We are in the process of finishing our basement. The studding is up and now
I have to decide on how many outlets. I have decided to put in 8 outlets on
one side (separate new feed) and want to ensure that this should be fine.
Can anyone tell me if this is reasonable? The basement is not a highly used
area so I'm not overly concerned but am I safe?
In residential, you can install as many convenience receptacles as you want on
a circuit. Your only consideration is how the room will be used. You *must*
have an outlet at least every 12 linear feet. Since the supplies are so cheap
it makes sense at this stage of the game to install more than necessary, unless
you value a clean unbroken look more than convenience, now or in the future.
Especially in a finished basement, it's good practice to keep any permanently
connected lighting on a seperate circuit.
You really should get a copy of the NEC or a good book that references the
NEC rules. You should find lots of these books at you local library or book
store. It isn't difficult to conform to the rules, but you have to know
what the rules are in order to conform to them.
The basic rule is that there must be a duplex recepticle within 6 feet of
any point along a wall (measured horizontally), and if there is a doorway
along a wall, the 6 feet measurement restarts (so that people don't need to
run cords in front of doorways). There are also limitations on how many
outlets can be on one circuit. The NEC specifies a limit, but in some
areas, the local gov't has changed the limit. Where I live, it's 8 outlets
Sorry but the US NEC does not specify any limit on the number of outlets
on residential circuits. In states that permit local amendment of the
electrical code there may be an amendment limiting the number of outlets
but in min/max states such as Virginia that is not a possibility.
What are you planning on doing there? Unless you will be running shop tools
or electric heaters it would be difficult to exceed the circuit's capacity
however many outlets you put in.
You can check with your town to see if they have a maximum, but it is
unlikely. (Well, at least here; don't know about Canada...) The circuit
does have to have a GFCI. (At least here, don't know about Canada, but for
$5 it is reasonable.)
Others have mentioned the 6/12 foot rule. In residential, there is no max to
number of outlets on a
circuit per NEC. However, the number of circuits required in the basement is as
finished area square footage * 3 / 1800 for 15A circuits (and round up).
finished area square footage * 3 / 2400 for 20A circuits (rounding up).
I recently got a very practical book from Coles;
"Electrical Code Simplified" by P.S. Knight.
This is Ontario book 1, residential wiring; $11.95 .
Here it is 12 outlets per circuit max., including "light outlets"
The 6/12 rule, already mentioned, seems to apply regarding spacing and
I really suggest you get this book. It won't turn you into an
electrician but it is a very valuable guide for just these types of
Code now requires an outlet ever SIX feet. To me this seems extreme,
but that is the law. If you wont be inspected, so what you want. I
personally think every 10 feet is about right. Of course is there is
going to be a special area, such as a home entertainment aream a bar,
a tool or craft area, cooking area (for electric cookers), or other.
Put MORE outlets there. If you are putting a switch somewhere, put an
outlet under it to save wire.
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