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Old 03-24-2009, 02:38 PM   #1
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Circuit advice for finishing basement


Greetings - I am looking for advice on how many and which recepts/lights to put on what circuit. Attached is the plan I'm using drawn up by a design and build company.

My thoughts: I have plenty of 14-2 wire so will plan to use that for everything except for the bathroom and wetbar as follows: family/entertainment room (7-8 15amp recepts, 8 can lights including the two lights between the stairway and wetbar), office (7-8 15amp recepts, 2 can lights), activity area which is basicall a general hallway (3 15amp recepts, 2 can lights), kid's room (7-8 15amp recepts, 2 can lights), wet bar located just outside of bathroom will have it's own 12-2 recepts on a dedicted circuit, plus 4 can lights). My thoughts are to put all lights (18 or so in total) on one 15amp circuit if possible...ok with two circuits if necessary. Would like any suggestions on how to split up the recepts (not counting the bathroom and wet bar which will be on their own). Will two 15amp circuits be enough for 27 or so total recepts. I will follow the recept every 12 ft rule for living space so there may be a few more than the 27 recepts even.

Assumptions: The 2 bedrooms and bathroom are already done. Bathroom has a dedicated 12-2 20amp gfi circuit. Wetbar will have a dedicated 12-2 20amp circuit. The two BR's recepts are AFCI circuits (15a) and a separate lighting circuit (15a)--this lighting circuit can be piggybacked off of for addt'l lights. Storage room already has a recept circuit. No addt'l recept needed in utility room where furnace and water softener is located.

Would love to hear any suggestions....Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:51 PM   #2
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Circuit advice for finishing basement


Receptacles don't use any power. How you split them will be determined by what you intend to use them for. If you have a treadmill or tannning bed put in a dedicated circuit for them. Put in at least one circuit just for the entertainement equipment. Another one for the computer and peripherals is a good idea also. If you think you might need a space heater in certain areas put those receptacles on low use circuits or dedicated circuits.
Don't forget bedroom needs everything on AFCI. Don't forget about smokes and CO detectors.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:03 PM   #3
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Thanks Joed.

Bedroom lights need to be on AFCI as well?

Can smoke and CO detectors be on same circuit as lights? Would you split the lights into two circuits or could one circuit easily handle 27-30 lights?
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:23 PM   #4
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Circuit advice for finishing basement


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Originally Posted by Straightgrain View Post
Thanks Joed.

Bedroom lights need to be on AFCI as well?

Can smoke and CO detectors be on same circuit as lights? Would you split the lights into two circuits or could one circuit easily handle 27-30 lights?
The way I understand the 2008 NEC code, anything and everything in the bedroom needs to be an AFCI circuit. 27-30 lights on one 15 amp circuit? No way, I wouldn't do it! Your max bulb size would be 60 watts and that would be maxing out the 15amp circuit. I would definetly split them up into 2 circuits or more. Maybe break them up into logical groupings if you can. I would also reccomend a dedicated circuit for your entertainment center and another for the computer outlets as well.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for that advice theatretch85...BTW...I've seen pics of your home theatre...in a word, AWESOME!

I'll put the lights on two circuits. I'll need to change out the breaker for the bedroom lights to make it an AFCI...which isn't a problem. Can I have other non-bedroom lights on that same AFCI circuit, such as the wetbar and hallway lights for example?
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:29 PM   #6
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Thanks Joed.

Bedroom lights need to be on AFCI as well?

Can smoke and CO detectors be on same circuit as lights? Would you split the lights into two circuits or could one circuit easily handle 27-30 lights?
How many lights on a circuit depends upon the amps of the circuit & MAX bulb capacity of the fixure

For simplicity - say all fixtures can take a 100w bulb

15a 1800w circuit could take 18 lights
20a 2400w circuit could take 24 lights

now if they are 75w recessed cans - MAX bulb 75w

15a 1800w circuit could take 24 lights
20a 2400w circuit could take 32 lights

I do load mine up to the MAX the circuit can handle
I use CFL bulbs & my 1800w 15a circuit handles less then 1200w if all the lights are on at the same time

Smokes/CO's as I understand it can't be on a dedicated circuit as then they could be easily shut off & left off. Mine & the bedroom lighting circuit are AFCI protected

Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 03-24-2009 at 07:21 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:36 PM   #7
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Circuit advice for finishing basement


Scuba some areas require smokes on a dedicated circuit, and others require them to not be on a dedicated circuit! Best to call your inspector.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:46 PM   #8
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Thanks for that advice theatretch85...BTW...I've seen pics of your home theatre...in a word, AWESOME!
I believe you are referring to the home theatre in the project showcase on this site? That wasn't me, that was someone else, I was just replying to his thread. I haven't posted any pics of my home theatre on this site, once I get into my new house and re-design the family room it will be nice, wetbar and projector are just some of the highlights.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:53 PM   #9
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I believe you are referring to the home theatre in the project showcase on this site? That wasn't me, that was someone else, I was just replying to his thread. I haven't posted any pics of my home theatre on this site, once I get into my new house and re-design the family room it will be nice, wetbar and projector are just some of the highlights.
Sorry theatretch85, my mistake, thought that was you. Thank you for all your advice nonetheless.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:56 PM   #10
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Circuit advice for finishing basement


Just about everything in a house needs to be on a AFCI unless its on a GFCI. Well and minus of course dryer and what not
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:06 PM   #11
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Just about everything in a house needs to be on a AFCI unless its on a GFCI. Well and minus of course dryer and what not
IF you are under NEC 2008 this is correct
MA accepted it right away

States acceptance:

http://www.childoutletsafety.org/fil...doptionMap.pdf
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:17 PM   #12
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Circuit advice for finishing basement


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IF you are under NEC 2008 this is correct
MA accepted it right away

States acceptance:

http://www.childoutletsafety.org/fil...doptionMap.pdf

Yeah I think its a little bit of an over kill but can't fight city hall
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:16 PM   #13
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Circuit advice for finishing basement


If you are under 2008 NEC then almost everything except bathroom and kitchen needs to be AFCI. They have expanded it from bedrooms.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:23 PM   #14
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If you are under 2008 NEC then almost everything except bathroom and kitchen needs to be AFCI. They have expanded it from bedrooms.
Funny you mention that...I was reading up on AFCI's tonight and discovered that very thing!

Geez, there goes the budget I'm in Indiana so I'll ck with the inspector to be sure it's necessary before I go buy.

Thanks joed, Scuba, and dSilanskas.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:29 PM   #15
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Funny you mention that...I was reading up on AFCI's tonight and discovered that very thing!

Geez, there goes the budget I'm in Indiana so I'll ck with the inspector to be sure it's necessary before I go buy.

Thanks joed, Scuba, and dSilanskas.
You shouldn't be required to bring the existing circuits up to current code, but if you update or otherwise alter the existing circuits, then you will need to bring them up to current code.
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