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Old 03-05-2010, 11:51 PM   #1
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Maximum number of receptacles on 15 amp circuit


I am beginning to wire my basement and wondered if there is a maximum number of receptacles permitted on a 15 amp circuit. My layout includes a total of three 15 amp circuits: one for 12 receptacles, a bathroom multi-light fixture and two canister lights in a workshop. The second 15 amp circuit shows a total of 12 receptacles. The third and final 15 amp circuit will include approx. 10-12 canister lights. Is this acceptable to NEC standards? My understanding is there is no maximum number of receptacles because there is no draw on them unless they are in use, then that will obviously determine the load.

15 amp circuit X 120V= 1800 watt total capacity/1440 safe capacity.

I have read other places that a maximum of 10 receptacles are allowed.

Please tell me what is correct according to the NEC.
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Last edited by flati; 03-06-2010 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:54 PM   #2
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Maximum number of receptacles on 15 amp circuit


In the US there is not a limit. But, why wouldn't you run 20A? It's not like anyone ever wishes they had less electrical capacity...

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Old 03-05-2010, 11:59 PM   #3
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Maximum number of receptacles on 15 amp circuit


No limits, other then you must consider the loads (if known)

Lighting is not considered a continous load
As long as you do not expect the lighting to be on all at once I load my lighting circuit to Max capacity

If its all one room & you might have (18) 100w lights on for 8 hours then I would split them up
But I use CFL's, so not worried about overloading any of my circuits

Receptacles I always run a 20a circuit
Many vacuums take 12a these days; hair dryers, space heaters, dehumidifiers, AC's etc all use a lot of power...so I run only 20a circuits

Bathroom must have a dedicated 20a circuit that can also feed lights
OR
Bathroom outlet can be on a shared 20a circuit with other bathrooms IF there aren't any lights being fed

I try to run circuits based on what I might use
My new additiona I am keeping number of outlets to maybe 6-8 Max & alternate outlets as you go along are on a different circuit
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:03 AM   #4
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Maximum number of receptacles on 15 amp circuit


I probably should have used 20 amp circuits but already have most of the 14 gauge wire run through the walls and the 15 amp breakers. So I definitely have to run the bathroom differently I guess...
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:05 AM   #5
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Maximum number of receptacles on 15 amp circuit


Bathroom does require 20a by code
If you are going to have a treadmill they usually need a 20a circuit too
You will also need AFCI breakers except for the bathroom
Basically any finished room except those that require GFCI

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Old 03-06-2010, 05:32 PM   #6
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Maximum number of receptacles on 15 amp circuit


I know in Canada it's 12 receptacles on a 15 amp breaker. Your able to fill the breaker to 80% capacity. This is using #14AWG wiring.

Last edited by mj876; 03-06-2010 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:00 PM   #7
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Maximum number of receptacles on 15 amp circuit


You guys are awesome! I posted my question late last night and had answers shortly afterwards. Thanks a bunch. Any other tips or pointers for my basement project appreciated.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:04 PM   #8
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Maximum number of receptacles on 15 amp circuit


Updated plans..
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:42 PM   #9
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Maximum number of receptacles on 15 amp circuit


Electrical is the AWESOMEST part of the forum. For SURE!
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:54 PM   #10
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Maximum number of receptacles on 15 amp circuit


Looks good...4th circuit 20a is just the bathroom

Are you using the 2nd circuit (lighting) in all areas ?
You should have an overhead lights for each room

Will you have an outlet in the water/electric "room"
Is the area in the top right also storage ? or just the landing area for stairs
Remember a 3-way switch for light(s) on the stairs

Just one thought
Its a lot easier to run wire while the walls are open
You are only planning on (2) 15a circuits
You have a work-out room & a tool room
If it were me I'd put a 20a to the tool room & one to the Gym
Better to have it & not need it...then need it & not have it

For the Gym I would tie it into an additional outlet in the Main room
And I would do the same in the workshop...tied into another outlet in the Main room

This gives you an extra 40a of power...enough for almost anything
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:01 AM   #11
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Maximum number of receptacles on 15 amp circuit


What I consider a workshop is actually what I call my archery room. It wont consist of power tool usage just a bench with hunting/archery supplies.

The other rooms will have overhead lighting but I plan to just use what is already there (pull switches) I'll just add switches and maybe an extra light for each room if that's acceptable.

There is already a receptacle in the utility room, its actually the only receptacle in the basement at this time.

"For the Gym I would tie it into an additional outlet in the Main room
And I would do the same in the workshop...tied into another outlet in the Main room

This gives you an extra 40a of power...enough for almost anything

.....Not sure I understand all of this???

Last edited by flati; 03-07-2010 at 03:05 AM.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:08 AM   #12
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Maximum number of receptacles on 15 amp circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by flati View Post
The other rooms will have overhead lighting but I plan to just use what is already there (pull switches) I'll just add switches and maybe an extra light for each room if that's acceptable.

There is already a receptacle in the utility room, its actually the only receptacle in the basement at this time.

"For the Gym I would tie it into an additional outlet in the Main room
And I would do the same in the workshop...tied into another outlet in the Main room

This gives you an extra 40a of power...enough for almost anything

.....Not sure I understand all of this???
Run an additional 20a circuit, 1 outlet in the Gym -another outlet in the main room

There is a part of the code that requires a switched light
Possible the pull lights qualify - not sure

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