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Ian Gills
07-08-2009, 03:21 PM
I am slowly semi-finishing my basement. It will be one big open space. The process will involve putting up steel studs around the perimeter (almost done), install basic electrics, drywall, lighting, a drop ceiling and flooring in that order.

My framing is up and I am about to install receptacles on new circuits (AFCI, I think for this), 12 inches off the floor and no more than 12 feet apart. Would putting them at 6 feet apart around the perimeter be overkill or sensible?

jimbo
07-08-2009, 04:06 PM
I don't think that is overkill on a "multipurpose room" where the demand to plug in little chatzkies might be great. But if "heavy" uses such as microwave or mini frig, large computer or entertainment center, etc etc. were contemplated, you might want to have more than one circuit in there. Not a big extra expense at this point.

Ian Gills
07-08-2009, 04:11 PM
Thanks Jimbo and I will do that.

Once the circuits are in (I have room in my panel) I will also have my panel professionally upgraded from a 100 amp service to a 200 amp service.

jadnashua
07-08-2009, 04:50 PM
I do not know what code says about spacing on recepticles, but 8' may be too far apart! I thought it was closer than that now...double-check. I know a kitchen is a special case, but I thought other rooms were updated as well.

Speedy Petey
07-08-2009, 05:57 PM
No, it's still 12' apart and 6' from an opening.

It is rare that I personally go that far apart though.

Scuba_Dave
07-08-2009, 06:14 PM
Basement I like mine further off the floor
Heck I'd like all of mine 2' off the ground as I get older :D

My basement is damp
So right now most of mine are attached to the ceiling joists
I do have one in the utility room about 3' off the ground

Ian Gills
07-09-2009, 09:40 AM
I am hoping that having a ring of receptacles 12 inches off of the floor will help keep the basement dry and avoid the need for a sump pump.

As the water rises and shorts each one, heat will evaoporate the rain water.

jadnashua
07-09-2009, 09:56 AM
Think of it this way, the cord on many lamps is often barely 5' or so. This may put it out of range of an outlet if spaced at the maximum allowable. Plus, in today's heavy electronic use, it's much nicer to have enough available without having to use extension cords, or compromise your layout options.

Ian Gills
07-09-2009, 02:07 PM
Thanks. I may go for six feet apart then.

iminaquagmire
07-09-2009, 04:12 PM
I'd go 6' apart. I'd also go 16-18" off the floor. While there is no code as to how high off the floor to place the receptacles, a trick I was taught was to place your hammer against the stud, then put the box in and rest it on top of the head. That sets your height. An standard claw hammer should put you right at about 16".

tjbaudio
07-09-2009, 10:21 PM
I also agree with going a bit higher. While it may sound excessive I would go every 4 ft and a circuit per wall or per 2 walls. I did similar in my living room and love it, so does the wife. There is ALWAYS an outlet available for a fan or laptop or cell charger or....

Speedy Petey
07-10-2009, 05:13 AM
While it may sound excessive I would go every 4 ft and a circuit per wall or per 2 walls.Yup, sounds excessive.
I bet you ran out of panel space real quick.

FloridaOrange
07-10-2009, 05:16 AM
One other thing to consider is placement of major equipment when you are running new circuits. Don't know how "crazy" your entertainment area is planned out to be but if you can, dedicate a circuit to the wall where your TV/Stereo/Theater is planned and maybe another dedicated circuit if you plan on having a wet bar that may have a microwave/blender it could be benificial.

Ian Gills
07-10-2009, 08:09 AM
Thanks guys. These are all very useful tips, as usual.

tjbaudio
07-10-2009, 09:29 PM
Yup, sounds excessive.
I bet you ran out of panel space real quick.

Why? I put in a 200A panel with the max allowed spaces (42 I think.) Also an extra outlet or 2 per wall does not mean I needed an extra breaker for it. I have NO 1/2 space breakers and I have 1/2 my panel available yet.

Speedy Petey
07-11-2009, 04:30 AM
I put in a 200A panel with the max allowed spaces (42 I think.) Also an extra outlet or 2 per wall does not mean I needed an extra breaker for it. I have NO 1/2 space breakers and I have 1/2 my panel available yet.How big is the house? 800 sq/ft?

