How many dedicated circuits do I need?

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I'm going to be rewiring my entire 2 story 4 br house so how many circuits do I need. From what I understand I need a dedicated circuit for each of these: 1 dishwasher 1 microwave/hood 1 refrigerator 1 basement fridge (gfci since basement? or not since fridge?) 1 washing machine 3 kitchen - minimum of two 20 amp circuits w/no more than two outlets per circuit (two counters 1 is 4' the other 8') 1 gas furnace 1 radon fan 1 dining room 1 laundry room (in addition to washing machine) 6 remainder of house - 1 circuit per 600 square ft
Doesn't seem like overkill to me. Am I missing anything?
Of course the biggest problem will be running wire to the attic for the second floor circuits. I plan on using 12 ga for almost everything to account for the distance even though it will be harder to pull. Are you allowed to 'hang' wire from the attic to the basement or do I have to make holes in the walls to staple it every few feet?
Do I have to use the AFCI breakers or are they only required if I replace the main panel?
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Limp Arbor wrote:

you don't need to staple if you are pulling through an existing wall.
have you thought about roughing in for hardwired smoke detectors while you are at it?
my local inspector says if I rewire a circuit that requires an AFCI by current code, I need to add the AFCI. Your inspector may have a different opinion.
nate
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You're gonna re-wire your whole house as a DIYer??? Very ambitious...Is the house gonna be gutted and re-sheetrocked ??? If not I think you MAY be in way over your head...I know I would be..That's ALOT of wire to pull thru existing finished walls by yourself in one lifetime....LOL...Good Luck....
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Sure why not? The attic won't be 140deg and it is too cold to do stuff outside.

Nope. Only holes cut where necessary like for existing ceiling lights.

I'll have helper for some of it to work the 'dumb end' of the fish tape. The downstairs will be fairly easy since the basement is unfinished. A few things that will help: Diversibit Klein glow in the dark fish sticks String with a nut on the bottom and a strong magnet Jack chain
And in case you didn't know those giant outlet covers are made so you can cut huge holes in the wall and cover them up without looking too cheesey. :-) My house actually has these throughout since the builder must have used HS kids to hang the sheetrock when the house was built. Many holes are already oversize.
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Limp Arbor wrote:

ALOT of wire to pull thru existing finished walls by >yourself in one lifetime....LOL...Good Luck

A skill you may wish to acquire is busting existing boxes out of the wall without munging up the drywall. I started doing the same thing as you but only on the second floor of my house. Sometimes you get lucky and you can pull new Romex behind old because the old is bigger an it'll slip right through the staples without ripping the outer cover. Sometimes it'll hang up and you'll lose your nose, and just won't be able to fish through the little hole in the box, then you have to bust it out and use an old work box.
In my house most of the recep boxes are 2-3/4" deep. Current code requires 3-1/2" even for 2x 14/2 and a recep. so even the ones I can pull without removing, I have to remove anyway.
The "blue boxes" actually work pretty well. Nicer than Madison hangers. But sometimes you need them (e.g. if you need one BX clamp and one Romex clamp in the same box.) so it helps to have both metal and plastic boxes on hand.
plan your wire runs. fan boxes only come in 2-1/8" deep so you can't cram too many cables into a ceiling box. You can't fit a box much deeper than 3-1/2" in a 2x4 wall so you're limited to two cables in a recep box as well.
Your first floor will likely be very challenging because the wire wasn't originally run in the basement but through the first floor walls and ceiling. Second floor will be much easier but you'll still likely have to make a few holes if you are following existing wire routing. (I'm assuming a 2-story house like mine.)
The MOST challenging part will likely be the homeruns. I haven't done that yet so no advice there. Am thinking of running a large PVC conduit up a chase, if it's possible to do so, but may have to just free run the Romex if I can't.
that's all I can think of off the top of my head but I'm sure I'll come up with more stuff that I've learned along the way...
nate
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Limp Arbor wrote:

