Entire house circuit design

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Old 04-18-06, 12:55 PM
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Entire house circuit design

MY wife & I recently purchased an old farm house that was built in 1900. I am currently in the process of gutting it down to bare studs. When this is done I am going to completely rewire the entire house. The "problem" I am having is designing my branch circuits. The designated circuits are no problem, but as far as general lighting circuits & room circuits I'm not sure what is the best practice. The house is 2100 sq/ft, 2 story, with a basement.

First level consists of:
Bathroom
Breezeway
Living Room
Office
Kitchen
Dining Room
Master Bedroom

Second Level:
Bonus room
2 Bebrooms

I plan on having switched ceiling mounted light fixture/ceiling fans in all rooms except the Kitchen, which will just have florescent ceiling fixtures no fan, & the dining room, just a chandelier. The bathroom will have 3 GFCI outlets, 3 single bulb vanity lights, 3 vapor resistant recessed lights, & an exhaust fan. The rest of the house is just normal outlets, besides designated circuits, small app. circuits, etc.

Can anyone please help me design my different branch circuits? I can upload my CAD drawings if needed or list everything I currently have on each circuit.

Many thanks in advance!!!!

Dan
 
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Old 04-18-06, 03:51 PM
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> Can anyone please help me design my different branch circuits?
> I can upload my CAD drawings if needed or list everything I currently have on each circuit.

When you list everything on the branch circuits, you need to put down amperage too.

Then you start adding up the loads.
When you get to 10A, your done with that circuit and move onto another. Anything in a bedroom has to be protected by an AFCI breaker. Most people try to avoid buying too many of these.

Bathroom, kitchen/dining/etc., and laundry areas are a different story. But you need a lot of receptacles on separate circuits.

I've skipped over a lot of the details.

Yes, post your list with the amperages that you know.
(If you have watts, divide by volts to get amps.)

Equipment like furnaces, pumps, electric stoves/dryers, a/c need their own circuits.

Another list was posted earlier today. Have a look at the remarks about it.
 
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Old 04-18-06, 11:57 PM
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no expert, but agree.
Look at what you run now, then add up the amperage...

Figure running 20 amp circuits to most of the rooms (sans the big stuff like oven, dryer, etc)

Then wire it accordingly. Some people want all lights on circuits, outlets on others...

Some may benefit from combining both onto circuits (ie room by room), but in any case you need to follow code, and watch your amp load the whole time.

Your office for example, and living room, will have more amps drawn at any given time than say your average bathroom or master bedrrom (office computers, printer, tv, etc, vs light and fan/light combo in bath, or bed light/ceiling fan in bedroom).

Once you get this figured out, the next step begins, where I've always tried to balance the load on either leg of my panel. in combination with your bigger loads...
-r
 
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Old 04-19-06, 05:56 AM
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ok, here is what I have for circuits so far. They aren't organized in the box yet, so the numbers don't mean jack, except counting them, just trying to seperate everything properly for now.

All of this goes in a brand new 200A QO 40/40 box. Pretty!

1. AC Unit = 240v/50A designated

2. Basement General Lighting = 120v/20A: (2) florescent light fixtures, (4) total GFCI outlets, one of which is running my water softener & another is running my sump pump, which leaves (2) extras for whatever.

3. Upstairs Bedroom #1 = 120v/20A AFCI: (6) outlets & (1) lighted ceiling fan.

4. Upstairs Bedroom #2 = 120v/20A AFCI: (6) outlets & (1) lighted ceiling fan.

5. Bonus Room = 120v/20A: (6) outlets

6. Breezeway = 120v/20A: (1) lighted ceiling fan, (1) ceiling mounted light fixture, (3) outlets, (2) exterior lights

7. Dryer = 240v/30A designated

8. Washer = 120v/20A designated

9. Dining Room = 120v/20A: (4) outlets, (1) ceiling mounted light fixture, (2) exterior lights

10. Dishwasher = 120v/20A designated

11. Downstair Lighting Circuit = 120v/20A: Chandelier in Dining room, Lighted Ceiling fan in Living Room, (2) florescent light fixtures in kitchen, (1) pantry light, (3) single bulb vanity lights in Bath.

12. Exterior light circuit = 120v/20A: not yet determined what will all be on this, but probably a couple flood lights & a ceiling light for the front porch.

13. Exterior outlets = 120v/20A: (6) WP outlets

14. Living Room = 120v/20A: (6) outlets

15. Furnace (Gas) = 120v/20A(?) designated

16. Hot water heater = 240v/30A designated

17. Kitchen GFCI #1 = 120v/20A: (4) GFCI Outlets

18. Kitchen GFCI #2 = 120v/20A: refrigerator first in string, then (3) GFCI outlets

19. Master bedroom = 120v/20A AFCI: (6) outlets, (1) closet light, (1) lighted ceiling fan

20. Bath GFCI = 120v/20A: (3) GFCI outlets, exhaust fan, (3) vapor resistant recessed lights

21. Microwave range hood = 120v/20A designated

22. Office = 120v/20A: (1) lighted ceiling fan, (5) outlets, (1) closet light

23. Range = 240v/60A designated

24. Smoke alarms = 120v/15A designated: (8) smoke alarms

25. Upstairs lighting circuit = 120v/20A: (1) stairway light, (1) lighted ceiling fan in bonus room, attic light fixture

26. Water Pump = 240v/20A designated

EDIT: actually lets add the brewery now.

