New basement general workshop wiring

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  #1  
Old 02-26-15, 04:14 PM
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New basement general workshop wiring

I believe I posted on the forum a while back about the workshop I'm slowing building in my basement (when home on weekends). I'm coming up to the electrical and have some ideas but thought I would see if anyone else had thoughts, opinions or ideas.
The Specs:
- 15ft x 17ft room (currently in rough in)
- 3 available spots in the panel
- General purpose, saws, drill press, grinder, etc (all consumer base tools, 120V)
- Remainder of basement is unfinished (room contains two exterior walls)

For the lighting circuit (15A), I will run 14/2 NMD90 to supply 3x 2 bulb T8 fixtures on a single switch. Will include a few receptacles on the outside of the room for other purposes outside the shop.

For the Shop receptacles (20A), I am going to run 12/3 NMD90 to first a keyed switch (I have young kids, so safety item) and a push button kill switch at the door, then to split plugs (circuit A top plug, circuit B bottom).
At 20A, I can run ~16 receptacles, so I'm debating if I should run a receptacle at 16in and and another above it at ~48in and do this throughout the room. It would allow ease of access for items on the ground and or items on a workbench.

Thoughts or ideas?
 
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Old 02-26-15, 07:05 PM
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If this is an unfinished room in the basement any receptacles are required to be GFCI protected per NEC. Not sure about CEC.

If it was me, I would keep the receptacles all at 48"unless there is a specific reason to mount it low. It tends to be much easier to plug in and disconnect cords and the receptacles will not get buried by material.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 07:22 PM
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Although GFCI isn't required by the Ontario electrical code, I'm not apposed to the idea. The only catch is running the split receptacle with 12/3. I can't say I've seen 20A split GFCI plugs so I would have to get creative.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 08:54 PM
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I would seriously consider running a small sub-panel simply for the purpose of having more circuits. I would want a minimum of two lighting circuits and two general purpose receptacle circuits. Add in dedicated circuits for anything running more than a one horsepower motor.

I know that Canadian code requires "split" receptacles in kitchens but does this also apply for semi-finished or unfinished basements? If not I would simply use 12-2 w/g cable for all receptacle circuits. Use either a GFCI circuit breaker or a GFCI receptacle for the first in a line of receptacles.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 07:23 AM
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I would skip the ones down low. Hardly ever is the cord on a tool long enough so an extension cord seems to be used negating the advantage of the low ones.

A gfi receptacle cannot be split wired.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 07:31 AM
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Split receptacles are only required in the kitchen as of now. I was considering going with them in the work shop as almost everything that would ever be plugged in besides chargers would be a motor or source of heat.
Why two lighting circuits?
 
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Old 02-27-15, 07:52 AM
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I could run run a normal GCFI on each leg of the 12/3 which would protect both sides of the split plugs after them. Only thinking split plugs because it would allow the use of both plugs in the same receptacle without concerns. Using 12/3 would mean one cable to run from box to box.
I am going to go without the lower plugs and stay with the upper ones mounted at ~48".
 
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Old 02-27-15, 08:47 AM
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The splits after the gfi will need 2 neutrals, otherwise they will trip.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 06:06 PM
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I do like Furd's thoughts of adding a sub panel. Putting one in the basement would give the added space if you ever finish the rest of the basement rather then using up your last three spaces for the workshop. Installing it either in the shop or some convenient location (mech room) would make it easy for adding to it later. Something like a 12/24 circuit main lug panel would serve you will. Just feed it with a 60 amp breaker and 6/3 w/ground cable.