I do enough "typical" houses, with 200A services, with all the regular stuff, wire pretty conservatively (as in 6-10 rec on a circuit, 2-3 in kitchens), and I have a hard time not filling a 200A panel.
I think there is more to the story.

osb
07-11-2009, 02:24 PM
I don't think that is overkill on a "multipurpose room" where the demand to plug in little chatzkies might be great. But if "heavy" uses such as microwave or mini frig, large computer or entertainment center, etc etc. were contemplated, you might want to have more than one circuit in there. Not a big extra expense at this point.

Couldn't agree more! More is better as long as you are not bothered by the looks. Suggestion, if you have a couple areas that you plan to place electronics (entertainment center) or work areas (hobby or work bench) you might consider using a "Quad" or "Double Duplex" in those areas. I know I often need more outlets along with more locations. Much better/safer than using plug strips or adapters. Be sure to check local codes in addition to national code.

Note: First post. Appears to be a great group of trades folks and DIYers.
Glad to find the forum and look forward to being a part.

tjbaudio
07-11-2009, 07:44 PM
Well it is about 1700 SQft house. The kitchen has 5 circuts not counting the lights. Lights for the house are all on 4 15A circuts. The living room has 4 total circuts, 2 shared with other rooms. Bathroom has 2 circuts, laundry room has 4 counting the washer and dryer ( gas so 120 only)

I have more outlets than required by NEC and plenty of power abvalible at any given point. NO circut has more than 6 receptocles. Any place that is likely to have a high draw has at leat 2 circuts avalible. We spent a fair amount of time planing out our power usage. We also went with if in doubt and another outlet or circut as the case may be.

tjbaudio
07-11-2009, 07:45 PM
Well it is about 1700 SQft house. The kitchen has 5 circuts not counting the lights. Lights for the house are all on 4 15A circuts. The living room has 4 total circuts, 2 shared with other rooms. Bathroom has 2 circuts, laundry room has 4 counting the washer and dryer ( gas so 120 only)

I have more outlets than required by NEC and plenty of power abvalible at any given point. NO circut has more than 6 receptocles. Any place that is likely to have a high draw has at leat 2 circuts avalible. We spent a fair amount of time planing out our power usage. We also went with if in doubt and another outlet or circut as the case may be.

osb
07-11-2009, 07:49 PM
Well it is about 1700 SQft house. The kitchen has 5 circuts not counting the lights. Lights for the house are all on 4 15A circuts. The living room has 4 total circuts, 2 shared with other rooms. Bathroom has 2 circuts, laundry room has 4 counting the washer and dryer ( gas so 120 only)

I have more outlets than required by NEC and plenty of power abvalible at any given point. NO circut has more than 6 receptocles. Any place that is likely to have a high draw has at leat 2 circuts avalible. We spent a fair amount of time planing out our power usage. We also went with if in doubt and another outlet or circut as the case may be.

Sounds like you did good!!

You will enjoy the benefits for years to come. Keeping in mind NEC is minimum with safety a priority. Adding circuits and outlets is always money well spent.

Slightly off topic, but a word to the wise. DIY electricians often go too short on the make-up or free-wire in the boxes. Don't cut the wire to less than 6 inches outside the box !!!!!!! I don't know how many times I have gone to make a repair or trouble shoot and find the wires are so short that you can barely clear the outlet from the box. I swear that they make up the receptacle then pull the wire back out of the box and staple it! Min. is 6" free. FYI

osb
07-11-2009, 08:00 PM
I am slowly semi-finishing my basement. It will be one big open space. The process will involve putting up steel studs around the perimeter (almost done), install basic electrics, drywall, lighting, a drop ceiling and flooring in that order.

My framing is up and I am about to install receptacles on new circuits (AFCI, I think for this), 12 inches off the floor and no more than 12 feet apart. Would putting them at 6 feet apart around the perimeter be overkill or sensible?

Couple other things come to mind.

6' from any door
not over baseboard heaters
the concept or intent is to prevent cords being laid across walk ways and of course heat sources.

Hot tip: If you have a long wall that is a likely location for a couch or your favorite easy chair? You might consider placing a wall switch or two on a "Three Way" to the ceiling / track lights/ switched wall outlets. It is handy when you sit down with the bowl of pop corn and wish you had turned the lights out. Doesn't cost much and is very handy. Below the height of a normal light switch, maybe 32" , but just above the back of your couch/chair.

