New outlets in basement

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  #1  
Old 06-08-07, 08:05 AM
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New outlets in basement

I need to install a couple of receptacles in my basement. If I run a new circuit from the breaker panel, can I use #14 wire with a 15A breaker?

Also, at the far end I have an overhead light which is on a pull chain. Is it o.k. to tap into this box and run an outlet. Would #14 be o.k.?

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 06-08-07, 08:16 AM
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Whenever someone is going to run a new circuit for receptacles, I always recommend a 20 amp circuit, which needs 12 gage wire. I make this recommendation because it is only a little more expensive but yet provides one third more power.

It is allowed to tap an existing circuit, even a lighting circuit, as long as it does not feed certain other areas of the house (including laundry receptacles, kitchen, dining room and pantry receptacles, and bathroom receptacles). But first consider what you want these receptacles for and the entire load on the circuit. If the circuit is fairly heavy loaded and you intend to use power hungry appliances or tools, then I would recommend against tapping this light circuit.

If you do tap the light circuit you need 14 gage wire if the circuit is 15 amp or 12 gage wire if the circuit is 20 amp.

Finally, for an unfinished basement, use GFCI receptacles, at least for the first one, so that these new receptacles are GFCI protected.
 
  #3  
Old 06-08-07, 08:35 AM
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Adding "a couple of receptacles" covers a very wide range of power needs. A proper design cannot be made without thinking hard about what will be plugged in, how it will be used, what will run concurrently, and what else is on the circuit and how it is used.

Many people add a receptacle in the basement for a freezer. That requires quite a bit more care than adding one for a radio.
 
  #4  
Old 06-08-07, 11:44 AM
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Would you use different receptacles based on if it is 15A with 14 wire or 20A with 12?
 
  #5  
Old 06-08-07, 11:47 AM
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I would use 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit, unless code prohibited it in my area. It is okay in the US, but not in Canada. Unfortunately you neglected to fill in your profile or tell us where you live.
 
  #6  
Old 06-08-07, 12:02 PM
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Thanks for the info. Sorry about the profile, I have now updated it. I'm from Kansas City.

Back to my project about adding some receptacles, I actually thought since I was running a new circuit I would use #12 and a 20A breaker. Doesn't cost that much more.

On tapping the light fixture, it would be a receptacle for a small air hockey table (to run the fan) and a pinball machine. Would a 15A circuit (tapping the light) be sufficient for these devices. I know the air hockey table would be o.k., just don't know about the pinball machine.
 
  #7  
Old 06-08-07, 12:20 PM
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I do not know the current requirements for these devices, nor do I know what else is on the circuit.

I do know that I would tap a light circuit for these loads. There is just something about a circuit breaker tripping and you being left in the dark that concerns me.
 
  #8  
Old 06-08-07, 08:13 PM
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If it is a consumer grade air hockey table, the existing circuit likely is adequate.
I cannot say for a commercial table or pinball machine.
 
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