A few questions about wiring a basement.

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Old 10-14-02, 12:52 AM
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A few questions about wiring a basement.

I'm finishing my basement. I have just finished framing and now begin to do wiring and I need your help.

1. Does the code require all outlets in a basement be 20 amp?

2. 20 amp outlets require a 20 amp circuit breaker and 12/2 wire?

3. Does the code require that the entire bathroom in the basement (e.g., vent fan motor, vanity light, receptacle, switch, ceiling light) be on a separate circuit? (since the bathroom and laundry room share a common partition wall, I wonder if I can connect 2 20 amp GFCI receptacles in the laundry room to the circuit of the bathroom?)

4. Are all of the receptacles connected directly or indirectly to the load side of a GFCI receptacle meet the requirement of a FGCI protected receptacle? In other words, I need to install only one GFCI receptacle in a single circuit and have all other receptacles in the circuit met the requirement of "GFCI protected" receptacle?

Thank you very much.
 
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Old 10-14-02, 02:28 AM
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Wink

while i'm no electrician by far, i know that you can use 15 amp breakers with 12/2 wiring which is thicker than 14/2 which some codes call for(its always better to go one size better)

as for doing the bathroom wiring.
my good friend recently gutted and totally re-did his basement bath with a wall heater and a light/ven/heater unit, and two outlets, and other that the two outlets he ran everything else on a separate breaker. so if you have the room in your panel, then it wont hurt to do so...good luck........me, im still trying to figure out how i want to frame out my unfinished basement.....

take care
 
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Old 10-14-02, 07:43 AM
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1. In all but a few areas, no (but check locally). However, I think it's a good idea even though not required (not everyone agrees).

2. Yes. Just curious, but why do you want 20-amp outlets? Do you have any 20-amp appliances? Note that a quality 15-amp receptacle is just as good as a 20-amp receptacle, so if you're doing this just to do a good job, it's not necessary.

3. You don't need a dedicated circuit for the bathroom, although this is one way to meet code, and probably the best way given your situation. But also no, you may not have anything outside of a bathroom on the same circuit as a bathroom receptacle. You should probably read up on bathroom codes -- you have choices, but not many.

4. Yes, a receptacle connected to the load side of a GFCI is as good as if it was a GFCI receptacle.
 
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Old 10-14-02, 10:22 AM
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Thanks Michael and John. John, about the 2nd question...

The reason I use 20 amp receptacles because I want to use the same 20 amp circuit breaker which has already installed in the circuit breaker panel by the previous owner. This 20 amp circuit breaker is currently connected to 4 receptackes. I will remove these 4 receptacles (since their locations do not meet Code) and installed about 15 new receptacles to this 20 amp circuit breaker. A saleman at Home Depot told me that I must use 20 amp receptacles in a circuit which is protected by a 20 amp circuit breaker in the panel.
I guess I can save about $25-30 if i replace the 20 amp circuit breaker with a 15 amp circuit breaker and then use it for the 15 15-amp receptacles but I decided against it because I was scare of replacing or adding anything inside the circuit breaker panel. However, it appears that I will have to do something inside the panel soon because I will move my dryer to my basement from the main floor (it has been using a wrong circuit breaker, a 40 amp instead of a 30 amp).
By the way, to change or add a circuit breaker I only need to turn off the "Main" switch in the panel, right?
Thank you very much. I appreciate your help.
 
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Old 10-14-02, 11:36 AM
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This is going to sound a bit strange to you,,, but as John quoted,,, you can use 15 a recepts on a 20 a circuit. You must use a 20 a wire with a 20 a breaker,, which is 12/2wg. Yes, turn the main off to work in panel,,, and remember, the lugs above the main are hot yet. Sometimes HD people do know and sometimes they do not. That might be difficult to figure out from your point. I was in one the other day and the kid was trying to sell the guy some kind of phone type wire to hook the smokes together. The kid was really nice and fessed up that he didnt really know for sure and couldn really see the need for such a big wire on them,,, but we sent him on his way with 14/3,,, if he figured out which type of breaker he needed is another matter. My point is that you never quite sure whether is the first week on the job there or what. They also have some great people. There are a lot of posts here because of that.
 
