Number of devices


Old 01-31-05, 10:27 AM
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Number of devices

Hi all,

I'm trying to figure out a grey area I've ran into recently while doing the electrical for our basement. The current run in question is for our lighting. I understand the recommended idea is that you can have 10 devices for a 14/2 15 amp run. I called our inspector to ask this question and I don't feel he gave me a real good answer. I asked what the MAX was and he said ABOUT 10-12 devices.

This leads me to a few questions:
We have 13 recessed lights - 99% of the time they will not be on at the same time. Each light is 65 watts blah blah... is 13 over this magic number?

If the answer is yes, would it be ok to put the bathroom light and fan on to the 20amp GCFI circuit which would reduce the number of lights overall to 12 or is that 20amp run ONLY for the bathroom outlet?

Then out of curiosity, is a ceiling fan with the motor and four lights considered 1 device or 5?

Thanks for your replies.
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Old 01-31-05, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: SC
Posts: 171
There is no real max allowable # of outlets in a residential general purpose circuit. 10 is a guideline, we use 13-14 as a guideline on 20a circuits. In non dwelling units, recep loads are figured at 180 VA per outlet, lighting is figured on the rating of the fixture. You don't have a problem here, even 13 lamps @ 65W is only 7 amps. Also a min of 1 20a gfci circuit shall be used for all the bath receps OR 1 20a circuit may be used for 1 bath, fixtures and recepts together. So if this is the only bath on this circuit and goes nowhere else, you can put the entire bath load on this circuit, sans heater. Finally, the ceiling fan would be considered 1 outlet.
Old 01-31-05, 11:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
If he said "about", then it's gray because it's gray. In other words, there is no limit in your area. But although the U.S. national code has no residential limit, codes on this issue do vary by city, county, and country.

13 lights on one circuit is usually just fine. When dealing with lighting, it's best to count watts rather than outlets.

Bathroom codes are very specific, so although there is no code specifically prohibiting the bathroom lights and fan on the GFCI circuit, we'd need to know everything that is on that circuit, and the country of your residence, to know whether it's legal or not.

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