Basement Wiring


Old 11-08-10, 08:36 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Basement Wiring

I am looking turning my basement into usable living space. I am looking at adding a bedroom, office, living room, bathroom and storage area with the floor space I have. The basement exterior walls are wired with outlets. There are two 15A breakers that control 10 outlets on each circuit. Also, all exterior walls have been drywalled (no mud or tape). The house is a little over two years old and has a 200A breaker panel with plenty of room to add circuits. Since I am looking at partitioning off the basement I will need to add circuit(s) to my interior wall space. I am dedicating one circuit for the bathroom. My question is since the exterior wall outlets are in place should I just plan a circuit(s) for the interior wall outlets? Or do I rewire the exterior wall circuits so lets say that the bedroom outlets would be on one circuit rather that two? I would prefer to just run a circuit(s) for the interior wall space so I dont have to rip drywall off the walls. Looking for any advice. Thanks!!
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Old 11-08-10, 11:04 PM
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There's nothing wrong with leaving the existing outlets as-is. As a general rule you want to have at least two separate circuits per room to avoid loading up a single breaker with all the equipment those rooms tend to have. If you know where the entertainment center will go in the living room, it would be wise to run a dedicated circuit to that location, and install a 4 gang box there loaded with outlets. This will significantly cut down the number of cascaded power strips we all wind up using in that area. The bathroom is the only room that REQUIRES a dedicated circuit that can not serve any other room except another bathroom. The only other requirement is that any circuit serving a bedroom (if the office has a closet, it is considered a bedroom) will require an AFCI breaker. If your city is on NEC2008, that requirement extends to ALL new circuits serving any area except a kitchen, bathroom, laundry, or garage.

Another thing to consider is if the basement is below grade, there must be at least an egress window with a climb-out well in the bedroom and office (because it will be considered a bedroom), and if your local codes require, in the living room as well. Sometimes the one in the bedroom is sufficient.
Old 11-08-10, 11:17 PM
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Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
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I will just leave the exsting basement receptales alone but you may have to add a AFCI breaker if not in the load centre { Keep in your mind all it depending on what code cycle it was covered if it was in 2005 code then it don't need AFCI but 2008 or later verison will required it anyway}

You can add new circuits as need to.

But the Bathroom circuit are pretty strict on this one it will have it own 20 amp circuit and it can not share with any other circuit beside other bathroom recetpales only.

JerseyMatt did cover very well on this one and he did address one issue to you is egress requirement you need to check with your inspector on the requirement and you denfienly need that in bedroom and I am pretty sure the office space as well { that can change to bedroom so that should cover that issue }

Oh the other thing anytime you set up a switch box do not use the switch loop anymore you will have to leave a netural conductors in all switch boxes as possible { the 2011 NEC code will require that anyway }


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