2 20 Amp 2 15 Amp Circuits


Old 08-03-04, 10:36 PM
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Question 2 20 Amp 2 15 Amp Circuits

I'm remodeling a home that I wound up buying.

I'm finishing off 1480 SF daylight basement. Bedroom, bathroom, bonus room, entertainment room.

The problem is I have 2 20 amp circuits, and 2 15 amp circuits in a sub panel. (Although that could be 4 20's).

I have a large entertainment room 14 * 35 with 14 outlets, and I was thinking about putting them all on a single 20 amp circuit. Leaving 20 amps for the bonus room, bathroom and bedroom outlets, and two fifteen amp circuits for lighting exclusively. Those 14 outlets consist of 8 duplex outlets by code and design, and a 6 plex behind the entertainment center. I could use a power strip after the fact, but I prefer rigid copper to after market crap.

All of this is strung on 12/2WG.

This house is in a very conservative city (Bellevue, WA).

Thoughts? Advice???

Yes I'm licensed and bonded, but I'm not an electrician. I working the rough in now for inspection on Friday.
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Old 08-04-04, 04:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
If you were thinking that two twenty amp circuits could serve all the recepticles, you need to think again.

The bathroom requires a dedicated 20 amp circuit for it's recepticle(s), which must be GFCI protected. You may put the bathroom lights on this circuit, but nothing else may be on this same circuit.

As for the entertainment room. I would never put more than one duplex recepticle, even for an entertainment center. Do yourt self a favor and buy a good quality surge protector to protect your equipment. The surge protector will have multiple outlets built into it. Depending on exactly what you intend to have there, I would consider using a separate circuit just for that area.

The bedroom needs to be on an AFCI circuit, so that means an additional circuit. And of course the bedroom must have a second means of egress, but that is not an electrical issue.
Old 08-04-04, 07:42 AM
Andy C's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 37
Bob, three questions related to this.

1. The new bedroom will require a smoke detector, which must be 120V and interconnected with the other detectors - but what if the rest of the house uses battery powered detectors, are you supposed to replace and wire them?

2. If the smoke detector is inside the bedroom then it must be AFCI but I believe code only requires it to be in the hallway outside the bedroom, in which case it would not need to be AFCI?

3. Must (or should) the detectors be on their own circuit? If you were powering them from the bedroom 20A AFCI receptacle circuit then you'd have to use 12/3 for the detectors rather than running a separate 15A smoke detector circuit on 14/3.

Old 08-04-04, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You are not generally required to replace or add other smoke detectors in a residence when you are adding a new bedroom.

Where the smoke detectors need to be placed idepends on local and state codes. Where I am, in new construction, they must be in each bedroom and one outside the bedrooms, one on each floor, and they all must be inter-connected.

Whether or not smoke detectors must be AFCI protected when in a bedroom is debatable. Some inspectors say yes, others allow them not to be AFCI protected. i believe the most recent code says they don't need to be.

Smoke detectors don't need to be oin their own circuit, and may recommend against this. Unless you pay close attention to them you won't know if the breaker has tripped if they are on their own circuit. For this reason, many people put them on an often used circuit, such as a hall light.

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