basement wiring


Old 11-15-01, 02:16 PM
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Unhappy basement wiring

[email protected]][email protected][/EMAIL] I need to know how many receptacles I can put on one breaker and how many lights. Or a mixture of lights and receptacles
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Old 11-15-01, 03:00 PM
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This is a very, very often asked question. The official answer is that the NEC has no limit. You can put 100 or 1000 receptacles on this circuit and the NEC will bless that!

The normally accepted rule of thumb is a maximum 10 receptacles on a 20-amp circuit, or 8 receptacles on a 15-amp circuit. But you can adjust this up or down if you know something about what is likely to be plugged in.

You can mix lights and receptacles on a circuit if you want, but I usually prefer not to. It avoids those annoying momentary light dimming when you turn something on. If you add lights to a receptacle circuit, then decrease the number of receptacles by one for about every 150-200 watts of lights that you add.

For lighting-only circuits, don't put more than 1500 watts on a 15-amp circuit, or 2000 watts on a 20-amp circuit.

Another provision of the NEC says that you must have at least one 15-amp circuit for every 600 square feet, or one 20-amp circuit for every 800 square feet, for general lighting and receptacles. If you install this minimum, be prepared to curse yourself later for not being a bit more generous.
Old 11-19-01, 01:30 AM
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I prefer separate circuits, too

Especially in abasement, put the lights on a separate circuit. If you trip the breaker (and count on it happeneing) then you aren't left in the dark. If the lights are on the same circuit, you will be in the dark!

If you have room, add several circuits.

And consider an emergency light by the stairs. These are about $40 or so at the big boxes.
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