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Old 02-11-2008, 07:14 PM   #1
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Hello, I am new to this forum and electrical work as well. I am planning on finishing a basement bedroom. I am going to be able to take my time and am in no hurry to rush the project. All I want to do is add some outlets to the room for lamps, alarm clocks, etc...

The room is currently wired with one light and one switch. On the same circuit are three other lights and switches.

I want to wire in six outlets for the room. I was wondering can I wire off of the 14-3 wire going to the light or off of the 14-2 wire going from the light to the switch?

Also I will be going to the hardware store to purchase wire for the project. Should I purchase 12-2 or 14-2. The circuit box states that the circuit is 120 volt.

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Old 02-11-2008, 09:58 PM   #2
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If you are taking your time, why not try and figure a way to run a new circuit over to the bedroom. It may come in handy especially if you need an electric heater downstairs. Just be sure and not bury any splices. Good luck! Oh, 14-2 should do you.

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Old 02-11-2008, 10:35 PM   #3
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I also recommend going with a new circuit if possible.

If you can't you will have to tie into the 14-3 at the light. The 14-2 is probably what we call the switch leg, power goes down on the white wire and comes back on the black.
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by brackh View Post
Also I will be going to the hardware store to purchase wire for the project. Should I purchase 12-2 or 14-2. The circuit box states that the circuit is 120 volt.
Just to add, stick with the #14. Make sure that circut is protected with a 15 amp breaker!

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Old 02-12-2008, 05:52 AM   #5
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brackh, you will also want to think about picking up a book about electrical. You can get alot of great info from books like "Wiring Simplified".


Also, the bedroom is required to have an "arc fault" breaker as well.


I also think you should run a new circuit.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:15 AM   #6
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Thanks for the help everyone. The box has three empty slots left. So I can plan on putting the outlets on a seperate circuit. I plan on having the work inspected by the county that I live in. I don't want to take any chances on the safety of the home.

I have bought and checked out several books from the library on the work I am going to be doing.

Would it be realistic to run all of the wiring and then have an electrician come in and complete the work by installing a new circuit and connecting it?
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:27 AM   #7
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Would it be realistic to run all of the wiring and then have an electrician come in and complete the work by installing a new circuit and connecting it?

I don't think you'll find a good electrician that will work that way. However good you think you wired it, I would never pull a permit for a homeowners work. You will have boxes set at the wrong depth, box fill violations, romex stapled too far from the boxes, three ways with only 12-2 between them, and so on and so on ...............
It's much faster and cheaper to have an electrician do the whole job instead of doing his job and redoing your work besides.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:08 AM   #8
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I don't think you'll find a good electrician that will work that way. However good you think you wired it, I would never pull a permit for a homeowners work. You will have boxes set at the wrong depth, box fill violations, romex stapled too far from the boxes, three ways with only 12-2 between them, and so on and so on ...............
It's much faster and cheaper to have an electrician do the whole job instead of doing his job and redoing your work besides.
I'm not sure that I agree with that. I have always done my own work, and I do everything to code (and I live in Chicago were the code is more anal than most places - no Romex, EMT conduit everywhere, etc.). If one takes their time, it can be done right. The biggest difference is I'll probably take 3-6 times longer than a pro to do it, but in the end I am confident there are no box fill violations, etc. I follow the NEC, plus local codes. Just my 2 cents (it's free ).
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:12 AM   #9
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New circuits. I suppose you can run the new light off the old circuit with the other existing light, but definitly not the outlets as they should be on their own circuit anyway.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:00 PM   #10
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If you are going to run a new circuit you should consider 12/2 wire and a 20 amp breaker if you have any concern that you might want to augment the heat. That way if you find that you want to run a portable 2000 watt electric baseboard heater you won't be undersized.

Oh and be sure you have a legal egress window in the room before you put money into trying to make a basement room a bedroom.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:57 PM   #11
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If you are going to run a new circuit you should consider 12/2 wire and a 20 amp breaker if you have any concern that you might want to augment the heat. That way if you find that you want to run a portable 2000 watt electric baseboard heater you won't be undersized.

Oh and be sure you have a legal egress window in the room before you put money into trying to make a basement room a bedroom.
12-2 is a waste, save it for where you know you need it...
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:21 PM   #12
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So is there no black and white answer on the 14-2 or 12-2 wiring?

I have decided to go ahead with adding the new circuit to the breaker box. I have started my research on doing this work now.

If I am correct I will need to use the same (either 14 or 12) to run from the breaker to the first outlet? But it will need to be 14-3 or 12-3. Right?
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:45 AM   #13
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You can run either 12 or 14AWG... it is your prefrence.

You do NOT need to run xx/3 to the first outlet, xx/2 will be just fine.

You need to have a switched light or a switched outlet for a light (I am pretty sure you mentioned there is already a light, right?)

The breaker for your new circuit HAS to be Arc-Fault (AFCI).
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:00 AM   #14
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You can run either 12 or 14AWG... it is your prefrence.

You do NOT need to run xx/3 to the first outlet, xx/2 will be just fine.

You need to have a switched light or a switched outlet for a light (I am pretty sure you mentioned there is already a light, right?)

The breaker for your new circuit HAS to be Arc-Fault (AFCI).
Some areas have not adopted the arc fault requirement in the NEC. Check with your local building department. Use 12 if you are using a 20 amp breaker. If you are using a 15 amp breaker then use 14.
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:44 AM   #15
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Right...

I always forget that because were I am we ARE required...

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