15 or 20 A receptacles

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  #1  
Old 05-13-06, 02:41 AM
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15 or 20 A receptacles

I am planning to do wiring for my basement. Should I use 15 or 20 A receptacles. I will be using them mainly for TV, Computer, Treadmill or similar Aerobic machine and a dehumudifier.I also want to install couple of receptacles at the unfinished part of the basement and use them for powering a table and a miter saw, again any suggestion about the amperage of those receptacles. My understanding is that all receptacles in the unfinished part of the basement should be GFCI, is that right and that the boxes are supposed to be metal, can I use PVC boxes instead because I want to run the wires at the unfinished part through PVC conduits, which are easier for me to work with than metal conduits
 
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Old 05-13-06, 04:46 AM
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You did not say where you are from. Please update your profile for the most accurate answers.

These answers assume the US.

I suggest that you run separate circuits for the finished and unfinished portions of the basement.

For the finished part, plan on at least three circuits, preferably more. Keep the computer on it's own circuit. Do not put the treadmill and dehumidifier on the same circuit (give them dedicated circuits if possible), and do not combine them with the electronics.

I suggest that you run 20 amp circuits. but use 15 amp receptacles, at least for the finished part of the basement.

For the unfinished portion of the basement use metal boxes and metal conduit if you feel you need conduit. Plan on at least two circuits, more if you think you need more than one tool on at a time.

I also suggest that you keep lights on different circuits from the receptacles. When you trip a circuit breaker, you don;t want to be in the dark.
 
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Old 05-13-06, 09:34 PM
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[QUOTE=racraft]

I suggest that you run 20 amp circuits. but use 15 amp receptacles, at least for the finished part of the basement.


QUOTE]

why would you suggest a 15 amp recep on a 20 amp circuit?

what is the benefit? If you have 20 amp available, why not just use 20 amp receps or actually the dual config 15/20 amp recepts. Whichever you use, I would suggest a good quality recep and not the 59 cent jobs.
 
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Old 05-14-06, 03:46 AM
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Very few electrical devices require 20 amp circuits. Those that do tend to be appliances or tools. Generally speaking, if you need a 20 amp receptacle then you need a dedicated circuit for the device.

I recommend 15 amp receptacles because they are cheaper than 20 amp ones (and I am not talking about using the 59 cent ones), and because 15 amp receptacles are correct in 99 plus percent of the cases.
 
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Old 05-14-06, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft
Very few electrical devices require 20 amp circuits. Those that do tend to be appliances or tools. Generally speaking, if you need a 20 amp receptacle then you need a dedicated circuit for the device.

I recommend 15 amp receptacles because they are cheaper than 20 amp ones (and I am not talking about using the 59 cent ones), and because 15 amp receptacles are correct in 99 plus percent of the cases.
Don't take this as arguementative, I generally do agree with you here. Do take note though the treadmill and possibly one of the power tools may require a 20 amp circuit.

I also tend to be a bit on the overkill side and just plain old do not care for the construction of most of the 15 amp receps out there. I have seen too many that although rated at 15 amps, were not quite up to the job unless absolutely everything was a perfect install. The price diff is so minimal that I always use 15/20 amp receps on a 20 amp circuit.
 
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Old 05-14-06, 09:28 AM
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The construction of spec grade 15 and 20 amp receptacles is basically identical. Resi grade devices are another story.

In a home I do agree with racraft that 20 amp devices are pretty much useless. Like he says, if an appliance has a 20 amp plug it is assumed it requires a dedicated circuit. In that case use a 20a receptacle.
 
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Old 05-14-06, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
The construction of spec grade 15 and 20 amp receptacles is basically identical. Resi grade devices are another story.

In a home I do agree with racraft that 20 amp devices are pretty much useless. Like he says, if an appliance has a 20 amp plug it is assumed it requires a dedicated circuit. In that case use a 20a receptacle.

True. but what do you think the op is going to pick up at Menard's et al.?
Folks like to buy with the wallet, not the mind. If the OP does not understand the diff, one is just about the same as another.

I personally do very little resi work. When I do, it is usually just a service call to help out the resi side of the company. I carry only commercial grade (or better) on my truck so that is what they get. May be the best and only good recep in the house but I can trust it. Heck, if they are lucky the might get spec grade if that is all I have. I've seen too many of those cheapy resi things have a melt down. I definatley do not want that on my head.
 
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Old 05-14-06, 04:58 PM
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On a mobile home rental I owned (thank god it's sold now) *I* actually wanted to go the OTHER direction as far as sizing went. Rather than trying to milk the 20 amp kitchen circuit for all that it was worth, and having 20 amp outlets in there, and encourage more use, I actually went out and bought (I think it was 10 amp) circuit breakers and was going to install them on the 10 gauge (yes, 10 gauge) wiring, because it was aluminum wiring and they step that up one gauge...just to make sure the breaker would trip before we had any more of those godawful outlet meltdowns that were going on in that trailer. Especially the kitchen, from them running a toaster and microwave and coffemaker in who knows what combination...on that circuit. I actually WANTED the breaker to blow well in advance of heat.
 
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Old 05-14-06, 05:23 PM
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DaVeBoy,

A 10 amp circuit for a kitchen is, of course, not allowed. I don't know if it ever was. By installing 10 amp breakers, you might actually make things worse. I can just see Harry homeowner running an extension cord from some other room because he keep tripping the breaker, and then using the extension cord for more than it can carry.

nap,

In my garage and in my unfinished basement I have 20 amp receptacles (except the GFCIs) on my 20 amp circuits. This is because I at one time had a saw that had a 20 amp plug. I couldn't run anything else on the same circuit (at least nothing significant), but that wasn't an issue as there is only one of me.

By all means, install 20 amp receptacles if you want to on 20 amp circuits. Just do not allow anyone to assume that they can plug multiple 20 amp corded devices into them.
 
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Old 05-14-06, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft

By all means, install 20 amp receptacles if you want to on 20 amp circuits. Just do not allow anyone to assume that they can plug multiple 20 amp corded devices into them.
and they can run 10 15 amp devices on the same circuit??

Of course there are limitations. It has nothing to do with what is being run. I am concerned with the quality of the recep.
A personal preference only. Nothing more.
 
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