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post #1 of 19 Old 09-20-2012, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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So I'm wrapping up my electrical planning and have a question about my outlets. My plan is as follows:
  • 2 dual outlets up front behind the screen for 1 sub (one on each side for placement flexibility)
  • 2 dual outlets in the back for 1 sub (one on each side for placement flexibility)
  • 1 quad outlet in the back for 2nd row powered recliners (4)
  • 1 quad outlet in the front of riser for 1st row powered recliners (3)
  • 1 dual outlet in ceiling for projector
  • 1 dual outlet in a hall way for Popper and Mini-Fridge

So - how many circuits should I use. I was thinking I could tie the sub and chair outlets together and then separate circuits for the popper/fridge and projector, but I thought that was a waste of circuits. As an FYI my lights and equipment closet are already on separate circuits, but could add outlets to them if you think that's makes sense. Also, am I missing anything I should think of.

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post #2 of 19 Old 09-20-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blipszyc View Post

So I'm wrapping up my electrical planning and have a question about my outlets. My plan is as follows:
  • 2 dual outlets up front behind the screen for 1 sub (one on each side for placement flexibility)
  • 2 dual outlets in the back for 1 sub (one on each side for placement flexibility)
  • 1 quad outlet in the back for 2nd row powered recliners (4)
  • 1 quad outlet in the front of riser for 1st row powered recliners (3)
  • 1 dual outlet in ceiling for projector
  • 1 dual outlet in a hall way for Popper and Mini-Fridge
So - how many circuits should I use. I was thinking I could tie the sub and chair outlets together and then separate circuits for the popper/fridge and projector, but I thought that was a waste of circuits. As an FYI my lights and equipment closet are already on separate circuits, but could add outlets to them if you think that's makes sense. Also, am I missing anything I should think of.

A general rule of thumb is that 10 items can go on one 14 gauge, 15 amp circuit and 12 items can go on one 12 gauge, 20 amp circuit. A secondary general rule of thumb is that lights should go on a different circuit than plugs. You are far more likely to trip a plug breaker and if you do that you wouldn't be in the dark if the lights are on a different circuit. Of course other things go into play here too like adding all amps and watts up on that circuit and how many of those items you might have in use at the same time. Examples of things to think about: The pop corn popper is going to have a high draw but only for a few minutes. The power recliners will actually only draw for a few seconds. One more thing to think about is if you have any GFIs in your circuits and where they are. You probably don't want to plug the the mini fridge into a GFI. If the GFI trips and you don't notice it right away things are going to get warm.
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-20-2012, 02:20 PM
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I would see what your equipment draws and plan accordingly.

The seats won't take much juice.

Your subs may take a bit of juice, depending on what you are going to get. Which subs are you getting and how many watts of power (eg 120v power) do they require?

Projector doesn't take much, but usually it is a direct line ran back to the equipment closet. That gives you the flexibility of connecting it to a UPS if you want to in the future.

Mini-fridge doesn't take much. Not sure on the popper, check the specs.
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-20-2012, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blipszyc View Post

So I'm wrapping up my electrical planning and have a question about my outlets. My plan is as follows:
  • 2 dual outlets up front behind the screen for 1 sub (one on each side for placement flexibility) 1st Circuit
  • 2 dual outlets in the back for 1 sub (one on each side for placement flexibility) 2nd Circuit
  • 1 quad outlet in the back for 2nd row powered recliners (4) 1st or 2nd Circuit
  • 1 quad outlet in the front of riser for 1st row powered recliners (3) 1st or 2nd Circuit
  • 1 dual outlet in ceiling for projector 3rd Circuit for same reasons stated above
  • 1 dual outlet in a hall way for Popper and Mini-Fridge 4th and 5th just depends on how much they draw and plan for more now dont max them out if they could barely fit on the same as an upgraded fridge in future could draw more
So - how many circuits should I use. I was thinking I could tie the sub and chair outlets together and then separate circuits for the popper/fridge and projector, but I thought that was a waste of circuits. As an FYI my lights and equipment closet are already on separate circuits, but could add outlets to them if you think that's makes sense. Also, am I missing anything I should think of.


Thats what I would do. With the subs sharing the seats you can mix that up to what best suit your wiring needs. I'd put the subs on 2 different ones for future proofing.
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-20-2012, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention that I really only have room for 3 more circuits so I've got to use them sparingly. How about this:
The front sub, and 2 chair and fridge/popper on one circuit and the projector and back sub outlets on a second. That leaves me 1 to play with if needed down the road.

