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Renovator 04-21-2006 11:16 AM

Wiring Unfinished Basement
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Help I am in the middle of finishing my basement and ran into a small snag. I need to hook up 4-Recessed Lights to 3 Switches. I know I need two 3-Ways and one 4-way. However, I am not sure of the best way to connect them, or wire (gauge, 12/3, 12/2, 14/2, 14/3) to use. In addition I need to connect 3 closet lights and wanted to put them on the same circuit. any help would be appreciated. I hope the picture is clear, I have added Letter for clarification of any explanation (i'm a little slow). Thanks in advance

jwhite 04-21-2006 12:50 PM

What is the wattage of the lights?

What lights do you want to come on from what switch locations?

Nice picture. I like pictures.

Renovator 04-21-2006 01:04 PM


Fixtures are Thomas IC Recessed
The bulbs are either 60 or 75 watts
The 4 Recessed lights should be controllable from the two 3-ways or one 4-way switches

jwhite 04-21-2006 02:03 PM

I see three pull chain lights.
Two rooms without lights.
A bath room without lights.
Another room with four lights.
and a last room with one light.

Is the additional four lights the only issue. I get confused easy.??

jwhite 04-21-2006 02:09 PM

anyway, all the lights shown and the bath vanity can be run off the same 15 amp circuit no problem. use #14 wire.

Run a #14-2 to the first 3 way. Use #14-3 for leg A.
Use #14-3 for leg D E
Use #14-2 for leg B but run it to the switch at leg E not to the first switch.

oh yea 15 amp breaker

jwhite 04-21-2006 02:19 PM

renovator. I am going to work up a wiring diagram. I will post a link soon.

jwhite 04-21-2006 03:02 PM

take wire F and run it to the same box where wire A and B come together at the switch. Use a deep box.

Here is a link to the wiring diagram.

Renovator 04-21-2006 03:20 PM

Can all these go on a single cuircuit, or would it be better to have 1 circuit for the recessed lights and 1 circuit for the pull chains?

I will also be installing outlets for these rooms, and did not know if I should have them run on the same circuit.

1. (Family Room) All Recessed lights and outlets on the same circuit?
2. (Bedrooms/Closets) Pull chain lights and outlets on the same circuit)??

I assume the Bathroom Light and GFCI outlet should be on their own independent circuit. Do I need a special Circuit breakers for any of this, or just standard 15 amp?

Thanks for all of the help:D

jwhite 04-21-2006 04:10 PM

So far all the lights can go on one 15 amp circuit. Since this will likely never trip, I would put the recs on another circuit. This way if one of the recs trips a breaker you will not be groaping in the dark looking for the panel.

jwhite 04-21-2006 04:11 PM

Bath outlet should be on its own 20 amp circuit feed with #12-2 and needs to be gfci protected.

Don't forget that the smokes should also be on this lightiing circuit. Check with your local building dept regarding where they are required. Most likely it will be at least one in each bedroom and one in the hall. You may also be required to interconnect these with the ones upstairs. If that is the case you will want to power them from the same circuit as the ones upstairs and run a 12-3 or 14-3 between them (depends on if it is a 15 or 20 amp breaker.

Renovator 04-24-2006 07:37 AM

Question, I hooked the Bathroom (2-wires) up to a 20 amp fuse. There is a GFCI outlet, 1 light fixure (6 bulbs, 40 watts I believe), and a ceiling Light (2 sixty watt bulbs) and a fan.

I turn on the lights in the bathroom and after about 2 minute the Breaker pops, any idea why.

frenchelectrican 04-24-2006 05:20 PM

just wondering which way you hook up the bathroom lumiaires ?? before the gfci or after gfci side ??

it will make the differnce there.

you say the breaker popped about 2 min after it was on ??

did the GFCI or just the breaker tripped ?

if so what other load you have on this circuit if none then possiblty the wire in the junction box can get little warm and just enogh movent to have one of the netural or ground wire touch each other it will trip the gfci out .

you may have to check the gfci repectale to make sure the ground or netural wire[s] are not touching each other the same with lumiaire too.

i know it will take time but this is sure fire way to find the curpit if come out good then possbitly the wire staple can be too tight [ it happend sometime but not too often but it do.]

if more question please do post it here

Merci , Marc

Renovator 04-25-2006 09:36 AM

Thanks JWhite & FrenchElectrician,

I will check this afternoon and let you know the results.

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