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Old 10-14-02, 12:31 PM
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This is going to come as a great shock, but sometimes you get bad information at Home Depot. This is one of those times. At least this bad information isn't dangerous. You're lucky.

As sberry said, just use 15 amp receptacles on this 20-amp circuit. It's perfectly fine and legal according to code.
 
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Old 10-14-02, 12:34 PM
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Thanks sberry. What a wonderful board! Another question please.

I have just finished drilling 5 5/8 inch hole in the studs of the frame so that I can run cable from one receptacle to another receptacle around the basement. Since there are spaces of at least 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches between the back side of these studs and the concrete wall, I wonder if the Code allows me to run the cable behind the studs and save me the time and labor to drill all of these holes (must be close to 75-100 of them). Further, it will be easier and more efficient to put up the insulation material if the cable is run behind the studs rather than holes near the middle the studs.
I'm so glad that I found this site. It surely saves me a lot of time and money.
Thanks so much again.
 
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Old 10-14-02, 01:26 PM
texsparky
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The wire must be supported unless it is fished down an existing wall.If you run it between the concrete and the studs.how will you support it ? There is no way to staple it to the back of the studs. With a good auger bit and the right drill (large enough to drive the bit ) 75-100 holes could be drilled rather quickly.(30-40minutes)
 
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Old 10-14-02, 04:44 PM
bwetzel
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You need a seprate 20 amp (12-2) circuit for your bathroom. The only Choice you have with this circuit is what can be put on it. You can either put everything on that is located inside the bath (recpt, lights,fan) and nothing else outside of the bath or you can just put the recpts in the bathroom on it. Then you may shre other BATHROOM recpts. This would not apply to you, because you have no other bathrooms that you are re-wireing. So, You would need a seprate 20 amp circuit for the bathroom. As for the other recpts, 15 is a little high on the number of recpts. per circuit. This would depend on what you will be doing with these. I would sugest 2 more circuits (3 total) for this project. Remember, It is easier to do it now then later.
As for the 20 amp recpts, you may use 15 amp recpts on 20 amp circuits (12-2) You may not use 20 amp recpts on a 15 amp circuit.
Hope this helps
Brian
 
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Old 10-14-02, 07:30 PM
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The cable only has to be supported every 4.5 feet. It is quite common to drill only every other stud and run the cable behind the other studs. You don't need to drill the dead center. In exterior basement walls, I suggest drilling slightly behind dead center to further protect your cable (but keep it at least an inch away from the back of the stud in order to preserve the strength of the stud).
 
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Old 10-14-02, 08:24 PM
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I have done that same job,,, just drilled a 1/4 hole about 3/4 or inch from the back, run the cable behind and zip tie,, leave it loose till you get wires fed thru and then tighten.
 
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Old 10-16-02, 02:49 PM
rhhjr
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mimimimi: You said you were removing 4 receptacles "since their locations do not meet Code". Just idle curiosity on my part, but what are the locations that don't meet NEC requirements ?
 
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Old 10-16-02, 10:20 PM
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rhhjr: I'm not kidding. These receptacles were mounted about 40-50 inches high. They were not firmly mounted to the 2x2 studs. There were only 4 for the entire basement of about 1300 sq. ft. One was even mounted sideways. Either the previous owner or one before that (i'm the third one) tried to finish the basement himself but he didnt know much about basic framing or wiring. He had done framing, wiring and insulation and then he must obviously have realized that no way he could have installed the drywall because 2x2 studs bent in all directions and most of them were not firmly secured. More important, they were randomly spaced rather than at 16 oc or 24 oc as required. There were completely no fireblocks. I did have to remove everything that he put up in the basement (insulation, framing and wiring) and started all over again.
 
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Old 10-17-02, 07:43 AM
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Although the irregularities you cite are unusual, most of them do not violate code.
 
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