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Old 06-23-2006, 08:56 AM   #1
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Number of receptacles and size of wires


I am doing wiring for my basement. I have two questions would like to ask:
1. If I want to install a separate circuit solely for general purpose receptacles for the whole basement (not including bathroom receptables). Is the code impose a limit on number of receptacles I can put on the circuit?
2. Is there a dependance between the size of the wire and the number of receptacles in the circuit? Say if there are certain number of receptacles in the circuit, you have to use 15 or 20 Amp wires. or there is no such dependance.

Thank you for answering.

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Old 06-23-2006, 09:18 AM   #2
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Number of receptacles and size of wires


With the proviso that you are in Canada and things there don't follow NEC...

1.) In NEC there is no limit on the number of receptacles on a general purpose circuit. There MAY be practical limits you'd like to impose yourself. Depending on the size of your basement, there are certain circumstances where you can run into limits on the number of square feet a circuit can serve - but again, how does that apply in Canada?

2.) NEC does not prevent you from upsizing your wires, nor does it require you to use a larger wire in the circumstance you are talking about. If you are purchasing Romex (or any other NM) in 14awg vs 12awg, you don't need to worry too much about the size of the EGC (bare wire) - as the commonly available NM in those sizes has the EGC the same size as the current carrying conductors.

What the NEC requires is that your circuit breaker be sized to protect your wires. There is nothing in NEC that says your breaker won't trip constantly because you decided to plug too many devices into the receptacles. This is above and beyond what NEC requires, but if it was me, I'd add up the amperage of the devices you expect to plug in... if that's over 10A and you were planning on doing 14awg (15A breaker), then I'd bump up to 12awg (20A breaker). If you were going to plug in over 15A of devices, I'd break it into multiple circuits.


Last edited by IvoryRing; 06-23-2006 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 06-23-2006, 04:32 PM   #3
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Number of receptacles and size of wires


Hey it sounds like your a fellow canadian if not my answer will not help you.

You are allowed a maxium of 12 outlets on one circuit.

It does not matter how many devices you have you match the wire to the breaker, which in your case would be 15A so #14 wire.

To save yourself alot of frustrations in the future I would not put 12 on the circuit. Lets say in two years you realize you need a plug over in the corner where you didn't put one. Now that you have the maxium of 12 on the circuit you either have to remove one other plug or run another circuit. If you put only 9 or 10 you can simply add one to that circuit.

Hope this helps
Darren
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Old 06-24-2006, 10:43 AM   #4
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Number of receptacles and size of wires


More Canadian rules that apply.
Light fixtures count as a device. Switches do not. Light fixtures can't be on a 20 amp circuit.
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Old 06-26-2006, 09:41 AM   #5
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Number of receptacles and size of wires


Thanks for the answer everyone, I will let you know once I received some answer from the Code department, as I asked them a question last time regarding bathroom wiring, they come back to me after 1 week or so. Hopefully, they will come back to me this time and I will post the answer here.
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Old 06-28-2006, 01:21 PM   #6
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Number of receptacles and size of wires


Got this answers from the code department:

1. The code permits up to twelve general purpose lighting and receptacle outlets to be supplied by a 15 amp branch circuit.
2. No, unless the circuit is long enough to require an increase in wire size to compensate for voltage drop. (no relationship between size of wire and number of receptacles)
Ontario Electrical Safety Code Rule 12-3000.

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