Old 09-24-01, 04:02 AM
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i'm about to finish my basement what is the code for basement wiring 20amp or 15 amp. also i know you use 14-2 0n 15 amp service and 12-2 on 20 amp service what i would like to know is how many recepticals or lighting fixtures can i put on each breaker. i live in michigan if that helps for the code.
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Old 09-24-01, 04:41 AM
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The only code issue is that the bathroom receptacle must be on a 20-amp circuit (note that there are many other bathroom codes too). All other receptacles and lights may be on either 15 or 20 amp circuits.

Code allows you to use 14-gauge wire on a 15-amp circuit, but pretty much everybody here would recommend that you use 12-gauge wire, even on a 15-amp circuit.

Code doesn't care how many receptacles you put on a circuit, as long as you have 3 watts per square foot for general use. E.g., you must have at least one 15-amp circuit per 600 square feet. However, most people here would encourage you not to be that skimpy.

Rule of thumb to keep you out of trouble: put no more than 8 receptacles on a 15-amp circuit, or 10 on a 20-amp circuit. This is assuming that the lighting is on separate circuits. If lighting and receptacles are on the same circuit, reduce the number of receptacles by one for each 180 watts of lighting. Remember, this is just a rule of thumb, not a requirement.
Old 09-24-01, 01:48 PM
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John is correct in what he is saying. However there is an if there concerning GFI protection. If you have a basement area that is unfinished or not a living area, then all receptacles in that are must be GFI protected except if the receptacle is behind and serving a single large appliance such as freezers, refrigs, washers.

Also don't forget to install a smoke detector in that basement, and a three way switch at top and bottom of the stairs.

One more thing you should think on is if you have a bedroom located in that basement you must have an emergency egress / ingress method. A window that meets minimum size and opens or a second door allowing a second way out of that basement if with a bedroom in that basement.

Good Luck


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