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How Many Receptacle Outlets Are Allowed Per Circuit
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How to Determine the Number of Outlets to Wire on a Circuit: Identify the Area where the Outlets will be Installed, Bedroom Outlet Circuits, Kitchen Outlets and Small Appliance Circuits, Electrical Codes and Outlet Circuits.
Guide to Wiring Outlet Circuits
This electrical wiring question came from:
David, a Handyman from Millmont, Pennsylvania.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question David.
How to Determine the Number of Outlets to Wire on a Circuit
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the number of outlets that will be replaced.
Precaution: Identify the outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional outlet wiring should be done with a permit and be inspected.
Considerations when Planning Electrical Wiring for Outlet Circuits
- Identify the Area where the Outlets will be Installed
- The answer to this question of how many receptacle outlets can be wired to one circuit will be relevant to the location of the receptacle circuit and what the outlets will be used for, or the designated use for the circuit as it pertains to the load that will be placed on the circuit.
- This will include identifying specific equipment or devices that will be connected to the circuit.
- As the definition of the circuit is identified then we will need to see if there are specific codes that must be followed in order to be code compliant.
- Electrical Codes and Outlet Circuits
- The code is very clear about certain circuits that are installed in some locations of the home. Even more than this, the actual type of circuit may be addressed as well, such is the case for bedroom outlet receptacles.
- Bedroom Outlet Circuits
- Bedroom outlet circuits must be protected by an AFCI circuit breaker, or an AFCI receptacle outlet must be installed in the first position of all the other receptacle outlets.
- For bedroom areas it is common to have ten to twelve outlets on one circuit, which may be 15 amp or 20 amp.
- Keeping in mind the loads that are placed on some bedroom circuits by a busy family, it may be best to have two bedrooms on one twenty amp AFCI circuit, if the exact intended load will allow.
- Kitchen Outlets and Small Appliance Circuits
- The kitchen is another example where specific circuits must be installed and loaded according to the national electrical code.
- Kitchen counter top receptacle outlets used for small appliances is another example.
- Small appliance kitchen circuit must be twenty amp with GFCI protection, and a minimum of two of these circuits are required.
- The Size of the Home
- The actual number of circuits will depend on the size of the home.
- In larger homes, it is very common to have four or more twenty amp circuits that are serving counter top receptacles.
Electrical Tip when Planning Electrical Wiring for Outlet Circuits
- Identify the intended use for the circuit.
- Identify the location of the circuit.
- Consult the National Electrical Code for specifics based on the identified circuit.
- Consult your local building authority to see if there are any additional requirements.
Additional Resources for Wiring for Outlet Circuits:
Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home
- Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
- A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
You identified your project to be about Outlet Wiring,
so you might find this information useful:
Wiring Electrical Outlets
- Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Wiring Electrical Outlets with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.