Snake Room Questions

I wasn’t sure where to post this but enclosures seemed to make sense. I finally broke my wife and got her to agree to a “snake room” in the basement. Our basement is currently unfinished and we are engaging a contractor soon to begin the project. I will have a 17’ x 10’ space that is currently being used for storage. The space is plumbed for a wash basin/utility sink already. I plan to have the contractor duct for HVAC, drop electrical for outlets, and dry wall the space.

My big question is surrounding electrical. I am pretty novice when it comes to electrical work and loads on outlets. There are three walls in the space that will work well for cages. At the moment, I am planning for 6 larger enclosures (4x2x2) and eventually a handful of smaller enclosures and rack(s). I was envisioning two outlets on each wall but I wanted to get input from folks that have a snake room in their home as to how much voltage/wattage they need to support multiple enclosures in a single room. I don’t want to continuously trip the breaker or blow fuses because the room doesn’t have enough “juice”.

Also, if you had the opportunity to design your own snake room from a blank canvas, are there are any must haves, or wish list, features you wish you had or I should consider?



If you don’t have well water I would say that you should invest in a RO unit.


I can’t really help on the electrical questions…
But if you live in an area that’s prone to flooding, it may help to have a water sensor placed somewhere on the floor.
Otherwise, make sure to triple check for any potential fire hazards and make sure your smoke or monoxide detectors are properly working. Get things properly wired with the electrician to avoid straining circuits and such.
My partner just picked up a Kill-a-watt so I might test what a couple of my racks run at myself.

There’s been a couple of cases where people have lost animals to flooded tubs. The most recent in my memory were due to fires unfortunately. Because putting out the fire meant firefighters flooding the basement…


Thanks! I actually have a 125 gpd RO/DI unit from when I had a saltwater fish tank, so I got that covered.


Thanks! Our area is not prone to flooding and the basement is not entirely below grade (walk out) so I should be okay on the flooding concern.

I am planning on having all the electrical done by an electrician. I like to think I’m pretty handy but I don’t mess with electrical outside of changing outlets, light switches, and ceiling fixtures.


IRC requires outlets every 6’. Less distance when you throw in doors. That’s code for livable space. But, you’re talking snake space. That will require more outlets than normal. I would put quad boxes every where you would normally just have duplex outlets. Put as many of them on their own GFCIs as you can afford. They aren’t that much more.

I know, you can use surge suppressors, but there is nothing better than wall outlets.

You should consider mounting them higher up than typical. No reason to want to crawl underneath shelves and tables to plug stuff in.


When it come to Electrical, I tend to go over board. I some cases it paid off and in others it was over kill.

What I would do in a room that size,
min of 2 outlets in each wall.
At least 2 circuits in the room. (each wall on its own circuit would be my choice). This would be for many reasons. One being if one blowes, you still have other items with power until you fix it. The other being, if more is needed in the room you won’t have to open the walls up to add more. (later you need an ac or extra heater, then you have the power to handle it.)

Yes, over kill at first. But could be a life saver later.


@dlhirst agree 100%. Should of added it to my post, but did not want to make it extremely big and boring.


Congratulations on breaking your wife! That can be near impossible for some.


@d_y_python and @dlhirst , thanks for the recommendations. I had planned on GFI for the outlets but hadn’t considered putting the outlets/walls on separate circuits and installing the outlets higher on the walls for ease of access. We’ll have to see what the electrician can do with the existing circuits on our panel or if a separate panel for the entire basement is necessary but I’ll have them compartmentalize as best we can for JIC purposes. It sounds like as many outlets as I can fit is the way to go.

Oh, and the quad outlets. Definitely going to do that.


My snake room is not large (130 SF). When I bought the house, the outlets (not lights) were on a shared 15A circuit. I added a dedicated 20A circuit since the main panel is in the utility room directly across the hallway.

I use ARS racks, so the load is easy to calculate. A 20A circuit will provide (safely) 1,920 watts.
Full-size ARS racks like the 7030 and 5540 are 36w per level.
Most rack manufacturers (like CSerpents) can tell you the load of each model of their racks.
And be sure to have room for expansion!


I’m 0 help with electrical. I just keep adding things to the outlet until the braker starts popping. Then I back off. I call it, “The Scientific Method”


@kavoll Husbands can be hard to break too!, thank you very much! Lol​:joy::rofl::joy:


@eorr53 Congratulations on your project! I envy anyone who has a “snake room!” :+1::clap:

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