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Jarrod

05:19PM | 04/24/05
Member Since: 04/12/05
15 lifetime posts
My apologies… You are correct, Ell, that the '180 volt-amp per receptacle outlet' rule does not apply to Dwelling Occupancies.

However, you are incorrect that, in other that a dwelling unit, a duplex receptacle must be calculated as 3 amps (360 VA). According to the NEC paragraph 220.14(I), “…receptacle outlets shall be calculated at not less than 180 volt-amperes for each single OR FOR EACH MULTIPLE RECEPTACLE ON ONE YOKE…” . In the NEC Handbook, it goes on to specifically state that single, duplex, and triplex receptacles are all to be calculated at 180 volt-amps PER DEVICE.

Also, the requirement for only using 80% of the rating for branch circuit conductors and overcurrent devices only applies to “continuous” loads (see NEC 210.19(A)(1) and 210.20(A)). Per NEC Article 100, “Continuous Load” is defined as “A load where the maximum current is expected to continue for 3 or more hours”. Lighting loads are generally considered continuous, while receptacle loads are generally not. For example, the load of a computer or printer will vary up and down depending on activity and usage. They will not maintain a peak load for more than 3 hours.

Next, I never suggested that anyone share a neutral on a ground fault protected circuit. None of the circuits in this home office should require ground fault protection. And a shared neutral is only a problem on a circuit protected by a GFCI breaker. Individual GFI receptacles would not be affected, because they only sense ground faults downstream (i.e. in the cord-and-plug connected load), not upstream.

Finally, while it’s true that you cannot share a neutral on a circuit protected by a GFCI breaker, your reasoning is completely incorrect, and it will NOT create an unsafe condition. A ground fault device works by measuring and comparing the currents in the hot and neutral wires. Since all current that goes out should come back, a difference means that the current has found a different path to ground (i.e. a ground fault). When a ground fault device senses this difference, which is 5 milliamps for the GFI’s required for personnel protection, it trips and opens the hot conductor, deenergizing the circuit. If a GFCI breaker is installed for a circuit that shares the neutral, the neutral current will never match the current on either of the hot conductors (it will be less), and thus the GFI will always trip and won’t reset. The protected circuit will be deenergized, but the other circuit sharing the neutral will continue to operate as before. While this is potentially an unsafe condition, it is no more unsafe than if an unprotected circuit that has a ground fault isn't sharing a neutral.

Jarrod

MistressEll

09:14AM | 04/26/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
#1 They ALL do Jarrod (require GFCI protection) this "Home office" is in a BASEMENT.

#2 I'm NOT going to get into a debate on how to interpret the code with you, you've already failed twice on this issue, as they say "talk to the hand".

#3 A GFCI recepticle installed on a branch circuit that shares a neutral with another branch circuit IS a problem, as on the "other circuit" that shares the neutral only HALF of that circuit would be de-energized (neutral side) appearing "dead" while the "hot" side is still engergized, thus un-tested could create a hazard for the unsuspecting party investigating. YOU sugested that if the OP used a GFCI breaker he could share a neutral with another branch circuit, NOT ME. Also Shared Neutrals are not a good idea when a GFCI recepticle is installed on a branch circuit for the same reason...a shared neutral is just that, and you confuse what is GFCI protected "downstream" with the effect on the entire circuit (open connections). Example: Circuit with 2 "upstream" outlets and a GFCI recpt with 2 more outlets "protected" downstream. A fault occurs in one of the "protected' outlets... The GFCI properly activates and interupts THE CIRCUIT. The effect on the entire branch circuit is what?...answer yourself.

#4 Shared Neutrals are NEVER a good idea, especially in areas requiring GFCI protection.

#5 OFFICE work with computers and related equipment (scanners, modems - esp. high speed modems, printers, MONITORS) have a running load including fans that is often quite near or above 90 percent of their ratings 100 percent of the time. Exception are cannon style engines on heavy duty commercial laser printers that run about 70 percent with a 30 percent load on each motor activation. and 3 hours outta 24 is easy hit working in a computerized office. Practically speaking if really loading up on the equipment, and possibly having some other goodies in there like a TV, VCR, Cell Phone Charger, answering machine, ETC. ETC. were things for HIM to consider regards to 2 recepticle outlets VERSUS ONE, I didn't recommend EITHER. However YOU MISS THE POINT OF THE ELECTRIC 5 foot long BASEBOARD HEATER -- have YOU ever SEEN ONE that used less than 1700 Watts? Obviously that will be at full capacity at least 3 hours a day IN THE HEATING SEASON. and Motorized items (including FANS) are ALWAYS rated at MAX load as CONTINUOUS devices.

