am looking at 150% or more of current power need?
 

Barrett T

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
33
Reaction score
11
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I try not to overload the circuit. My house is wonky too, very old, but upgraded wiring. I have bathroom and parts of my kitchen on the same breaker. Another breaker has some basement lights and kitchen lights. Two outlets in the living room are 20 amp, both on the same wall, but you would think they would have run a 20 amp upstairs to our bedrooms, but...no, both bedrooms are on the same 15 amp breaker.

It's like the electrician was using left overs from another job.
Huh, that is pretty odd
 

BOYERZ

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 2, 2023
Messages
304
Reaction score
402
Location
Earth
Rating - 0%
0   0   0





Don't exceed 1200W per outlet.

they can handle more...
20240218_173611.jpg
 
Last edited:

X-37B

Fight The Good Fight
View Badges
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
9,288
Reaction score
16,099
Location
The Outer Limits
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Its best to run 1 or 2 seperate 20amp breakers. I ran 2 for my current 170. This way your system is isolated from the rest of the house.
I have done it the other way for years with no issues though.
Also get a quality power strip and keep it/them off the floor.
I run 4 of these on my 170 and it works well. No more searching for plugs to turn something off.
20240215_153930.jpg
 

Building with glass and silicone: Have you ever built a tank or had a custom tank built?

  • I have built an aquarium.

    Votes: 27 15.2%
  • I have had a custom tank built.

    Votes: 40 22.5%
  • I have never built a tank or had a custom tank built.

    Votes: 103 57.9%
  • Other.

    Votes: 8 4.5%
Back
Top