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Old 03-16-2008, 03:51 PM   #1
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Finishing basement - wiring diagram


First I want to thank all the frequent contributers. I've been lurking for a while and reading a bunch of the old posts on basements and wiring diagrams. The information here is so helpful and the people so friendly. I especially appreciate the direct advice, including the focus on safety. I'm working on finishing my basement and am about to start work on the electrical. Here is the diagram: All circuits will be 15A. All wiring will be 14/x (14/2 is solid lines, 14/3 is dashed). There is 1 existing circuit (shown as dark green in my diagram) with the lights and smoke detector. I'll be using that for just the light for the stairs and the 3 smoke detectors. I also have 3 dedicated circuits for a treadmill (brown), freezer (yellow), and home theater equipment (light green). The rest are as describes in the key on the diagram. I did complicate the diagram slightly by bouncing some lines near where I intend to run the wire to help me with my planning. Where you see 2 lines connect without a switch, outlet, etc. that is me doing this. Any and all feedback is appreciated. I think I only violated the rule of 12 once (13). I can't think of anything more at this point so I hope I didn't miss too much. I also have a wiring diagram for my low voltage but I don't think that is too interesting (or potentially dangerous). David PS - I can't seem to figure out the formatting (at least according to preview post), sorry for it all running together.


Last edited by davidy123; 03-18-2008 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:54 PM   #2
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Finishing basement - wiring diagram


I hate to reply to my own post, but I just noticed that I forgot the delete the solid red line between the 3-way switches. The dashed line connecting with switches that swings near the stairs replaced that line. Oops. -David

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Old 03-18-2008, 04:23 PM   #3
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Finishing basement - wiring diagram


Anyone?
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:54 PM   #4
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Finishing basement - wiring diagram


Hi, I'm in the beginning stages of wiring my basement. What software (if any) did you use to build your diagram?

Thanks
Taz
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:09 PM   #5
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Finishing basement - wiring diagram


Took a little while to decipher the diagram. It is clear, but the print is small and my eyes are getting worse. To begin: I would add two more lights in the theater. If these are can lights, the spread in a typical basement ceiling will leave the edges of the room very bleak.

I would run the theater lighting home run to the switch. Everything after that is just switch leg.

Eliminate the red home run and combine those lights on the home theater lighting circuit. You have room.

The thing I kind of didn't like about the layout was that there were receptacles that were way out of the way that could have been divided up a little differently. The theater power circuit for the theater goes into the craft room, while you have a dedicated outlet for a freezer right there. Unless that freezer is an absolute hog, you don't have to dedicate that outlet. The equipment rack however, you are right to dedicate.

The two outlets in the theater near the play area. Use a circuit to wrap the play area (including the outlets I mentioned) and the craft area. Unless your crafts include welding or several toaster ovens operating in unison.

The only other thing I would do is run either another 20 amp or (preferably) an empty conduit from your panel to the empty storage space. It has access to two walls in a finished space and things have a way of coming u later. I don't know if you are going to drywall this space, but any steps you can take to "future-proof" your install will be huge.

Anyone else?
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsutaz View Post
Hi, I'm in the beginning stages of wiring my basement. What software (if any) did you use to build your diagram?

Thanks
Taz
I used Visio. Have it for work (IT) and was pleasantly surprised that it had the building templates that made this really easy. Its now a Microsoft product so I'm sure it isn't cheap. I'll be looking for something free/cheap for Macs and if I find anything I'll be sure to post it here.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by goose134 View Post
Took a little while to decipher the diagram. It is clear, but the print is small and my eyes are getting worse. To begin: I would add two more lights in the theater. If these are can lights, the spread in a typical basement ceiling will leave the edges of the room very bleak.

I would run the theater lighting home run to the switch. Everything after that is just switch leg.

Eliminate the red home run and combine those lights on the home theater lighting circuit. You have room.

The thing I kind of didn't like about the layout was that there were receptacles that were way out of the way that could have been divided up a little differently. The theater power circuit for the theater goes into the craft room, while you have a dedicated outlet for a freezer right there. Unless that freezer is an absolute hog, you don't have to dedicate that outlet. The equipment rack however, you are right to dedicate.

