How to calculate electrical load in a house

The purpose of the residential electrical load calculation is to accurately determine the size of the electrical service base upon the electrical equipment that will be installed. The national electrical codes are the basis of making sure the electrical service is sized properly and installed correctly. The General Electrical Load Requirements are based on the inside square feet area of the home which is then used to calculate the basic lighting load and required appliance circuits.

Click on the Question Mark Buttons for more specific information relating to each section and entry.

Appliances and Motor Type Loads are typically larger equipment used in the kitchen, laundry room, garage. Be sure to check the nameplate information for accurate calculations. Heating and Air Conditioning. Properly Identifying Heating and Air Conditioning Equipment is very important because the equipment typically requires a larger electrical load.

Perform the Calculations: The Calculate button will perform calculations from the information you have provided in this form. VA is the abbreviation for volt-ampere, which is a unit of power that is determined by multiplying the voltage and the amperage current in a circuit.

VA is a standard measurement of electrical power that is used for identifying electrical circuit component requirements. A watt is a measure of true power which is required to perform work at the rate of 1 joule per second. The wattage is calculated by multiplying voltage times the power factor of the circuit. PF or Power Factor is the ratio of the actual power in watts to the apparent power in volt-amperes which is expressed as a percentage.

The load calculator is divided into three main sections which enable you to enter the necessary information about the home project and the proposed electrical equipment that will be installed. The calculations conform to the national electrical codes which focus on required loads and factoring in the appliance and motor equipment. The question mark help buttons will assist you with detailed information about typical equipment loads which may be selected in the various drop down menus.

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Please use additional Question Mark Buttons for more specific information. For your continuance the Update and Calculate Buttons will Recalculate the entire form. The Non-Contact Electrical Tester This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring.

Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring. It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.The term " electrical load capacity" refers to the total amount of power provided by the main service for use by your home's branch circuits and the lights, outlets, and appliances connected to them.

Understanding capacity and load becomes necessary if you are planning the electrical service for a new home, or if you are considering an electrical service upgrade to an older home. Understanding the load needs will let you choose an electrical service with an appropriate capacity.

In older homes, it's extremely common for the existing service to be badly undersized for the needs of all the modern appliances and features now in use.

Total electrical capacity of an electrical service is measured in amperage amps. In very old homes with knob-and-tube wiring and screw-in fusesyou may find the original electrical service delivers 30 amps. Slightly newer homes built before may have amp service. In many homes built after or upgraded older homesamps is the standard service size.

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But in large, newer homes, amp service is now as a minimum, and at the very top end, you may see amp electrical service installed. How do you know if your current electrical service is adequate, or how do you plan for new electrical service? Determining this requires a little math to compare total available capacity against the likely load that will be placed on that capacity.

Calculating how much power your home needs is a matter of calculating the amperage load of all the various appliances and fixtures, then building in a margin of safety. Generally, it's recommended that the load never exceeds 80 percent of the electrical service's capacity.

To use the math, you need to understand the relationship between watts, volts, and amps. These three common electrical terms have a mathematical relationship that can be expressed in a couple of different ways:. These formulas can be used to calculate the capacity and loads of individual circuits, as well as for the entire electrical service. For example, a amp, volt branch circuit has a total capacity of 2, watts 20 amps x volts.

How to Calculate Electrical Circuit Loads

Since the standard recommendation is for the load to total no more than 80 percent of the capacity, this means that the amp circuit has a realistic capacity of watts. So to avoid the danger of overloads, all the light fixtures and plug-in appliances together on this circuit should consume no more than 1, watts of power. It is fairly easy to read the wattage ratings of all the lightbulbs, television sets, and other appliances on the circuit to determine if a circuit is likely to overload.

For example, if you routinely plug a watt space heater into a circuit, and run several light fixtures or lamps with watt bulbs on the same circuit, you have already used up most of the safe watt capacity.

The same formula can be used to determine the capacity of the house's overall electrical service. Because a home's main service is volts, the math looks like this:.

In other words, a amp electrical service should be expected to provide no more than 19, watts of power load at any given time. After you know the capacity of individual circuits and of the home's full electrical service, you can then compare this with the load, which you can calculate simply by adding up the wattage ratings of all the various fixtures and appliances that will be drawing power at the same time.