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post #6 of 19 Old 09-20-2012, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blipszyc View Post

I forgot to mention that I really only have room for 3 more circuits so I've got to use them sparingly. How about this:
The front sub, and 2 chair and fridge/popper on one circuit and the projector and back sub outlets on a second. That leaves me 1 to play with if needed down the road.

LMAO, thats a really important thing to leave out! I'd look up how many amps everything draws as far as the fridge, popper, and pjs.

Just a guess but I would say that a mini fridge and a popper would be close to max on a 20 amp circuit. My mini draws 13 amps I think. Will look at poppers and see if can find a spec.

Quick calc on my popper is 5 amps.
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-20-2012, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by audiovideoholic View Post

LMAO, thats a really important thing to leave out! I'd look up how many amps everything draws as far as the fridge, popper, and pjs.
Just a guess but I would say that a mini fridge and a popper would be close to max on a 20 amp circuit. My mini draws 13 amps I think. Will look at poppers and see if can find a spec.
Quick calc on my popper is 5 amps.


Hmmmmmm, I think I made this point in the very first reply. Three things to consider. 1) size of circuit, size of wire and rating of breaker, 2) number of items on circuit, 3) total of amps and/or watts. Suggestion, a beginning electrical book would only cost a few dollars at Lowe's, Home Depot, or Menard's. Are you planing on having this electrical work inspected? LOL. Another suggestion, if your breaker box is really that full a good investment would be a service change. Unless you really know what you are doing this is not a DIY job.
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-20-2012, 08:20 PM
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Hmmmmmm, I think I made this point in the very first reply. Three things to consider. 1) size of circuit, size of wire and rating of breaker, 2) number of items on circuit, 3) total of amps and/or watts. Suggestion, a beginning electrical book would only cost a few dollars at Lowe's, Home Depot, or Menard's. Are you planing on having this electrical work inspected? LOL. Another suggestion, if your breaker box is really that full a good investment would be a service change. Unless you really know what you are doing this is not a DIY job.

Yeah, I'd suggest a subpanel or service upgrade too if can afford it being that you only have 3 available slots or up some to 30 amps. I dont know the specifics but running 220 to a subpanel then dropping it back down to 110 would free up what may be much needed space. But I dont even know what that would consist of to do.
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post #9 of 19 Old 09-21-2012, 09:07 AM
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It is funny what you CAN do and what you SHOULD do. In my previous house, the basement was finished using three 15 amp circuits. One for the bathroom, one for all of the lights and one for all of the outlets. We ran the home theater (only 1 sub, and no powered seats), the popcorn popper, a game room with an arcade machine, pinball, pachinko, and airhockey sucking power, and who knows what else and somehow it all worked.

Now with my basement finish that I completed a couple of months ago, we've got ten 20 amp circuits feeding pretty much the same stuff. Went from 45 amps total to 200 amps. Full subpanel in the basement. Funny thing is that with the new basement, I've already tripped a breaker a few times. Not because of an overload, but because of new codes requiring arc fault breakers that I found out don't play well with things with motors (like paper shredders that are fed too many papers at once or my pinball machine that has a couple of electro-magnets in them) that make the arc fault breaker think that there is a short somewhere, not that it is over amperage. Stupid Arc Fault breakers. I was stumped on this for a while until I googled it and even talked to an electrician. Seems like there is a LOT of hate for the arc faults. I know I hated the price ($6 for a regular 20 amp breaker, $37 for an arc fault).

Note: Arc Fault is not GFCI.
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post #10 of 19 Old 09-21-2012, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, our last home had Arc Fault breakers and every time my wife would vacuum and snag the rug or go from carpet to the tile it seemed like the breaker would trip. Won't be using those for this build thankfully.