#6 I only said that he needed at least 2 circuits, I.E. ONE FOR THE ELECTRIC BASEBOARD HEATER (if hard wired for sure, and that he'd overload his circuit if a plug-in model if over 1800 WATTS if planning to run a computer & Monitor & printer), and that his lighting (overhead) circuit would best be served from a GENERAL lighting circuit including other areas of the basement on a STANDARD LIGHTING circuit (15 amps), NOT on the 20 AMP GFCI recepticle circuit that he intends for the room.


Jarrod

09:44AM | 04/26/05
Member Since: 04/12/05
15 lifetime posts
#1: Refer to the NEC Paragraph 210.8(A) titled Ground-Fualt Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel:Dwelling Units.

The areas requiring GFCI are (1)Bathrooms, (2) Garages & Accessory Buldings, (3) Outdoors, (4) Crawl Spaces, (5) UNFINISHED BASEMENTS, (6) Kitchen countertops, (7) Laundry, Utility, and Wet Bar sinks, and (8) Boathouses. Subparagraph 5 states:

"Unfinished Basements - for the purposes of this section, unfinished basements are defined as the portions or areas of the basement not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and the like."

By virtue of the fact the the space is being finished into a habitable room (an office), the circuits DO NOT require GFCI protection because they are not in the "unfinished" portion of the basement.

#2: I do not have to interpret the Code. NFPA has done that for us in the NEC Handbook, which they publish. In it, they state in both words and pictorial diagrams that they intend for single, duplex, and triplex receptacles to all be calculated at 180 VA each in other the Dwelling Units. I'd be happy to send you a scan of the pages if you wish.

#3: Wrong. The GFI deenergizes the hot conductor of the circuit protected. It is true that most of the shared neutral will still have power flowing through it, but if it is wired correctly (pigtailed), then no current will flow through the pigtailed portion of the neutral wire at the the GFI device because it is an open circuit at the point. Speaking from many years of Engineeering and Building experience, a GFI receptacle installed on a circuit that shares a neutral works exactly as intended and is completely acceptable to any Inspector. It's done all the time.

#4: To say sharing neutrals is never a good idea is just plain wrong. Where properly applied, it is a perfectly acceptacle way to reduce both the installed cost of the project and the current normally flowing in the neutral wire. There are instances where sharing the neutral is not a good idea, such as with circuits served by GFCI BREAKERS, and with UPS or computer loads with switching power supplies which may generate large amounts of harmonics. But to say they're never a good idea is just wrong.

It may not be a good idea for the computer circuit in this particular home office, but that doesn't mean it's never a good idea.

#5: The Code specifically states (NEC 220.14(A)) that if a receptacle is intended to supply a specific piece of equipment, that the actual load must be used. So, if you have a computer with a 350 watt power supply, you should use that load. But for general purpose convenience receptacles, the Code does not consider them to be "Continuous".

#6: I agree with you on every point other than the fact that the receptacle circuit does not need to be GFCI protected (See #1 above).

MistressEll

11:31AM | 04/26/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
You have jumped in at first with WRONG information, and it was another party who's first post was removed then reposted regarding the shared neutral in the first place (home..somebody).

I said I was not going to get into a code argument with you...but

Sheesh. Your just not correct regards a shared neutral. Leakage alone would cause nuisance triping.

habital space: So you know that this room has a seconary means of egress, (like an approved "escape" window)? The OP never said so, and specifically detailed a SEMI-FINISHED Basement. IF ANY of these recepticles could be used to "service" (i.e. via an extension cord) the UNFINISHED space, it has to be GFCI, period. I respectfully disagree with you entirely, you miss certain nuances of the code issues there (in the NEC). By the way, unless you're crystal ball is better than mine, how do you even KNOW that NEC IS the governing Code where the OP lives?

speaking of the NEC, you completely MISSED that the OP mentioned having only FOUR receptacle outlets on the walls for a room 12x9 feet....and yet NO ONE mentioned that by NEC he should have at least five

if not six depending on the width of his door opening (every six linear feet), so there....ptooey! speak to the hand.

