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#89347 - 09/10/04 10:32 PM Basement lights  
George Little  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
Okay people, what is the code requirement for lighting in an unfinished basement in a residential building with a frunace and sump pump in the basement? Where does the switching need to be? We have a debate going here in Michigan.

George Little

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#89348 - 09/10/04 11:49 PM Re: Basement lights  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Boston, Massachusetts USA
210.70(A)(3) Storage or Equipment Spaces.

For attics, underfloor spaces, utility rooms, and basements, at least one lighting outlet containing a switch or controlled by a wall switch shall be installed where these spaces are used for storage or contain equipment requiring servicing.

At least one point of control shall be at the usual point of entry to these spaces.

The lighting outlet shall be provided at or near the equipment requiring servicing.

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#89349 - 09/11/04 12:11 AM Re: Basement lights  
Ryan_J  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
West Jordan, Utah, USA
Ditto Joe's post. [Linked Image]

Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

#89350 - 09/11/04 07:09 AM Re: Basement lights  
George Little  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
I agree gentlemen and the issue I should have stated is when a furnace , for example, is at the far end of a basement we typically have a stairway lighting outlet controled by a set of three points at the top and bottom of the stairs. From the bottom of the stairs we have a series of pull chain fixtures along the way to the furnace sometimes a distance of 50 to 100 feet. Is this, in your opinion what the code says to the purist?

George Little

#89351 - 09/11/04 10:12 PM Re: Basement lights  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878

I'll bite ...
I'm guessing the debate is whether the switch for the light by the Furnace should be by the stairs. That may be what the code language requires.


#89352 - 09/12/04 06:04 AM Re: Basement lights  
George Little  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
You hit the nail on the head Bill. I do think that's what the words say in the Code but I don't know that this is being done elsewhere or that it is that important. So the words say that the control should be at the entrance to the area and the lighting outlet should be at the equipment requiring servicing. This really is a two part question- How many lights do we need in the basement if any, besides the one at the furnace?

George Little

#89353 - 09/12/04 06:06 AM Re: Basement lights  
shortcircuit  Offline
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 608
George...the wording in 210.70(A)(3)requires the lighting outlet at the furnace equipment to be controlled by the switch at the usual point of entry to the basement,as I read it in the 2002 NEC. I use to wire unfinished basements with pullchain lampholders as you have described, but now I wire all the lights on the switch at the stairs leading to the basement.
A home owner told me a story of how his son went to the basement with a pail of hot water for some project he was doing for school and he was using a small step ladder to try to turn on a pullchain light that had the string broken off and somehow he steped into that pail of hot water when he was coming down off the step ladder and was burned by the hot water.


#89354 - 09/12/04 10:11 AM Re: Basement lights  
capt al  Offline
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 206
Norton, Ma USA
George, I would say you need 3 lights in your basement. At the furnace, sump pump, & electrical panel. This is based on 210.70(A)(3) equipment requiring servicing.

Also like shortcircuit I do not use pull chains anymore. I put the switch at the entrance to the basement area.

#89355 - 09/12/04 02:10 PM Re: Basement lights  
DougW  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
North Chicago, IL
Done the pullchain bit myself over the years. What I have done recently is wire them to the switch at the stairs - that way (if the basement isn't really being used for anything)the HO can control the number of lights he needs on at any one time, but it still complies with the Code.

Although, to argue the point, I think that if the stairway lighting (controlled by a 3-way circuit, S1 @ the top (1st floor) and S2 @ the bottom (basement)) illuminates enough of the basement to get to pullchain lamp #1, you might be able to that " point of control" is at the foot of the stairs.

#89356 - 09/12/04 03:12 PM Re: Basement lights  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,308
along the way to the furnace sometimes a distance of 50 to 100 feet.

I'm glad you said 'purist' there George, after all, i can't imagine anyone building a 100+ ft long residence to argue about how many porcelians would be in thier basement..


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