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Old 06-29-2009, 07:05 PM   #1
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Wiring a basement


Hello,

I am looking for some assistance in wiring a framed basement. I have already installed the conduit (I live in Chicago). Can someone tell me what gage wire and how many stands I have to pull to each location?

There is a bathroom with a light above the shower, an Exhaust fan, ceiling light, and two light fixtures above the sink.

I assume I will need 3 switches: 1) for light fixtures above the sink, 2) for exhaust fan, 3) ceiling light. I was thinking I could tie the shower light to the exhaust fan on one switch. Or if you have a better idea, I am open to any suggestions.

There is a bedroom with a ceiling light and a walk in closet with another ceiling light (2 separate switches).

Please excuse my ignorance. What is the best way to describe my wiring job? Should I draw it out and upload the file?

Thank you for your assistance.

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Old 06-29-2009, 07:36 PM   #2
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Wiring a basement


Keep you ex fan separate. You sometimes want to leave it running without the light. Put it on a timer/switch.

I would run two circuits. One for the bath lights/fan and bedroom lighte/receps.(AFCI breaker) Here, only a 15 amp circuit is requires (#14 wire). Not sure about there. Keep it simple and run #12 for everything.

You need a separate 20 amp circuit (#12 wire) for the bathroom GFCI recep (s)

A basic circuit requires two wires. One hot (black or any other color except white or green) and one neutral (white). Here, we also always pull a green ground wire and tie it to all boxes with a ground screw.

Install a black/white/grn to all receps, switch boxes, lights and ex fan.

When making up the wiring in the sw boxes, the greens all tie together and the whites all tie together. On recep boxes, leave a ground pigtail to attach to the recep.

The black power wires (in and out) tie togeher along with short pigtails to provide power to the switches (one per switch) . The blacks going to the lights will go on the second terminal of the switches (on trim out, after drywall/paint)


At the panel, both black and white attach to the breaker on the AFCI circuit. The pigtail on the breaker attaches to the neutral bus.

Only the black attaches to the breaker on the bathroom recep circuit. The white goes to the neutral bus.

Ground terminate where the other grounds are. Sometimes it is the same bus as the neutrals, other times not.

That's all I got.

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Old 06-30-2009, 08:50 AM   #3
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Wiring a basement


Little detail: If per chance two feeds, for example the hot feed for the bathroom receptacles and the hot feed for the light/fan, should enter the same junction box, then do not tie their neutrals (white wires) together. The neutral for an incoming feed is tied only to the neutrals of the other parts of the circuit it serves.

All grounds are still tied together wherever they come together.

I would include at this time an additional 20 amp (12 gauge wire) circuit to serve receptacles to be installed in the walls facing the other unfinished parts of the basement. Maybe two of these circuits depending on how many feet of new framed wall are being added now. Receptacles are positioned so that a lamp or radio with a 6 foot cord can be put anywhere along the wall and be plugged in without having the cord stretched across a doorway and not diagonally across the floor at a corner. The rule of thumb is six feet from the door and then every 12 feet. You are not required to put any receptacles on the concrete foundation in the rest of the basement outside your project area, but it would be nice to have one close to the end of the newly framed wall where it meets the foundation.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-30-2009 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:24 AM   #4
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Wiring a basement