I see no reason for two lighting circuits. Just keep the lights off the other circuits.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 06:32 PM
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The reasoning for two lighting circuits is in the admittedly rare instance where you might be moving some long and unwieldy piece of material and hit a lamp, breaking the bulb and causing the CB to trip. With one lighting circuit you are then left in the dark but if you have two circuits you will still have some light. While the chance of such a catastrophe happening is slight so is the cost of an extra circuit breaker, switch and some wire.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 06:51 PM
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I like the ideas guys. I do have plenty of room on the one lighting circuit that covers that side of the basement, so I could use it as the secondary lighting circuit. The celling is low and with florescent fixtures, it is slim, but possible.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 11:39 PM
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As stated, you cannot split a GFCI. If your ever find yourself debating a 20A GFCI receptacle or 15A split receptacles in a kitchen, the splits get a GFCI breaker. In this instance, you do not need to GFCI protect your shop receptacles, but if you wish to and decide on splits, GFCI breaker those circuits.
You can only have 12 outlets per circuit, even on a 20A circuit.
Furds idea is great. Toss a sub panel right in your shop. You would use two of your three slots in your panel and could use the remaining slot for the receptacles in the rest of the basement. This would give you more freedom to add dedicated receptacles for stationary equipment.
 
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Old 02-28-15, 01:51 PM
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I would go with a GCFI receptacle over a breaker as the breaker is nearly 10 the cost of a receptacle if even available for my panel.
GCFI is (as per the OEC manual which applies to Ontario Canada) only required in the kitchen, bathroom and outdoors. ACFI is required in the bedroom.
The 12 light/receptacle rule is based on the assumption its a 15A circuit and 1A draw per item (80% of breaker's capacity or ampacity). I believe number of outputs (lights or receptacles) is the same in the NEC, but haven't confirmed. 80% of 20A is 16 outputs.

My reasoning for wanting to go split receptacles is in cases where I or someone else is running two high current devices. Plug one in the top and the other in the bottom. Really its the reason behind them being required in kitchens.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 12:00 PM
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Out of the 2015 CEC, can also be found in the 2012...

Outlet - a point in the wiring installation at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment.

So this would include receptacles, lights, and hardwired equipment.

8-304 Maximum number of outlets per circuit
(1) There shall not be more than 12 outlets on any 2-wire branch circuit, except as permitted by other rules of this code.
(2) Such outlets shall be considered to be rated at not less than 1A per outlet, except as permitted by subrule (3)
(3) Where the connected load is known, the number of outlets shall be permitted to exceed 12, provided that the load current does not exceed 80% of the rating of the overcurrent device protecting the circuit.

So, receptacles can accept a variety of loads and are therefore taken at 1A each, so no more than 12 even on a 20A circuit.
If you had hardwired equipment on a 20A circuit, you know the load will not change so you could then load it to 16A.
Or if you had fluorescent fixtures and ballasts (for example) on a 15A lighting circuit, and they draw less than 1A, you again know the load will not change and could put more than 12 on that circuit.

And again, you are not required to GFCI protect your shop receptacles (unless one is installed within 1.5M of a sink) so if you choose to use splits, which isn't a bad idea, you can use regular breakers.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 12:38 PM
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I need to make a correction to my previous post. I didn't have my OEC book with me at the house (left it at the apartment).
The CEC quote is correct.
When memorizing the rules from the 2012 version of the OEC, I mistaken the reference to to Appendix I as referance to appendix B (and section 1 of this rule). Appendix I is not applicable to this rule (typo maybe).

Despite raising an interesting discussion, for what I am looking for, 12 outlets are more than enough. The room is only 1517.
Although not required outside of the kitchen, I do like the idea of running split receptacles as I could see myself of someone else running two high draw tools off the same receptacle (I.e high powered soldering iron and say rotary tool or drill when doing electronic retrofit work).
 
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Old 03-04-15, 11:23 AM
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If it were my workshop, I personally wouldn't worry about split receptacles. I would instead just split the receptacles into 2 or 3 circuits and mark each one A/B/C, or alternatively use white receptacles for one circuit and black ones for the second. If you have two major (plug-in) tools running simultaneously, first, it's unlikely they will trip a 20A circuit, and second, they are likely going to be in different areas anyway.

It keeps the box wiring a bit simpler, especially with the GFI requirement.

But of course, at this point, it's just an opinion. For a one-man shop, it's hard to push that 20A circuit to its limit.
 
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