Adding an outlet and a light to a closet


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Old 11-20-07, 05:34 PM
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Adding an outlet and a light to a closet

I am in the process of finishing my basement. I had an electrician come in and update all the electrical in the basement to bring it up to code.

In one of the rooms (an office) he added a 20 amp circuit, 5 outlets and 6 recessed lights (6.5" lights). That room will have a computer, a multifunction printer (460 Watts in copy mode), a telephone and probably a task light on the desk.

The room also has 2 closets. After the electrician did all the wiring, I ran a some LV wire throughout the basement and will have one of the closets serve as an entertainment closet. So, I realize now that need an outlet in that closet to power the audio equipment and accessories. I'd like to save a few $ and do this myself.

I thought I would install a 2 gang metal box for 4 receptacles in the audio closet. In that closet will be an amplifier (3 amps), a CD player (22 W), a modem, possibly a cable TV amplifier, and 2 other components that will draw a total of 4 amps.

I would like to pull power the closet receptacles from one of the existing receptacles that the electrician provided . I thought I'd run a 12/2 wire from the existing recepacle to the new receptacle (black to black, white to white, and properly grounded). Does this make sense?

There is a small build-in shelf in there that the audio equipment will rest on. The shelf is about 3 feet high. I'd like the receptacles to be 15 or so inches above the shelf. Any issues with that positioning?

I am also considering adding a surface lighting fixture (with a pull chain) to that closet. I would also pull power to that fixture from the new recepacles that I am considering adding.

Any feedback is appreciated.
 
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Old 11-20-07, 06:15 PM
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This is starting to sound like a lot on one circuit, especially since it also supplies the lighting and you will be in the dark when it trips. Here's what I understand you will have:

600W total recessed lights
460W printer
250W computer
80W CRT monitor worst case
75W task lamp
360W amplifier
22W CD player
480W (4A total possible additional equip)
100W closet luminaire
---
2427W total, 20.2A!!

Obviously that's not gonna work. But maybe I misunderstood the 4amps in the closet. Even deducting that 4A you're too close for comfort, right at about 80%. And you can forget about using a vacuum in that room and definitely would never be able to use a space heater if it got a bit chilly.

If you ask me it's _already_ got too much on it, if my estimate of the existing stuff (12A) is even close. As much as I hate vacuuming I hate not being able to plug it into certain circuits even more. And being in the dark on top of it all.
 
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Old 11-20-07, 06:45 PM
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Thanks,

I forgot about the monitor and (conveniently) forgot about the vacuuming .

I may have misunderstood the 4 amps in the closet. Here are the specs pasted from the device manuals for the 2 devices:

Device 1: Power Supply: A-PS. 24VDC/2.5A

Device 2: Power requirement: 12 VDC 1 A (power supply included)

This looks more like 3.5 amps rather than 4 amps.

Anyway, it sounds like I should run a home run to the closet.
 

Last edited by GaetanoL; 11-20-07 at 06:46 PM. Reason: increased clarity
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Old 11-20-07, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by GaetanoL View Post
This looks more like 3.5 amps rather than 4 amps.
Actually those figures are the amps on the output (DC) side. 24x2.5 + 12x1 is 72 watts, factoring in oh say 15% loss due to inefficiency and that's 85 watts on the input side. So about 0.70A for those two.

Also while we're getting nitpicky the wattage rating for the (audio?) amplifier and such are maximums which you'll never actually draw if you like your hearing.

But anyway, like I said *if* your current devices add up to about 12A, even totally ignoring the new closet stuff, you still can't plug in a 10amp vacuum or a 1500W space heater. Not sure I'd like that situation.
 
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Old 11-20-07, 08:02 PM
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Thanks. So, it looks like a home run for the closet.

What about the positioning of the receptacles? Any code issues with that?
 
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Old 11-20-07, 08:02 PM
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I think you should have separated the lighting from the receptacles initially.

At this point I would add a brand new circuit, placing a receptacle in the closet and one or two in the office.

I would not put in two duplex receptacles. I want my audio and video equipment on surge suppressors, so a duplex is fine for that.
 
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Old 11-21-07, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
At this point I would add a brand new circuit, placing a receptacle in the closet and one or two in the office.
The room is already wired with 5 receptacles, laid out according to code. I suppose I could add a receptacle and light to the other closet.


Originally Posted by racraft View Post
I would not put in two duplex receptacles. I want my audio and video equipment on surge suppressors, so a duplex is fine for that.
This makes a lot of sense. I will do that.

Any opinion regarding the height of the receptacle in the closet with the shelf?
 
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Old 11-21-07, 04:45 AM
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Any height you want is fine.
 
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Old 11-21-07, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by GaetanoL View Post
The room is already wired with 5 receptacles, laid out according to code. I suppose I could add a receptacle and light to the other closet.
Yes, you have 5 receptacles but can't plug anything else significant into them because you're already getting up there in amperage.

I think that was the rationale behind the suggestion to add another receptacle or two in the office from the closet circuit -- so you can actually use them.

Another option might be to switch one or two of the existing receptacles over to the new circuit to balance things out.
 
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Old 11-21-07, 08:32 AM
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You can only put lighting in the closet if it is an equipment-only closet. If there are any shelves or rods for boxes or clothing then strict closet lighting rules apply -- post back if that is the case, but I won't bother typing them up if you don't have cloths storage in there.
 
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Old 11-21-07, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
You can only put lighting in the closet if it is an equipment-only closet. If there are any shelves or rods for boxes or clothing then strict closet lighting rules apply -- post back if that is the case, but I won't bother typing them up if you don't have cloths storage in there.
One of the closets will have clothes in it. I'd rather follow the code for both closets. I imagine that if there are clothes in the closet, I need to keep the fixture away from the clothes. And no open incandescent bulbs.
 
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Old 11-21-07, 10:04 AM
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The rules are a bit complicated. Certainly no open incandescents is a clear rule. There are also clearance rules, which basically say that a surface-mounted incandescent has to be at least 12" farther from the wall than any shelf is, and a recessed incandescent or fluorescent must be at least 6" farther from the wall than any shelf. Most shelves are 12" wide, so the nearest edge (not the center) of an incandescent fixture generally needs to be at least 24" from the wall, and the nearest edge (not the center) of a fluorescent fixture needs to be at least 18" from any wall (except the front wall, where there is rarely a shelf).

If you have something other than a standard closet configuration, your situation may be different.
 
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Old 11-21-07, 11:29 AM
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Often the only compliant closet light is an enclosed fluorescent mounted on the wall above the closet door, near the ceiling which is basically the furthest distance from any shelf or hanging rack. Another option some people choose is to use battery-powered lights which have no restrictions on placement.
 
 

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