Basement Circuits

dzornSeptember 16, 2012

I am wiring a couple rooms in my basement. I am wanting to wire panel to outlets then to a light switch from there to a couple fixtures in one room. In another panel to outlets to 2 groups of fixtures with switch loops to two switches. Question is there any reason not to wire from outlets to fixtures. The other option is to wire from the panel to the fixture and bring hot back to the outlet and then a switch loop for the lights. Sounds more complicated, is there any reason for it?

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Ron Natalie

You can do what you want in most cases. The only problems is if theses receptacles are in unfinished areas, they will need to be GFCI protected. If the other outlets (lights, receptacles) are in finished areas, if you are in an area covered by later versions of the code, you'll need to AFCI protect them. This may mandate you splitting the circuit up.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 7:05AM
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And switch loops need a neutral in the box depending on what version of the NEC you are under.

It is a throw to all the new electronic switches (like motion sensors).

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:31AM
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That's interesting, I wondered how that would be dealt with, with so many of those new switches. Presumably that's achieved with 12 or 14/3?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 1:21PM
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Thank you all, the circuits will be all in finished rooms. On the switch loops, I can run 12/3. I just wire nut the loose end of the neutral in the switch box? Or if there are two switches in a box just tie the two neutrals together? I do tie the neutral (white) from the 12/3 (switch loop) to the white on the fixture and the white on the power coming in, right?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 5:06PM
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Why not just run power to the switches and eliminate all the switch loops and 3 wire runs except for your 3 way switches.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 6:42PM
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Well it would be a bit more wire. However with the added cost of the 12/3 it probably evens out anyway. The only other concern is I have a 4 gang switch box I was worried about filling up. And I would like to put at least 2 on dimmers. I can probably manage it by being conservative on how much extra wire I allow in the box. I was thinking switch loops would cut the wires in half though. I also may split it into 2 2gang boxes.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:20PM
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One power cable coming in and four going out = ten.
Four switch loops with /3 wire =12.
Four switch loops with /2 wire =8

No way are you going to cut the # of wires in half. You also need 6 inches of wire sticking out of the box.

My son and I wired an 1100 sq. ft. addition with out any switch loops using 14/2 wire. The one 4 gang that we have has plenty of room in it.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 3:11AM
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it's hard to argue with math. I think I will save buying /3 and power the switches as advised. I have been putting more then 6" of wire in the box. Probably why they seem full.
Thanks for all the help.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 7:41PM
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