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Basement stage 2 under way! Pics added

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:20 PM

 I have plenty of breaker slots, so it made snese to divide it all up - when I redid the kitchen, I took out an electric stve and a separate wall oven, so that was two double breakers for 240 that got removed. The gas range needs 120, so I ran 120 there, on a dedicated circuit. Where the wall oven was, I put in a shelf to hold a microwave, and changed that outlet to a 120, also on a dedicated breaker. 

 In the basement demo, I found out that the kitchen outlet circuit also feeds the lights for two of the sections of the basement - the two with the cans around the perimeter. It makes no sense, of all the palces they could have pulled power from - the other side has a total of three dual lamp flourescent fixtures on the entire circuit, they could have easily tapped off that without overloading anything. But nothing really is surprising me about this place any more.

                                        --Randy

 


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:21 PM

I figured folks would come in and tell me should'a done 20 am circuits all the way around.  Too late, basement is finished.  But I know this forum is full of Tim Allens too so taking it all with a box car of salt.  I did the math and should be ok. 

Heck, there are only 4 two plug outlets on one of those 15 amp circuits and 3 two plug and one 4 plug outlets on the other 15 amp circuit.  If I could have done each of those as 20 amp, the electrician might have said really?  LOL.  The 3rd branch to the "wife-den" has 5 two plug outlets on it.  This is way way more conservative than the circuits to the upstairs! 

Then there is a 20 amp to the bathroom that only feeds the bathroom plug outlet, apparently to allow for power sucking blow dryers.  I ran a second outlet off of it to the utility room wall on the other side for the train work bench.

The finished basement has way more capacity than the main and upper levels in the house.

By my count, the train room has 10 separate outlets on 3 different circuits.  It appears I'll get by some how.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:23 PM

riogrande5761
I did the math and should be ok. 

.

I am sure you will, You should have plenty of current capacity.

.

-Kevin

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:31 PM

riogrande5761

I figured folks would come in and tell me should'a done 20 am circuits all the way around.  Too late, basement is finished.  But I know this forum is full of Tim Allens too so taking it all with a box car of salt.  I did the math and should be ok. 

Heck, there are only 4 two plug outlets on one of those 15 amp circuits and 3 two plug and one 4 plug outlets on the other 15 amp circuit.  If I could have done each of those as 20 amp, the electrician might have said really?  LOL.  The 3rd branch to the "wife-den" has 5 two plug outlets on it.  This is way way more conservative than the circuits to the upstairs! 

Then there is a 20 amp to the bathroom that only feeds the bathroom plug outlet, apparently to allow for power sucking blow dryers.  I ran a second outlet off of it to the utility room wall on the other side for the train work bench.

The finished basement has way more capacity than the main and upper levels in the house.

By my count, the train room has 10 separate outlets on 3 different circuits.  It appears I'll get by some how.

 

I feel like you're upset and some of that is directed at me since mine was the last comment.  I was simply explaining what I have learned about the number of outlets relative to circuit capacity, and while its convenient to have a lot of outlets, it also it matters to not overload circuits with a bunch of outlets for convenience.  I certainly didn't suggest you should have done anything differently.  No worries, hopefully. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 1:26 PM

riogrande5761

I figured folks would come in and tell me should'a done 20 am circuits all the way around.  Too late, basement is finished.  But I know this forum is full of Tim Allens too so taking it all with a box car of salt.  I did the math and should be ok. 

Heck, there are only 4 two plug outlets on one of those 15 amp circuits and 3 two plug and one 4 plug outlets on the other 15 amp circuit.  If I could have done each of those as 20 amp, the electrician might have said really?  LOL.  The 3rd branch to the "wife-den" has 5 two plug outlets on it.  This is way way more conservative than the circuits to the upstairs! 

Then there is a 20 amp to the bathroom that only feeds the bathroom plug outlet, apparently to allow for power sucking blow dryers.  I ran a second outlet off of it to the utility room wall on the other side for the train work bench.

The finished basement has way more capacity than the main and upper levels in the house.

By my count, the train room has 10 separate outlets on 3 different circuits.  It appears I'll get by some how.

 

Yes that is more than adequate.

Receptacle requirements in the code are based on square footage and special useage. A 15 amp circuit can handle the general receptacle needs of 600 sq ft, a 20 amp circuit handles 750 sq ft.