Just my 2 cents worth. I expect that you have the minimum figured out right, but I would consider adding quite a few more outlets. If you are like me you will probably find that putting in the number of outlets required by the NEC will leave you searching for outlets to plug 'just one more thing' into. I would seriously consider if you are completely rewiring that you put in twice as many outlets as the requirement.
Bill
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yes and upgrade main service to at least 200 amps.
besides a general lighting circuit, with NO receptables on it, its best to put each bedroom individual room on its own circuit.
makes troubleshooting later much easier
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If the OP is married I strongly urge him to get his wife in on the placement and number of the outlets.
Jimmie
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SWMBO has already informed me that I will be putting ceiling lights in every room. Currently they are only in the kitchen, dining room and bathrooms. The hardest one will be the living room since the center of the room has a window on one side and a doorway on the other. I'll probably use one of these so when two months later she tells me it should be a fan I can just replace the light. (Amazon.com product link shortened)
For the bedrooms I'll put a 2x4 between the joists to support those light/fan boxes.
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Limp Arbor wrote:

if you do that pull 14/3 to the ceiling boxes instead of 14/2 so you don't have to repull when you install fans
nate
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Also suggest use 14/3 for the last run-in to any outside motion lights. Can explain that suggestion if you wish. Also; haven't done this but sometimes wish I had. There are certain places where we wish we would have put in double duplex outlets. It's incredible how 'things to plug in' can multiply; for example behind an 'Entertainment Centre'. TV, DVD player, stereo amp. Game-boy or equiv.? etc. etc.
Also there's a spot on one of our counters where we plug and keep an eye on rechargeable AA cells etc. With different chargers constantly unplugging and plugging in another! And then a relative arrives with a coffee pot; could use double the number of outlets, easily! And the food processor is not plugged in at all.
Unlikley will ever build again; but if we did would seriously consider two duplex per box and possibly more numerous outlets. Some bedroom ones always seem to end up behind furniture!
Even bedroom outlets get filled up. Side of one relative's bed, for example, a) Bedside lamp, b) Small radio, c) AC powered phone, d) Charger for her cell phone. Her husband, other side of bed has one less item; only three! So there is the inevitable and to me potentially unsafe adapters/extensions.
One of their two fish tanks in another room needs three plugs, from one duplex outlet, thereby served by a very unsatisfactory extension cord!!!! Another fish tank, in the kitchen similarly ties up the duplex outlet near the kitchen window table. Hmm! Where to plug in the toaster?
Another place where not enough outlets is work bench; unplug the grinder to use something else on that end of work bench. And vacuum cleaners never seem to have long enough cords? Central vacs. seem to have gone out of style! Some strategically placed 'outside' outlets for outside lights and/or an inspection light or charger in case car battery goes flat? Those may have to be GFCI or other wise protected.
When possible use red/black 14/2 for switch to ceiling (15 amp circuits).
And 'Two way' lighting for stairs (basement and main staircase?).
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terry wrote:

If you don't mind, could you explain that one? I have places where I want outside motion lights and I have a hunch that the reason behind your 14/3 suggestion may resolve a question or two I have about how to get them to do what I want them to do. Thanks.
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Our reason is the when the light triggers, according to whatever dusk and timing settings you have chosen, the third red wire which comes from the control unit to the actual light bulbs can be wired back and used to switch on, either another light or two, or operate a lamp inside house (or a transformer to operate an indicator light or quiet buzzer) that something has triggered the motion sensor light! Our typical cheap sensor lights have two 75 watt bulbs, but the sensor/ switch unit is capable of several hundred watts, incandescent. I believe ours have a small relay inside the sensor unit that switches on the lights. Wiring is; white = neutral, black = live in from lighting circuit/ breaker panel, red = switched live whenever the sensor unit operates. Wire this red wire back out to nearest box and it can be used then, or later, to switch on other lights. In our case this may be the lights over our porch which would then come on same time as the sensor light over the garage door is triggered! Just an idea and keeping options open! Some sensor lights can be caused to stay-on continuously; I believe by switching off and then on again immediately or after five seconds or something (read the instructions). That satisfies the need if, for example, unloading something at night. The light then stays on and is not triggering on and then off again
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terry wrote:

