electrical rough in

Old 06-05-03, 11:00 AM
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electrical rough in

Framing is completed! I'm fairly impressed with the results ( So is my wife!). I have researched all previous threads regarding electrical rough in and have been able to get a basic idea on what I need to do. The basement is 26'x 20' with a 4' soffit approx. inbetween the 26' .Will be doing a drywall ceilling with recessed lighting. Service panel is located in the basement. Currenty have 2 original lights wired into the ceiling in the area. One is wired to a switch at the top of the stairs , the other is a pull string. I guess my question is if anyone can give me a quick step by step on the rough in process. how to run the wire etc..
I plan on 9 to11 cans and no major electrical appliences.Just TV , VCR etc..
Thanks for your help so far
Old 06-05-03, 09:20 PM
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I would recommend purchasing (or borrowing) a book on basic electrical wiring. Something that will not only show you what to do but why to do it.

Things like 14 guage wire for 15 amp circuits and 12 guage for 20 amps. And a 15 amp circuit carries a max load of 1800 watts (15a x 120v); 20 amp carries a max load of 2400 watts (20a x 120v).

Knowing the total wattage per circuit, you can estimate how many appliances, lights can be operated on that circuit, safely. I always plan out what will operate in each of the rooms to determine how many and the type (15 or 20 amp) of circuits I'll need.

Plan your rough in on paper - I like to use Microsoft Visio, but a piece of paper and pencil work well too. I also color code my different circuits to each of the rooms and identify all the outlets and lights.

A book will also give you some code excerpts: staple wires within 6 to 8" of the handy box, all wire connections should be made inside a junctions box, etc...it won't be complete, but helpful.

Be neat with your wiring too. A professional job is a neat and well thought out job.

Oh, did I mention plan your electrical first before you actually start running wire. Makes the job easier when you have a plan.

Hope this helps.
Old 06-06-03, 12:09 AM
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CrackedDrumHead is absolutely correct. You need several books. There are a few hundred electrical codes you should be familiar with before starting. Let me just highlight a few that you can begin your study on.

I would recommend using all 12-gauge wiring, and having several 20-amp circuits. You can probably put all the lighting on one circuit, and have a couple of circuits for the receptacles. Whenever practical, keep the lighting and receptacles on different circuits (to avoid light dimming).

Receptacle spacing is key. Make sure no spot on the wall is more than 6 feet from a receptacle (measured around corners, but not across doors). To be counted, a receptacle may not be higher than 5.5'.

There are many special considerations if you have a bathroom or bedroom, but you didn't mention either of these.

Learn the clearance requirements for lighting in closets. It's very difficult to explain without a picture.

All rooms must have lighting or receptacles that can be switched from near the entrance. Mechanical rooms also need switched lights.

Don't forget the smoke detector (more than one if you have any bedrooms). Most cities will require that they be interconnected with all the other smoke detectors in your house.

Receptacles in unfinished areas must be GFCI protected.

All splices must be in permanently accessible junction boxes.

Learn about and observe box fill calculations. You don't want to overcrowd any electrical boxes. The forumla is pretty complicated. Use the biggest boxes you can find.

If you plan any 3-way switches, study that area carefully. If you plan any switch loops, always use the remarked white wire to carry power to the switch and the black wire to carry power back.

Learn the rules for protecting and securing cables. In general, the cable must be stapled within 8" of a box and every 4.5' elsewhere. Learn how to snugly staple the cable without damaging it. If any bored holes are closer than 1.25" from the face of a stud or joist, you need a metal plate.

Make sure you know the legal ways to connect grounding wires. The green wire nuts with the hole in the end are perfect for this. The inspector will expect to see all grounding wires connected at rough inspection. Recessed cans can also be fully wired at rough inspection time.

Don't put more than one wire under a screw. The wire should go clockwise around a screw at least 2/3 of the way around.

Learn the rules for how and where to bore holes in joists and studs.

Learn the rules for how much sheathing to strip, how much insulation to strip, and the minimum length of wire you must leave in each box. In general, you must leave at least 1/4" of sheathing inside the box, and only strip off enough insulation to make the connection. Learn how to properly repack the wire into the box. Learn how to properly set your boxes so that they aren't proud of the drywall, nor too far back (1/8" back is the max allowed by code).

Make sure you leave sufficient working clearance around your panel. You need 36" in front, 30" side to side, and 6.5' of headroom.

There's more, but that'll get you started.
Old 06-06-03, 06:04 AM
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Looks like I have alot of studying to do. Thanks to both of you for your timely response.

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