The two outlets in the theater near the play area. Use a circuit to wrap the play area (including the outlets I mentioned) and the craft area. Unless your crafts include welding or several toaster ovens operating in unison.

The only other thing I would do is run either another 20 amp or (preferably) an empty conduit from your panel to the empty storage space. It has access to two walls in a finished space and things have a way of coming u later. I don't know if you are going to drywall this space, but any steps you can take to "future-proof" your install will be huge.

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goose134,

Thanks for the feedback, this is exactly what I was hoping for. Sorry for the print size, it was smaller than I expected when posted.

The freezer is rated at 5 Amps. I didn't call it out but the freezer circuit (yellow) and the lightly loaded orange circuit were meant to future-proof half of the unfinished space (I'll never finish the last bit, we have to much stuff and need the storage). I'll change the yellow circuit to 20A with 12/2. Treadmill is rated at 12 Amps so I'll go ahead and up that to 20A with 12/2 too.

I saw another basement with the same theater layout and same lighting (4 cans and 2 sconces) in the theater area and thought it was OK, but I'll take another look. You suggest putting the theater lights on the same circuit as the play area. That would be 6 cans, 2 sconces, and 3 switches in the play area, 1 light and 1 switch in the closet, plus 6 cans, 2 sconces, and 2 switches in the theater area for a total of 23. No issues with exceeding the the rule of 12 in this case? Or did I completely misunderstand what you meant?

I also got better info on local code for smoke detectors. I will be eliminating the one from the theater area as it isn't needed. Don't need the one in the craft room either but am keeping it as I would rather be safe than sorry.

I'll post a new version of the diagram soon.

-David
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:32 AM   #8
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Finishing basement - wiring diagram


The craft room lighting I would run all the light in one series instead of two. Save box fill in the switch box .
The purple circuit looks a bit overloaded. Could be an issue if people start plugging heaters, which is common in a basement. Consdier putting the craft room receptacles on the same circuit as the lights.
Also when you count devices on a circuit switches don't count. They don't use any power.
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:39 PM   #9
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OK, here is my latest version. Feedback requested!



(Here is a direct link in case you want to download it and take a closer look - but I did increase the print size too: http://s26.photobucket.com/albums/c1...c20080326c.jpg)

List of changes (that I could find):
1) added 2 cans to home theater
2) moved home theater and play area cans all to red circuit
3) home theater outlets now all on light blue circuit
4) moved sconces in home theater, utility light (next to HW), and closet light to light blue circuit
5) moves sconces near bottom of stairs to dark green circuit
6) put all play area and craft room outlets on purple circuit
7) eliminated smoke detector from home theater
8) eliminated dark blue circuit
9) changed brown (treadmill, rated 12 amps) and yellow (freezer, rated 5 amps) circuits to 20A circuit with 12/2 NM. planning on keeping 15A outlets
10) removed duplicate line between play area switches
11) corrected count of open spaces in panel

Questions:
1) are the 15 outlets on the purple circuits too much? the basement will be insulated and have proper HVAC. if so, I was going to move 3 outlets under/adjacent to the stairs to the orange circuit.
2) any issue with using GFCI outlets on the three dedicated circuits on? they will be in unfinished space... or can I get away without it?

FYI - my panel is a Siemens G4040MB1200.

Thanks in advance for your help!

-David

Last edited by davidy123; 03-26-2008 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:45 PM   #10
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The craft room lighting I would run all the light in one series instead of two. Save box fill in the switch box .
The purple circuit looks a bit overloaded. Could be an issue if people start plugging heaters, which is common in a basement. Consdier putting the craft room receptacles on the same circuit as the lights.
Also when you count devices on a circuit switches don't count. They don't use any power.
craft room lights in 1 series - ok

purple was 12 outlets, latest version is 15 so I guess that is right out. I'll move at least 3 outlets from under/adjacent the stairs to the orange circuit as you suggest.

when I searched for "rule of 12" I couldn't find much, but I did read where someone said to count everything. not counting switches almost makes it too easy.

