Circuit design for new home


Old 07-03-05, 02:03 PM
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Circuit design for new home

What is the smartest, most flexible circuit design for a new home? For example, some want to run a different circuit to the top of an outlet than to the bottom, others run lights and outlets by room, etc. What is the way that I will least likely regret one day?

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Old 07-03-05, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
That's a huge question. Huge. Wiring a house is almost always a compromise between cost and flexibility. For greatest flexibility regardless of cost, you would have a separate circuit for each half of every receptacle.

Now, back to the real world.

I don't see much advantage of split-wired receptacles. It is not likely that you will need so much power in such a small space that a nearby receptacle won't do. But I do think it is a good idea to have access to more than one circuit in any given room. And access to three circuits in each room instead of two would be a luxury.

In general, flexibility increases as the number of circuits increase. Flexibility increases as the number of outlets increase. Flexibility increases as the number of wires increase. So increase all of those until you run out of money.

There's also no substitute for anticipating your needs. If you think you'll want a window air conditioner in a particular window, plan for it. If you think you'll want a tankless water heater, plan for it. If you think you'll want a whole-house fan, plan for it. If you think you'll want ceiling fans in every room, plan for it. If you want a media center on one wall, plan for it. If you want a home theater, plan for it. If you want bathroom heaters, plan for it. If you want lavish Christmas lighting displays, plan for it. If you want security or accent lighting outside, plan for it. If you think you might want to use a welder, plan for it. If you want a home office with a lot of equipment, plan for it. Think, plan, think, plan, think, plan. And then think and plan some more. But to control costs, you need to be realistic and not plan for too many things that will never happen.

If money allows, don't put lighting and receptacles on the same circuit. This has nothing to do with flexibility, but avoids that annoying light flickering when something comes on.
Old 07-03-05, 05:23 PM
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Thank you for the help

Thank you very much. That will be a great help. Although money is an object, I have a fair amount of freedom to do whatever I want, so I will take all those into account. I am building a 3600 sf home with a 2400 sf wraparound porch myself, so I am glad I found this site!

Old 07-05-05, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: port chester n y
Posts: 2,117
If future plans include an emergency-generator hook-up, then now is the time to identify the circuits that would operate from generator-power, and connect these circuits to a sub-panel which is "normally" connected to the Service panel thru a seperate Feeder.

The objective is a arrangement where the emergency-circuits will be completly isolated from the Service panel when operating on emergency power, usualy effected by a transfer-switch that dis-connects the Feeder from the Service panel, and connects it to the generator.

Good Luck & Enjoy the Experience!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Old 07-05-05, 09:07 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
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It is not a bad idea to install a conduit run or three in places that will be hard to get to in the future. For example put a couple runs of 1" PVC from the attic to the basement, a couple from the basement to the garage, etc. Three individual runs is a better idea than one large run. That way you can use some for power some for phone lines, satellite TV, or whatever else will happen to need wires strung throughout the house.

If you plan on having a pool, spa or powered outbuilding, this is a good time to plan for it also.

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