You do need to draw out your branch circuit paths, receptacle locations, lighting locations, smoke detector locations, etc. You will need a plan to get your building permit. Your model code in Chicago should be IRC/NEC but remember localities choose what to adopt and what will be more stringent as well as less stringent than the model code. 12 gauge wire (20-amp branch circuit) is code for feeding the bathroom, you can not run any other outlets off that line. You can feed the light and exhaust fan for that bathroom only of it (Ref. IRC3603.4). You can run 14 gauge for the rest, however I recommend running 12 gauge also. Receptacles in other rooms should be spaced so there is no more than 6' between points along floor line (Ref. IRC E3801.2.1). Bedrooms require AFCI protection (Ref. IRC.E3802.11). Light above the shower must be marked SUITABLE FOR WET LOCATIONS (Ref. IRC E3903.8). Reference IRC E3903.11 for closet lighting. Hallways 10' or more need at least one outlet (Ref. IRC E3801.1) Need at least one switch controled lighting outlet in hallways and stairways (Ref. IRC E3803.3). Smoke detector required in each sleeping room and outside each sleeping area in the imidiate vicinity of the bedrooms (Ref. IRC R313.1) Do not tie the shower light to the exuast fan on 1 switch. As mentioned above you will have times you may want to run the exuast fan longer to remove moisture after showering (a timer is a good idea, however there are both switches and fans available with sensors in them as well). You only have to ground the boxes if you use metal boxes, unless your locality requires using metal junction boxes there is no reason to so. Actually you are required to install at least one outlet in the unfinshed section of the basement (Ref. IRC E3801.9) and this must also be on GFCI (Ref. IRC E3802.5).
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:14 PM   #5
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARI001 View Post
You do need to draw out your branch circuit paths, receptacle locations, lighting locations, smoke detector locations, etc. You will need a plan to get your building permit. Your model code in Chicago should be IRC/NEC but remember localities choose what to adopt and what will be more stringent as well as less stringent than the model code. 12 gauge wire (20-amp branch circuit) is code for feeding the bathroom, you can not run any other outlets off that line. You can feed the light and exhaust fan for that bathroom only of it (Ref. IRC3603.4). You can run 14 gauge for the rest, however I recommend running 12 gauge also. Receptacles in other rooms should be spaced so there is no more than 6' between points along floor line (Ref. IRC E3801.2.1). Bedrooms require AFCI protection (Ref. IRC.E3802.11). Light above the shower must be marked SUITABLE FOR WET LOCATIONS (Ref. IRC E3903.8). Reference IRC E3903.11 for closet lighting. Hallways 10' or more need at least one outlet (Ref. IRC E3801.1) Need at least one switch controled lighting outlet in hallways and stairways (Ref. IRC E3803.3). Smoke detector required in each sleeping room and outside each sleeping area in the imidiate vicinity of the bedrooms (Ref. IRC R313.1) Do not tie the shower light to the exuast fan on 1 switch. As mentioned above you will have times you may want to run the exuast fan longer to remove moisture after showering (a timer is a good idea, however there are both switches and fans available with sensors in them as well). You only have to ground the boxes if you use metal boxes, unless your locality requires using metal junction boxes there is no reason to so. Actually you are required to install at least one outlet in the unfinshed section of the basement (Ref. IRC E3801.9) and this must also be on GFCI (Ref. IRC E3802.5).

Thank you for the info. I'm a little confused on how many wires I have to pull to each switch box. I know how to run wire for all the recepticles and daisy chain off each one. I get confused when I am adding 3 switches into a 3 gang box that is connected to another 3 gang to be able to control the lighting from 2 different locations. Additionally, if I install 10 cans in the ceiling and want to segment the cans light into 3 on/off switches. Can you assit me through the whole process? I can draw out my plan and you can tell me what to do? I would greatly appreciate it.

Also, In Illinois, if the home owner is doing the work, Illinois does not require a full detail schematic of the electrical work -- just a basic drawing. I am keeping everything to code and require inspection.
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:24 PM   #7
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Wiring a basement


Sample wiring for 10 can lights in three groups all controlled by 3 way switches (two switch locations).

Power goes to first 3 gang switch box. Two conductors white and black, off of one circuit. Use a few short lengths of wire (pigtails), say 6 inches, to connect the power to the common terminals (usually darker colored) of the three switches.

One conduit goes directly between the two switch boxes. Seven conductors, one white for neutral, one pair red/black for each switch's traveler terminals.

Three conduits leave the second switch box for the three light groups respectively. Each has two conductors, white and black. Connect the respective black to the common terminal of each switch. Tie all the neutrals together.

Conduits connect the various can lights in each group. Two conductors, white and black, go in each.

You could alternatively do it with one conduit line leaving the second switch box and snaking around to all 10 can lights. Here it would be less confusing if you use a red conductor for one switch's group of can lights, black for the second, and blue for the third. Only one neutral is needed and shared by all 10 lights.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-30-2009 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:59 PM   #8
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Wiring a basement


Quote:
I get confused when I am adding 3 switches into a 3 gang box that is connected to another 3 gang to be able to control the lighting from 2 different locations.
Crap, you didn't mention that before.

There is no way that anyone here can tell you how to complete your project at this point.

1) Get someone local to help you out.

or

2) Draw an exact diagram of how the conduit is run and number each jbox. Then, someone can tell you exactly how it install and make up the wiring.

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Last edited by 220/221; 06-30-2009 at 05:07 PM.
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