You might think this involves adding up the wattage of all the light fixture lightbulbs, all the plug-in appliances, and all the hard-wired appliances, and then comparing this to the total capacity. But it is rare for all electrical appliances and fixtures to run at the same timeâ€”you wouldn't run the furnace and the air conditioner at the same time, for example; nor is it be likely that you would be vacuuming while the toaster is running. For this reason, professional electricians generally have alternative methods for determining the appropriate size for the electrical service.

Here is one method that is sometimes used:. This resulting number gives the suggested amperage needed to power the home adequately. You can easily evaluate your current electrical service by using this formula. It is generally a good idea to oversize an electrical service to make future expansion possible. In the same way that amp service quickly became undersized when electric appliances become common, today's amp service may someday seem badly undersized when you find yourself recharging two or three electric cars.

An oversized electrical service will also make it possible to run a sub-panel out to your garage or shed if you someday choose to take up woodworking, welding, pottery or another hobby requiring lots of power. Add together the wattage capacity of all general lighting branch circuits. Add in the wattage rating of all plug-in outlet circuits. Add in the wattage rating of all permanent appliances ranges, dryers, water heaters, etc.

Subtract 10, Multiply this number by. Look for the full wattage rating of permanent air conditioners, and the wattage rating heating appliances furnace plus space heatersthen add in whichever is the larger of these two numbers.Be it for deciding the roof top solar plant capacity or for checking the excess electricity consumption of your home or office, we need to know the total electricity load we are consuming.

Calculating the total electricity consumption of a building is not that hard. The electrical load of a building is the total electrical load consumed by all the electrical appliances used in the building like the tube lights, fans, ACs, Refrigerators, computers etc. So, to calculate the electrical load of the house, all we have to do is, list all the electrical appliances, used in our home of office, find the electricity consumed by that appliance and finally add them.

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This method is suitable to calculate the electrical load or electrical energy requirement of a residential home, electrical load of an office building, electrical load of a factory, or any other building or space.

Before moving further with our calculation, lets understand what we are actually interested in. We know our electricity is measured in terms of Killo-watt hours.

This is what we are billed for.

Killo-watt-hour is the unit of electrical energy. All the electrical appliances come with a label showing their electrical properties like, voltage, Current rating or the Amps value, frequency and other parameters. Voltage and current are the properties we will take into consideration here.

Because, to calculate the total electrical energy consumed by the appliances we need to calculate the watt or power consumed by that appliance. Sometimes the appliances mention the wattage of that item. This makes our life easy. All we have to do is multiply the wattage with the total time in hours for which it is used.

Find the electrical power consumption by home appliances. Now as we know the electrical load of this building will be the total electricity consumed by the above appliances, so the first thing for is to know the electricity consumed by these individual appliances. By knowing the correct energy consumption of your house, you can take measures to lower your electric bill. Also if you are planning to install a rooftop solar system, calculating the energy consumed will help you deciding the capacity of the solar plant.

Dear Sir Please notify me through my email, electrical load calculations of lighting, receptacles, in commercial buildings, dwellings, industrial premises etc. The process of calculating the electrical load of industrial buildings, is as that of calculating the electrical load of a home.

You need to count the number of total light fixtures and multiply them with the wattage of the light fitting and calculate the no. If you still need clarification then you can ask me or send the total details and i will calculate it for you.

I will like to know how to get the total load of a building.

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I have some designs that am working on and I need to know the total load of each building to know the size of transformer to be used. Share the details of electrical equipments to be used in the buildings and their wattage. I will be happy to calculate that for you. This is good. Calculation method.

I will request to build a calculator so that if any one in need has just put the data. Thanks for sharing useful information with us. It really is helpful to me. I always like to read quality material. Thanks for sharing with us.Knowing your electrical usage and service rating are crucial if you plan on adding new loads.

This would be a time-consuming task if you had to go around the house and add up all the wattages of the lights and appliances; however, the National Electrical Code NEC has established certain values that represent typical electrical usage. Three watts per square foot of existing living space and space for future use is used to figure electrical load for general-purpose circuits lighting and receptacles. A nominal value of 1, watts is used for each amp small-appliance circuit circuits that power receptacles in the kitchen, dining room, family room, breakfast room, and pantry and for a laundry circuit.

