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Abs777 03-10-2010 09:34 AM

Best route to wire Lights, Switch, and outlets?
I am getting ready to start wiring and wondered what is the best route to wire my first room. The room is going to have 5 outlets, 4 canned lights and one switch to control the lights. Would feeding into (starting with) the outlets and end with the lights be my best bet? It's just a game room that will be on it's own 20amp circuit.


Big N8 03-10-2010 09:49 AM

Lights and out lets on the same may not be the best route. But it is up to you how you wire it. as long as you follow code your good to go.

Abs777 03-10-2010 09:58 AM

It is the farthest room and the only thing it is next to is the full bath. I was going to wire the two rooms separate, since the bath has to be on it's own circuit with a GFCI. I would like to wire the outlets separate, but it would be a waste.

Big N8 03-10-2010 10:00 AM

I see then go with whatever your little heart desires as long as you follow code.

AllanJ 03-10-2010 11:28 AM

I would start with wiring the outlets. Then from one outlet run a cable to the switch. Then from the switch go to the lights.

Should you need to branch (fork) at one of the outlets when wiring just the outlets, it is better to choose a different outlet to go to the switch. This way no more than three cables enter any particular box and the box does not get too crowded. You need a 21 ci (cubic inch) outlet box to accept one receptacle or switch and three 12-2 cables.

Can lights usually have their own junction boxes that are quite small. Try to wire them all in one line (no branching) so that at most two cables enters each light. This may require some zig-zagging or doubling back of cables.

For a 20 amp circuit you need to run all 12 gauge wires to all the lights too.

Abs777 03-10-2010 11:33 AM

Thanks Allan. I am doing the whole basement in 12 wire, so I am good there.

Is it OK to run the whole bathroom (1 outlet, can light, vanity light, and exhaust fan) on one circuit as long as you have a GFCI?

secutanudu 03-10-2010 11:43 AM


Originally Posted by Abs777 (Post 412623)
Is it OK to run the whole bathroom (1 outlet, can light, vanity light, and exhaust fan) on one circuit as long as you have a GFCI?

Yes this is fin, as long as the outlet does not feed ANYTHING outside the bathroom.

A circuit is allowed to feed:

ONE bathrom, outlets/lighting (fan)
Multiple bathrooms...outlets ONLY

The light and fan do not need to be GFCI protected unless they are in the shower. To do this, feed them off the line side of the GFCI outlet. If you want them protected, feed off the load side. The reason to not protect the light is so you are not left in the dark if it trips.

Abs777 03-10-2010 12:48 PM

Question about drilling into the joists. What is the best place to drill the joists to run the wire? I heard middle 3rd, is this correct?

Big N8 03-10-2010 12:49 PM

Middle is the best.

Abs777 03-10-2010 01:06 PM

Thanks N8. Last question. Ran through studs counts as securing the wire. In my soffits or along a joist it is supposed to be secured every 54". How about when I run it up a stud for a switch or down a stud for an outlet box, what is the distance it has to be secured?

Jim Port 03-10-2010 03:31 PM

The wire needs to be secured within 8" of the box and no more than 4 1/2' between after that.

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