Help With Number of Circuits Needed in Basement

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Old 05-07-14, 10:53 AM
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Help With Number of Circuits Needed in Basement

I am currently working on finishing my basement and have been reading a number of books but there is one question that I would really appreciate the help from this forum. How many new circuits will I need? I understand that is a broad question so I included a little more info below (hopefully the formatting/bullets remain):
The entire finished portion of the basement is around 1500 square feet and with the following six areas:

• Bedroom #1 (roughly 12’x14’):
o Ceiling Fan and Light
o Roughly 6 receptacles (likely just used for TV, alarm clock, reading lamp, and phone charger)

• Bedroom #2 (roughly 13’x18’):
o Ceiling Fan and Light
o Roughly 8 receptacles (likely just used for TV, alarm clock, reading lamp, and phone charger)

• Wet Bar (roughly 22’x8’)
o 5 recessed lights
o 3 pendent style lights
o Roughly 6 receptacles - GFCI Protected (The bar is a peninsula but I plan on putting a receptacle or two in it, TV, under counter fridge, under counter wine cooler)

• Family Room (roughly 19’x16’)
o 8 recessed lights
o Gas Fireplace
o Roughly 9 receptacles (TV, Cable Box, Blu-ray Player, probably a couple of lamps)

• Bathroom (roughly 10’x5’)
o Exhaust Fan/Light
o Vanity Light
o Shower Light
o Roughly 3 receptacles - GFCI Protected (typical bathroom stuff, hair dryer, etc.)

• Rec Room (roughly 23’x21’)
o 12 recessed lights
o Roughly 10 receptacles (TV, I can’t picture much of anything else that will be regularly plugged-in at this time, possible dart board, pinball, air hockey, or similar in the future)

I would really appreciate any insight that you could give me.
 
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Old 05-07-14, 08:22 PM
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1500 * 3VA per square foot = 4500 VA
/120v = 37.5 A
37.5 / 15A = 2.5 So you need a minimum of 3 general purpose 15 amp circuits for the area. (or two 20A)

Also look at your wired smoke detector requirements as that can kick in as well.

Bathroom then gets one 20A.

From there add as you see fit. Opinions will vary as to what makes sense.
 
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Old 05-08-14, 08:18 AM
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So you need a minimum of 3 general purpose 15 amp circuits for the area. (or two 20A)
Those circuits will need to be AFCI protected with tamper resistant receptacles. As I recall, the bathroom circuit doesn't need AFCI protection.
 
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Old 05-08-14, 09:25 AM
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Thank you very much for the info. Is it a good practice to keep the receptacles and lights in a room on different circuits? Or doesn't it matter? I had heard in the past to do this in case something plugged-in tripped the breaker you wouldn't have to walk in the dark to reset it.
Also, wouldn't the wet bar need its own 20A as well?
Thanks again.
 
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Old 05-08-14, 11:54 AM
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I would probably wire it using:
(2) 15A circuits for lighting
(2) 20A circuits for general purpose receptacles (could be done code-wise with one, but two gives you more flexibility)
(1) 20A GFI protected circuit for the bath receptacle(s)
(1) 20A circuit for bar and fridge. I believe the NEC does not consider a wet bar a 'kitchen', so there's no specific requirement other than GFI due to the sink. I wouldn't GFI protect the fridge/wine chiller.

Check what version of the NEC your locale is on. That may make a difference for AFCI, Tamper Resistant, etc. Also, non-electrically related, be sure you have required egress and such required for basement bedrooms.
 
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