need help rewiring old house

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  #1  
Old 11-13-15, 03:35 PM
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need help rewiring old house

I have an older home built in the 1960's. It's a 3 bedroom bungalow with an unfinished basement. We had an electrician install a 200 amp panel for an electric furnace and we have room for lots more breakers.

Last year I renovated the kitchen and updated all the wiring so there's 20amp outlets over the counters and dedicated circuits for fridge, dishwasher and microwave. I also ran separate circuits for washer, dryer, freezer and sump pump

I want to rewire the rest of the house and then finish the basement over the winter.

My plan was to put all the upstairs lights on two circuits, and not have any electrical outlets sharing those circuits.

For the outlets I will need to add some because most rooms don't have outlets every 12 feet. In total I need 16 outlets.

entrance 1
living room 4
office 3
baby room 3
master bedroom 4
hallway

What is the correct number of outlets to have on each breaker. I was thinking 3-4 outlets per breaker and try to put all the outlets for each room on the same breaker. So I have a bunch of TV/stereo stuff in the living room, and computer/printer/office stuff in the spare room and if I want to move things around to another plug there's no chance of too many electronic devices being loaded onto the same circuit. Is this a good idea or am I doing it wrong?

Since I have an unfinished basement is it better to run the wires between the floor joists than inside the walls? When I finish the basement we'll do ceiling tile so there's access to everything.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-13-15, 04:04 PM
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I think 3-4 outlets per circuit is too many circuits for general living space. The exception to that would be if you intend to use window air conditioning units or space heaters. Otherwise, bedrooms and living rooms just don't use that much power. A modern PC uses less than 100W; a 20A circuit provides 2400W. If you had a huge home theater it may be necessary to add dedicated circuits, but standard AV equipment is ok on a general-purpose circuit.

My recollection is that Canadian codes allows up to 8 standard duplex receptacles (16 outlets) on a 20A circuit.

When you run the wiring as long as it is supported properly and secured more than 1.25" from the nailing face of the stud it doesn't matter whether you run through the ceiling or walls. Use whichever method is easier for you.
 
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Old 11-15-15, 09:13 AM
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I was planning to run 15 Amp circuits for the receptacles. Should I be doing 20 A instead?

I do use space heaters occasionally. My thinking was to have each room on a separate circuit so if we need to use space heaters in more than one room there's no chance of both being on the same circuit.

Also in my kitchen I used GFCI receptacles at the start of every circuit. I wanted to do the same for the rest of the house, but I read somewhere some room should have an Arc Fault Interrupter instead to eliminate risk of fire. We have a baby who is starting to move around and my biggest concern is making the outlets safe.
 
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Old 11-15-15, 09:41 AM
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15A circuits for general use are fine. For most houses I use a separate circuit to every bedroom.
Lighting on separate 15A circuits is also a great idea.

If you plan on using space heaters than 20A circuits may be a better idea.
At the minimum... you should use arc fault breakers in the bedroom areas.
You should also consider installing tamper resistant receptacles.
 
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Old 11-15-15, 10:09 AM
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I have a dedicated 20 A circuit in the kitchen/dining area I can use the odd time we need the space heater.

I like the idea of one circuit per room so I know how much load is going on each circuit and to keep things simpler when I'm labeling my breaker panel.

At $80 a piece the AFCI breakers are a little bit over my budget. In my kitchen I have regular 20 A breakers with a GFCI outlet at the start of each circuit. Can I do the same in my bedrooms. Regular breaker and AFCI receptacle with rest of the receptacles on the load side?


At the minimum... you should use arc fault breakers in the bedroom areas.
What else can I do? Is it good to add GFCI protection?
 
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Old 11-15-15, 11:27 AM
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Ground fault protection isn't very effective where there is no ground to short too. There is ground around water like in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Arc fault breakers don't rely on a short to ground. As far as I know they don't make an arc fault receptacle. You should be able to find them for less than that. The depot gets $42.00 for a Square D arc fault breaker here in the States.
 
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Old 11-15-15, 06:45 PM
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As far as I know they don't make an arc fault receptacle
Leviton started making them a couple years ago, but they weren't commonly stocked anywhere at that time and couldn't be ordered unless you had a major project. Today they are starting to become available.

Leviton 15 Amp Tamper Resistant AFCI Receptacle - White-R02-AFTR1-0KW - The Home Depot

If I am not mistaken, when you use an AFCI receptacle the feeder from the panel to the AFCI receptacle must either be in conduit or be installed with AC or MC cable. I am working from memory here, maybe someone else is more familiar with that part of the NEC. I have no idea what the CEC would require.
 
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Old 11-23-15, 02:40 PM
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If I am not mistaken, when you use an AFCI receptacle the feeder from the panel to the AFCI receptacle must either be in conduit or be installed with AC or MC cable.
Now that you mention it I remember seeing that somewhere as well. I think some people got around the rule by installing an electrical outlet next to the panel and tapping the rest off of that. Not really how I want to do things. I'm probably better off getting the AFCI breakers.

If I do get the AFCI breakers for the bedrooms can I use GFCI outlet at the start of each circuit and get added protection? I already did some of the circuits with GFCI outlets because I'm not sure what I'm doing.

Also what about the lights? Should these have arc fault protection as well?

One other question about breaker panels. Is there a limit to how many breakers you're allowed to put in there? My understanding was that I could add more circuits and more outlets as long as I'm not increasing the actual load.
 
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Old 11-23-15, 04:30 PM
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I am not 100% certain my post #7 was completely accurate and haven't looked it up. The NEC, however, requires specific circuits to be AFCI protected and AFCI only protects the load side of the receptacle and not the branch feeder. I would suggest contacting your local building office about their requirements. You can add GFCI protection as well if you want, but I wouldn't do it for general use circuits. Instead of installing the GFCI receptacle you could just use a dual function AFCI/GFCI circuit breaker, they are about the same cost as just an AFCI circuit breaker.

Lighting circuits interconnected smoke detector circuits must also be AFCI protected by the NEC (depending on what version of the NEC you look at), but once again, Canada may be different. Contact your local building office.
 
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