> >
>

# Are split-circuit receptacles still counted as 1.5 amps?

Notices

## Are split-circuit receptacles still counted as 1.5 amps?

#1
06-08-15, 02:59 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 223
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Are split-circuit receptacles still counted as 1.5 amps?

Hi guys, the title says it all... I installed two split circuit receptacles this weekend, with 14/3 wire, which means the neutral is just one wire. For breaker load purposes, are the receptacles still counted as 1.5, or do they become 3?

#2
06-08-15, 04:25 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711

Last edited by ray2047; 06-08-15 at 06:32 PM.
#3
06-08-15, 05:41 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 511
Receptacles count as 1A. Your split receptacles have 2 circuits on them, top and bottom, so each top will count as 1A on that circuit and each bottom will count as 1A on the other circuit.

ray,
We do our circuit loading differently from our southern brothers. Each outlet counts as 1A unless the load is known.

#4
06-08-15, 09:15 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 223
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
oh ok!

So in other words, since they are both on the same circuit, (as in to going to the same breaker but the top one is controlled by a switch), a receptacle would count as 2 amps?

Also, when you say, "unless the load is known", do you mean for example a light outlet with a max 50W rating, therefore 50/120= 0,41 amps?

#5
06-09-15, 02:37 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 511
Nono, you have two circuits sharing a neutral.
Your breaker is technically two breakers but with the handles tied together. I'm assuming you're using a 2 pole breaker?
http://www.rona.ca/images/1614004_L.jpg

You used a 14/3 wire. Your red wire is one circuit attached to one breaker, your black wire is another circuit attached to the other breaker. Therefore you have two 15A circuits sharing the neutral.
Outlet is a generic term for anywhere you can draw power. So your receptacles and lights are both outlets.
On a 15A circuit, you are only allowed 12 outlets on the circuit.
So therefore you could have 12 split receptacles, 12 tops fed off one circuit, 12 bottoms fed off the other circuit. Unless this is your kitchen, then you are only allowed 2 receptacles per circuit.
A receptacle can have a variety of things plugged into it, so you don't know what kind of load will be running off it if any at all, therefore a receptacle factors in as 1A.
A socket light fixture can accept a variety of bulbs, so again the load isn't known so each socket counts as 1A.
Now a fluorescent light, for example, has a ballast in it. Doesn't matter which bulbs you put in it, your ballast while have the same draw so you can factor in the ballast's amperage.

#6
06-09-15, 07:43 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 223
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
oh shoot, I may have messed this up or didn't explain myself correctly.

I have a 14/2 wire going in to the switch box. The hot wire is pigtailed to both the red and black wires from the 14/3 wire. The red one goes to the switch, and then to every top plug (which are therefore controlled by the switch), and the black one goes to every bottom plug, which are always hot. Maybe split-circuit isn't the right terminology here, because essentially it is the same breaker, but there is a switch. It is not a potentially wet area like a kitchen, and the only reason the receptacles are split is because I have a bulkhead in the room and putting ceiling lights would cause awkward shadows. I therefore want to put lamps that will be controlled by the switch. I was under the impression that this was respectful of the code - if not I will fix it...

To add to that, here is what is prompting me to ask this: I have a 100 amp panel and my space is very limited. I am trying to figure out if I am overloading the 80% rule on the (last) 15 amp breaker I am using.

Basically, I have 8 50W pot lights controlled by one dimmer, 2 split wire receptacles as explained above (top controlled by another switch, bottom always hot), and one normal receptacle.

If I calculate this with the 12 receptacle rule, I either have 11 if the split circuits are counted as one, or 13 if they are counted as two, so this matters :S

Last edited by Shivaya; 06-09-15 at 08:02 PM.
#7
06-09-15, 10:21 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 511
You're ok.
What you have is just switched receptacles.
Duplex receptacles still count as 1A. You're just switching the tops.

#8
06-10-15, 05:07 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 13,935
That is a single circuit. The fact that part is switched does not make it another circuit.

#9
06-10-15, 11:24 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 223
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Sweet! Thanks a lot fellas!
Mr. Awesome - you carry your name well!

#10
06-10-15, 04:12 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 511
No problem buddy, good luck with the project!