03:14AM | 01/28/06
Member Since: 12/14/04
8 lifetime posts
I got a few questions about wiring my basement.

1) Should I go with 15 or 20 amp receptackles?

2) Use 12 or 14g wire?

3) Wiring Recessed light should I have them on there own breaker?

4) Should I go with 15 amp or 20 amp breakers. I will have the basement sectioned off in 3 or 4 sections.

I have enough room in the box for additional breakers.

Thanks, Roger


04:18AM | 01/28/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
1. There is no need for 20 amp receptacls unless you have a load that has a 20 amp plug and they are very, very, very rare. You can use 15 amp receptacles on 20 amp circuits as long as there are more than one receptacle on the circuit.

2. Code requires 3 watts/sq ft for general purpose lighting and receptacles. And separate calculations for things like refigerators and sump pumps. That will help you figure out how many circuits that you need. Also clothes washers and bathrooms have sepecial needs. Also any electrical heating. You did not indicate what you are doing, I assume a FINISHED basement. A unfinished one only needs one receptacle.

3. In general I recommend 20 amp circuits for receptacles.

4. Lighting can be either 15 or 20 amp circuits. However, because lighting often has boxes with multiple switches and 3-way switches big fill and working with 3 wire cable becomes an issue so sometimes 15 amp circuits are used for the lighting.

Note - this is based on the NEC, some local admendments require all circuits to be 20 amp or more, in other places they prohibit lighting on 20 amp circuits.

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