new lights & outlets

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  #1  
Old 01-02-02, 01:36 PM
mj1050
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Question new lights & outlets

Hello all. We have a newly built house & I want to install flourescent lights in the basement over my workbench, as well as 2 outlets to run power tools. The lights I want to put in are the 'direct-wire' type with it's own dedicated on/off switch, as opposed to the plug-in type. I havent cut into the wiring yet that supplies power to the 4 existing standard lights that were installed by the builder, so I don't know exactly what I have available for wiring. Can I splice into those wires to connect the flouescent lights & switches, and to install outlets? There is an outlet about 20 feet from the bench. Could I splice into that to run wire over to the bench to install the outlets? Thanks in advance for any advice. -Mike
 
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  #2  
Old 01-03-02, 10:45 AM
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It's a good idea to keep the lights on one circuit, and the outlets on another one. That way if you run into problems, and you need to shut of the outlets, you have light to work with, and vice-versa. It will be probably ok to use the same lighting circuit. Make sure you have a 20A breaker though. If not too far, you may just want to put in a new breaker in the panel and have a dedicated circuit for the bench.
 
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Old 01-03-02, 01:14 PM
mj1050
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thanks trinitro. i checked & the breaker is 15amp, and to install a new dedicated breaker I'd have to run wire the entire lenthg of the house & up 1 floor..not very appealing venture. Can I simply run wire from the existing outlet to a new one, and same for lighting? Would the outlet need to be GFI?
 
  #4  
Old 01-03-02, 02:11 PM
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Just because it is across the house and up one floor should not discourage you from installing a new circuit. It won't be that hard!

But yes, you can extend from the existing outlet.

Yes the new receptacles would need to be GFCI protected (but it probably already is, since code requires it even of the outlet you already have). The new receptacles will inherit the GFCI protection of the existing outlet.

Before extending this outlet, make sure you know all of what's already on this circuit (shut off the breaker and check). If it is just this one outlet, then I'd be comfortable extending it. But if there are several other things already on this circuit, you should really go for the new circuit (or two). I'd also probably put in a 20-amp circuit (or two) since you may use a lot of power at a workbench.

It'll never be easier to plan for the future than right now.
 
  #5  
Old 01-03-02, 03:14 PM
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It's a good idea to always verify with a meter if the power to wherever you're working is indeed off. I've seen cases in which the entire electrical system was reversed, as in the neutral was protected by the fuse, but not the hot wire. So even if the breaker was turned off, the wire was still hot. Not very pleasant, it can sure jolt the life out of you. Check for voltage not only between the wires, but also between each wire and the ground.
 
  #6  
Old 01-04-02, 11:30 AM
mj1050
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That meter is a good suggestion. I'll be sure & check with it where I'm working. I like the idea of putting in a 20amp breaker in the box, & running a dedicated line for the outlet to the basement but I have no idea how to snake the wire: behind the walls? It's a split-level(side-split) house and I'd have to go from the basement up one level which is easy, but how would I get it across the house to the other side where the panel is?
 
  #7  
Old 01-04-02, 11:39 AM
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You may be able to use an existing conduit (if it has enough space), and fish another pair of wires. A 1/2" pipe has enough space for 4 wires, although I'm not sure about the code requirements.
 
  #8  
Old 01-04-02, 12:08 PM
mj1050
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no conduit pipe used in this region(N.E.) for interior wiring, but I'll give it a shot w/ fishtape. One last related (ignorant) question: I have a 150 amp panelbox. How do I figure out if I have enough 'amp space' left to install that 20amp breaker in the box?
Thanks again!
 
  #9  
Old 01-04-02, 12:42 PM
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If you have the physical space in the panel, you can add this 20-amp breaker without calculating capacity. If you had enough "amp space" before, then you still will after adding another 20-amp lighting/receptacle circuit.
 
  #10  
Old 01-04-02, 01:11 PM
mj1050
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Thumbs up

Thanks. I have lots of physical space left in the box, just didn't want to exceed capacity. I'll let ya know how I made out in couple weeks!
 
  #11  
Old 01-16-02, 02:56 PM
mj1050
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thanks to everyone for the suggestions! I ended up running romex from the existing outlet to the newly installed one/ works great! to make the new light installation easy, I then just bought a plug-in type flourescent light that I mounted to the joist & I can plug into the new outlet when I need to.
 
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