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How to Wire a Recreation Room in Your Basement – Part 3: Terminating the Receptacle Circuits

September 22, 2008

In today’s article we are going to discuss terminating the receptacle circuits and getting everything ready for a rough electrical inspection. For anyone that missed the first two parts of this series, you may read them by clicking on the following links:
How to Wire a Recreation Room in Your Basement – Part 1: Creating a Materials List, Installing the Boxes, Recessed Cans and Exhaust Fan
How to Wire a Recreation Room in Your Basement – Part 2: Installing the Cables
The first thing you need to do is support all of the cables. To do this, I recommend plastic romex staples. All cables need to be supported within 12 inches of the box and every 4 1/2 feet thereafter. I like to place my staples approximately every 3 feet. You also need to ensure that there is atleat 1/2 inch of the romex sheath in the box after you strip the cables. Half inch sheath in receptacle box
Let’s get started terminating all of the receptacle circuits. These are pretty simple and they will all terminate the same. I like to mark the “home run” or the cable that goes back to the breaker box. I take an approximate 2 – 3 inch piece of the romex sleeve and mark “HR” on it and slip it over the “home run” wires. This will make life much easier in the future if you need to do any troubleshooting. Mark the home run cable
When terminating your wires, you need to set them up so they will terminate to the device (receptacle or switch) easily. This means you need to terminate the ground wires on the left side of the box, the neutral wires in the center and the hot wires on the right side of the box. When cutting your wires, you need a minimum of 6 inches of wire measured from the back of the box.
Now, six inches of wire includes both ground wires. Most people make the same mistake and make one of the ground wires long and the other one is three inches long or less. What I do is run 1 ground wire down the right side of the box, bend it horizontally along the bottom of the box to the left side and bend it out of the box. If you cut the wire flush with the edge of the box, this should be six inches. Then run the other ground wire down the back of the box and bend it so it comes out on the left side of the box and leave it long. Twist the wires together so the long wire remains for a tail to connect to the ground screw on the receptacle. After the wires are twisted you need to use either a crimp sleeve or a green wire nut. Ground wire termination
Now run the white wires down the back of the box and bend them so that they come out of the center of the box. Next run the black wires down the back of the box and bend them so that they come out of the right side of the box. Now cut the wires approximately 4 inches past the front of the box. All wires out of the receptacle box
Finally fold all of the wires into the box so that the grounds are on the left, the white wires are in the center and the black wires are on the right side. Fold the wires and push them as far back into the box as possible so the sheet rockers can’t cut the wires when they are cutting out the boxes. Made up receptacle box
Make up all of the receptacle boxes according to the instructions above. There is only one receptacle box that you will mark the wires differently. That one is the one with the “home run” in the bar area. You need need to mark the “home run” wire with “HR” and “line” and the other wire as “load”. The reason for this is, you need to install a GFCI receptacle in the bar area. You need to know which wire is the line or power supply and which is the load or power out to properly wire a GFCI receptacle.


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