It does not matter how many outlets are on the circuit.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, January 9, 2020 2:43 PM

My point was not that the number of outlets causes amperage draw.  It's that the number of outlets provides opportunities to plug in more things that the circuit could handle, even though each outlet can handle what has been plugged into it. 

Too many outlets in a given square footage, on one circuit, can be a hazard because the next person who buys the house doesn't know all of those outlets are wired into only one circuit.  Or we may not know it when we become senile. 

12 feet apart in a big room is too wide for convenience.  4 feet apart in a big room too close together resulting in too many outlets for one circuit to be safe, so we should break up the circuit into multiple circuits.  8 feet and 6 feet apart on one circuit seems like a happy medium, depending upon the size of the room.

Just to be clear, as a member of the banking industry who has had the responsibility of owning houses other people left behind (treating it like it was their god given property despite having a mortgage owed to someone else, or right up until the point in their life they want someone else to buy it), I'm not just a weekend homeowner when it comes to understanding building techniques.  I didn't do it much myself, but I had to police what others did on our behalf.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 2:54 PM

Doughless

 

 
riogrande5761

 

 
Doughless

Installing outlets at this point costs very little.  The more in a utilitarian space, or train room, the better, IMO.

BTW, see how nice floor to ceiling sky blue walls look, Smile 

 

As for outlets, I think where I live, they have to be no more that 12 linear feet apart but I put them more like 8 feet apart or maybe less.  I was surprised that so few breakers run the upstairs.  I went a bit overboard and have two separate 15 amp circuits for the back wall in the train room, and a 3rd circuit for the room with the walkout doors.  A fourth circuit (20 amp) for the bathoom outlets.  The ceiling lights are on their own too.

 

 

 

I think the typical building code is for that 12 foot maximum between outlets in a finished wall.  There is also a distinction if its living space or non living space, for rooms like laundry rooms, walk in closets, and in my case, basement garages.

I could finish my garage and not put in more than one outlet if I wanted.  Not sure how the law can judge all basements to be living space.

An 8ft spread seems reasonable, maybe could go a little tighter.

I think there could be overkill too, if you had 27 outlets crammed into a space, builders might fear someone would use all 27 outlets at once with 54 appliances, thereby overloading the circuit. 

So there has to be some balance between spacing of the outlets and the number of outlets on a circuit just to keep things safe for when dimensia sets in.....

 

A few thoughts and fact from the National Electric code.....

Some local codes adjust the NEC to their wants, but generally in the US all wiring is governed by the single National Electric Code.

If you put drywall, flooring and a finished ceiling in a basement, the IRC (International Residential Code - the common building code in use in the US) and the NEC will consider it "living space".

There are lots of rules about where outlets need to be, and generally the 12' thing is the correct minimum requirement for general living areas. Closer is better.

But there are no restrictions on how many, or how close.

15amp vs 20amp - the code makes not requirement as to minimum or maximum number of outlets on a circuit past the first one. It says the building general receptacle load shall be served by at least 3VA per sq ft.

15 amps x 120 volts = 1800 VA / 3 = 600 sq ft.

20 amps x 120 volts = 2400 VA / 3 = 800 sq ft. (although as a designer I like to limit that to 750 sq ft)

Additionally, 20 amp circuits, wired with #12 wire, can use 15 amp outlets - as long as there are two or more outlets.

A 20 amp circuit feeding only one outlet, requires a 20 amp outlet, like your frig or washer.

So you can have 27 outlets on a 15 amp circuit if you want.........or logistics make it desired.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 2:55 PM

Doughless

My point was not that the number of outlets causes amperage draw.  It's that the number of outlets provides opportunities to plug in more things that the circuit could handle, even though each outlet can handle what has been plugged into it. 

Too many outlets in a given square footage, on one circuit, can be a hazard because the next person who buys the house doesn't know all of those outlets are wired into only one circuit.  Or we may not know it when we become senile. 

12 feet apart in a big room is too wide for convenience.  4 feet apart in a big room too close together resulting in too many outlets for one circuit to be safe, so we should break up the circuit into multiple circuits.  8 feet and 6 feet apart on one circuit seems like a happy medium, depending upon the size of the room.

Just to be clear, as a member of the banking industry who has had the responsibility of owning houses other people left behind (treating it like it was their god given property despite having a mortgage owed to someone else, or right up until the point in their life they want someone else to buy it), I'm not just a weekend homeowner when it comes to understanding building techniques.  I didn't do it much myself, but I had to police what others did on our behalf.

