New Circuits...please assist in understanding

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  #1  
Old 07-29-06, 07:22 PM
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New Circuits...please assist in understanding

ok..this stems from my earlier post. I am getting a lot of information as well as getting a little confused on how my existing wiring is done.

If it is not too much of a bother, can someone explain to me the general rule of establishing new circuits in regards to lights and outlets. I am still drawing up the diagram to figure just how many outlets will be installed in the basement as a whole. as well as lights. I also have a fridge, small chest freezer (1.5amp if i read correctly) with plans of one more small mini-bar size fridge.

thx again all.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-30-06, 04:39 AM
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The code is very loose regarding how many outlets and lights can be put on a circuit. In fact a legal circuit can be overloaded all the time. It is considered safe, because the breaker will trip. The code is concerned with safety, not functionality. The following would be my design choice. Take it for what it is worth.

I would calculate the amp draw for lighting and load no circuit beyond 80 per cent of the breaker/wire size.

For the cooling equipment I would only load the circuit to between 40 and 50 percent to account for starting surges.

I would keep lighting and recs seperate, since lighting breakers are less likely to trip and you will still be able to see your way arround the room while you are investigating the cause of the fault.

I would put seven to nine recs on any other circuit max.

I would install a dedicated circuit if I knew in advance the locations for the computer and TV equipment.

The bath is a code issue. You will need to either:
A, install a bath gfi circuit that feeds all the bath gfi devices in the house and get the lighting from the nearest lighting circuit or
B, have a seperate gfi/lighting circuit to each bath room.

Check your local building code regarding location and number of smokes etc.

Bedroom outlets must be on Arc Fault breakers.
 
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Old 07-30-06, 04:48 AM
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planning

James: There is no "recipe" for what you're doing. Your installation should be based on anticipated needs and then expand those plans by, say 25 pct. Reflecting on my own experience when I built my basement club room and office. I dedicated two 15a circuits for the outlets and one 15a circuit for lighting, i.e., each on its own breaker. As well as I thought I planned, over time I had to add more outlets to keep up with added equipment, etc. Do not short yourself on outlets. If I started today, I'd put in an outlet every 4 feet. You might also consider a surge arrester device that's mounted in the main panel rather than those plugin strips cluttering the floors.
 
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Old 07-30-06, 06:29 AM
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The only comment I will make is that I feel you should only install 20 amp circuits. While a 15 amp circuit is legal for lights and for general purpose receptacles, you can pull more power through a 20 amp circuit.
 
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Old 07-30-06, 07:02 AM
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thx all for the information. all my breakers are 20amp. one problem i think i might have is that my outlets are 15. hmmmm....didnt catch that when i picked them up at lowes. I should change these to 20 then correct?

I also thought i read somewhere where you should place an outlet to cover 8' of bare space? something to that effect.

Is it a good idea to have the circuits split the rooms so as the whole room doesnt go dark in the event of failure? By that i mean say have the room is on one circuit and the other half covered by a second? Or is that just way too much a hassle?

thx again all.
 
  #6  
Old 07-30-06, 07:55 AM
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In the US you are allowed to use 15 amp receptacles on 20 amp circuits. However, the wire used must be rated for 20 amps, which means 12 gage copper for new installations.

A finished basement requires receptacle spacing to comply with the 6/12 rule (as it is often called). Receptacles must be spaced no more than 12 feet apart along a wall, and no more than 6 feet from a breaker in the wall (such as a door).
 
  #7  
Old 07-31-06, 05:46 AM
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I do prefer in 20 amp circuit for convenience outlet w/ #12 wire and 15 amp circuit for lighting w/ #14 wire.
height of oulet from finished floor is 12 inches and 6 feet spacing.
height of lamp switch is 4 feet above finished floor.
 
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Old 07-31-06, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by hex boy
I do prefer in 20 amp circuit for convenience outlet w/ #12 wire and 15 amp circuit for lighting w/ #14 wire.
height of oulet from finished floor is 12 inches and 6 feet spacing.
height of lamp switch is 4 feet above finished floor.
Those last two items are still your PREFERENCES, right?

Code only requires no more than 6' TO a receptacle, so that means a 12' spacing along walls, factoring any wall longer than 2', and the spacing requirements are satisfied by any receptacle within 5'6" of the floor.

By Code, switches can be anywhere lower than 6'7" above the finished floor.

Local codes and personal conventions may vary, of course.
 

Last edited by MAC702; 08-01-06 at 11:49 AM.
  #9  
Old 08-07-06, 03:01 PM
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Any thoughts on this one?

Originally Posted by James0816
Is it a good idea to have the circuits split the rooms so as the whole room doesnt go dark in the event of failure? By that i mean say half the room is on one circuit and the other half covered by a second? Or is that just way too much a hassle?

thx again all.
 
  #10  
Old 08-07-06, 03:12 PM
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Depending on square footage and what you desire to power, it is often a wise choise to split a larger room into two or more outlet circuits.
Our living room is two circuits, as is the lounge upstairs.
 
  #11  
Old 08-07-06, 03:31 PM
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If i were wiring my basement and putting in two circuits (which I would most certainly do), I would alternate circuits to each receptacle around the room, so that I could easily use either circuit for whatever I wanted to plug in.
 
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