Electrical question - basement finishing


Old 04-11-03, 04:49 PM
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Electrical question - basement finishing


My village says that I have to have an outlet every 12 feet, pretty standard. I understand how to compute a circuit using volts x amps = watts. However, there are going to be many, many outlets in my basement that simply are probably never going to be used for anything, and will only be there just to meet code. How may rarely used outlets am I allowed to have on one 20 amp circuit? I don't know how to figure this out as they will probably never carry a load.

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Old 04-11-03, 04:52 PM
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NEC has no restrictions on the number of receptacles on one circuit. Some counties/towns have restrictions. You need to contact you local AHJ.
Old 04-11-03, 06:14 PM
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Here's a couple of ways to think about it.

On a 20-amp circuit, we normally use a rule of thumb saying no more than 10 outlets. That means that you can wire up to 120 feet with one 20-amp circuit. One way to look at it is to say you can wire 120-feet of wall space, regardless of how many outlets you use. So if you put an outlet every foot, maybe you want to put 120 of them on one circuit.

Another NEC rule says that you need 3 watts of general-use power per square foot. This rule doesn't apply to a single room, but is averaged over your house. That says that a 20-amp circuit can serve about 800 square feet, regardless of the number of outlets.

Having said that, I don't think either of these two ways to think about it will give you as much power as you might need to get the maximum use out of your space. You need to think a lot about what you are going to use that room for, and how much power that will take.

And, as Joe pointed out, local rules trump all.
Old 04-11-03, 07:54 PM
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Thanks for your input!!!

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