 

Despite what you think is common sense, the code makes no such restrictions.

I know and respect your knowledge, we have talked about that before.

I have been an Electrical Designer Draftsman and Electrician for 40 years, project managed the wiring of factories, sky scrapers, bridges, power plants, and houses........

And work with my tools every day in the building trades, and deal with the inspectors who enforce the codes........ 

In 40 years no inspector has ever told me we put in too many outlets, or had too many on one circuit.......because they went to code class too.........

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:06 PM

By the way Randy, the basement looks great!

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:11 PM

Trivia - where did the "every 12' thing" come from?

Answer - how long is your lamp cord? Generally they are 6'. So in theory you can put the lamp anywhere along the wall and reach the plug.......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:13 PM

 Mainly because it doesn't matter how many outlets are on one circuit - you technically can't overload it. Plug too many things in, and the breaker will trip. Assuming the right value breaker, the proper size wire, and the proper receptacles are used. Even doing something dumb like putting a 20 amp outlet on a 15 amp branch circuit - well, if you try to actually use a 20 amp device, the breaker will trip. 

                        --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:16 PM

rrinker

 Mainly because it doesn't matter how many outlets are on one circuit - you technically can't overload it. Plug too many things in, and the breaker will trip. Assuming the right value breaker, the proper size wire, and the proper receptacles are used. Even doing something dumb like putting a 20 amp outlet on a 15 amp branch circuit - well, if you try to actually use a 20 amp device, the breaker will trip. 

                        --Randy

 

 

Exactly.........

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:21 PM

mrrdad

 

 
Doughless

The more in a utilitarian space, or train room, the better, IMO.

 

 

 

 

Normally I would agree. In our son's small 11'x12' bedroom, there are 9 outlets. Two weekends ago I replaced every outlet and cover plate in that room. At one point I remember saying " how many dang outlets did they need in here?!"

Anyway,

It's fun following along on build projects like this. I often pick up an idea or two.

Thanks for sharing.

 

Ed

 

As an electrician who does historic restoration work and custom remodeling, 9 seems right for a bedroom that size depending on window and door locations.

I hate bedrooms with just one outlet in the middle of each major wall. you need the near thre corners, wher nite stands and dressers end up being placed.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:27 PM

 Train rooms, and maybe some other hobbies as well, tend to throw a wrench in everything. I'm sure I have way too many outlets in my plan, basically every 6 feet. But, with plenty of outlets, I will have no reason to use multi-way taps or long power strips

 I am kind of surprised at that loophole of allowing 15 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits. That makes a potentially dangerous assumption that by having more than one outlet on the circuit, the full load would never be applied through a single outlet. The other provisions (or lack thereof) are generally self-protecting, like no limit on number of outlets on a circuit. But a 15 amp outlet on a 20 amp circuit allows for the chance of overloading and overheating that outlet. Granted, not likely if that circuit is supplying multiple rooms, but the fact that the ability is there - and even without the use of splitters or power strips.

 Unless I'm missing a corresponding requirement that even 15 amp outlets need to be able to withstand a higher current, although I'd be amazed if the typical cheap crappy ones I've found in every home I lived in can truly handle 15 amps, let alone any sort of surge over that.

 Your one outlet in the center of each wall describes exactly how my house is set up. That's another reason I am running two more just to power my workbench upstairs.

                                         --Randy

 


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:41 PM

rrinker

 Train rooms, and maybe some other hobbies as well, tend to throw a wrench in everything. I'm sure I have way too many outlets in my plan, basically every 6 feet. But, with plenty of outlets, I will have no reason to use multi-way taps or long power strips

 I am kind of surprised at that loophole of allowing 15 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits. That makes a potentially dangerous assumption that by having more than one outlet on the circuit, the full load would never be applied through a single outlet. The other provisions (or lack thereof) are generally self-protecting, like no limit on number of outlets on a circuit. But a 15 amp outlet on a 20 amp circuit allows for the chance of overloading and overheating that outlet. Granted, not likely if that circuit is supplying multiple rooms, but the fact that the ability is there - and even without the use of splitters or power strips.

 Unless I'm missing a corresponding requirement that even 15 amp outlets need to be able to withstand a higher current, although I'd be amazed if the typical cheap crappy ones I've found in every home I lived in can truly handle 15 amps, let alone any sort of surge over that.