By applying these values to your home and using the actual nameplate values affixed to major appliances, you can use a handy formula to calculate your electrical load. Consider the example of a house with 1, square feet based on outside dimensions of finished living space and space adaptable for future use.

The house has the usual two small-appliance circuits 3, wattsa laundry circuit 1, wattsa hot water heater 5, wattsa clothes dryer 5, wattsa dishwasher 1, wattsa garbage disposal wattsa range 15, wattsand a central air conditioner 5, watts.

How to Calculate the Electrical Usage for Your Home

The first step is to multiply 1, square feet by 3 watts per square foot. The total is 5, watts for lighting and general-purpose circuits. Add 3, watts for the two small-appliance circuits and 1, watts for the laundry circuit for a total of 9, watts.

Next, add the values of all the major appliances, except the central air conditioner, for a total of 38, watts.

The next step is to figure 40 percent of the amount over 10, watts 0. Adding the 10, watts to the 11, watts gives a subtotal of 21, watts. Then add the 5, watts of the central air conditioner for a grand total of 26, watts.

This is your estimated load in watts. To figure the current needed to carry that load, divide 26, watts by volts. The total comes to Now try it yourself for your own home. Then compare the total load in amps with your present service rating.

If the two values are close together, your present service cannot handle the addition of many new loads.Electrical circuits have many applications, including household, automotive and electronics. The electrical principles apply regardless of the application. You have a number of components distributed on the circuit that constitute the circuit load. You have a power source. You want to know the characteristics of the load components. Calculate the electric load for a simple linear circuit having a source voltage of 9 volts and two resistors in series, each of ohms.

The second resistor has a lead that goes to ground. Calculate according to the following equations. Conclude that the load voltage around the simple circuit must be 9 volts. Calculate that the load voltage is evenly distributed across each of the resistors, since they have equal resistance, and that the voltage over each must be 4.

Note that all the load characteristics Voltage, Resistance, Current, and Power are now known. Be safe and choose resistors rated at. Use a linear circuit simulator online to simulate simple circuits and calculate the load characteristics.

Calculate the load characteristics using the voltage, current, resistance or inductance and power equations. Calculate the load for a typical single family house using an online electrical load calculator.

Enter the square footage of your house. Use the default values if the information is unavailable. For the two resistor circuit above, the source of 9 volts and the load voltages of Updated October 06, Photo Credits.

Copyright Leaf Group Ltd.Every electrical circuit has a load limit which is the maximum load it can handle safely without overheating. Circuit breakers in a main power panel are designed to help prevent a circuit from overheating by limiting the amount of current that is allowed to flow through that circuit. Calculating the load on a circuit is a good indicator of whether a new circuit needs to be added or if some appliances need to be moved to other circuits. Locate the circuit for which you want to calculate the circuit load.

Take the breaker size and multiply it by the rated voltage.

For example, a 20 amp breaker that operates at volts has a maximum load of watts. The National Electric Code recommends that a circuit not be loaded more than 80 percent of its maximum capacity.

Calculate the recommended maximum. Multiply the breaker maximum capacity by 80 percent. This equals watts times 80 percent or watts. Locate all of the appliances and devices that are connected to this circuit. Check each device for how many watts of power it uses.

Write down the wattage of each device. If the wattage is not given, multiply the voltage of the device by the amount of current it uses to get the power in watts.

Add the wattage of all of these devices together to get the total load on the circuit. Take the total load and divide it by the maximum recommended load to get a percentage. For example, if the total loads add up to watts and this is a 20 amp circuit, then the load usage is watts divided by watts which equals 0. This means that this circuit is operating at 42 percent of its recommended maximum load.

William Kinsey lives in Concord, N. He started writing articles in Marchwhich have appeared on Autos. He also currently owns and operates Sophisticated Curves, an online fashion mall that caters to the needs of plus size women. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Step 1 Locate the circuit for which you want to calculate the circuit load.

Step 2 Calculate the recommended maximum. Step 3 Locate all of the appliances and devices that are connected to this circuit. Step 4 Add the wattage of all of these devices together to get the total load on the circuit. Share this article. William Kinsey.

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