electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

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boglefreak
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electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by boglefreak » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:14 pm

building a custom home. any tips/thoughts on where to put electric outlets (beyond what is code) and conduit placement for TVs, etc?

boffalora
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by boffalora » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:23 pm

Your conduits should provide enough space for CAT-5E/6 and coax cable between a central hub closet (make sure it's air conditioned!) and the various electronic devices that will require connectivity. The closet should be where the "drops" from the telephone and cable companies terminate. As technologies change through the years you will likely be changing the hub devices, but the cables should serve you for at least a decade.

If you can manage to place your WiFi router on a high shelf in this closet it should give you more than adequate coverage throughout the house.

Naturally, make sure the closet has plenty of 120VAC outlets on a dedicated 20A circuit.

Mingus
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by Mingus » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:44 pm

Make sure to have some exterior outlets. They can even be put on a switch, inside the house, in case you're worried a neighbor is going to run an extension cord and steal your electricity.

When I re-did my front porch, it was the perfect opportunity for me to put an outlet in but I missed it and I wish there were one out there.

When I re-did my back porch, it was the perfect opportunity for me to put an outlet in but I missed it and I wish there were one out there.

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Watty
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by Watty » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:54 pm

I am not sure of the current code, but do not put the electric panel in the basement directly below the kitchen sink and dishwasher. :oops: (It was that way when I bought the house.)

I have seen houses with electric outlets outside under the eves for Christmas lights if you are into that.

I had a brass electric outlet put into the floor of the living room where tables and chairs naturally go for powering lamps and electronics without using extension cords.

Having electric and cable outlets in a wall for a wall mounted TV is a possibility.

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BolderBoy
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by BolderBoy » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:15 am

boglefreak wrote:building a custom home. any tips/thoughts on where to put electric outlets (beyond what is code) and conduit placement for TVs, etc?
I'd run some CAT-5 (maybe four lines of each, for redunancy) to every corner of the house under the eaves as well as to somewhere near every entry door. This for installing HD cameras if desired at some point.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by Epsilon Delta » Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:36 am

Mingus wrote:Make sure to have some exterior outlets. They can even be put on a switch, inside the house, in case you're worried a neighbor is going to run an extension cord and steal your electricity.

When I re-did my front porch, it was the perfect opportunity for me to put an outlet in but I missed it and I wish there were one out there.

When I re-did my back porch, it was the perfect opportunity for me to put an outlet in but I missed it and I wish there were one out there.
Article 210.52(E)
A receptacle is required at the front and back door outside every home. This receptacle can be mounted no higher than 6'6" above grade.

Article 210.52(E)(3)
A receptacle is required within the perimeter of each balcony, deck, or porch with a usable area of 20 square feet or more that is accessible from the inside of the home. This, again, can be mounted no higher than 6'6" above grade.
It's not so easy to find a location were you could put an electrical outlet that the code doesn't require one. Maybe it doesn't require one directly behind a wall mounted TV, but there will be on 5 feet below it.

There might be a few places I'd want a quad socket instead of a double.

Also consider any rooms which have a wall mounted light switch to control table lamps. I invariably find the switched socket is in the wrong place, so I either run extension cords or have to walk around the room switching on lights individually. I don't know if it's still allowed but I had one bedroom where every bottom socket was switched and every top socket wasn't. Nowadays this may be better addressed with some of the home automation devices.

larklea
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by larklea » Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:47 am

Look at the garage. A lot of builders only put one outlet and it's on the shared wall with the home. Having another outlet near the garage doors is handy.

+1 on the suggestion to be sure you have sufficient exterior outlets.

CAT5, cable in every room. +1 on the extra CAT5 for future cameras, think front and back porches. Yes there are wireless cameras, but the cameras need power. Outlets on the porches for these and holiday decorations are helpful.

If it's two story, look over the second floor closely, as adding things up there can be tough after the sheetrock is in place.

When we lived in basement region (we're in slab-ville now), one of my neighbors ran a 4" PVC pipe from the basement all the way to the attic prior to sheetrocking, This gave him a 'chase' for future runs. Since he was in a two story (basement and two more floors), this gives him flexibility for the second floor.

boffalora
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by boffalora » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:00 am

larklea, that 4" PVC duct from the basement to the attic is something a great number of my fellow ham radio operators have attempted to do (Lord knows we run lots of cables) but it's been disallowed by local fire codes. It amounts to a chimney through which heat may rise and fire may spread quickly. Insurance companies back this code up, so heaven help the ham (or anyone else) who suffers a fire and a basement-to-attic duct is found. :(

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:13 am

You don't have to install it now, but I'd prepare for a high amperage outlet in your garage (~40A, 240V) for the electric car you're going to have before you sell the house :)

I know wifi works pretty well, but for our 5000sf home with lots of walls and some beams, we've benefitted from having Cat 5+ Ethernet pulled to various parts of the house, both for direct connection to devices and also for WAPs (currently using router wifi plus 2 Airport Extremes).
Zero Net Carbon by 2019.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:30 am

If you are going to run cable, might as well use cat6, vs cat5, cat5e.

To really future-proof your home you might even reserve a conduit for fiber. It is already to the home, won't be long (maybe) where the price of terminal equipment makes it feasible for extreme bandwidth users/equipment.

At any rate, during construction, prior to the walls being sealed up, conduit is cheap to install.

Once you have designed your conduit system, go back and add to it before you install. You won't be sorry.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

KlangFool
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by KlangFool » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:52 am

OP,

A conduit to every walls on your living room. Then, you do not need wire to run across the living room floor. At least one conduit to every room. For master bedroom, perhaps one conduit to every wall. All conduit should run to a centralized patch panel inside a closet. It should be either in the ground floor / basement and/or the cellar (top floor).

