# outlet question

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by casadeclarks, Feb 13, 2010.

1. Feb 13, 2010

### casadeclarks

#### Member

Joined:
Jan 28, 2010
Messages:
11
Likes Received:
0
Is there a rule of thumb on how many outlets that are occasionally used on a 15 amp circuit. EX: used for vacuming, blowdrying drop light etc

2. Feb 13, 2010

### Wuzzat?

#### Well-Known MemberSponsor

Joined:
Jan 20, 2010
Messages:
2,471
Likes Received:
175
"If following the National Electric Code (NEC) - most commonly used in USA
there is no distinct limit to the number of outlets. You must calculate load in accordance with Article 220 and you must determine the largest motor load anticipated. "

I've heard 10 to 15 outlets as a practical limit.

A hair dryer by itself will take up to ~15A.

Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
3. Feb 15, 2010

### fluxcapacitor

#### Member

Joined:
Nov 20, 2008
Messages:
9
Likes Received:
0
in CEC (canada) the max is 12 on one circuit if connected loads are unknown. If you know exactly what you are plugging in, you may exceed 12 as long as the connected load do not exceed 80% of the rating of breaker. I think 12 is a good rule of thumb.

4. Feb 15, 2010

### ohmy

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Jan 14, 2010
Messages:
57
Likes Received:
2
Generally 8 - 12 for branch circuits in residential is a good rule of thumb.

5. Feb 16, 2010

### kok328

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Nov 20, 2007
Messages:
2,755
Likes Received:
249
But then they invented the power strip making these rules of thumb obsolete.

6. Feb 16, 2010

### fluxcapacitor

#### Member

Joined:
Nov 20, 2008
Messages:
9
Likes Received:
0
at least unplugging a power strip is an easy fix.

7. Feb 16, 2010

### the_duke

#### Member

Joined:
Feb 11, 2010
Messages:
12
Likes Received:
0
so if 8-12 is the rule of thumb, and you put an outlet on every wall of a 4 sided room, does that mean each breaker should do 2-3 bedrooms? i'm about to redo the electrical in my house and was thinking about doing 1 breaker for each bedroom, due to modern technology (alarm clocks, tv's, dvd players, cell phone chargers, ipod dock stations, etc). is that going overboard or do you think that's a good idea?

8. Feb 16, 2010

### travelover

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Aug 5, 2007
Messages:
693
Likes Received:
2
Having rooms on separate breakers is nearly always a good idea. The items you noted don't really draw much power, but it is a convenience not to have a corner of your house in total darkness when a circuit breaker pops. If for some reason you needed to run an electric heater in the rooms, you have reserve power to do so with separate circuits.

9. Feb 16, 2010

### casadeclarks

#### Member

Joined:
Jan 28, 2010
Messages:
11
Likes Received:
0
Thanks for the information. I had planned on doing each room on a separate breaker. Is it ok to have the bedroom lights on the same circuit as the outlets or should I common the 3 bedroom lights on their own circuit?

10. Feb 16, 2010

### Wuzzat?

#### Well-Known MemberSponsor

Joined:
Jan 20, 2010
Messages:
2,471
Likes Received:
175
My house seems to have each room on two or more separate breakers so you're not left without power in each room.

11. Feb 17, 2010

### casadeclarks

#### Member

Joined:
Jan 28, 2010
Messages:
11
Likes Received:
0
Thanks again, I was thinking about doing the outlets separate of the lighting and having each bedroom lighting on separate circuits incase something ever happened with the lighting I would still have outlets to plug in a lamp and also the other rooms would not be without lights. I just wasn't sure if that would be overkill.

12. Feb 17, 2010

### JoeD

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Mar 16, 2006
Messages:
1,528
Likes Received:
273
If you have a receptacle you don't know what could plugged in. In order to excede the 12 limit all devices must be hardwired. Therefore the load is known. Typically the exception is only used for lighting circuits where the maximum rating of the fixture is a known value.

13. Feb 17, 2010

### Wuzzat?

#### Well-Known MemberSponsor

Joined:
Jan 20, 2010
Messages:
2,471
Likes Received:
175
Supposedly installing more outlets reduces dependency on extension cords and so marginally improves safety.

But the risk is already down in the noise.
If the yearly insurance premium to replace your house is 1/1000 of the replacement cost, the chance of your house being destroyed each year from any cause is somewhat less than 1 in 1000.
Driving a vehicle is 40x more dangerous.

And how many houses don't meet the elec. code and still, somehow, have not burned down?

14. Feb 26, 2010

### breid1903

#### New Member

Joined:
Aug 17, 2009
Messages:
3
Likes Received:
0
on a new or rewire i normally hold it at six maybe eight. one rooms recps to each breaker. ceiling lights on separate breaker. that way when or if you blow breaker because your kids decide to have the band practice in one room, you have light to see to get to panel. also to be able to find the culprits. breid...........:banana::banana::banana:

15. Feb 27, 2010

### triple D

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Jan 30, 2008
Messages:
296
Likes Received:
1
I very rarely see a breaker trip, and when it does usually there is a construction reason, like a compressor plugged in a 15amp circuit. If the house has heat that will get used, meaning there wont be space heaters plugged in to multiple rooms, you should have two bedrooms to one breaker. wire everything in rooms to this breaker, lights, plugs, and smoke detector. Dont forget to put it on an arc fault breaker. Then you will have one room left to put on one breaker. Do this with the one room you think most likely to be used as a home office some day. This method is how I wire homes and I do do this all day every day, good luck, and dont be afraid to pick off a hall light and a bathroom light on that rooms power as well.

16. Feb 27, 2010

### Wuzzat?

#### Well-Known MemberSponsor

Joined:
Jan 20, 2010
Messages:
2,471
Likes Received:
175
Try to pick one that doesn't give you false alarms.
[ame=http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=afci+false+nuisance+patent&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8]afci false nuisance patent - Google Search[/ame]

17. Mar 1, 2010

### triple D

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Jan 30, 2008
Messages:
296
Likes Received:
1
I have used siemens for 10 plus yrs. Never had a problem yet. They also are licensed as square d homeline replacement compatible. Good luck...

18. Mar 2, 2010

### casadeclarks

#### Member

Joined:
Jan 28, 2010
Messages:
11
Likes Received:
0
Well today I was told that we will be down for 2 weeks the end of this month, that will be a good time for this project. I was trying to get it done already but things just keep getting in the way (life has a way of doing this) but I am kind of glad because I keep getting usable info here from you. THANKS for it all.

Title
Replies Views
Last Message

Replies:
1,737
Views:
391,832

Replies:
59
Views:
908

Replies:
3
Views:
37

Replies:
1
Views:
162

Replies:
9
Views:
173