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Old 01-22-2012, 05:10 PM   #1
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Basement Wet Bar


I've done a little research on this and most seem to say that a basement wet bar should be considered setup like a kitchen. 2 countertop circuits, dishwasher, fridge, etc. I initially planned on really just 1 circuit for the wet bar area (main fridge, counter top outlets, dishwasher, mini fridges) I am now in the process of actually looking to finish the project started over a year ago.

I plan to have a dishwasher (no garbage disposal) 2 mini fridges (dorm room size) plus a big standup fridge in the corner. There will also be a microwave on a cart/shelf behind the bar along the wall. I figure 1 circuit for the wall (big fridge, microwave) and another for the bar itself (dishwasher, counter top outlets, 2 mini fridges). The dishwasher won't really be used until the end of the night when we want to throw all the glasses in there and thoroughly clean them. So then its really the countertop outlets sharing with the two mini fridges.

I have the capacity to add up to 3 more circuits to my second subpanel in addition to the 1 circuit already dedicated for the wet bar, I think it'd be overkill to have more than 3 circuits for the wetbar.

Also, looking at counter top height and clearance between the lower and upper counter tops, is it OK to have a hardwired plugmold outlet strip for counter top outlets so long as its GFCI protected? The clearance between the back splash on the lower counter top and the bottom side of the upper will be about 4" and that's with the bottom of the upper counter top starting at 42" (most online resources say the upper counter top should be at 40-42") plus I will have a 2x4" at the top of that wall, so the total clearance under the top 2x4 to the top of the back splash is 2 1/2" which is not enough room for an outlet box to be installed.

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Old 01-22-2012, 05:13 PM   #2
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Basement Wet Bar


What do you mean wiremold outlet? As you stated all counter top must be gfi's

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Old 01-22-2012, 05:29 PM   #3
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Essentially a long (usually 40-48" long) hard-wired power strip with outlets spaced about 4-6" apart. I would hard-wire it from behind so the wiring is in the wall and probably used a dead-front gfci switch or just a standard GFCI above the top counter to protect the plugmold. This would only need about a 1" wall space between the back splash and the bottom side of the top counter.
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:40 PM   #4
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Iv'e found a code compliant plugmold strip at home depot that has the tamper resistant outlets and is hardwired, however its only 3' long (I'm looking for something 5' long) and its also only rated for 15 amps (not 20).

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&productId=202046564&l angId=-1&catalogId=10053&MERCH=REC-_-product-1-_-202046545-_-202046564-_-N&locStoreNum=2826
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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Basement Wet Bar


Quote:
Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
I've done a little research on this and most seem to say that a basement wet bar should be considered setup like a kitchen...
...because the inspectors are going to inspect it as though it is.
There's no point in setting yourself up for having to tear out and start over.

Quote:
Also, looking at counter top height and clearance between the lower and upper counter tops, is it OK to have a hardwired plugmold outlet strip for counter top outlets so long as its GFCI protected?
Don't try to re-invent the wheel.
Use standard boxes and devices and don't be shy about adding an extra.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
Iv'e found a code compliant plugmold strip at home depot that has the tamper resistant outlets and is hardwired, however its only 3' long (I'm looking for something 5' long) and its also only rated for 15 amps (not 20).

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&productId=202046564&l angId=-1&catalogId=10053&MERCH=REC-_-product-1-_-202046545-_-202046564-_-N&locStoreNum=2826
Plugmold comes in various lengths and outlet spacing, and can be cut to the size you need. I believe the 15 amp rating is for the individual receptacles in the plug mold, not the circuit ampacity. The ones I've installed had #12 conductors for 20 amps.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...cArRWMmyBsbYQQ
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:57 PM   #7
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So my major dilemma has to do with the physical space to put in standard outlet boxes between the two countertops. The lower counter top sits on the base cabinets starting at 34 1/2" making the surface of the lower counter top 35". The back splash (pre-formed and attached to lower counter top) comes up to 38 1/4" and per online research the upper counter top should be around 40-42" high. I am building my own upper counter top with the laminate sheets and the total thickness is 1 1/2". The wall to support the upper counter top has been cut to 40 1/2" to accommodate the 1 1/2" of the upper counter top making the finished height 42". So, with the top stud of the wall at 40 1/2" subtract 1 1/2" (for the top stud thickness) I am now at 39" leaving me 3/4" clearance between the bottom of the top stud and the top of the lower counter back splash.

