I'm doing a home addition in Minnesota (a small bathroom) and I want to know the right way to perform an electrical load calculation for the box. I've priced commercial electrical load calculation software and it's more expensive than I thought. Do you know of any online load calculators?
Barton L. ~ St. Paul, Minnesota
Barton, there are several websites which offer online visitors use of their electrical load calculation programs at no charge, and these fill-in-the-blank spreadsheets may be adequate for your needs. In order to correctly calculate your home's current service load, you will need to know the electrical loads of your home's major appliances and other mechanical equipment. Most often this information is found on the nameplate which lists the product's serial number and other important information. The electrical load will usually be expressed in volt-amps or watts. The electrical load calculation worksheet available at www. zenfixit.com is pretty simple to use and has good directions.
If you have an older home which only has a 100 amp service panel, then I would definitely hire an electrician who works in the St.Paul area to inspect your home's electrical system and calculate the additional electrical load which your new bathroom will require. Although you are only adding a small bathroom to your home, it is important that you not add more electrical load than your current service panel can provide. If your addition was a DIY project, then you may also want to have a licensed electrician inspect your bathroom for code compliance.