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RickDel 05-26-2009 06:08 PM

Req: Help connecting circuit breaker and running wires
I'm new to DIY and would like some advice on running/installing a new 15 amp circuit and some ceiling lights. The purpose of the new circuit will be to power six 5" recessed lights, two 3" recessed lights, one chandelier, and one wall sconce in my living room and dinning room.

I can fish the wires and install the lights and switches, but what is your advice on connecting a new circuit? Should I attempt this, or is this a job that should be done by a professional?

Also, what are the rules for running new wires. I'm planning to just run the wire around the outside of my basement ceiling, attached to the basement framing (basement is finished with exception of the washer dryer area) and then up through the floorplate and between the studs into the dinning room area. Will this meet code or do I need to cut holes in the ceiling drywall and run the wires through the joists. Lastly, when I fish the wire up to the first floor, can the wires be loose beween the studs or will I need to cut a hole and staple the wires to a stud?

Any advice is GREATLY appreciated..... Thanks

220/221 05-26-2009 06:15 PM

When I add a few lights, I generally just use existing circuits.

Come from an existing switch (if it has a neutral) or a receptical.

300zx 05-26-2009 06:19 PM

Dinning room needs to be on a 20 amp breaker. You Do Not have to staple wires .You need to use pipe pvc or emt to go across ceiling or fish it through the ceiling

220/221 05-26-2009 06:21 PM


Dinning room needs to be on a 20 amp breaker
He is installing lights, not receps

RickDel 05-26-2009 06:31 PM

WOW!! talk about some fast help.... Thanks!!

I called it a "dinning room" but it's a town house and the dinning area is a very small extension off the living room. It only has two outlets. The first is on the same circuit as the living room and the other is the same circuit as the refrigerator and two outlets above the kitchen counter.

I planned to use the existing circuit, but my living room, powder room, and kitchen light are ALL on the same 15 amp circuit. Which is already maxed out with my 58" plasma, stereo, and current lighting. (plasma = 650 watts, stereo = 550 watts!!!!). I then considered using the dinning room outlet I previously described, but read it's a code violation to have lights on the same circuit as the kitchen outlets.

Okay, so if I go outside the joists I need to enclose the wire in PVC or EMT? Does that also apply to between the joist (when running parallel to the ceiling joist - if so, my previous ceiling light wiring is WRONG because it's laying on the ceiling drywall)

220/221 05-26-2009 06:38 PM

If the cable is behind drywall or above the joists it's fine.

It only has to be protected in conduit if it is "subject to physical damage". This means different things to diifferent people. I don't run exposed cable but many areas allow it.

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