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HandyFrank 11-30-2010 05:05 PM

Planning Electrical Upgrade Layout- How many outlets/receptacles per line, etc??
 
Curious to know how many outlets/receptacles should go on a 15 amp line? I've read posts on this site and others that discuss estimating 80% load on a 15amp which is roughly 1440 watts.

I have 3 smaller bedrooms and plan to have TV's, standard things plugged in, and maybe a computer or two. I will have A/C units on a separate line. Expecting to have about 5 outlets per room.

How many outlets/receptacles are recommended per 15 amp line? I've read some say between 8 to 10 with similar usage, but others say much more. I'd rather have more juice than less, so I'm curious to hear what people recommend.

Any tips appreciated.:thumbup:

VersaBar 11-30-2010 05:08 PM

As you know there is no actual code for residential wiring. Some people like to follow the guideline of (1) 15A circuit for every 600 sqft of space.

HandyFrank 11-30-2010 05:12 PM

Thanks for those details so far. I was hoping to hear what people have actually done in their own homes, or would recommend doing in specific.

With the A/C on separate lines ,that only leaves computers and tv's to draw the most juice other than phone chargers and stuff. I want to make sure the line has enough power so if an iron or anything like that was ever used it can take the load.

Anyone have some examples of what they did? 3bedroom on the 2nd floor of a home.

jbfan 11-30-2010 05:17 PM

My local code allows 10 receptalse outlets per circuit.
I use this number everywhere, unless another code is more restrictive.

VersaBar 11-30-2010 05:23 PM

This is one of those issues that is very opinionated. You'll have answers on both sides of the spectrum.

On one hand consumer devices are getting more and more efficient. On the other hand, people are buying bigger and bigger products. Your kid might buy a gaming computer with a 1,000watt power supply. Your other kid might want a 65" plasma.

Another thing to consider is lighting, many times lighting is put on the same circuit as general use receptacles. Lighting could be a single fixture in the center of the room with a CFL lamp in it or it could be 8 high hats with 60watt incandescent bulbs. That needs to be taken into consideration.

Red Squirrel 11-30-2010 05:31 PM

In Canada it's 12 outlets per circuit, this counts light fixtures. In US I don't think there's a limit. Think of it on a practical usage though. What type of things will normally be plugged into those outlets? Are some of those things always plugged there? (Ex: an appliance) Choose to make some of those outlets dedicated based on those facts. If you have a vacuum cleaner, do you tend to plug it in different plugs as you move around the house, what else might be plugged in there that has a big load (ex: AC unit). Things to consider.

In most residential settings there's not really that many big use appliances so 15 amps is quite a lot of power for even 10+ outlets in most cases, but still good to be on safe side.

Scuba_Dave 11-30-2010 05:35 PM

My lights are for the most part separate from the outlets
For the most part I do not run any 15a outlet circuits
The exception is the fridge, which has a dedicated 15a circuit
I had the breaker already....and used #12 wire in case I ever want to upgrade it to 20a
Small bedroom on the 2nd floor has a dedicated 20a circuit
Large bedroom has (2) 20a circuits
1st floor bedroom has a dedicated 20a circuit
In the new addition each room has (2) 20a circuits
The bar area will have (3) 20a circuits & a full kitchen setup w/stove

Bedrooms & some other areas now require AFCI protection
I also run my outlets about 6' apart instead of the 12' allowed by code

HandyFrank 11-30-2010 06:51 PM

Thanks for the input everyone.
I have recessed lighting that I'll be running on separate lines, so my question is directly related to outlets. All of your responses have been helpful to help gauge what is common for you all.

I considered running 12-2/20amp for the regular outlets but I've decided to run 12-2 for the A/C outlets IF I ever need them, and separate 14-2 lines for the lighting and standard outlets.

VersaBar 11-30-2010 07:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HandyFrank (Post 543208)
Thanks for the input everyone.
I have recessed lighting that I'll be running on separate lines, so my question is directly related to outlets. All of your responses have been helpful to help gauge what is common for you all.

I considered running 12-2/20amp for the regular outlets but I've decided to run 12-2 for the A/C outlets IF I ever need them, and separate 14-2 lines for the lighting and standard outlets.