Water proof outlet in your garage to each side of the garage.

KlangFool

Yooper
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by Yooper » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:02 am

I'd put at least two where ever your TV's going to be. Seems it's always ends up a rats nest of extension cords, power strips, etc.

Garage - put at least two on each wall (including the garage door wall), about 4 feet off the ground so they're easy to find when it begins to fill up with junk. A 220v outlet would be nice, never know when you might need it, and for SURE have one exterior outlet outside the garage door(s), if not two (one on each side). Don't forget ceiling outlets above the garage doors for electric door openers.

I second the external outlets suggestion, at a minimum at the end of the house opposite the garage. They're invaluable if/when you're doing DIY projects.

Put one in the attic, you'll be up there at some point and if you don't have lights up there (which you should), you'll need an outlet to plug into.

In the end, it's better to have too many outlets than not enough. Much easier to have them installed now as opposed to later.

Finally, account for every light/outlet/power source throughout the home and detail it on the breaker panel. A Word document or something else is nice so it can easily be updated at a later date.

Not Law
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by Not Law » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:16 am

A three way switch for the entry light - one inside and the other outside the entry is very helpful when you return home after dark and need to see the lock to put your key in.

piperkub
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by piperkub » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:48 am

Having done several houses and experenced in electical and data routing, I have been thinking about how to wire a new home and I don't know if I would even wire in a landline, what value does it have tommorrow? Same with Cat 5/6...with 3-Band wi-fi do you need a full wired network? Either way I do have a list of items to consider to add to the other good comments:
-Use recessed LED's in the basement, closets, bathrooms, laundry rooms and use a occupancy sensor located away from mirrors or doorways.
-Let your code decide the outlet placements, but use the nicer Decoro smooth white devices.
-Do not combine any 120volt wiring with Cat 5/6 or telephone cables in the same conduit. Against code and dangerous.
-Do not staple or nail either the Cat5/6 cable, it will degrade the signal and may damage the small cables
-Install extra coax cables to the roof area for future satilite or cell booster installations
-Floodlights on all four corners connected to switches throughout the house, include one switch next to your bed.
-Like someone said earlier, install a 2"PVC running to each floor and then another to the attic.
-Install a surge protector in the main panel, its cheap and will protect the sytem from lighening.
-Try to standardize on GFI circuit breakers as opposed to GFR receptacles; when one trips you know where to go and breakers are more reliable.
-If you're in a weather prone area, consider a 60 amp receptical located outdoors for a generator to feed in power losses. I put mine in the garage.
-Pull some speaker wire where you think you may want to install surround sound or rough in a system now for later.
-Rough in a vaccum system, cheap now
-Most secruity systems are wi fi but consider how to feed it.
-Include a feed for garage doors, yard sprinkler/pump, low voltage yard lighting, step lights etc
Now as I look around, I wish I had done much of what I now have on the list.
Good Luck,

BIGal
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by BIGal » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:30 pm

Many good ideas presented...Let me just add a few things to consider:

Exterior outlets are very important. I have several, however, they are so low that I have to get on hands and knees to plug into them...keep them up if you can.
If you will have a deck try to imagine where things will be placed....BBQ....lighting for late use of the grill...electric starter etc.
I have seen switched outlets in soffits for Christmas lighting...great idea if you are a decorator.
We ran one cable outlet to every room and all as a "home run" all terminating next to the main breaker panel.
Do you ever plan on outdoor lighting and/or flagpole lighting...keep those options in mind.
It is a good idea to take photos of the wiring before the sheetrock is hung...I guarantee it will come in handy at some point down the road.

Good Luck

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jabberwockOG
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by jabberwockOG » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:25 pm

Suggest you have a whole house surge protector wired into the main panel. Also consider lighting protection. Also consider having an automatic generator switch plug in - in case you ever need to run an electrical generator in case of blackout.

curmudgeon
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by curmudgeon » Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:10 pm

Most building codes these days already require a zillion outlets; an will likely cover pretty much anything you might need inside. For outside, think of where you might extend usage in the future (adding deck or patio, for example, and make sure there is provision for that. Maybe a spa circuit? Always have extra room in the breaker box for a few extra circuits, especially if you have unfinished space that might get future use.

I would consider doing light switches for the bedrooms in the fashion I see in Europe. Have 3-way (or 4-way) switches for the main lighting with one switch by the door, and one or two on each side of the bed. Very convenient, though it assumes that you will place the bed in a specific location.

Also can be convenient to have the multi-use outlets that include USB charging ports in a few key locations. It's nice to be able to skip the "wall wart" transformers for the various personal electronics charging. I've retrofitted a few into my house. These may become obsolete in a few years when some other charging method comes into vogue, but they are handy now.

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Aptenodytes
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by Aptenodytes » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:52 pm

I would run 240V line to your garage or driveway. Even if you don't have an electric car now, you or the next owner have a pretty good chance of getting one within a decade. In two decades, I'd say the odds are above 75%.

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stratton
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by stratton » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:01 pm

Not as useful as 20+ years ago, but bump up default room circuits from 12 amp to 20 amp.

Twenty years ago a friend couldn't figure out how I could turn on two computers, large monitors, lights and a laser printer at once because his 12 amp circuits would pop. Mine were 20 amp. :-)

Nowadays most thing use less power.

Paul
...and then Buffy staked Edward. The end.

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cheese_breath
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Re: electric outlet and conduit placement in custom home

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:32 pm

larklea wrote:Look at the garage. A lot of builders only put one outlet and it's on the shared wall with the home. Having another outlet near the garage doors is handy....
As is one in the garage ceiling for the garage door opener.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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