Speedy Petey
07-12-2009, 06:03 AM
Don't cut the wire to less than 6 inches outside the box !!!!!!! I don't know how many times I have gone to make a repair or trouble shoot and find the wires are so short that you can barely clear the outlet from the box. I swear that they make up the receptacle then pull the wire back out of the box and staple it! Min. is 6" free. FYI
This is a bit off.
The actual code is 6" of free conductor from the point where the wire ENTERS the box, not "outside" the box.
IMO 6" outside the box is too much and can very easily create and overcrowded box when there are several cables involved.



300.14 Length of Free Conductors at Outlets, Junctions, and Switch Points.
At least 150 mm (6 in.) of free conductor, measured from the point in the box where it emerges from its raceway or cable sheath, .......

osb
07-12-2009, 12:48 PM
This is a bit off.
The actual code is 6" of free conductor from the point where the wire ENTERS the box, not "outside" the box.
IMO 6" outside the box is too much and can very easily create and overcrowded box when there are several cables involved.



300.14 Length of Free Conductors at Outlets, Junctions, and Switch Points.
At least 150 mm (6 in.) of free conductor, measured from the point in the box where it emerges from its raceway or cable sheath, .......

Thanks Petey for the correction!

Ian Gills
07-12-2009, 02:43 PM
Thanks everyone. I always go about 8 inches on the wire and use big boxes too.

I have been caught a few times using boxes that were too small and had to replace them. It can be deceiving just how much room you need.

I am really bad at cutting the right amount of cable from box-to-box though. I always seem to go to short and have to do it again.

The most annoying thing I am doing at the moment is flattening the four spikes used on nail protectors for wooden studs so that they can be screwed to metal studs.

rmelo99
07-12-2009, 07:08 PM
I've too learned use the deeper boxes to be on the safe side, more room is always better and once you learn how to fold the wires "acordian style" they will fit everytime. When I first started I did the DIY'er jam and cram them in however I could.

Then I was shown how to fold them. Just need to alternate the folds up/ down/up. If you come in from the bottom first fold is at the top and vice versa.

Chris75
07-13-2009, 03:04 PM
How big is the house? 800 sq/ft?

I do enough "typical" houses, with 200A services, with all the regular stuff, wire pretty conservatively (as in 6-10 rec on a circuit, 2-3 in kitchens), and I have a hard time not filling a 200A panel.
I think there is more to the story.

Yep, every house I do has about 2 spares left, if i'm lucky, Of course I always try to sell a generator panel setup before hand. :)

Billy_Bob
07-14-2009, 12:05 AM
As to how many outlets...

Go look around your house in various rooms and notice the outlets are evenly spaced, but there are "concentrations" of electrical use in some areas and not enough outlets.

So in some areas, it might actually be best to install 4 plex outlets 1 or 2 ft. apart!

My thinking lately is this "one outlet every so many feet" does not cut it.

I think a better design would be to think about what things will be where, and if a concentration of "gizmos" will be in a certain spot, then install 8 outlets there if necessary!

People laughed at me when they saw my newly remodeled living room because there were electrical boxes every 2 ft. almost. (also TV, stereo, phone, etc,). But I must admit it did look ridiculous.

However with the furniture in there, you don't notice it because all the outlets are hidden but just a couple.

nickdel
07-14-2009, 08:14 AM
This is a bit off.
The actual code is 6" of free conductor from the point where the wire ENTERS the box, not "outside" the box.
IMO 6" outside the box is too much and can very easily create and overcrowded box when there are several cables involved.



300.14 Length of Free Conductors at Outlets, Junctions, and Switch Points.
At least 150 mm (6 in.) of free conductor, measured from the point in the box where it emerges from its raceway or cable sheath, .......

Doesn't the code also require 3" outside the box? At least 6" of conductor from the point it enters the box, and extending at least 3" past the edge of the box?

Speedy Petey
07-14-2009, 05:24 PM
Doesn't the code also require 3" outside the box? At least 6" of conductor from the point it enters the box, and extending at least 3" past the edge of the box?
Yes, for boxes with any opening dimension of less than 8", such as any switch box.

Agu
07-17-2009, 06:35 PM
I had a professional electrician rewire one home and he did minimal code for available outlets. That meant I had to move a bed, dresser or some other large piece of furniture just to access an outlet box to plug something in.

Did my own basement family room with 6' spacing and no outlets in the middle of a wall where furniture might go. Made life a lot easier to be able to actually reach an outlet without getting a hernia.

;)