laundry room wiring questions

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Old 12-30-10, 09:51 PM
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laundry room wiring questions

I am in the process of finishing a laundry room in my basement. It's approximately a 11'x12' area. I've read some code and many posts online but I have a few questions regarding my planned wiring diagram below. I'm having a pro change out my electrical panel with either a 100amp or 200amp service so I'll have more space for new circuits.

1) I could put the washer on the shared 20 amp receptacle circuit that only services the laundry room, correct? However, it's only recommended to have a dedicated 20 amp circuit for the washer???

2) Is there a standard height for the washer and electric dryer receptacles? If I put the outlets about 30" off the floor, I could hide the plugs and basically shove the appliances tight to the wall. ...or is there some reason to put the outlets higher above the appliances?

3) I'm a little confused if the 12'/6' rule applies to laundry rooms in basements. I don't have a problem adding extra receptacles but it's not critical for me to have a receptacle in the northeast corner (upper-right), but I have 7 to 8 feet between doorway and next outlet (if I don't add the extra outlet).

4) Are GFCI's required only on receptacles within a 6' arc of a sink, or do all receptacles need GFCI protection in a basement laundry? The dedicated circuits for the sump pump, freezer, washer, and dryer won't have GFCI protection. One of the reasons I didn't want to use GFCI was so avoid a junction box for splitting the circuit. I figure there would be more space w/o a GFCI to split the shared circuit around the laundry room.

If anyone sees a problem with my plan, or comment on my questions, it would really help. Thanks.
 
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Old 12-31-10, 07:30 AM
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The dryer needs to be 4-wire, and a gfi at the first outlet in the circut protects everything down the line.
 
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Old 12-31-10, 09:20 AM
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1) I could put the washer on the shared 20 amp receptacle circuit that only services the laundry room, correct? However, it's only recommended to have a dedicated 20 amp circuit for the washer???
The washer can and should be on the 20 amp laundry circuit. This circuit should not serve any area outside of the laundry.

2) Is there a standard height for the washer and electric dryer receptacles? If I put the outlets about 30" off the floor, I could hide the plugs and basically shove the appliances tight to the wall. ...or is there some reason to put the outlets higher above the appliances?
No standard height. Above the machine makes it easier to plug or unplug the machine when they need to move for servicing or cleaning.

3) I'm a little confused if the 12'/6' rule applies to laundry rooms in basements. I don't have a problem adding extra receptacles but it's not critical for me to have a receptacle in the northeast corner (upper-right), but I have 7 to 8 feet between doorway and next outlet (if I don't add the extra outlet).
The laundry does not count as a habitable room and the 6/12 does not apply.

4) Are GFCI's required only on receptacles within a 6' arc of a sink, or do all receptacles need GFCI protection in a basement laundry? The dedicated circuits for the sump pump, freezer, washer, and dryer won't have GFCI protection. One of the reasons I didn't want to use GFCI was so avoid a junction box for splitting the circuit. I figure there would be more space w/o a GFCI to split the shared circuit around the laundry room.
GFI protection is required in any unfinished part of the basement. If the laundry is finished only the receptacle within 6' of the laundry tub would require the GFI protection.

Can you expand on the shared circuit you talk about?
 
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Old 12-31-10, 12:23 PM
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Thanks for the responses.

I was going to move the dryer receptacle from its current location. I'm not sure if it's 4-wire. The existing dryer 120/240 receptacle has a
L
/ \ shape. I'll have to check to see if I need to run a new circuit instead of just moving it.

Finished vs. unfinished?? I seem to always be confused on this one. I agree the room is not a "habitable room", but I've read some different interpretations of "finished" basements. It seems hard to find a clear cut definition, but doesn't NEC say unfinished basements are "...portions not intended as habitable space and limited to storage areas, work areas, and the like...". I don't really know where this puts me??? I'll have walls and a ceiling with plumbing and electrical within the walls (1 egress) but it seems none of this is part of any definition. It appears my new laundry will be considered an unfinished basement, and I should have GFCI on all outlets (except dryer/sump/frig).

I probably used the wrong term when I said "shared circuit". I was referring to the 20 amp circuit serving all of the laundry room outlets with the exception of the dedicated circuits for the appliances (blue line on diagram). Also, I thought the washing machine was suppose to be on a dedicated circuit. I can add the washer to the 20 amp circuit wrapping around the room, but it'll be at the downstream end of a gfci outlet. I'm worried about machine tripping gfi.
 
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Old 12-31-10, 12:36 PM
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There should be no issue with the washer tripping the GFI and as you already have read required within 6' of a laundry tub. Also the exceptions for sump pumps etc have been removed and now require GFI also.

Sounds like you only have a 3 wire dryer cable. You might luk out and find the 4th wire is not used with your currewnt setup. If the circuit turns out to be 3 wires and it needs to be extended, a new 4 wire circuit should be run.

If you have the breaker space running the washer on a dedicated circuit in addition to another for the laundry room is a good design choice.
 
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Old 12-31-10, 04:52 PM
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Whether my panel is replaced with 100 amp or 200 amp, I'll have more available breakers. Right now I think I only have 20 slots.

Is there any exception for no GFI if I run a dedicated circuit for the washer? However, it sounds like the GFI shouldn't create a tripping issue with the machine. I am a little worried about putting the sump pump on a GFI. Although nothing else will be on the circuit, I'm worried that motor start-up could possibly trip the circuit and that could be a major problem in spring. (I have a battery backup system but I don't have a lot of confidence it it).
 
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Old 12-31-10, 05:05 PM
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If a regular breaker will allow the sump or washer to start up there should be no issue. A GFI trips due to an imbalance of current flowing out vs back. The GFI does not trip on overload, that is the breakers job.
 
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Old 01-03-11, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by kidbat View Post
I am a little worried about putting the sump pump on a GFI.
Motor start-up will not trip the GFCI, only a faulty motor or broken wire would. In this case you really want the GFCI to trip so the water you're standing in isn't charged. This is one situation where people have actually died walking downstairs into a flooded basement, shocked by the sump pump circuit, pass out and drown in a couple inches of water.
 
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