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jonathan03 03-14-2010 10:55 PM

All the lights and Outlets on one Breaker?
So I am remodeling a new house and I got water in the outlet box from taking off the wallpaper. No big deal turn off the breaker and let it dry out. But I found that all the outlets and lights for the first, second and third floor are on one 15 amp breaker improperly marked lights. The basement luckily has all its outlets and switches on another breaker though.

So what is the right way to spread out the breakers? Should each floor have its own breaker for lights and outlets? Each floor is about 1000 sq ft and has 4 rooms per floor. The third floor is one large half story so it won't be used very much at all.

The obvious disadvantage of the lights and breakers on the same outlet is that when I turned off the breaker for the outlet, there are no lights.

humberguy 03-14-2010 11:06 PM

your allowed to have 12 outlets on one breaker. It could be 10 receptacles and 2 lights, or a combo of 12 lights, or 12 outlets. Whatever the combo is, their should be a maximum of 12 outlets on a breaker/circuit. As long as their is no kitchen counter top plugs on that breaker it should be fine(kitchen countertops plugs have their own breaker for that one receptacle). It would be good to put plugs on one breakers and lights on another breaker

Leah Frances 03-14-2010 11:36 PM

In the USA there is not a limit on outlets or lights, just restrictions on locations based on the NEC and local requirements.

kbsparky 03-15-2010 04:55 AM

Sounds like an old house, with knob-and-tube wiring for so much to be on one circuit.

If this is the case, I would suggest figuring on a complete rewire, splitting sections of the house off of the main circuit one or 2 rooms at a time. You might want to consult with an electrician on this one.

Scuba_Dave 03-15-2010 09:16 AM

Where are you located ?
In Canada there is a restriction
US restriction is based on NEC code, circuit capacity & load

I always run lights seperate from outlets
I run 20a outlet runs w/12g wire
I run a circuit to each bathroom, bedroom & most other rooms
Mostly due to possible use of window AC or space heater

One family house ? ~2500 sq ft - decent size

jonathan03 03-15-2010 11:14 AM

I am in Ohio. Each floor is 1000 sq ft and there are three floors. The house has central air and the space heater's for the third floor luckily have their own dedicated circuit already. So I was thinking I would have two breakers per floor. One for outlets and the other for lights.

I was going to get to the second floor by going up the exterior wall since there is balloon framing with no insulation. Then I was going to put an outlet there and daisy chain all the other outlets off it. Is that a good idea? The first outlet would be in series and would take all the current going back to the electric panel. However, It should be able to support it if it says 20A right?

Scuba_Dave 03-15-2010 11:31 AM

What kind of rooms are on the 2nd floor ?

Bathroom(s) requires a dedicated circuit that powers outlets & lights
Bathrooms can have 1 circuit that supplies all outlets & only outlets
Outlets need to be GFCI portected
Laundry area requires a dedicated circuit
Kitchen require (2) dedicated counter circuits + other circuits for appliances

I would never power 1000 sq ft off of one 20a circuit
Even my house from the 50's had 4 circuits for ~1250 sq ft

Leah Frances 03-15-2010 12:30 PM

My house is 205 years old. It was wired in the 1890s with k&t (some of which is still being used -ugg.) The entire 2400 square feet were run off of two circuits.

I've got two rooms re-wired - a sunroom that got two circuits and a bathroom that has three of it's own (lights, outlet, and future fan/heater).

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