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tandyt 05-04-2008 02:49 PM

Adding power to my basement
Hello... I currently have a 700 square foot basement with just one 15 amp breaker powering all of it. The area is unfinished but will soon be a home theater. I am wanting to add two 20 amp breakers to my panel which has plenty of room for new breakers. There is already probably nine outlets and three lights on the current 15 amp service. I was thinking I could leave those how they are. Run one wire for 20 amp to one outlet which will power the majority of everything in my basement. And then another wire for 20 amp to power two fairly energy thirsty radiant heaters.

Do my ideas make sense? The 'one outlet to one breaker' idea be over-the-top? Also, which gauge of wire should I be running? I believe it is supposed to be 12, but what is the difference between the 12/2 and 12/3?

Thanks for the help.

jbfan 05-04-2008 05:52 PM

You need more info that "energy thirsty heaters". Somewhere is a rating on the heaters, in watts, that will answer this question. If the sum of the two heaters is less than 2400 watts, the you can do what you want.
12/3 can be used to wire two circuits, also called a multi wire branch circuit. This allows you to pull one cable to do the job. 12/2 will require 2 cables to do the same thing.

If you use 12/3 make sure the breakers are on different poles.

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