Thanks. Maybe I should start a separate thread on this.
I would like to be able to: 1) turn the light on and leave it on; or, 2) turn it off and leave it off. If I do the # 1) option, I would like it to go off at dawn and come back on at dusk. In other words, by turning or leaving the switch on, the light works like a dusk to dawn light; but turning the switch off turns off the light. If I do the # 2) option, I would like the light to come on if it detects motion. In that case, I have the light switched off, but it still retains its motion sensing function and comes on when it detects motion.
The problem I have is that the lights that I find for sale have that "flip the switch on-and-off routine" as a way to enable or disable the functions I want. I don't want to have to go through that process where the switching sequence and timing supposedly programs the function(s) I want to work. Maybe I could deal with that on my own house, but that is too confusing for tenants or occupants of other properties that I own but do not live in myself.
So, I was hoping that your 3-wire setup was a way to make the light function the way I want it to function without the flip-a-switch programming routine.
But, I do like your idea of having the light trigger an inside buzzer or pilot light to notify the occupants that the light outside has been trigered by motion.
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wrote:

Easy way to do this. Get an electronic timer switch with an over-ride. The light will not come on unless the timer says yes and the motion sensor says yes. Then add a parallel "bypass" switch that turns the lights on regardless of what the timer or motion detector says. The over-ride function allows you to turn the motion detector portion of the ,light off, or on, when the timer says to do the opposite.

The 3 wire would be a requirement for the system I described.

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A Fasco 925 box is a whole lot cheaper if you just put a 2x4 in to support it.
Joe
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into a GFCI

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On Sun, 10 Jan 2010 15:25:58 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I'm not 100% sure of what is currently required , and it will be different in Canada and the US. Canada USUALLY has higher requirements than the USA. To the best of my recollection:

Definitely recommended, and I believe in Canada required if hardwired - possibly get away with a "disconnect" - and it will depend if it has a "sanitizer" (built in water heater)

GFCI NOT required for refrigerator in Basement - but MUST be a dedicated outlet.

Definitely recommended

Canadian code is an outlet within 6 feet of any occupied area of the house.
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I don't see bathroom/dining room (20 amp). And ask your local electrical inspector what is required for your area. There are local amendments to the national rules sometimes. Find out where you can get a book or read the local amendments if any.
Then don't be cheap. Do yourself a favor and install a 40 slot 200 amp panel.
Best is all 120 volt outlets on 20 amp circuits. There is a thing called a "vacuum" and this will trip a 15 amp circuit (with other things on it) with a quickness!
And at a minimum each room should have its own circuit. Makes troubleshooting much easier.
Separate 20 amp GFCI circuit for outside outlets. An electric lawnmower can use a LOT of electricity!
And a bathroom needs its own 20 amp circuit and a GFCI outlet. But if you install a wall heater in the bathroom, might want to place that on its own circuit. The heater on and a hair dryer on at the same time might trip a 20 amp circuit breaker.
Might want to install several 4-plex outlets on their own 20 amp circuit where the home entertainment center will go. Then you will not need a power strip!
Basically I would suggest installing a separate 20 amp circuit to every possible (and future) power hog.
Where might you install a window air conditioner?
Where might you use a space heater?
Install dedicated 20 amp outlets there.
Electric power is something you use everyday. It is nice to be able to use the vacuum and not have a breaker trip. Or plug in a lawnmower and not have a breaker trip. Or have the heater on in the bathroom and use a hair blow dryer and not have a breaker trip. Etc. Makes life more pleasant!
"Limp Arbor" wrote in message

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The answers depend upon where you live, and if in the US, which code is currently in effect. Your layout sounds fine, not necessarily required, but a little overkill never hurt. Cables do have to be stapled unless they are fished in voids that can't be accessed. If you are using the 2008 NEC, pretty much all your lighting and outlets will be AFCI protected, except for the areas that require GFCI protection. I would recommend checking a code book for specifics
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