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kupalino 11-13-2009 11:12 AM

Basement wiring question
I'm finishing my basement and currently at the end of framing it. The next step is wiring and I'm gearing up for it and currently reading a book about wiring and I have questions about wiring.

1. I read somewhere (Internet) that wires must be protected by either conduit or the flexible armor. Now, do I need to use conduit when I run the wires through the studs. Isn't kink of hard to run rigid conduit through the studs separated 16in apart? Can I use flexible armor? Or do I not even need to protect the wires since they'll be covered by drywall?

2. The Wiring Simpified book says about a separate circuit for sump pump, furnace etc. My question is that my sump pump is at the opposite end of the service panel and I'm wondering if I can use the sump pump circuit to add lights, outlets outside the sump pump closet that I made instead of running a new line from the service panel. Similarly, I boxed up the furnace and created a furnace room and I'm assuming I can use the furnace circuit to add a ligth in the furnace room. But can I use the same circuit to add outlets on the external wall of the furnace room for an aquarium or something.


hyunelan2 11-13-2009 11:25 AM

I am not an electrician, but my understanding is the wires need to be in conduit or armor, only if they are not enclosed in the wall (your codes may vary). Here, I can use romex inside the wall in the basement, but if it is not enclosed in a wall, it needs to be in conduit or armor.

If you need a separate circuit by code for your sump pump, that means nothing else can be on that circuit - no outlets or lights. There won't be anything stopping you from doing so, other than rules/code. I would definately leave my furnace or sump pump on their own circuits though - I wouldn't want something else causing a breaker trip, and flooding/freezing my house.

cgoll 11-13-2009 12:41 PM

Not an electrical question, but just how did you "box up" the furnace?

How much combustion air gets furnished?

Scuba_Dave 11-13-2009 01:23 PM

Where are you located ?
Local codes vary, here we just run NMB in the wall

kupalino 11-13-2009 01:34 PM

I live in Elgin, Il.

"Box" is a poor choice of word. The furnace and water heater are in a 10 x 10ft room.

cgoll 11-13-2009 02:29 PM

OK, but how does air get into that room? If the ceiling is finished and there is a door, you have a potential CO problem w/o enough combustion air input.

Piedmont 11-13-2009 04:22 PM

Basically where I live,

If the walls are not finished but this will be a finished area wires have to be stapled 1 1/4" inches in from the face of stud walls but don't need protection. Far as I'm aware wires can't share a staple, so if you have to run 2+ lines you can either weave the wires OR they make brackets called cable stackers that let you put 3+ wires on each stud. They have to be stapled at least every 4' 6" along framing members.

Any open wire that will be visible in a finished area needs to be protected by conduit or armored cable. If this is a utility area (such as a basement or attic) they do not need be protected unless that part is finished and the wires will be exposed. I will say all wiring to pumps in my house (I have 2 heating zone pumps and 1 solar pump) have been wired with armored cable and it's in a utility area so I believe pumps follow different rules.

If the walls are already done and you want to add you can drill a hole in the bottom & top plate and fish a wire through it unprotected. It will then be dangling in the wall and that's okay but you need to staple it within 12" of holes.

Your local/state codes may be different (more strict).

rselectric1 11-13-2009 04:24 PM

I am in your area. Most likely you should be running all your wiring in EMT (conduit) unless you are in some incorporated areas that still allow romex.

Running the pipe through the studs is a pain but has to be done. There really is no magic way to do it. You need to cut the pieces up. If you drill big enough holes you can do it about 20" at a time.

WaldenL 11-14-2009 09:25 AM

OP: On the furnace side, it's also nice to have the furnace on a separate circuit from the lights (and a GFCI receptacle) so the furnace can be powered off, and the repair guy can still have light and power to fix it. :-)

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