Can I put an entire room on one 15A circuit?


Old 03-02-07, 06:25 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 4
Can I put an entire room on one 15A circuit?

I am in the process of finishing my basement and I am ready to do the electrical. I am wondering if I can put each room on it's own breaker. I checked my panel and it looks like that is the way it was done (in my 3 year old house). I was planning on using 15 amp breakers. The play room will have 6 outlets and 4 can lights, TV room will have 7 outlets and 4 cans plus 3 accent lights, and game area will have 6 outlets and 3 cans plus 3 accent lights. If I can, do I just run the power for the lights from an outlet to the switches and then to the cans? Thanks
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Old 03-02-07, 06:39 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
As long as "room" does not include a bathroom, then yes, you can do that. Is it wise? That depends on what you plan to use the room for and how much power that takes. If I were you, I'd use 20-amp rather than 15-amp circuits. The additional cost and effort is trivial, and it gives you 1/3 more power. If you don't have any high-power stuff to run (like a refrigerator, freezer, space heater, laser printer, etc.), then that should be fine. If you do have any high-power stuff to run, consider a separate circuit for that. If you have the room in the panel, more circuits gives you more future flexibility, and the cost of an extra circuit is small if you do it now.

Note also that putting receptacles and lighting on the same circuit is not usually the best solution. This is because certain things plugged into receptacles can cause the lighting to momentarily dim when they come on. It's not dangerous, but it can be a bit annoying. If you don't think this will bother you, then it's okay. Some people will warn that if you trip the breaker by something you plug into a receptacle, you'll be left in the dark, but I think that danger is far overblown. Properly designed circuits don't trip, and most people have no trouble finding their way out of a dark room anyway.

You can route the cable any way you want. Here's my suggestion. Start by ignoring the light fixtures. Daisy chain the cable through all the receptacle and switch boxes. Once that is done, run a cable from each switch box to the first light it controls, and then daisy chain from light to light.
Old 03-02-07, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Yes, you can do this. However, I do not recommend it.

First and foremost, I recommend 20 amp circuits for all receptacles. 20 amp circuits supply 33 percent more power than 15 amp circuits for only slightly more cost.

As for your putting each room on a single circuit, I recommend against this. If you trip the circuit breaker in a room then the room will go dark. Instead I recommend putting all the lights on a single circuit. Make this circuit 15 amps if you wish. Just don;t exceed the limits of a 15 amp circuit.

As for the rooms themselves, I suggest planning ahead and running at least two different circuits into each room. Install more receptacles than you think you need. Finally, place dedicated receptacles for any computer and for the television/entertainment center.
Old 03-02-07, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Now in Sun City, AZ
Posts: 134
12 or 14?

Were you going w/ 15amp breakers so you could just run 14ga 14/2 w/g?

If you're running 12/2, then go 20amp.
Old 03-06-07, 05:28 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 4
Thanks for the info. I will put my lights on two 15 amp circuits and put my outlets on two 20 amp. The bathroom will be on a seperate 20 amp. Thanks again.

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