27. Brewery general lighting = 120v/20A: (6) outlets, (2) florescent light fixtures

28. Brewery Boil kettle power = 240v/30A designated

Future expansion for home brewery, garage addition, & barn, someday.

Fire away!

Thanks again! Glad I found this website!!!
 
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Old 04-19-06, 06:25 AM
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Don't use the term outlet. Everything (just about) is an outlet. The term you want is receptacle.

2. Put your sum pump on a dedicated circuit, no GFCI. Your water softener may also need a dedicated circuit.

6. The receptacles need to be GFCI protected.

9. Code violation. The dining room receptacles are a small appliance ciurcuit. No lights allowed.

18. Put the refrigerator on a dedicated circuit, non-GFCI. What you have is allowed by code, but not recommended.

22. Run a second circuit, just for a computer.

24. Depending on where you live these need AFCI protection. Unless a dedicatec circuit is required, put these on a circuit with often used lights. You want to know if the breaker trips for some reason.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft
Don't use the term outlet. Everything (just about) is an outlet. The term you want is receptacle.

2. Put your sum pump on a dedicated circuit, no GFCI. Your water softener may also need a dedicated circuit.

6. The receptacles need to be GFCI protected.

9. Code violation. The dining room receptacles are a small appliance ciurcuit. No lights allowed.

18. Put the refrigerator on a dedicated circuit, non-GFCI. What you have is allowed by code, but not recommended.

22. Run a second circuit, just for a computer.

24. Depending on where you live these need AFCI protection. Unless a dedicatec circuit is required, put these on a circuit with often used lights. You want to know if the breaker trips for some reason.
Receptacle it is!

2. Can you explain why these would need dedicated circuits. They aren't pulling many amps.

6. Why do these need to be GFCI? They are interior. The term breezeway might have been misleading. It really is a long hallway that runs the width off the house with entrys at both ends.

9. Ok, I'll add the lights to the downstairs general lighting circuit.

18. Ok.

22. Is it really necessary? I've never had my computer on a seperate circuit in every place I've lived & have never had a problem. What's the reasoning for doing this?

24. My current home they are not on an AFCI & I believe are just the detectors. They also have battery backup with chirp battery low warnings.

Thanks for the critique!
 
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Old 04-19-06, 09:27 AM
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You most certainly do not want to GFCI protect your sump pump. A nuisance trip could cause your basement to flood. A sump pump may not be a high current draw device, but it is at startup. It will cause a voltage drop at startup which may not be good for something else on the circuit, and if you were using something on the circuit that was high current draw (like an iron, or a vacuum cleaner, the breaker could trip when the pump kicks on).

When you stated breezeway I imagined an enclosed area between a house and a garage. These areas, typically unheated and sometimes with a concrete floor, generally require GFCI protection. An interior hallway does not require GFCI protection.

You used the term office. I know that can mean many things. My office (really a spare bedroom) has a dedicated circuit I ran for the computer equipment. At one point I had two desktop computers, three printers and all the other stuff, more or less maxing out the circuit. Don't sell yourself short. Plan for more than you think you need.

Whether the smoke detectors need AFCI protection or not depends on the location. Some places require it, others do not. They are required to be interconnected. Contact the authority that will be doing the inspection and ask them if they need AFCI protection and if they can be on a shared circuit. You don't want to get it wrong.

What your present home has now for anything does not matter. What matters now is what the current codes require.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 10:02 AM
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Thanks for the explanations! I will make a note of them & ask the inspector when we review my plans. That makes a lot of sense with the sump pump being on a designated circuit & not a GFCI. I'll also add another circuit for the computer. Also, another good point. I used my current home as a reference because it was only built 3 years ago, but I know how things change. I plan on having the inspector review my plans prior to doing anything, but wanted to try to get them in the best shape as possible. So I wouldn't give him any reason to think I don't know what I'm doing.

Again, thanks for the feedback! Any other things you might see? Is my gerneal lighting circuit ok? How about having lights in my bath on the general lighting circuit?

Originally Posted by racraft
You most certainly do not want to GFCI protect your sump pump. A nuisance trip could cause your basement to flood. A sump pump may not be a high current draw device, but it is at startup. It will cause a voltage drop at startup which may not be good for something else on the circuit, and if you were using something on the circuit that was high current draw (like an iron, or a vacuum cleaner, the breaker could trip when the pump kicks on).

When you stated breezeway I imagined an enclosed area between a house and a garage. These areas, typically unheated and sometimes with a concrete floor, generally require GFCI protection. An interior hallway does not require GFCI protection.

You used the term office. I know that can mean many things. My office (really a spare bedroom) has a dedicated circuit I ran for the computer equipment. At one point I had two desktop computers, three printers and all the other stuff, more or less maxing out the circuit. Don't sell yourself short. Plan for more than you think you need.

Whether the smoke detectors need AFCI protection or not depends on the location. Some places require it, others do not. They are required to be interconnected. Contact the authority that will be doing the inspection and ask them if they need AFCI protection and if they can be on a shared circuit. You don't want to get it wrong.

What your present home has now for anything does not matter. What matters now is what the current codes require.
 
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