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post #11 of 19 Old 09-21-2012, 11:22 AM
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I take it this is an "under the radar" finish then. Been there. Just be smart and build things like they ARE going to get inspected, and you will spend a little more, but have a much more solid (and safer) finish in the end. At least you won't have the stress of inspections. tongue.gif I would have loved to have taken out my ARC faults, put regular breakers in, and returned the Arc Faults after the final inspection, but by that point they were no longer returnable since around here they inspect rough in, then drywall screw inspection (yes, they inspect the screws) and then a final inspection when trim and carpet is up. Doing this as a single person project, the first inspection was in January, and the last one was the end of April for me, and they check the electrical at the first and last inspection meaning I was well beyond any reasonable return timeframe. Would have been nice to get that $370ish back.
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post #12 of 19 Old 09-22-2012, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by nickbuol View Post

I take it this is an "under the radar" finish then. Been there. Just be smart and build things like they ARE going to get inspected, and you will spend a little more, but have a much more solid (and safer) finish in the end. At least you won't have the stress of inspections. tongue.gif I would have loved to have taken out my ARC faults, put regular breakers in, and returned the Arc Faults after the final inspection, but by that point they were no longer returnable since around here they inspect rough in, then drywall screw inspection (yes, they inspect the screws) and then a final inspection when trim and carpet is up. Doing this as a single person project, the first inspection was in January, and the last one was the end of April for me, and they check the electrical at the first and last inspection meaning I was well beyond any reasonable return timeframe. Would have been nice to get that $370ish back.

Business opportunity!

We set up a service where we rent out Arc Fault breakers for inspection purposes biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

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post #13 of 19 Old 09-22-2012, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Business opportunity!
We set up a service where we rent out Arc Fault breakers for inspection purposes biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

+1
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post #14 of 19 Old 09-22-2012, 02:18 PM
 
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To cut down on the amount of wire you are pulling, use MWBC (Multi-Wire Branch circuits), where you can.
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post #15 of 19 Old 09-22-2012, 04:12 PM
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Unfortunately, you can't use MWBC with arc faults.

I had MWBC run with my house originally.. when I extended into the theater I had to eliminate them to meet the current electrical code.

You can use 12-4 or 14-4 though.

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post #16 of 19 Old 09-22-2012, 07:52 PM
 
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Mr Tim, do you know how much 12/4 & 14/4 costs? AFCI's will work with 12/3 & 14/3, if you know what you are doing. Also works with GFCI circuits.
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post #17 of 19 Old 09-23-2012, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

Mr Tim, do you know how much 12/4 & 14/4 costs? AFCI's will work with 12/3 & 14/3, if you know what you are doing. Also works with GFCI circuits.

Yes, I am aware of the cost difference; if cost were not an issue then a MWBC AFCI may be an option. I'm curious as to how you would install a MWBC AFCI protected circuit?

GFCI is another topic, and I would not tale exception to a MWBC where only GFCI protection was required..
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post #18 of 19 Old 09-23-2012, 06:31 AM
 
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You install it the same as any MWBC circuit. There is no difference when wiring a MWBC, whether it uses a conventional breaker, gfci, or afci. If you follow the rules, the circuit will work. Also, right now the majority of areas, still only require AFCI breakers in just Bedrooms, & Living rooms, no where else.

Siemens & Murray are the only two companies that make AFCI breakers right now.
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post #19 of 19 Old 09-23-2012, 07:13 AM
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I admit my original reply did not address a single method of wiring an AFCI MWBC, so lets clear this up.

First, there is only one way to wire a MWBC AFCI. You cannot use other methods that are available to a GFCI or standard circuit. The limitation is due to the fact that there are no AFCI devices like a GFCI receptacle. Even if there was an AFCI device, you would have to enclose the wiring to the AFCI device in EMT. To the best of my knowledge, the only available type of protection available at this time is CB protection.

Therefore, the only way to utilize MWBC wiring is to purchase a 2-pole AFCI circuit breaker. That is, if one is available for your panel. To the best of my knowledge, there is no 2-pole AFCI available for a Square D panel (QO or Homeline). Murray makes one at about $90. CH used to make one for their panels, it was well over $100. Murray will fit in Homeline, but is not UL listed for the use and will [should] fail inspection.

So, if you have a Murray or CH panel, are willing to pay a premium for the CB and deal with the fact that a nuisance trip will disconnect two circuits, yes, MWBC will work.

I am not sure if that is what you were getting at, as your reply was sufficiently vague to avoid any real explanation. I concur, if you follow the electrical code, it will work.

There is no cost savings to running a MWBC for an AFCI, but you do get the disadvantage of both circuits disconnecting on a nuisance trip. Having been through this already, I speak from experience.

GA adopted the 2011 NEC and this room requires it.

I'm sorry I didn't get into the minutia, but sometimes the simple answer is good enough. Nothing like running 6 MWBC circuits and finding out you need $300 worth of circuit breakers after the GWB is up. Or that you have a QO panel and they aren't even available.


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