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Old 02-03-2009, 04:22 PM   #1
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General Wiring Question


OK so we are redoing our basement and will eventually be upgrading our 100amp service to 150... that will be after the basement is completed. New to the basement will be 9 recessed lights (w/ 75watts halogens) and 8 outlets.

On 3 seperate breakers

4 light and 3 outlets- 20amp

5 lights- 20 Amp

5 Outlets- 20 Amp

I was told to use 12-2 wire thorough out, which I did. At this point it think it was a little overkill, but I guess the cost ist really an issue between the amount that I needed anyway. However, the wire is harder to bend. My questions are...

1.) Is it ok to use #12 wire with 15amp outlets? Or should I penny up for the 20amp outlets. I am planning on hard wiring the outlets and not using the plug in the back of the socket to attach the wire (quick connect). Especially since the outlets only allow for #14. Plus the curcuit will be 20amps. Or should I only make it 15amps.

I want to do as much work as I can before I have an electrician come in to hook up everything to the box.

2.) Also is the # of curcuits over kill for the amount of lights and outlets I have? would you combine thing to make it cheaper\easier?

Thanks

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Old 02-03-2009, 04:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rubicon789 View Post
OK so we are redoing our basement and will eventually be upgrading our 100amp service to 150... that will be after the basement is completed. New to the basement will be 9 recessed lights (w/ 75watts halogens) and 8 outlets.

On 3 seperate breakers

4 light and 3 outlets- 20amp

5 lights- 20 Amp

5 Outlets- 20 Amp

I was told to use 12-2 wire thorough out, which I did. At this point it think it was a little overkill, but I guess the cost ist really an issue between the amount that I needed anyway. However, the wire is harder to bend. My questions are...

1.) Is it ok to use #12 wire with 15amp outlets? Or should I penny up for the 20amp outlets. I am planning on hard wiring the outlets and not using the plug in the back of the socket to attach the wire (quick connect). Especially since the outlets only allow for #14. Plus the curcuit will be 20amps. Or should I only make it 15amps.

I want to do as much work as I can before I have an electrician come in to hook up everything to the box.

2.) Also is the # of curcuits over kill for the amount of lights and outlets I have? would you combine thing to make it cheaper\easier?

Thanks
15 amp receptacles can be used on #12 wire. Its 20 amp recepts. that cannot be used on #14 wire!

A 15 amp breaker will supply 1800 watts, a 20 amp, 2400 watts!
#12 wire is more than is required. But, as you are paying, I would go along with it! #14 would have been all you really needed!

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Old 02-03-2009, 04:42 PM   #3
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If everything you listed is all that is going to be installed in the new basement one 20 amp circuit would do all of it. 20 amps at 120 volts gives you 2400 watts of power as wildie mentioned.. Your 9 lights are 675 watts leaving you 1725 watts to play with. So it boils down to what your going to plug into those 8 outlets. If your going to use any space heating equipment then another 20 amp circuit should be ran. If your going to have a big entertainment center then run a 20 amp circuit for that equipment. Personally I would run 2 circuits one strictly for lights and one for receptacles and since you ran #12 use 20 amp breakers for both. If your going to have space heat of any kind then a dedicated branch circuit for the heater(s).
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:51 PM   #4
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There may also be a box fill issue, so be careful how you run the wires. You can only put so many in a box, depending upon how big the box is.
You can fit more #14 wires then #12's
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:08 PM   #5
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you need to derate the watts. You really only have 80% of the total watts available. but as stated it was a bit overkill but not too much. Never build only to code. Yes you pass. Congratulations you get a " D ".
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:13 PM   #6
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Derate the watts?
I was under the impression that residential lighting circuits can be loaded (according to the fixture rating) to the capacity of the circuit
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:24 PM   #7
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Derate the watts?
I was under the impression that residential lighting circuits can be loaded (according to the fixture rating) to the capacity of the circuit
Your correct I'm not sure what Bob is talking about, as long as the loads are not considered continuous you can load the circuit to the maximum wattage.

