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Old 03-05-2009, 01:41 PM   #1
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Wiring for new basement, design help


I'm finishing my basement (and am in the planning phase right now). I've decided on layout and have a general idea of what I want the space to be used for.

I'm planning on a 1/2 bath, simple media room, craft/bedroom, workroom, storage, and a large open space for a playroom.

Anyway, the only part i want to make sure i get absolutely right is the wiring... how does my design look so far?
Wiring for new basement, design help-light_framework_wire1.jpg
Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:24 PM   #2
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Wiring for new basement, design help


outlets are wrong. Basically at any point along a finished wall you need an outlet not more than 6 foot away. So from any door opening you need one within 6' then another along the wall line no more than 12'.

Bath switch is on the wrong side of door opening.

5 circuits is over kill, which is fine.

Be careful with light selection in the closet.. no exposed bulb and fixture needs to be 12" from a storage shelf (if this is a clothes closet)

Just curious since most DIYer get it wrong. How did you construct and insulate your walls?
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:14 PM   #3
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Wiring for new basement, design help


You need receps to the left of the doors in the bedroom and craft room. Every wall over 24" needs a recep. 3' from the doorways and max 12' apart.

You need a dedicated 20A circuit for the bath.

I'd put the general lights and receps on two circuits and run one or two more for the AV stuff.

Don't forget the smokies and tie them into others in the house.

Run 3 wire switch legs in case someone ever wants to install a fan/light or add more lighting on a seperate switch.

Last edited by 220/221; 03-05-2009 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:03 AM   #4
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Wiring for new basement, design help


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Run 3 wire switch legs in case someone ever wants to install a fan/light or add more lighting on a seperate switch.
Is that accomplished by running 14/2 power source to light box then 14/3 from light box to switch with a constant hot black wire and a switched red?

Or do you just run 14/2 power source to switch and run a 14/3 from switch to light box using switched hot black wire and leave the spare red wire for future use?
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:08 AM   #5
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Wiring for new basement, design help


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Originally Posted by n0c7 View Post
Is that accomplished by running 14/2 power source to light box then 14/3 from light box to switch with a constant hot black wire and a switched red?

Or do you just run 14/2 power source to switch and run a 14/3 from switch to light box using switched hot black wire and leave the spare red wire for future use?
The Second option, power to switch box, 14/3 to light box and leave the red capped off for now.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:18 AM   #6
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outlets are wrong. Basically at any point along a finished wall you need an outlet not more than 6 foot away. So from any door opening you need one within 6' then another along the wall line no more than 12'.
2 of the spaces are unfinished, a workshop in the bottom left and storage in the top right; I tried to space everything out correctly but very easily could have missed something. Which room specifically has problems?

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Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
Just curious since most DIYer get it wrong. How did you construct and insulate your walls?
I haven't built them yet, but was planning on finishing outer wall by insulating with 1/2" foam insulation, then moving the 2x4 studs out 1/2" from the wall. Then, probably putting in fiberglass insulation before drywalling.

On Interior walls I was just going to do 2x4 studs with fiberglass insulation.

Please feel free to propose the correct way This is just what I got out of reading around online.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:25 AM   #7
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Wiring for new basement, design help


If rooms are finished you need outlets to be spaced so that at any wall line over 2' you can reach the outlet withing 6'. For unfinished areas there is not requirement.

Basements walls will be subject to a wet condition at some point in their life cycle. Plan for this. The wall must be constructed to be able to dry. Below grade and above grade sections of the basement wall must be treated differently. Except in extremely cold environments poly should never be used. Wood and fiberglass as drywall can all be damaged by water and are poor choices of materials. Only used because they are cheap and man contractors are more familiar with these construction materials. You foam board on the concrete wall are good ideas. This provides a warmer surface for any moist air moving into the concrete from the room not to condense. And it provides a capillary break from moisture moving into the room from the concrete wall.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:01 AM   #8
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I took some of the advice and revised again... Thoughts?

Wiring for new basement, design help-light_framework_wire4.jpg

Last edited by jthawkins; 03-06-2009 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:37 AM   #9
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Wiring for new basement, design help


The living room light switch seems orphaned near the closet door. I'd look at it from a traffic flow and put it in a better spot.

Add another light in the closet and have a switch at both doors.

Depending on the type of work you're planning on in your workroom, add another circuit.

Hard wired smoke detectors?
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:41 AM   #10
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Wiring for new basement, design help


If someone is using that bedroom they will want to be able to come down the stairs and light their path to the Bedroom without having to double back to turn off the lights behind them. Think about a 3way switch for the LR recessed lights with the second switch next to the PlayRoom switch. Also move the PlayRoom Switch (plus the second LR switch) to the LR side of the wall so you can flip it on as you are about to enter it. Add a second switch for the Play room next to the Bedroom door.

If you think you'll want to darken the LR for viewing movies in the media room then also add a 3rd switch for the LR next to the media room switch. Maybe also add a 3rd switch for the Play room there too since it is pretty open to the media room too.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:54 AM   #11
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The living room light switch seems orphaned near the closet door. I'd look at it from a traffic flow and put it in a better spot.

Add another light in the closet and have a switch at both doors.

Depending on the type of work you're planning on in your workroom, add another circuit.

Hard wired smoke detectors?
Sorry, the diagram is confusing: the closet in the middle is actually stairs/closet. (The door at the bottom is actually exit from the stairs, i.e. entrance to the basement.)

I Think adding an extra circuit for the workroom is a good idea; I'll be using a power saw in there and dont want the lights to flicker when i turn it on.

Smoke detector is already on a circuit installed int he basement (and wired to the upstairs)... so i plan on leaving that alone
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:56 AM   #12
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Wiring for new basement, design help


Just my opinion, but I would place the receptacles in each room on the same circuit, instead of having a couple on one circuit and a couple on another. It's ok to use the same circuit for different rooms, but it can be a pain to have multiple circuits feeding one room.

Also, I'd place the lights on a separate circuit(s), and like 220 suggests use 3-wire switch legs in the bedrooms for future fan use. Go ahead and brace the ceiling boxes for fans and put in 2-gang switch boxes.
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:09 PM   #13
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Sorry, the diagram is confusing: the closet in the middle is actually stairs/closet. (The door at the bottom is actually exit from the stairs, i.e. entrance to the basement.)
You will need a light at the top and bottom of the stairs contolled at both locations. Add a door to your workshop from the stairwell. You don't need to bring your projects through your living room.
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:22 PM   #14
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Wiring for new basement, design help


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You will need a light at the top and bottom of the stairs contolled at both locations.
Is this a requirement to have a 3-way for the stairwell light (both switches at the top and bottom)?

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Old 03-06-2009, 12:24 PM   #15
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Ok, I refixed the diagram, putting all lights for the Play, LR and Media on the same circuit... I also added 3 way switches as suggested. (Is it ok to have 3 switches to the same light?

I figure 17 lights, 100watt per bulb = 1700 watts

1700w/120v = 14.1 amps.

Would you use a 15amp or 20 Amp circuit here (BLUE)? Seems like I only need a 15; but didn't know if its best to over compensate.

My plan was to use 20 Amp on everything; is that a problem?

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