Thanks!!!

-David
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:48 PM   #11
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Finishing basement - wiring diagram


Uhh... theatre "viewing room" outlets all on one circuit. Has separate dedicated lighting circuit. Not for nothing, but what exactly do you plan on plugging into these outlets? Not exactly lamps, appliances etc, electric blankets, clock radios, heaters or pretty much anything, right?

I'd put 1/2 the craftroom, 1/2 the play area, and 1/2 the theatre receptacles on one circuit, and the other 1/2's on another. Load diversity...
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:42 PM   #12
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Finishing basement - wiring diagram


David,
A couple of things before we get to the layout: Just FYI, switches don't consume current so you don't have to worry about counting them against ampacity of the circuit. If, for example you lamp everything on the red circuit with 60W bulbs, unless I miscounted, I get 12 cans for a total of 720 W or 6 amps.
Also, I can't be 100% of the switch placement, but you can seperate switch legs within a circuit. One switch for cans, one for sconces, same circuit.

On to the layout.

Purple circuit is definitely heavy. I kind of agree with Lawn guy in that it should be divvied up a bit. Perhaps take the craft room off purple and run a new circuit there. Include the outlets near the stairs in the play room on this circuit.
Keep that treadmill on a dedicated 20 A circuit for sure.
Freezer isn't so big, but I suppose it would be nice to have dedicated. If you're ever pinched for circuits in the future, I wouldn't hesitate to use that one.

I don't know where your TV is going, but one thing that will really help out is running an empty largeish conduit from that location to your equipment rack. If you run an empty one next time you need a cable (and you will) pull it in with a pull string and you're done. I ran two 2 1/2" conduits between the TV and rack and he damn near filled one of them. Anyway, try to anticipate those sorts of things.
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:48 PM   #13
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Finishing basement - wiring diagram


There is no rule of 12 or limit on the number or outlets in the NEC. In Canada we have a limit of 12 outlets per circuit. An outlet is a receptacle or a light fixture or any device that uses power like a fan or built in heater.
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:12 PM   #14
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Re: load diversity... my initial thought was to do a shared neutral with alternating circuits around the entire perimeter, but I've only seen this in reference to kitchens. Since there are only 22 outlets for both light blue and purple it wouldn't be too heavy, but is it a good idea in this situitation? Hmm, maybe it would be simpler to just go back to light blue and purple in version 1 and rotate them clockwise an outlet or two. simple vs. cool. decisions, decisions...

Re: switch legs... I wasn't sure how to indicate that on the diagram but I have plans for exactly what you said, cans and sconces separated. Re: rule of 12 and switches... I've made the switch in my head and will put in down on paper with the next version.

Re: use of outlets... hopefully nothing in theater area. I need to add a outlet off of yellow on the ceiling for my projector near the soffit . I imagine the craft room could become a home office with PC, printer, fax, etc. and maybe a glue gun for my wife. play area might have a small TV, a light-bright and some other toys as the kids grow up. I feel like much of this is overkill for how it will be used, but I guess that is how I like to do my projects. unfinished space might have a TV (I get bored while exercising) and possibly a dehumidifier.

Re: low voltage... I have plans to pull what I can think of now and I also have a bunch of 1.5" conduit to run along the left wall and from the left wall to the utility area. I'll post that diagram too. Re: GFCI in unfinished space... any thoughts? I could take the advice from another thread to paint the walls white and call it finished.

Thanks for everyone's input, I'm really enjoying this.

-David
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:30 PM   #15
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I think you're stuck on considering a receptacle as a load. They aren't, the use of the room is the load, regardless of how many convenience receptacles you provide.

This is why I say divide the convenience receptacle circuits to serve all the rooms. It's not likely you'll be having "movie time" AND working out AND working on the computer AND glue-gunning crafts together. You'll most likely be engaged in only ONE of these at a time so, providing 2 circuits to each room gets you 2 circuits in each room you happen to be using.

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