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Thread: Silly Question: rewiring the basement.

  1. #1
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    Silly Question: rewiring the basement.

    Hey, folks,

    We're finally getting around to it: the basement fireplace room. The space is about 16 x 24. Eight weeks ago, Doorlink moved a box down there. This simple act led to all new shelves in the storage hallway, a completely revamped furnace/storage room, an extremely large county large item pickup (it took me near on a week just to haul all that stuff up to the side of the road), and I just finished the last set of shelves down there today. Whew!

    Which means it's time to start on the next project: wiring, then insulation, then drywall, then mantle. Some phone pics of the space:

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    These are just to give you some idea of what we're up against. That first blurry one was looking south. Here's the southeast corner:
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    Standing at the exterior door, looking towards the north wall:

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    The west staircase, coming down from the Kitchen, and leading to the room of #3 son:



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    The mantle itself:


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    And of course, this wouldn't be complete without a picture of our hostess:


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    Questions in the next post. Thanks for watching so far...
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    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 06-14-2013 at 12:51 AM.

  2. #2
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    So, OK: here's the thing:

    If you look closely, you can see I've installed some canister lights in the ceiling. I've got six up, need to add two more, so I have two zones of four. That's one circuit, two switches. One more light on that circuit (the stairwell ceiling light) so one circuit, three switches, 9 bulbs total. Does that sound too extreme?

    Next, the outlets. I'm told the standard is twelve outlet boxes per circuit? 2 on the north wall, three on the east (fireplace) wall. Two on the south, three on the west. That circuit will also carry the switch for the exterior light above the door. Again, too extreme?

    So, what cool things can I do, or plan for? For the last few years, I've been putting in motion sensor switches, and they save a ton of money when you've got boys in the house who constantly forget to turn off lights. (they also mean I don't have to hear Doorlink quietly ask, "Who left the lights on?" But I'm not sure they're appropriate for that room, since there will be game playing, and tv and movie watching, etc. Or am I misreading?

    Second, one hot new thing is those outlets with a three prong hole on the bottom, and a USB charger on the top. Those might be cool...

    I always want to wire for a future digital projector, even if the actual one isn't in the cards right now. I'm thinking I just need the circuit, outlet, and some kind of cable in the ceiling. I hope.

    One problem: the router is upstairs, which is diagonally the furthest it can get from that room. It seriously can't be more than 50 feet, but the boys have trouble getting signal down there. I wonder if there's a solution? It'd be cool if they could watch netflix down there.

    One last thing: I was watching a video on installing lighting, and the guy had completely abandoned wire nuts. He was using little color coded clips instead. No fuss, no more muss, no more rattails. Has anybody ever used those things? The look pretty cool.

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 06-14-2013 at 01:54 AM.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Those are crazy looking connectors!

    I'll tell you what, I just go done putting in all new outlets in a bedroom. All of the old outlets were 'quick connect' types where the wires just got pushed in.

    All the ones I put in required running some new pigtails and using good old fashoned wire nuts and outlets that had brass and silver and green screws on them.

    I know that other stuff is probably a lot faster, which would be good for the guys wiring up a whole house in a day.

    I just kind of feel better with the way I did it than the other stuff.

    Now let the pros chime in.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
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  5. #5
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    I'm so old fashioned, I hate those push in type outlets. I'd much rather connect to the side screws, where I can see there's a good connection... or change it, if I need to.

    But I also mostly use 12/2 w/g, and I get awfully tired of twisting wire nuts over three wire connections. And getting everything to fit back in the box is a hassle, which means I tend to use those extra deep boxes, and that leads to it's own problems...

  6. #6
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    Personally I've never been a huge fan of wire nuts, glad to see someone has come up with something new! Having said that I have exactly zero experience with either of the solutions you linked to, but generally I've found crimp connections to be an easier thing to get a solid connection on.

    For the WIFI issue - while you have the walls open, run 3-4 cat-6 wires - yes that is more than you should ever need but wire is pretty cheap and its easy to run while things are open. Run at least a couple to each point where you will have a projector or TV setup and if it doesn't line up well with the tv setup run a couple more to where you can hide another access point. That way you can put another WAP down there and if you want to use netflix or buy a roku or whatever you can use the hardline back to the main entrance and don't have to share wifi bandwidth for it.

    I don't have any real wisdom on the electric stuff other than to say add up the possible draw and run the # of circuits accordingly. Lights seem to continue to get more efficient so I'm less stressed about packing them onto a single circuit than I used to be - but again do the math; personally I don't think 9 is to much. For the projector setup - I might budget a circuit for that if you can (assuming it will be shared with some backend sound system and perhaps other AV equipment which can be a bit on the hungry side) - yeah its probably overkill but I've never heard anyone complain that they had a circuit with to much available power; and several that have figured the other way. What sort of cable to run to the projector itself... well that gets complicated - can you somehow leave in a raceway or large conduit from a back [closet/whatever] so that you can adjust in the future? Being able to run the AV cable and the electrical to be NOT in the same conduit (or indeed not plumb parallel) would be very advantageous

    Not sure on the automatic lights... I guess I'd make sure the timeout is adjustable within reason; they put them in our office and initially we'd have to stand up and wave our hands every 10 minutes to keep the darn things on which was great for not getting computer butt but not so great for productivity.. I might consider a set of "mood" lights on another switch for when you're watching movies so you can turn the main lights off and just have enough light to get up and get a malt pop/release the previous of the same (I wouldn't put those on motion cause.. well you're normally gonna be pretty immobile)... I suspect the gamers might be ok with the lower light setup but I might take an evening to watch them and see how much they (don't) move first and see. Having the lights flip on and off "randomly" is annoying at best.

    I'll shut up now and let someone who knows what they're talking about weigh in Looks like a fun project though.

  7. #7
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    Good project you have going there. Fortunately, you know what you are doing. I need help, lots of help, when doing elekitriks.
    There are some good super routers on the market. My son had one blow out in a recent storm. His replacement will include a protector. If you would like to know what he got, I'll find out.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  8. #8
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    I have never seen those connectors before,they look interesting for sure. I might add to be sure to use push in connectors with only solid wires, not stranded. I was never a fan of the push in connectors on recepticals, I found that they can lose contact after a while, so I opt for the screw terminals.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Good project you have going there. Fortunately, you know what you are doing. I need help, lots of help, when doing elekitriks.
    There are some good super routers on the market. My son had one blow out in a recent storm. His replacement will include a protector. If you would like to know what he got, I'll find out.
    I asked my son about his router. His quick reply was this:
    http://www.amazon.com/RT-AC66U-Dual-...ds=asus+router
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  10. #10
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    Never use a push in connector, if you can't get to it later. Electricity involves heat and heat reduces spring pressure over time. Push in connectors use springs.

    Use wire nuts and pre-twist the wires first, then install the nut over the twist. Righty tighty.

    A proper 20 amp circuit and hold up to 16 devices. Little more, but 16 is about normal and where most folks stop. Devices do not include switches. Try not to daisy chain the receptacles together, make a pigtail and hook to that. If the device goes bad, the rest will still work. Leave plenty of wire in the box, 6" is code if I remember right, from out the front of the box.
    Last edited by Steve Southwood; 06-14-2013 at 02:51 PM.
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

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