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Old 12-16-2009, 10:06 AM   #1
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Electrical Code question

Hey guys. This is my first post on this site, but have been reading for quite sometime. This website is invaluable for the common diyer and appreciate any advice you can give.

I'm planning on completely re-wiring my 3 bedrooms and surronding hallway.

My plan is to run two 15A AFCI circuits one for outlets and the other for lighting and detectors.

Is there a limit to the number of outlets on a circuit? My plan now calls for 15 outlets. Would a 15A circuit be sufficient for this or should I plan on a 20A circuit?

the total square footage of these bedrooms is around 400 sq feet. Is there any electrical load forumula I should to determine if I should use 15A or 20A circuit.

As for the lighting circuit, I plan on having six 6" recessed cans in the master, 3 dome lights (one each of the other bedrooms and hallway) and detectors in each bedroom and the hallway. is having this on its own circuit overkill?

I'm just wondering if I should separate out the lighting and outlet circuits or should I just intermingle them.

I will of course be pulling permits once I get my design finalized, just in the planning stages right now. Any help/comments would be appreicated, Thanks!


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Old 12-16-2009, 10:10 AM   #2
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I do not think there is a code limit on how many outlets per circuit.

I'd use 20A for the outlets, and separate them to their own circuit, apart from the lights. This way, when working on the outlets, you can still turn the lights on, and when working on the lights, you can plug a lamp in the wall. Also, who knows what you will want to plug in someday. I wish all the outlets in my house were 20Amp.



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Old 12-16-2009, 10:22 AM   #3
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My master bedroom has a dedicated 20a run, sons bedroom also has one
1st floor bedrooms are on existing shared circuits
I seperate my lights & outlets, outlet circuits I always use 20a

There isn't any load formula that requires you to install a certain number of circuits
There is a Load Calc for the entire house that includes 3w per sq ft for living area

Lighting circuits I calculate load & load up circuits to the Max rating 15a = 1800w
6 cans & 3 dome lights = maybe 800w max, way less if you use CFL's
I have all CFL's in recessed cans, so 9 = 117w & easily added to an existing circuit
So far I have (3) 15a lighting circuits & if I turned every light on the most heavily loaded it would only be ~1280 watts
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bean44125 View Post
My plan now calls for 15 outlets. Would a 15A circuit be sufficient for this or should I plan on a 20A circuit?
As the possible loads (for example, a cord connected space heater) on such circuits are relatively large in proportion to the maximum circuit ampacity, it's generally not very useful to attempt to calculate capacity on the basis of a "typical" demand, you need to look at at the actual loads you expect will be applied, and lay out your circuits accordingly. And if you do attempt to estimate "typical" demand, you need keep modern lifestyles in mind.

What will be the demands on the bedroom circuits? Will any likely be used for a home office? By the time you add up TVs, sound systems, electric blankets, portable heaters, night table lamps, exercise equipment, computers and printers, etc., modern life-styles can produce surprisingly high loads - in my rentals remodels I now run a separate 20A circuit to each bedroom.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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Thanks all for your comments they have been helpful and cetainly making me think to change my layout.

As for "expected" loads. One room is used as an office so there's computer and stereo equip in there. The master bedroom has a LCD TV mounted on the wall as well as stereo equip. I have forced air for hvac so thats on its own dedicated circuit.
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