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# bare grounds together?

#1
03-26-03, 09:00 AM
Gabling2
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bare grounds together?

We are in the process of finishing our basement - just had the electrical inspection this morning and passed. (Thank you all for the questions to my answers!).

One thing that the inspector pointed out is this... I have two two gang boxes. (remember this?!?) Each one is going to have two three-way switches installed. Each switch is on a seperate circuit. I just assumed then that switch 1 and bare ground 1 go together and switch 2 and bare ground 2 go together. The inspector said that ALL the bare grounds go together (does not matter that they are on seperate circuits). I'm using dimmers so there is a lead on the switch already. So basically I'll be combining the two incoming bares from the power ins, the two bares for the traveler 14/3 wires and the switch bares.

Is this correct?!? I hate to doubt an inspector, but I just had to ask!!

Thank you for your time and expertise...

Glen

#2
03-26-03, 10:21 AM
lestrician
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The inspector is correct, all grounds within a box should be joined.

#3
03-26-03, 10:27 AM
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The question is: Why are you using two separate circuits?

#4
03-26-03, 10:38 AM
Gabling2
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Thanks for the quick replies. Each of these circuits has 10 lights each, so a decision was made to put them on two seperate circuits.

Thank you!

Glen

#5
03-26-03, 10:45 AM
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What is the wattage of each fixture? We've probably been through this before when we discussed your situation. If I remember correctly, we talked about a wiring deduction for the dimmer if it controlled over 400 watts. If you are using two 600 watt dimmers, then the max you could put on the dimmers is 1200 watts which is equal to 10 amps which is equal to one 15 amp circuit.

#6
03-26-03, 10:52 AM
Gabling2
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Each dimmer is going to control five recessed lights, 65 watts each fixture. The original design was 6 lights each dimmer, 65 watts each fixture. The cans are rated at 75 watt bulb max so that would have been a total potential of 450 watts.

The dimmers are each rated at 500 watts (derated b/c of multigang) so the 450 was right there. Because we eliminated one light from each it's a little lower total wattage.

The other five lights for each circuit are five recessed for one cicruit and five single lights spread in other areas (closet, utility room...) on the other circuit.

Thanks - Glen

#7
03-26-03, 10:57 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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The maximum load for your 2 circuits is 900 watts. 900 / 120 = 7.5 amps. 450 / 120 = 3.75 amps. You have less than 4 amps per 15 amp circuit. As I suspected, you could have easily gotten by with one circuit unless you have tapped onto existing circuits with an additional load.

#8
03-26-03, 11:09 AM
Gabling2
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You are correct. I actually wound up with 20 lights total. Each light a maximum bulb of 75watts. If done one one circuit, it could potentially draw a total amperage of 12.5 watts. Could have definitely done it with a 15 amp circuit.

I guess my feeling was that I could tap into the light in the unfinished section for some unforeseen load in the future. If I was 'only' 2.5 amps from the limit, I might have had a problem.

Overkill for my situation?? Probably as you have pointed out. But I feel better for future needs. (Like the wife says, what the heck else are you going to add in the utility room?!?)

Thanks for the calculations though!

Glen

#9
03-26-03, 11:10 AM
Gabling2
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#10
03-26-03, 11:54 AM
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Good Lord, did you put 20 lights in your utility room? Sure it isn't a sauna or tanning room? Operating Room? Are you growing something we don't want to hear about?

#11
03-26-03, 12:03 PM
Gabling2
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LOL 20 total lights for the entire basement. We have one long room - one end will be an office, the other a family room. Each of those rooms have 5 recessed. Then there is a play room which also has 5 lights. A closet for toys (one light), HVAC room (one light), under-the-stairs wire room with terminations for all A/V wires (one light) and an unfinished utility room (one light). Oops - 19 lights total.

And no, nothing growing here... LOL

#12
03-26-03, 12:21 PM
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Now I'm confused. Are you going to control all those rooms from the 2 sets of 3-way switches?

#13
03-26-03, 12:24 PM
Gabling2
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Sorry for the confusion. No, family room and office are the two three-way switches. Playroom has a single switch as do the rest of the rooms/closet.

Playroom/Family Room on Circuit 1, Office/Closet/HVAC/Utility and unfinished area on Circuit 2.

Glen