 Your one outlet in the center of each wall describes exactly how my house is set up. That's another reason I am running two more just to power my workbench upstairs.

                                         --Randy

 

 

Randy, 

The side wiring straps on a 15 amp outlet are rated for 20 amps. So as part of the feed wiring it is fine. But the outlet limits the device pluged in to 15 amps.

15 amp outlets are allowed on 20 amp circuits as an extension of the various "tap rules".

Since an appliance that draws over 15 amps will have a 20 amp plug, it won't plug into a 15 amp outlet. The one prong in turned 90 degrees.........

Your frig draws less than 15 amps, has a 15 amp plug, but the code still wants you to install a 20 amp circuit and outlet, in case you buy some expensive semi commercial thing, and to keep that startup surge on a bigger breaker and wire.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:48 PM

In spite of the that 15 amp outlets are allowed on 20 amp circuits, why not just use 15 amp outlets on 15 amp circuits and 20 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits?

Rich

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:53 PM

richhotrain

In spite of the that 15 amp outlets are allowed on 20 amp circuits, why not just use 15 amp outlets on 15 amp circuits and 20 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits?

Rich

 

Rich, 

Example, my big Victorian house is wired with all 20 amp circuits, not because I want to plug in any 20 amp appliances in the bed rooms, but so that less circuits can be used to cover the sq footage of the house at the required 3 VA per sq ft.

20 amp outlets have the "T" for the one prong, and have heavier contacts inside. Some people actually object to the appearance and the extra effort sometimes needed to plug into a 20 amp outlet.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, January 9, 2020 4:33 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 
richhotrain

In spite of the that 15 amp outlets are allowed on 20 amp circuits, why not just use 15 amp outlets on 15 amp circuits and 20 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits?

Rich 

Rich, 

Example, my big Victorian house is wired with all 20 amp circuits, not because I want to plug in any 20 amp appliances in the bed rooms, but so that less circuits can be used to cover the sq footage of the house at the required 3 VA per sq ft.

20 amp outlets have the "T" for the one prong, and have heavier contacts inside. Some people actually object to the appearance and the extra effort sometimes needed to plug into a 20 amp outlet.

Sheldon  

Sheldon, do you have 15 amp outlets throughout the house?

Rich

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 4:46 PM

richhotrain

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 
richhotrain

In spite of the that 15 amp outlets are allowed on 20 amp circuits, why not just use 15 amp outlets on 15 amp circuits and 20 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits?

Rich 

Rich, 

Example, my big Victorian house is wired with all 20 amp circuits, not because I want to plug in any 20 amp appliances in the bed rooms, but so that less circuits can be used to cover the sq footage of the house at the required 3 VA per sq ft.

20 amp outlets have the "T" for the one prong, and have heavier contacts inside. Some people actually object to the appearance and the extra effort sometimes needed to plug into a 20 amp outlet.

Sheldon  

 

 

Sheldon, do you have 15 amp outlets throughout the house?

 

Rich

 

Yes, except where code requires 20 amp, like the refrigerator circuit. Or where there was some expectation of pluging in a 20 amp piece of equipment with that special plug.

But, I also used all heavy duty side clamp commercial grade outlets and switches.

With receptacles the rating has little or nothing to do with how much current the parts inside can carry, it has everything to do with limiting or requiring what gets pluged in.

You can't plug in that 20 amp appliance without a 20 amp receptacle, which we hope is correctly on #12 wire and a 20 amp breaker.

If you have 15 amp receptacles, you can only plug in 15 amp stuff, on that circuit that may be 20 amps, or may be 15 amps, but could be serving several other rooms....

My Victorian is seriously over wired. One 20 amp circuit typically covers two rooms, which are as much as 250 sq ft each in many cases. 

Additionally as required by the code, each bath has its own 20 amp circuit.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, January 9, 2020 4:51 PM

Thanks for that info, Sheldon. One more question. When you use 15 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits, is the wire 12 gauge throughout the circuit?

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 4:56 PM

 True, you can't plug a 20 amp appliance into a 15 amp outlet - but you can put one of those 2 to 6 outlet adapters on the 15 amp outlet and plug in 3 things that draw 5 amps each plus another that draws 3 amps. ANd it won't trip the breaker because it's only an 18 amp load - in a 15 amp outlet.

