GFCI in basement issue?


Old 02-17-06, 06:57 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: NY state
Posts: 25
Question GFCI in basement issue?

I recently wired two double outlets (20amp w/12g wire) over my workbench in the unfinnished half of my basement. Before there were extention chords and power strips driving me crazy and this seemed to be safer. I took the line from an existing 20 amp line from the finnished half.
(it already had 5 outlets and 4 wall sconces on it. Adding the 2 doubles(8 sockets) I think puts me I think near my limit of 1920 watts for a 20 amp circuit.
Also after reading this forum I realized that new outlets are not GFCI.
I know I have to change this. I don't want to have all the other outlets in the finnished side GFCI (I do music recording there and don't want circuit interupted with trips.)(maybe if someone out there thinks otherwise please say so)
Should I just separate the new outlets and run a new breaker for them?

Also I was planning on wiring one more outlet next to my water softener and acid neutralizer, and take it from the same line. The guy who put in our water filtration system was not an electrician and just ran an extension chord over the top of the ceiling and tied it to the water pipes. I bothers me evey time I look at it.
Now I realize that that should not be GFI. I tried to tap into a different 15 gage end of line socket but it kept popping the breaker. It had more outlets and lights on it than I first knew.
Does this mean I need to start two new lines from the breaker box?
One for the workbench outlets w/GFCI and one for the softener and acid neutralizer that is not?
I have quite a few empty breaker slots.
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Old 02-17-06, 07:52 AM
hornetd's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 695
Use a multi wire branch circuit?

You are correct in believing it is wrong to use an extension cord in lieu of permanent wiring!

If you are not tripping the breaker on the circuit that serves your work bench then all you need to do is to install a GFCI receptacle at the bench and supply the second duplex receptacle from it to be in compliance with 210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel.

210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel.
(A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in (1) through (8) shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.
(5) Unfinished basements for purposes of this section, unfinished basements are defined as portions or areas of the basement not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and the like.
But since you need a new supply for your water treatment equipment you may want to run one three wire plus ground 12/3 cable from the panel to a convenient location in the unfinished portion of the basement and then split the two circuits to serve the two loads. If the two duplex outlets at your work bench are in a double gang box you can run the 12/3 w ground from the panel to that box and run the 12/2 w ground from there to the water treatment equipment. The 12/3 would originate on two full sized 20 ampere circuit breakers that are installed so that there is 240 volts between them and 120 volts between each of them and the grounded current carrying conductor (neutral). One of those breakers then supplies the work bench receptacles the other one supplies the water treatment equipment.
Old 02-17-06, 08:03 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: NY state
Posts: 25
sounds like 2 breakers

this sounds like 2 new breakers. why shouldn't I just keep them on different lines and run 12/2 wire for the water filtration directly from the breaker box?

it seems I will have to run the same amount of wire. also I am a novice and have never run 12/3 wire. I don't want to screw it up.
Old 02-17-06, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
I agree. Unless you are 100% sure of all the rules regarding multiwire circuits, you should just run two regular circuits using two runs of 12/2, each from their own breaker. Novices are better to avoid multiwire circuits. Installed incorrectly, they can be a hazard. Two regular circuits is often no more trouble and no more (or not much more) expensive.
Old 02-17-06, 11:55 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: NY state
Posts: 25

thank you to both of you, I'll let you know.

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