wiring for basement

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Old 07-04-06, 10:41 AM
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Question wiring for basement

I have a question on the best method for wiring my basement. I am right now in the process of remodeling my living room (the circuit breaker panel is in this room) and currently all the sheet rock is off the wall so I have easy access for running wires.

The question is that in a year I will be making my basement into living space which will require a lot of wiring. So is it better to run one large line to a new second circuit breaker panel that I could easily install in the basement. Or I can run all the wires from the basement to the circuit breaker panel. Having a second panel in the basement would be easier in the fact that if I decide to make changes in the plan for the basement the wiring can be changed with it but running separate lines from the current breaker in the living room seems like it would be cheaper since I could run all the wire by myself. Any help on this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 
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Old 07-04-06, 10:45 AM
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It would be up to you as how you wanted to do this.

One thing to look into is, how many open breakers do you have in the old panel. If you are in jeopardy of running out of breaker space, I would seriously consider a sub-panel in the basement.

Why do you feel you could not do this yourself. There are some very knowledgable folks here willing to help you along the way.
 
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Old 07-04-06, 10:56 AM
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I have plenty of room on the existing panel. Also I might do it all myself but I have not yet decided that. Is there any problem with having a sub panel? I assume if I installed on that the rating for the curcuit would have to be very high (around 100-120 amps) this would alow for 5-6 20A breakers on the sub panel.
 
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Old 07-04-06, 11:20 AM
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If I was to do the wiring, I would run some #2 SER from your existing panel and install a main lug, 125 amp, 24 space load center (sub-panel). This would allow for several changes or additions in the next year.

Planning ahead is a great idea. I would also suggest a 1 inch electrical nonmetallic conduit (ENT or smurf tube) from your existing panel to an accessible place in your attic. This will allow you to get into your panel for future additions or changes. This is a requirement in my business. I make all of my guys install conduits to get back into the panels again in the future; this has saved our butt many times.

With open studs, now is also a great time to plan for phone, TV, speaker wiring or computer networks.
 
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Old 07-04-06, 11:23 AM
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You do not need to figure a circuit at full load when sizing the sub unless you are intending to be using them all at the same time under full load.

Shoot, if we did that, I would have to put 400 amp panels in everybodies house. (hhmmm, maybe that's not such a bad idea )

5 or 6 circuits on a 60 or so amp panel should be more than adequate unless you have BIG things in mind. Most receps in a house are not used most of the time and most circuits are not fully loaded most of the time. It would simply be based upon your needs.

I tend to like a lot of breaker space. I hate running out of space.It happens so often in my line of work because people don't think ahead.

If you run a main lug only panel, you can use a larger panel but feed it with something smaller like 60 amps or so. Or you can get a convertable panel and install the size of main breaker you want in it. You still don;t need to feed it with anything bigger than the breaker you feed it from in the main panel.

If you have adequate space in your main panel for what you are considering in the basement PLUS the new pool and the feed to the garage and the ferris wheel you are going to install, then there is no problem just running it out of the main panel. I find it better to plan ahead rather than trying to find space later is the better direction to go. So, no, there is no problem with running them all out of the main panel if it works for you.

You can't plan for all contingencies, it wouldn;t be truly possible nor prudent. I just try to plan for somewhat forseeable situations.
 
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