Please check my rewiring strategy.


Old 03-01-07, 10:50 AM
JoeTheZombie's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Idaho
Posts: 216
Please check my rewiring strategy.

Last year, I had my service upgraded to 200A. The new panel (40 space) is in my basement, and currently has only one breaker installed: a 60A breaker that feeds the old KT panel.

I'm now getting ready to replace my KT wiring, one room at a time. I have 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, dining, living, utility, and den. The garage (detached) has its own feed from the meter panel. I have an abundance of 12awg wire, so all my circuits will be at least 20A.

Kitchen (9 spaces)
20A Refrigerator
20A Dishwasher
20A Disposer / Instant hot water
20A GFCI countertops (1)
20A GFCI countertops (2)
20A stove/walls
50A 240V stove
20A Lighting (overhead and countertop), including house attached deck lighting.

Note: I plan to use split receptacles and 12/3 wire for the countertops circuit (shared neutral).

Dining, Hall, Living (3 spaces)
20A Lighting (including exterior porch lighting.)
20A general purpose receptacles
20A Entertainment (living room only)

Master Bedroom (2 spaces)
20A AFCI general purpose receptacles
20A AFCI Lighting (Master Bedroom & Bedroom 1)

Bedroom 1 (2 spaces)
20A AFCI general purpose
20A AFCI dedicated computer outlet

Bathroom (3 spaces)
20A GFCI receptacles
20A Lighting/Fan/Heat Lamps
20A radiant floor heating

Utility (9 spaces)
20A general purpose receptacles
20A Washer & Dryer
30A 240V Dryer
30A 240V Hot Water (in sight of breaker panel)
20A Furnace (with fused disconnect at furnace location)
20A sump
20A lighting (overhead stairs, steps, attic, and utility room)

Bathroom 2 (3 spaces)
20A GFCI receptacles
20A lighting/fan/heat lamps
20A radiant floor heating

Den (3 spaces)
20A Entertainment receptacles
20A General purpose receptacles
20A AFCI lighting (for den, bedroom 2, and bedroom 3)

Bedrooms 2 & 3 (1 space)
20A AFCI general purpose receptacles

Other (2 spaces)
20A GFCI exterior receptacles
20A AFCI smoke detectors

This will use 37 spaces, leaving 1 spare for whatever, and 2 spares for a 240V subpanel if ever required. Is this a good wiring plan? Am I overlooking anything? Thanks for your help!
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Old 03-01-07, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You will need a 240 volt GFCI breaker to feed the kitchen counter since you plan on a multi-wire circuit.

What about the outside of the house?
Old 03-01-07, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 111
You list dining, hall and living together.
The dining room receptacle outlets are required to be served by one, or more, of the small appliance branch circuits. Small appliance branch circuits can only serve receptacle outlets in the “kitchen, pantry, breakfast room, dining room, or similar area of a dwelling unit.” A small appliance branch circuit cannot serve outlets such as lighting or receptacles in rooms other than those specified.
Old 03-01-07, 12:15 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,282
It sounds like you're overdoing it a bit with the lighting circuits to me. Five 20A lighting circuits calculates to 96 100w bulbs or 160 60w bulbs (at 80% utilization)! It would seem like you could drop it to 3 or 4, and maybe even combine them with the smoke detectors.

Granted, it's rare for anyone here to say, "too many circuits", but it's worth considering.

Maybe if you're planning a bunch of recessed lighting, you may need that much power. I'm thinking about my house now, and I think there are 3 or 4 general purpose 15A circuits for lighting AND receptacles! (granted, that's way too few)
Old 03-01-07, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
That's a rich set of circuits. I'm not going to try to talk you out of it. It'll give you a lot of flexibility.

You have bedrooms 2 and 3 on the same circuit. In keeping with your other design guidelines, you might consider putting each on its own. You might also want to split up the disposal and instant hot water circuits.

If you do lavish Christmas lighting displays, one exterior circuit won't be enough.

If you need to cut back on some circuits to make room for the additions I suggested above, here are some possibilities: combine the kitchen and dining room lighting, put the smoke detectors on one of the bedroom AFCI circuits, eliminate the general purpose circuit in the laundry room, cut the bathrooms down from three circuits each to two (radient heating and heat lamps may be overkill).

If you cannot find, or don't want to pay for, that 20-amp 120/240-volt GFCI breaker, you can give up on the idea of split-wired countertop receptacles. Such receptacles are common in Canada, but not so much in the U.S.
Old 03-02-07, 09:35 AM
JoeTheZombie's Avatar
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Idaho
Posts: 216
Thanks for the input. I will place the dining room receptacles on the kitchen circuit, and make some other suggested corrections.

I am going a bit crazy on the lighting circuits, but only because I may wish to finish the attic in the future. If I have wiring already up there powering the lights below, I can easily tap into them without worry of overloading.

Again, thanks guys. This board has been a god-send for my remodel/addition projects.

Last edited by JoeTheZombie; 03-02-07 at 09:46 AM.
Old 03-02-07, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Although you can put the dining room receptacles on one of the kitchen small-appliance circuits, you can also leave them on their own circuit too (creating a third small-appliances circuit). Which you should do depend on whether you ever use your dining room receptacles for anything (I don't use mine).
Old 03-02-07, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,219
As a design issue I recommend placing at least a couple of commonly used lights, but no receptacles, on the same circuit as the smoke detectors. This way, if the circuit breaker trips, you have an easy way to spot the failure. I believe that this is building code in some locations, however as far as the NEC is concerned, it is simply a design choice.


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