 Yeah, needs some effort on the point of the idiot doing this, but it can happen. I try to avoid such things, but don't look behind my computer desk... thing is, it's like 10 things plugged in, but most of them draw half an amp tops.

                         --Randy


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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 5:01 PM

 Oh - no progress today, they just brought the electrical supplies, stair treads (the platform is getting removed and the stairs made straight - the horses are still in place, but the old treads were cut short so they can't be reused. ANd a small pile of additional wood for the center wall.

                                --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 5:45 PM

richhotrain

Thanks for that info, Sheldon. One more question. When you use 15 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits, is the wire 12 gauge throughout the circuit?

Rich

 

Yes, the entire circuit must be #12 wire.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, January 9, 2020 7:05 PM

Not to get everbody in a twist, but the point of designing a circuit and placing electrical outlets on that circuit is so that it rarely has to trip.  That's why we break our basements up into several circuits, because we plan to draw a lot of amps into that room.  Provide too many opportunites to trip a circuit, and the widow or Russian immigrant who occupies your property after you die will find a way to keep tripping it.  If you have 12 outlets in a room on one circuit, regardless of how they are spaced, they will trip it.  Codes are written in a fairly prescriptive manner and don't always capture the intent behind the code.  Inspectors enforce the written code and have no method of enforcing the intent.  

As has been said, the 12 foot spacing has to do with running cords all over the place within the room itself.  It's so that widow or a future stroke victim doesn't kill themselves falling over the extension cord running to that one outlet in the room.  Or start a fire by fraying that cord they have had tucked under the rug and have been walking over for 10 years. The spacing code has nothing to do with amperage tolerances.

Just what I have experienced and have been told over many years of dealing with other folks' left-over properties.  

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 7:35 PM

Doughless

Not to get everbody in a twist, but the point of designing a circuit and placing electrical outlets on that circuit is so that it rarely has to trip.  That's why we break our basements up into several circuits, because we plan to draw a lot of amps into that room.  Provide too many opportunites to trip a circuit, and the widow or Russian immigrant who occupies your property after you die will find a way to keep tripping it.  If you have 12 outlets in a room on one circuit, regardless of how they are spaced, they will trip it.  Codes are written in a fairly prescriptive manner and don't always capture the intent behind the code.  Inspectors enforce the written code and have no method of enforcing the intent.  

As has been said, the 12 foot spacing has to do with running cords all over the place within the room itself.  It's so that widow or a future stroke victim doesn't kill themselves falling over the extension cord running to that one outlet in the room.  Or start a fire by fraying that cord they have had tucked under the rug and have been walking over for 10 years. The spacing code has nothing to do with amperage tolerances.

Just what I have experienced and have been told over many years of dealing with other folks' left-over properties.  

 

 

In kichens the code requires 20 amp circuits (which usually only have 15 amp outlets) and requires that outlets be on alternating circuits as we move "down" the counter.

In other words a kitchen counter with six outlets from left to right, would be arranged so that the first is on circuit A, the next on circuit B, the next on circuit C, the next back on circuit A, etc.

This is done to spread out the load over the required circuits just as you suggest.

But, to do this to all general outlets, throught the whole property would have several problems.

The first is cost.....

The second is that the code requires circuits to be identified in the panel, "master bedroom", "hall bath", "water heater" (it is not a hot water heater), etc, etc.

This task would become complex and expensive beyond all practicality if circuits were randomized, and that would still not insure trouble free operation.

As Randy said, that is what circuit breakers are for......

A better solution is to over build like I did in my 1901 Queen Anne, using one 20 amp circuit to handle general outlets for only 400 to 500 sq ft, rather than the code legal 800 sq ft.

I don't know anything about Russian immigrants or what that has to do with anything, but a well wired house works fine, and a poorly or outdated one does not. I've rewired more than few a 100 years old and older..........

And brought a lot of ones from the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's up to current standards......none of them have burned down........

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, January 9, 2020 8:49 PM

The electrical codes vary from place to place.  Here in Ontario, standard house wiring for lighting and receptacles is on 15 amp circuits with #14 wire, although if you have need of 20 amp circuits for certain items, they're allowed, as mentioned, with #12 wire.

