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Old 10-11-2011, 01:41 PM   #1
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putting outlets in an unfinished basement


I'm pretty new to electrical work but I am relatively handy around the house. I want to add outlets along a whole wall of my basement (roughly 40ft). My basement is unfinished and will remain so for the foreseeable future. I would also like to run these outlets off of a new circuit breaker in my panel. The outlets will be for general use but mainly used for music equipment,i.e. Amps, speakers, mixers. Nothing pulling a great deal of power alone but all together can start to add up. Everything planed to be plugged in will be under 20 amps. The conduit and boxes will be anchored to a brick wall and remain exposed, no aesthetics needed.
My question is its this possible/good idea and what would be the best way to do this? I would also like to add a light with a switch somewhere on this circuit. I live in Chicago (yes actuallyChicago, 60643) and live in a house that was built in 1914. The breaker box was installed in the last ten years.

Thank you for the help in advance!
Catchmo

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Old 10-11-2011, 02:13 PM   #2
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putting outlets in an unfinished basement


What ever you do, the receptacles require GFCI protection.

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Old 10-11-2011, 02:41 PM   #3
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putting outlets in an unfinished basement


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I live in Chicago (yes actuallyChicago, 60643) and live in a house that was built in 1914. The breaker box was installed in the last ten years.

Thank you for the help in advance!
Catchmo

Chicago requires conduit for everything I think right?

At the very least the wires will need to be protected from about joist-height and down. My electrician used lengths of grey PVC. You can also use MC (armored) cable.
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:33 PM   #4
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putting outlets in an unfinished basement


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At the very least the wires will need to be protected from about joist-height and down. My electrician used lengths of grey PVC. You can also use MC (armored) cable.
That's funny because sch40 PVC and MC cable both are not allowed where subject to physical damage. Exposed NM cable would not be much different.
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:37 PM   #5
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putting outlets in an unfinished basement


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That's funny because sch40 PVC and MC cable both are not allowed where subject to physical damage. Exposed NM cable would not be much different.
Hmm... so for my laundry he used grey PVC pipe w/ a 12# NM inside to a 4" square box w/ GFCI and a #8 MC to the dryer outlet. They run down the side of my block foundation wall and are secured to pieces of plywood that were attached w/ tap cons to the wall. The boxes are mounted to a section of 2x10 attached to the wall w/ tap cons as well. The PVC stops at the rim joist and then the NM (plus the MC) is simply run along that joist w/ staples until it arrives at the load center about 10' away. Is that NOT to code? What would be to code? Using metal conduit?
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:49 PM   #6
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putting outlets in an unfinished basement


IMO the fact that they are run down wood boards is protection enough.
"Subject to physical damage" is a very subjective term.
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:58 PM   #7
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The way the cables was installed just looks neater.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:48 PM   #8
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Is it a problem to anchor directly into the brick wall? And also what kind of wire should I be using?

Last edited by Catchmo; 10-11-2011 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:43 PM   #9
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putting outlets in an unfinished basement


I believe Chicago limits the use of flex to fished lengths of 6' or less. I think you are going to need conduit like EMT.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:05 PM   #10
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putting outlets in an unfinished basement


do what you want it's your own house just be safe on the loads how about thru the ceiling beams and drop a couple of quad boxes rollup into ceiling or mount them just inside the beams when the music is happening ....lights into the ceiling also all off the same breaker.then just run a wire over to a wall or doorway for on/off of the lights
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:19 PM   #11
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do what you want it's your own house just be safe on the loads how about thru the ceiling beams and drop a couple of quad boxes rollup into ceiling or mount them just inside the beams when the music is happening ....lights into the ceiling also all off the same breaker.then just run a wire over to a wall or doorway for on/off of the lights
Regardless of owning the house, certain areas can choose not to allow all wiring methods. Chicago is one that have very strict requirements and do not allow NM type cables.
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Last edited by Jim Port; 10-12-2011 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:47 AM   #12
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Chicago and NYC are two that have very strict requirements and do not allow NM type cables.
Jim, just so you know, NYC has relaxed this "no NM" rule several years ago.
I'm not 100% clear on the details but NM is definitely allowed these days.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:27 AM   #13
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Jim, just so you know, NYC has relaxed this "no NM" rule several years ago.
I'm not 100% clear on the details but NM is definitely allowed these days.
Thanks, too far to commute to NYC for any work. My knowledge was just from the boards.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:51 AM   #14
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putting outlets in an unfinished basement


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Jim, just so you know, NYC has relaxed this "no NM" rule several years ago.
I'm not 100% clear on the details but NM is definitely allowed these days.
With all do respect, Im not too sure about that one Speedy.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:03 AM   #15
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putting outlets in an unfinished basement


this sounds like a small enough project that it would be cost-effective to call an electrician. I know this is a diy chatroom but sometimes hiring a good electrician is money well spent.

That being said, if the panel is newer you probably have some blanks and the wiring is probably cleaned up so it will be less of a challenge. I would probably run two circuits to split things up a bit.

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