Standard plastic outlet box is 2 1/4" wide, standard wall plate is 3" wide; if the wall plate meets the top edge of the lower counter top back splash, the top edge of the wall plate sits at 41 1/4" making the top of the box sit at 40 7/8". I'd like to have a little space between the wall plate and the top of the back splash, so lets say I put the top edge of the box (on its side) at 41". I don't want to go any higher than I have to with the upper counter top since the recommended height is 42". If I add 1 2x4 to the top of the wall, that would make the height of the upper counter top 43 1/2" and I would still have to notch that 2x4 to accommodate the outlet box (it'd be notched about a 1/2").

So, looking for ideas/suggestions on how I can add the required outlets to my bar setup!

Also, looking for ideas/suggestions on the circuit configuration. I'd like to run only 2 total circuits to the bar area, but don't want to be shooting myself in the foot so to speak.

Hope this all makes sense!
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
So my major dilemma has to do with the physical space to put in standard outlet boxes between the two countertops. The lower counter top sits on the base cabinets starting at 34 1/2" making the surface of the lower counter top 35". The back splash (pre-formed and attached to lower counter top) comes up to 38 1/4" and per online research the upper counter top should be around 40-42" high. I am building my own upper counter top with the laminate sheets and the total thickness is 1 1/2". The wall to support the upper counter top has been cut to 40 1/2" to accommodate the 1 1/2" of the upper counter top making the finished height 42". So, with the top stud of the wall at 40 1/2" subtract 1 1/2" (for the top stud thickness) I am now at 39" leaving me 3/4" clearance between the bottom of the top stud and the top of the lower counter back splash.

Standard plastic outlet box is 2 1/4" wide, standard wall plate is 3" wide; if the wall plate meets the top edge of the lower counter top back splash, the top edge of the wall plate sits at 41 1/4" making the top of the box sit at 40 7/8". I'd like to have a little space between the wall plate and the top of the back splash, so lets say I put the top edge of the box (on its side) at 41". I don't want to go any higher than I have to with the upper counter top since the recommended height is 42". If I add 1 2x4 to the top of the wall, that would make the height of the upper counter top 43 1/2" and I would still have to notch that 2x4 to accommodate the outlet box (it'd be notched about a 1/2").

So, looking for ideas/suggestions on how I can add the required outlets to my bar setup!

Also, looking for ideas/suggestions on the circuit configuration. I'd like to run only 2 total circuits to the bar area, but don't want to be shooting myself in the foot so to speak.

Hope this all makes sense!
So, are you abandoning the plug mold option?
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by brric View Post
So, are you abandoning the plug mold option?
Haha I'd love to, it'd be cheaper to install the outlets than the plug mold that I'd need to be code compliant. The biggest issue is the space requirement for an outlet box.

I believe I read somewhere that an outlet on its side has to have the lowest prong at least 2" off the counter top, and if I put them in above the back splash of the lower counter I'll be at least 3" to the lower edge of the wall plate so I'd certainly meet the minimum requirement of the 2".
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
Haha I'd love to, it'd be cheaper to install the outlets than the plug mold that I'd need to be code compliant. The biggest issue is the space requirement for an outlet box.

I believe I read somewhere that an outlet on its side has to have the lowest prong at least 2" off the counter top, and if I put them in above the back splash of the lower counter I'll be at least 3" to the lower edge of the wall plate so I'd certainly meet the minimum requirement of the 2".
Don't know where you read that. I've never heard of it. What is the layout of this bar area, lengthwise, sink, etc?

Last edited by brric; 01-29-2012 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:28 PM   #11
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I have attached a visio layout of the bar area, there is a knee wall that surrounds the bar behind all the base cabinets and is what ultimately supports the upper counter top. Currently this wall is 40 1/2" tall.
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:03 PM   #12
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Here are two pictures of the current bar layout.
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Basement Wet Bar-forumrunner_20120129_140247.jpg   Basement Wet Bar-forumrunner_20120129_140307.jpg  

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