Old 12-31-03, 03:02 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 151
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts

Building a shop in my basement. Can you provide some advice recommendation on size of breakers and number of plugs per breaker? Not sure what the code is. I would rather put less plugs and more breakers to avoid problems....power tools etc...

thanks in advance...John

(not planning on having the job inspected)
Old 12-31-03, 03:14 PM
webrebel's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 230
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
20 amp breakers, on 12ga wiring
15 amp breakers, on 14ga wiring

Run a dedicated line for each outlet if you have the space in the panel box...
Old 12-31-03, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
I recommend that you use all 12-gauge wire and 20-amp breakers. If you have no 240-volt tools, and only one person will be working at a time, then three circuits is probably sufficient (one for the lights, and two for receptacles). If you have any special equipment (TV, air conditioner, refrigerator, dust collector, electric heat) in your shop, you may want extra circuits for those. The normal rule of thumb is no more than ten receptacles on a 20-amp circuit. Normally, I try to stay well shy of that. The critical factor isn't, however, the number of receptacles, but the number in simultaneous usage. You might as well put in plenty of receptacles so that there is always one near where you want it, even if that means a lot of receptacles on one circuit.
Old 12-31-03, 07:20 PM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,262
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
There is no code for your application as far as required receptacles. An unfinished basement or shop area is not a habitable room so install what is best for you. I think a 15 amp circuit is fine for the lighting, especially if it will be dedicated to the basement. Unless of course you need to buy all the wire you need for the job then buying one coil of wire may be more convenient.
Two 20 amp circuits will be fine unless you plan on getting help on a regular basis. If so and two people are using a tool on a common circuit you may have some tripping. Also if you get a dust collection system this will need a dedicated circuit as they draw quite a bit and they run any time a tool is being used.
Take stock of your power tools and their amperage and type of use. Something like a chop saw is a very momentary use tool while a table saw can be on for much longer and under more load for that time.
Also consider future upgrades. You may have a nice small table saw now and a router table. You may hit the lottery and get a Unisaw and cabinet shaper. Now you'll need a 220v. recpetacle for each. If you ran a dedicated circuit to those areas you can easily convert them to 220 by replacing the breaker and receptacle without changing the wire.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: