Old 09-26-00, 03:12 AM
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how many outlet/lights can you have on a 15amp breaker
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Old 09-26-00, 06:47 AM
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You asked how many you *can* have on a 15 amp breaker. The answer is as many as you want. The code specifies no limit.

Do you also want to know how many on one breaker is a good idea? This is mostly common sense and is influence by your planned usage of these outlets/lights. Normally about 8 is right, but you could have more or less depending on what you plan to plug in or how many watts your lights are.
Old 09-26-00, 05:56 PM
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Eight is enough, sounds like a good number.

As to how many maximum allowed on a 15 amp circuit, or even a 20 amp circuit. If receptacles serve a living area, He is absolutely right.

I think the previous reply is a good idea, couldn't have said it better.

Providing a little bit more info for everyone. If you were to wire the maximum number of receptacles in a design equal to the maximum allowed in a commercial basis, like an office building, or factory considering convenience outlets, you would calculate 180 Va. per receptacle. 110-3 in the NEC

A 20 amp circuit would equal 120 v time 20 a = 2400 watts at one hundred percent. For continuous use you would have to reduce that by 20% or 80% maximum load for continuous. 2400 times 80% = 1920 Va.

Now divide 1920 Va maximum load for a continuous rated circuit by 180 va. for the load required calculated for a commercial rated convenience outlet. = 10.6666 receptacles per circuit. That means you can load a convenience or general lighting receptacle circuit with 10 receptacles and still tell your customer that you wired their home on a commercial rated design.

Hope this puts things in perspective.

Just try to remember that I would not recommend wiring by the minimum safety standards. If we tell you what the minimum safety standards are then you should know what is considered safe. Then anything with a stronger design would be better. At least you would know what bottom line is considered as safe. Anything better than that is your choice.

Old 09-27-00, 11:46 AM
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Just want to chime in on what WG said about "minimum". He's right, the National Electrical Code (NEC) is a minimum standard. It does not pretend to be a "best possible design" manual. It describes requirements in such terms as "not to exceed", or "not less than". I liken the Code to my job. How long would I be working for my current employer if I did the bare minimum at work every day? Just because I didn't break any of the rules doesn't mean I'm a particularly good employee! I have seen electrical jobs that met the Code and passed inspection, but were not particularly intelligent designs, or were not user-friendly at least, but I will admit they were not dangerous.

For my own home I do such things as putting 3 rooms, that each have 3 receptacles and 1 light fixture, on 3 separate breakers. If I had to change a light switch in one room, for instance, the other family members busy in the other 2 rooms could carry on while I worked safely in the third with the power off. And if an electrical problem developed on one circuit it would be easier to troubleshoot because the area and number of electrical devices where the problem could possibly be are limited.

So wherever the Code specifies the maximum of anything I would generally recommend installing less. When it specifies the minimum, I generally recommend more.

For what it's worth.


[This message has been edited by JuiceHead (edited September 27, 2000).]

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