Today I did some work in a 2 family house, the electric was butchered over the years. I found that the sub panel powering the entire second floor apartment (2 bedroom, living room, kitchen, dining room, bathroom) was powered by a 10-2 cable that was fed with a 20 Amp breaker in the sub panel for the first floor. They've been going all these years living like normal off of 20 amps, kitchen and all. You'd be amazed at how little power most people use at any given point considering the fact that there are so many non-sequential loads.

In your situation, since you mentioned all 3 bedrooms are small (5 receptacles each) and that there are dedicated AC receptacles (great idea), and that lighting is separate, I think you'd be fine with (1) 15A circuit for all 3 bedrooms. But it wouldn't cost that much more to use 2 circuits.

nap 11-30-2010 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VersaBar (Post 543217)

In your situation, since you mentioned all 3 bedrooms are small (5 receptacles each) and that there are dedicated AC receptacles (great idea), and that lighting is separate, I think you'd be fine with (1) 15A circuit for all 3 bedrooms. But it wouldn't cost that much more to use 2 circuits.

I have to ask ya how you get 5 receps equates to a small bedroom. That could be a pretty good sized room. I don't do resi (and too lazy to grab the NEC at the moment) but wouldn't a 12X12 room require about 5 receps? To me, that is not a small bedroom.

as to putting all 3 bedrooms on 1 circuit; for me; no way, not a chance, I would never consider it, especially if you have daughters. Hair dryers and curling irons draw a pretty heavy load. Just one of them at my house is 1300 watts and I have 2 daughters.:eek:


I try to split circuits within rooms so there is at least 2 circuits in a room. Those circuits can be used elsewhere too (like split 2 circuits between 3 bedrooms, maybe) but that way if you overload one in a room, you have another circuit you can put some of the load on.

along with Scuba Dave; more outlets are better.

if the house in designed so you know where things will likely be such as an entertainment center, a dedicated or nearly so circuit to such areas is a good idea. I would also consider multiple receps in such an area or at least a quad instead of a duplex.

and personally, for my own use, I don't even bother with 15 amp circuits. 20 amp circuits don't add that much money but you have 1/3 more power available.

VersaBar 11-30-2010 10:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nap (Post 543385)
I have to ask ya how you get 5 receps equates to a small bedroom.

I was just quoting what he said earlier:
Quote:

Originally Posted by HandyFrank (Post 543129)
I have 3 smaller bedrooms ~ Expecting to have about 5 outlets per room.

In the end, it doesn't matter if there are 5 or 50 receptacles in a bedroom, the demand is the same.

nap 12-01-2010 01:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VersaBar (Post 543391)
I was just quoting what he said earlier:
In the end, it doesn't matter if there are 5 or 50 receptacles in a bedroom, the demand is the same.

sure wish my wife felt that way when finding a stash of cash in my wallet. It surely seems the more available, the more she needs.:(

HandyFrank 12-03-2010 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nap (Post 543385)
I have to ask ya how you get 5 receps equates to a small bedroom. That could be a pretty good sized room. I don't do resi (and too lazy to grab the NEC at the moment) but wouldn't a 12X12 room require about 5 receps? To me, that is not a small bedroom.

as to putting all 3 bedrooms on 1 circuit; for me; no way, not a chance, I would never consider it, especially if you have daughters. Hair dryers and curling irons draw a pretty heavy load. Just one of them at my house is 1300 watts and I have 2 daughters.:eek:


I try to split circuits within rooms so there is at least 2 circuits in a room. Those circuits can be used elsewhere too (like split 2 circuits between 3 bedrooms, maybe) but that way if you overload one in a room, you have another circuit you can put some of the load on.

along with Scuba Dave; more outlets are better.

if the house in designed so you know where things will likely be such as an entertainment center, a dedicated or nearly so circuit to such areas is a good idea. I would also consider multiple receps in such an area or at least a quad instead of a duplex.

and personally, for my own use, I don't even bother with 15 amp circuits. 20 amp circuits don't add that much money but you have 1/3 more power available.

Good info all around, thanks.
I agree that breaking the room outlets onto multiple separate lines is probably a better bet.

I've decided to run 14-2 for the lighting, and the majority of outlets with only a few on 12-2 lines so I can draw more juice if I need on those lines.

Thanks everyone!


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