Device....the information you missed is right there in front of your face.

Pigtailed, shared neutral would require a double pole GFCI breaker to be legal for a multi-wire branch circuit.

The wisest advice that was given was given before you ever entered this discussion, i.e. consider consulting a PROFESSIONAL before you begin this project, and consider your power usage in this room and that to service an electrical baseboard heater of five feet, consider you'll need that second circuit you (OP) was asking about, and a reminder that an overhead luminaire or a receptacle controlled by a wall switch was required.

You're arguing with yourself from now on Jarrod, in the future, I'll simply ignore your remarks.

In closing, Keep It Simple Silly, you'll fair better.


Billhart

01:35PM | 04/26/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
"habital space: So you know that this room has a seconary means of egress, (like an approved "escape" window)? The OP never said so, and specifically detailed a SEMI-FINISHED Basement."

There is a difference between HABITAL and SLEEPING SPACES. An office does not need seconard egress, as such.

However, some locals do require all basements to have secondary egress. But that is for the whole area and not each room int he basement unless it is a sleeping room.

"IF ANY of these recepticles could be used to "service" (i.e. via an extension cord) the UNFINISHED space, it has to be GFCI, period."

I see that you are making up code again.

Does it mean that because I can open the 3rd floor window and throw out an extension cord to run a radio by the pool that all of the receptacles on the 3rd floor need to be GFCI protected?

"YOU MISS THE POINT OF THE ELECTRIC 5 foot long BASEBOARD HEATER -- have YOU ever SEEN ONE that used less than 1700 Watts?"

http://www.shopfnc.com/qm2500.htm

1250 watts.

"#5 OFFICE work with computers and related equipment (scanners, modems - esp. high speed modems, printers, MONITORS) have a running load including fans that is often quite near or above 90 percent of their ratings 100 percent of the time. Exception are cannon style engines on heavy duty commercial laser printers that run about 70 percent with a 30 percent load on each motor activation. and 3 hours outta 24 is easy hit working in a computerized office. Practically speaking if really loading up on the equipment, and possibly having some other goodies in there like a TV, VCR, Cell Phone Charger, answering machine, ETC. ETC. were things for HIM to consider regards to 2 recepticle outlets VERSUS ONE,"

Don't forget a clock while you are at it.

But that is not the point. You really don't understand how to interpret the different parts of the code and how they relate.

And while we are at it there are 3 ways that you have have GFCI protection on multi-wire circuits and have them work properly.

1) 120/240 GFCI breaker.

2) Install individual GFCI receptacles at each location that needs one.

3) run the multi-wire circuit to the first location that needs GFCI protection. Then split the circuit and run new circuits for the downstream receptacles. Wire it to the load side.

And YES, you can use the BACKWIRE terminals that they provide on the load side of the GFCI. THAT IS WHY THEY ARE THERE.

" you'll be drawing a lot of power, especially when your computer cooling fan kicks in at the same time your monitor is running"

The computer fan only draws about 50 watts, it ain't alot of power. But that is besides the point. You use the nameplate rating of the unit.

"Furthermore I recommended that he consider TWO circuits for his outlets as modern "office grade" laser printers don't do kindly when installed on the same circuit as a surge strip, and especially on one of those combination battery backup/surge devices like APS."

Completely WRONG.

Laser printers can be used on the same circuit as a UPS.

Laser printers can be used on the same cirucit as surge strip.

Laser printers can be feed through (plugged into) a surge strip as long as the strip is approprately rated and most of them are rated at 15 amps.

The only limitation is that a lazer printer should not be plugged into the common "low end" SOHO type of UPS. They don't have enough power to operate the heaters in them.

