What do you think about this circuit ?


Old 01-30-16, 09:12 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2015
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What do you think about this circuit ?

Kind of doing it backward I guess...since I am half way done, but better late than never....Looking for input if the following is optimal...everything is in a semi-finished basement (i.e. basement is divided by a wall with the laundry / sump pump / storage unfinished and the other much larger side being finished now)

Have already 20Amp dedicated line to Washer and gas dryer
Another 20Amp dedicated to Sump Pump
Another 20Amp for A/V setup (may tap for other minor things in the future)

Finally this is what I would like feedback on:
20A circuit for lights and a few outlets in what will be the larger finished basement section.
The main comes into the electrical box and splits into 2 runs...1 run is 2 x duplex outlets located on opposite walls.
The other cable runs to another electrical box where it splits into 2 for the lights:
The lights are are split as follows:
1 singe switch for lights over a pool table (4x40W) - THIS IS ONE RUN
Then the other run goes to a 3 gang box with 3 switches controlling recessed lights (1 switch turns 2x 6inch 65W units, 1 switch turns 4 units; all 6inch 65W and 1 switch controls 3 spot light units - 4inch 40W.

Based on my math all the lights are "taking up" only 6.75 amps...so I should be good..even with the 2 other outlets.

What I wonder about....(in addition to any comments you guys may have):
The recessed light instruction says that I am not to connect more than 8 units on a single circuit...Very surprised about that.
All the internal connectors in the boxes by the recessed lights have AWG18 wires...and that makes me wonder, if I have 12AWG with 20Amp coming in, and I guess it is OK to use smaller gauge wires for short runs, what is the rule here? I have already interconnected the recessed cans on the same switch with 12AWG... they are about 6-7 feet apart...would 14AWG be acceptable and up to code?
I am NOT going back to 14AWG but just curious....

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Old 01-31-16, 04:56 AM
chandler's Avatar
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Aside from the fact you can't use 14 wire on a 20 amp circuit, I would have run one 20 amp circuit for the receptacles and a separate 15 amp circuit for the lighting. Two reasons: 14 gauge wire is easier to handle in small junction boxes of the can lights, and you would want to separate the circuits in case you need to work on one or the other later on. If the light circuit needs de energizing, you can plug a lamp into a receptacle to see by.

I have never run into any instructions regarding an "8" rule, but it could be due to the brand and capacity of the can lights you installed. Almost all lights will use smaller internal wiring and that is OK.
Old 01-31-16, 09:12 AM
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The exact notice says: "Maximum of (8) No.12 AWG through bench circuit conductors "
This to me means...maximum of 8 cans....Am I interpreting it wrong ??
Old 01-31-16, 09:49 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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"Maximum of (8) No.12 AWG through branch circuit conductors "
I have fixed your typo, change "bench" to "branch".

That notice is telling you that you can only have a maximum of 8 #12 wires in the junction box of the can not including the fixture wires. It is not limiting the number of cans on a circuit.

Fixture wires are covered in a separate part of the NEC and are only carrying the load the individual can light. They are likely a different type of insulation which allows the use of smaller wires.
Old 01-31-16, 09:52 AM
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hi Paul –

I’m no expert and that is for absolutely sure. Did you mean to type branch but typed bench?

I think there is a limit as to the number of conductors running through the wiring compartment in the fixture. I think in addition to the wires that come in to the compartment for the fixture, you can also pass other wires through the compartment for other fixtures (and maybe for other things as well, I’m not sure.).

I think sometimes they limit the number of 12 AWG wires coming in/out to 8. Anyway I’m pretty sure it’s related to pass through and doesn’t limit the number of cans on the circuit.

Maybe the knowledgeable guys will come back and weigh in.

OK - I'm always late,lol, just saw Tolyn's post

Last edited by zoesdad; 01-31-16 at 09:54 AM. Reason: just saw previous post
Old 01-31-16, 01:19 PM
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LOL... bench is very different from branch....short attention span on my end for not checking as I type.... thanks for correcting.

And thanks for the explanation - now it makes sense....

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