We seem to have to go through this 80% thing once week.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:30 PM   #8
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you need to derate the watts. You really only have 80% of the total watts available. but as stated it was a bit overkill but not too much. Never build only to code. Yes you pass. Congratulations you get a " D ".
The old 80% percent thing... You may get an "F"
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:42 PM   #9
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On another point, why are you upgrading to 150 amp service? The loads you are indicating don't warrant an upgrade. Are you adding some other major appliances? If you are going to upgrade might as well go to 200.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:32 PM   #10
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okay failed that one. Too long since I gave up on electrical work only. I was thinking about the lighting circuit. You need to apply 125% of the load for continuous loads. Continuous loads are those that are used for more than 3 hours. Lights are.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
Continuous loads are those that are used for more than 3 hours. Lights are.
Really, how do you figure?

NEC Art.100

Continuous Load. A load where the maximum current is expected to continue for 3 hours or more.



A commercial setting is one thing, but a residence is another. Sure, lights get left on, but it is not expected. Different lights in my house go on and off all night long until around 11pm.
Outdoor lights could be considered a continuous load. Mine stay on from dark 'till again, around 11pm.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:42 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the info guy's I really appreciate it. Yes, now know it was over kill to do 12-2 throughout. That was a recommendation from the people at the Depot... anyway's

To answer a few questions:

This is my current box... is it supposed to look this crazy? I only ask because there were 10 junction boxes in the basement before I gutted everything. The basement is approx x20'... seemed a little much for me. I just assumed that it was time to upgrade to a larger service. If I am wrong, please tell me and I won't and I will save the money.

2 of the wires on the bottom left will be removed and in there place will go 2 circuits for new stuff. They were old wires for the old lighting and outlets. Also, we have one 220 outlet upstairs "I assume it used to be used for an AC unit before the central AC was installed. I can probably ditch that outlet and circuit and use it for my third. On the right side of the box I still have 3 empty holes for more wires.



Other then the standard lights, I will be running 2 CPU's, a TV something very basic for sound. Nothing crazy as this will mostly be a kids play room and office and bathroom. I would just need some sound for their movies

Thanks, also for the info for the 15amp outlets. And no, there will be no need for heaters or A/c units as the central air works pretty well, and the basement is warm in the winter and cool in the summer already. Thank god. Maybe we will run a Dehumidifer in the winter if we find we need to, but thats it.

Last edited by rubicon789; 02-03-2009 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:28 PM   #13
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You have a main breaker pushmatic panel. Everywhere you see a single pole breaker it can be replaced with a tandem single pole breaker like you see in the bottom left and right spaces. So you actually have the ability to add 12 more 120 volt circuits. Only issue is cost. I just bought 8 new pushmatic ITE tandem single poles for 250 dollars on E-Bay. New in the box ones are getting hard to find. The conneticut electric UBI replacements for pushmatic I've been getting are having failures right out of the box....won't reset.
ITE and Bulldog OEM are running around 40 bucks each for 15 and 20 amp tandems. as for upgrading You will have to way the cost against what new pushmatics cost. But your panel can easily have more circuits added to it using tandems....but you have to give a cool 40 bucks a piece for them unless you can find some on E-bay. And again stay away from the UBI replacements.

These are bolt on type breakers so the mounting screw is hot unless you turn off the main.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:20 PM   #14
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Thanks Stubbie,

So no real need to get a new box and upgrade the entire deal then... That sounds good. However, I would bet that all I would need to do is get rid of 1 or 2 of the bigger ones to add just a few more since 3 will be freed up when we hook everything backup. I will check prices from a local supply place.

http://www.billows.com/

ITE's or Bulldog OEM's then... and thanks for the tip on the zapper.

Is this the Part# you are talking about?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ITE-Pushmatic-Ta...3286.m20.l1116


Last edited by rubicon789; 02-03-2009 at 10:32 PM.
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