But on a better note I am glad that you now realize that GFCI's can be used to protect downstream ungrounded recptecals as you posted in the following links.

http://ecmweb.com/mag/electric_article_receptacles/

http://ecmweb.com/mag/electric_replacing_wire_ungrounded/index.html

And while where at it this article explains how you can have GFCI protection on multi-wire circuits. It also explains about the use of the backwire connections on the load side of GFCI recpetacles.

http://ecmweb.com/mag/electric_think_gfci/index.html

You really find some good links. But it would help if you read them first.


MistressEll

09:26PM | 04/26/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
Bill/Jarrod/whoever you're pretending to be today:

Again issues that were never part of the OP's issue, and yet again you resort to yet another alias.

Prove it. Back up your claim regards to habital space in a semi-finished basement regards to egress issues defined by the Fire Code and YOUR favorite electrical code, NEC.

You cited a hard-wired baseboard issue, therefore your choice is not applicable, for as any electrical baseboard heater that is hard wired cannot be on the same circuit as the receptacles. Don't agree? prove it.

Back stabbing. Well yet another non-issue by any previous post on this board. OP indicates wiring a 20 amp circuit. A 20 amp circuit has to have the proper gague wire. A 15 amp receptacle with a 20 amp feed through is the only ones with "back stabbing" and that can only handle 14 AWG not 12 AWG. You can't have 14 AWG on a 20 amp circuit. This is why you cannot back-stab on a 20 amp circuit a 15 amp receptacle except the last one on end of run. I don't know why you cannot comprehend this simple thing and continue to bring it up under your many aliases and still stubbornly insist you may. However, this was not at issue here, so you just bring "more junk to the table".

The OP was advised correctly, if baseboard heater is hard wired, needs 2 circuits, if a plug-in, could get away with one, but out of necessity due to his load conditions he may want to consider two. He was advised regards to a wall switch and either a switchable receptacle or an overhead luminaire for the room. He was reminded that some codes require a receptacle for every six feet of linear wall space. It was suggested to him that GFCI protection might be required. He was advised to consult his code authority or a qualified electrician in his area. It was suggested to him that to avoid unnessary trips to the fuse/circuit breaker box, he may want to consider his loading of his office equipment and consider the limitations required in commercial office settings.

You fail to grasp that if the electrical baseboard heater is hard wired everything must be bumped up to 125% on its circuit.

You are beyond hope and beyond reason. use all the aliases you want....you're toast.

househelper

04:40AM | 04/27/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
jg, you've gotten some good and bad advice here, most of the good coming from those that don't "rant".

Bottom line: Use at least 2 new 20A circuits, one for the heater, one for the receptacles. The lights can be powered from an existing lighting circuit or from the new receptacle circuit, I would advise the former rather than the latter. And you do need to be able to switch the lights near the doorway.

You should place the receptacles around the room so that maximum distance between any two is 12 ft (you should be able to reach a receptacle easily with a cord 6 ft long). You do not need to have GFI protection if the room is finished.

And just to clarify, a backstab receptacle is different from a backwire receptacle. A backstab uses a spring to hold the wire and is limited to 14ga wire. A backwire uses a plate tightened by a screw to hold the wire, can be used on 14, 12, 10 ga wire, and is a very efficient clamping mechanism. It's also my wiring method of choice for stranded wire.

jg1234

05:18AM | 04/27/05
Member Since: 12/01/03
30 lifetime posts
Househelper, ( and others )

Thanks for the replies and the time spent. It was very helpful. The thread did get heated at times but I am sure it was meant to be all good.

I have learned a lot and I am going to follow your suggestion. Once I have run all the wires I will have a professional double check and make the final connection to the box since that is something I am not going to try on my own

Again - I appreciate all the help. I would have been lost without it !!

-jjg1234

Jarrod

08:59AM | 04/27/05
Member Since: 04/12/05
15 lifetime posts
jg,

My apologies on the way this whole thread got out of hand and away from your original questions. As you can tell, there are many different ways to interpret many of these Code issues. The bottom line, though, is that your local Authority Having Jurisdiction (city and/or county building inspector) has the final say on what is acceptable and what is not, and the requirements can and do change from place to place and from year to year.

You may want to consult with your Electrician before you start your work. Explain your plan to him, and he'll be able to advise you of any local code variations. If you're going to hire him to make the final connections in the electrical panel, then he shouldn't have a problem talking with you on the front end.

Happy Wiring!

Jarrod
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