||12-28-2010 06:55 AM
Finished basement wiring questions
I own a home with a basement that was finished by the previous owners. They had split the basement into two rooms and installed receptacles and fluorescent lights/drop ceiling. Three separate 15 Amp circuits were set aside in the box-one for lighting and two for receptacles. Basically I am modifying the layout of the basement, adding/moving receptacles, and changing the lighting completely. The plan for lighting will be for 12 recessed lights plus one fluorescent light (two single pole switches each controlling a separate bank of lights) which will be located on the unfinished side (lighting for the pantry) for a total of 800 Watts. 800/120 = 6.7 Amps so the load is clearly within the limit of the circuit (it will be much less anyway since each recessed lighting unit will have a CFL), but right now all wire coming from the box to the basement is 14/2. Should I upgrade to 12/2 and a 20 Amp breaker?
I plan on dividing the outlets among the two remaining circuits. One side of the basement will be an office area with outlets near two desks for laptops, modem, wireless router, etc...I also plan on putting a mini fridge in a dry bar that will divide the two rooms that will go on this circuit. The other side of the basement will be the entertaining area with a wall mount TV, cable box, DVR, DVD player, game system, surround sound, and likely other electronic devices. The entertainment side and office side loads should be about around 7 and 8 Amps respectively. Again, these two circuits are wired with 14/2, should I change it out for 12/2 and a 20 Amp breaker?