The 15 amp circuits are limited to a combined total of 12 light fixtures and/or receptacles.  Fridges and freezers are limited to one per circuit, as are washing machines and sump pumps - for this home, I wired them as split receptacles, as they're located  close together.
For kitchen counters and dining areas, all receptacles must be split - two circuits for each receptacle, and, of course, the receptacle modified to accommodate that.

My house is electrically heated, and all baseboard heaters are on 20 amp/240volt breakers, generally one circuit per room, even if the heaters are fairly small and there could be more on the same circuit.

Air conditioning, water heater, etc. are all on their own designated circuits/breakers, and there's a total (counting the double ones) of 64 breakers on the panel.

I did the wiring myself, and because the inspector from Ontario Hydro was aware of that, and that I was not a trained electrician, he went over everything rather thoroughly.  At the end, he signed off on the job, and declared it probably the neatest job he had ever seen - no faults whatsoever.

It helped that I had bought the code book and read-up on it before tackling the job, and I actually enjoyed doing it - a lot easier wiring a new house under construction than trying to re-wire an older house needing upgrades, although I've since done a couple of those, too.

Wayne

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 9:23 PM

Wayne,

I have no working knowledge of electrical codes in Canada, the differences you have noted are interesting to say the least.

Here in the US, the NEC, and some provisions of the IRC, which really just repeat the NEC, are generally the law of the land. But each county/city/township government is free to amend, interpret, and add to the code as they see fit (close to 40,000 separate counties, cities and townships that regulate their own building construction). A few places have much stricker rules about some things then as provided for in the NEC.

But here in Maryland, most everything is as per the NEC.

You mentioned split receptacles, the NEC allows that, but it is seldom done in that way here. 

Here in the US you cannot have 64 breakers in a single panel enclosure. I would be interested to see a picture and know the brand of the breaker panel.

The NEC restricts all panels to 42 branch spaces or less. Most 200 amp residential panels are no bigger than 40 spaces. So if you need more than that, you use the first panel to feed a sub panel. The breaker manufactuers do make "twin breakers" that put two breakers in one space, but if you filled a panel past 42 "branch switches", it would not pass inspection.

You have electric baseboard heat? I hope your power rates are low. That would be very expensive to run here, and this is a much warmer climate.......

Our new house (new to us, built in 1964) has electric baseboard heat in a sunroom (standard construction, well insulated, but lots of big windows and sliding door). If we run it much this time of year, it adds 20% to our combined gas and electric bill which comes from the same utility company.

The rest of the house is heated with natural gas fired hot water baseboard. One of my projects here is to install hot water heat in the sun room, it will likely not result in even a 5% cost increase compared to closing the door and not heating the sun room.

Our water heater is also gas, much cheaper to run than electric, and we cook on gas.

And since everyone is talking about layout wiring, my new to me train room basement in the 1964 house is pretty sparse on wiring, the previous owner (only previous owner) only used it for storage.

So I will be doing some moderately major wiring down there, lights, layout power, etc.

The house has a 200 amp main service, main panel in the attached garage, a 100 amp sub panel in the basement, and a 16KW backup generator with its transfer switch sub panel.

The basement sub panel has about 12 spare spaces, I will be just fine........

Although I can't really put all the layout wiring on the generator........

This house is very well wired. When we bought it I replaced all the switches and outlets, so I got a good feel for the condition of the wiring and the quality of the orignal work. I am happy.

Sheldon 

    

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 10,335 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, January 9, 2020 11:21 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
...You have electric baseboard heat? I hope your power rates are low. That would be very expensive to run here, and this is a much warmer climate.......

The power rates were low when I built the house 32 years ago, but they've climbed considerably.
Several years ago, the provincial government offered incentives to builders and homeowners to install electric furnaces (forced air) rather than gas-fired ones, so I contacted them to point out that baseboard heaters were more energy efficient, and questioned why those installations would receive incentives, while my already in-place heating would not qualify for either lower rates, or a rebate on my current rates. 
Nothing was done, and rates continued to rise, and we were on the verge of converting to gas.  However, our bills have now dropped considerably, and it appears as if a rebate is responsible, even though no official mention of it was ever, to my knowledfge, made, nor were we, as recipients, ever personally notified.  

I'd prefer to move to a smaller house, but would likely have to convert this one to gas first, as people are leery of the costs of  electric heating, which might devalue the price they'd be willing to pay.

Personally, I wouldn't want to live in a gas-heated house after having an electrically heated one, but that's just my preferences.  I've lived in houses with coal heat, kerosene heat, oil heat, and hot water heat (don't know if it was oil-or gas-fired), but I liked the electric heat best - clean and quiet, no stink, and no explosions. Smile, Wink & Grin

Wayne

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 10,985 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, January 9, 2020 11:38 PM

doctorwayne
Several years ago, the provincial government offered incentives to builders and homeowners to install electric furnaces (forced air)

Sometimes the Government messes up! (Sometimes?!?!?Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh) In my limited experience selling installed home improvements, electric forced air furnaces were more trouble than they were worth. One of the biggest problems seemed to be excess humidity. When I was on a window call and the home owners were complaining about condensation on their windows, one of the first things I looked at was the heat source. If it was electric forced air I told them that new windows might not solve the condensation problem. I always carried a humidity meter. When the skeptics suggested that they didn't have a humidity problem, that it was just bad windows, once the meter got to 60% or more their eyes seemed to widen considerably!

That was a long time ago. Things may have changed.

Dave

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: In the heart of Georgia
  • 3,521 posts
Posted by Doughless on Friday, January 10, 2020 5:22 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

 
Doughless

 

 

In kichens the code requires 20 amp circuits (which usually only have 15 amp outlets) and requires that outlets be on alternating circuits as we move "down" the counter.

In other words a kitchen counter with six outlets from left to right, would be arranged so that the first is on circuit A, the next on circuit B, the next on circuit C, the next back on circuit A, etc.

This is done to spread out the load over the required circuits just as you suggest.

But, to do this to all general outlets, throught the whole property would have several problems.

The first is cost.....

The second is that the code requires circuits to be identified in the panel, "master bedroom", "hall bath", "water heater" (it is not a hot water heater), etc, etc.

This task would become complex and expensive beyond all practicality if circuits were randomized, and that would still not insure trouble free operation.

As Randy said, that is what circuit breakers are for......

A better solution is to over build like I did in my 1901 Queen Anne, using one 20 amp circuit to handle general outlets for only 400 to 500 sq ft, rather than the code legal 800 sq ft.

I don't know anything about Russian immigrants or what that has to do with anything, but a well wired house works fine, and a poorly or outdated one does not. I've rewired more than few a 100 years old and older..........

And brought a lot of ones from the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's up to current standards......none of them have burned down........

Sheldon 

 

In my experience, just to make sure you know we are on the same page, what you are doing would not cause any lender any issues.  Its code, and it sounds like you take extra steps to go beyond.  The simple point I was trying to make with Jim was that outlets provide an invitation to plug something into it.  Uninformed occupants don't know what goes on behind the walls.  They understand that plugging in 2 power strips into one outlet and loading up the strips with tvs, computers, shreaders, chargers, and the occasional hair dryers will tax the system, but they don't make that connection simply by seeing a bunch of wall outlets.  I wasn't saying that loading up a circuit with outlets is anything wrong.  Yes, the breaker prevents it from being a big deal, but we don't want to install somehting into the walls that's going to invite occupants to trip the breaker a lot. Granted, that probably is more of a concern for rental properties like apartments and condos and not so much for owner occupied single family dwellings. 

As far as codes:  The codes have intent buried in the text, but a person can't get around the code just  because they have have a different intent.  Example:  as you know, the 12 foot spacing thing has to do with the number of linear feet finished walls can have before there has to be an outlet.  13 feet of wall with no outlet is a violation.

But that's for "living space"  Some people have walk in closets bigger than some bedrooms, but its okay to have just one outlet in that room because the code doesn't expect people to be using appliances, lamps, stereos, or TVs in their WIC. Same thing with finished garages.  One outlet passes.  Code doesn't expect somebody to use it as a workshop.  The code intends people to park cars in it.

But finish a basement, and the code inspectors tend to call that living space.  They assume you have the intent on putting big screen TVs down there, popcorn makers, microwaves, etc, so not only do they expect an outlet every 12 feet, a strict inspector might expect more circuits depending upon how big the basement is.  The fact that we want to finish our basement to use as maybe a 15 amp total draw train room doesn't change the inspector's mind, because the intent of the code implies that 99% of the people who will buy your house intend for the finished basement to be living space.

Nothing about what I was saying was a judgmental thing about how anybody conducts their business.  Apologies if it came off that way.

- Douglas

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