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    Max number of recepts per circuit

    NEC 2005 Handbook page 106 has a shaded paragraph to explain Exhibit 220.4 that says, "In Exhibit 220.4, the maximum number of outlets permitted on 15- and 20- ampere branch circuits is 10 and 13 outlets respectively. This restriction does not apply to outlets connected to general lighting or small-appliance branch circuits in dwelling units."

    So what is the max for lighting and small appliance ?

    Outlets "connected to general lighting" with lighting fixtures attached are "calculated based on the maximum volt-ampere rating of the ... lamps for which the luminaire(s) [fixture(s)] is rated" 220.14(D). So the limit would be based on each fixtures wattage rating.

    But what is the max for small appliance ?

    220.14 (I) says it doesn't apply to "outlets specified in 210.1(C)(1) & (C)(2)" which is small appliance & laundry but 220.14(L) covers "all others" which I think would include small appliance. (L) says to calculate "based on 180 volt-amperes per oulet", so 180 watt recept at 120 volts is 1.5 amps. A 20 amp small appliance circuit divided by 1.5 amps is 13 recepts.

    So is the max 13 on a small appliance circuit or not ?

    David
    David
    I get paid for doing stuff in Ohio

    #2
    I believe these numbers are used for load calculations, but not to actual installations. Circuit performance (the ability of the circuit to supply the load) will dictate receptacle quantities.

    I'll typically place only two receptacles on each residential kitchen small-appliance circuit in a "custom" home, where I'm the electrical designer as well as the electrician.

    "This restriction does not apply to outlets connected to general lighting or small-appliance branch circuits in dwelling units." That just about covers most residential circuits.
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

    Comment


      #3
      So what is the max for lighting and small appliance ?
      The NEC doesn't specify a maximum in residences. Lighting is calculated at the actual wattage connected, and there is no limit to the number of receptacles on small appliance circuits in the NEC. Local jurisdictions, such as NM where I practice, may specify different numbers.

      Jim T

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks Larry

        I had a suspicion that the info was just for calcs only but that still leaves me with the question, as a electrical inspector for a municipality that has no requirements other than the NEC, what maximum number of recepts can I enforce for:
        A) general purpose circuits
        B) small appliance circuits

        David
        David
        I get paid for doing stuff in Ohio

        Comment


          #5
          Reply to Jim

          Jim,

          This had never been an issue before until I hit an inspection where a contractor stuck 4 bedrooms on one AFCI to try to save money. I red tagged the installation and sighted the "180 watt rule" in 220.14(L). But I wondered what would happen if the contractor disputed the call.

          Other than this one time, I haven't run across anyone that has tried to push past 10 plugs on a 15 and 13 plugs on a 20.

          I'm wondering what I should do if a contractor tries to stick 13 small appliance plugs on a circuit. They could take half the kit counter, the dining room, the dinette, and a few houses even have a big breakfast room. They could load up a small appliance to 13 on a 20.

          What would be the proper response for an inspector that has no local code to supplement ?

          David
          David
          I get paid for doing stuff in Ohio

          Comment


            #6
            "Congratulations, you just passed."

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Thanks Larry

              Originally posted by dnem
              I had a suspicion that the info was just for calcs only but that still leaves me with the question, as a electrical inspector for a municipality that has no requirements other than the NEC, what maximum number of recepts can I enforce for:
              A) general purpose circuits
              B) small appliance circuits
              A) There is no maximum
              B) There is no maximum

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by dnem
                This had never been an issue before until I hit an inspection where a contractor stuck 4 bedrooms on one AFCI to try to save money. I red tagged the installation and sighted the "180 watt rule" in 220.14(L). But I wondered what would happen if the contractor disputed the call.
                Although that is an extremely poor design, it's code compliant. That code section does not apply to dwelling units. The only load calc that applies to a general purpose circuit in a dwelling unit is 3 VA per square foot.

                I'm wondering what I should do if a contractor tries to stick 13 small appliance plugs on a circuit.
                You should do nothing. There is no code that would prevent that from happening. It may be a poor design, then again it might not be. The NEC is not concerned with design issues.

                What would be the proper response for an inspector that has no local code to supplement ?
                Enforce the NEC as written.

                Comment


                  #9
                  If you are looking for the max # of openings per circut (residential) the NEC does not actually address this.But it does address the sq.ft.area that a circuit may serve regardless of the # of receptacles.If you use 1 circuit /600 sq. ft. then it is code compliant as far as receptacle outlets/ gen. lighting..Dedicated lighting loads will change that.This is unless your area has addendums that are in place.
                  Now I do agree that 1 afci for 4 bedrooms is streching it but if all bedrooms sq. footage was within the 600 sq. ft. then the install should have been passed.Again this is the max. area that a circuit may protect.Design is a horse of an entirely different color,especially with the advant of 15 amp vacums.Huge entertainment centers etc.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    David the 180 VA per yoke does not apply to dwelling units at all.

                    Take a look at 220.3(B)(10)

                    220.3(B)(10) Dwelling Occupancies.

                    In one-family, two-family, and multifamily dwellings and in guest rooms of hotels and motels, the outlets specified in (1), (2), and (3) are included in the general lighting load calculations of 220.3(A). No additional load calculations shall be required for such outlets.

                    (1)All general-use receptacle outlets of 20-ampere rating or less, including receptacles connected to the circuits in 210.11(C)(3)

                    (2)The receptacle outlets specified in 210.52(E) and (G)

                    (3)The lighting outlets specified in 210.70(A) and (B)
                    Exhibit 220.4 in the hand book applies to non-dwelling occupancies.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      David, I agree with Peter, Bob, et al. If you're enforcing the NEC as written, than you were incorrect to violate the guy for having 4 bedrooms on one AFCI. The 180va rule does not apply to dwellings. Design issues aside, his installation was code compliant.
                      Rob

                      Moderator

                      All responses based on the 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The guy with 4 bedrooms on 1 afci is a very cheap contractor.His install is legall but he will be wishing he had done something better when he starts getting calls about it tripping breakers.Also he has increased his problems in troubleshooting when they trip for an afc fault.As an inspector you should know how to pick his job apart if the need is there.The best of electricians mis something on every job.
                        member of the Christine car club

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Jim W in Tampa
                          As an inspector you should know how to pick his job apart if the need is there.The best of electricians mis something on every job.
                          As much as I hate this method it is generally effective. :evil:

                          Inspector: I would like you to break up these bedrooms on more circuits.

                          Contractor: I don't have to.

                          Inspector: I have to go get my measuring tape and see if all the staples are 4.5 feet or less apart. :wink:

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by iwire
                            Originally posted by Jim W in Tampa
                            As an inspector you should know how to pick his job apart if the need is there.The best of electricians mis something on every job.
                            As much as I hate this method it is generally effective. :evil:

                            Inspector: I would like you to break up these bedrooms on more circuits.

                            Contractor: I don't have to.

                            Inspector: I have to go get my measuring tape and see if all the staples are 4.5 feet or less apart. :wink:
                            Exactly what i am saying.Oops your staples on this wire are 54 1/2 inches apart,RED TAG.When you have an electrician that wants to be a hard a$$ help him enjoy the game.
                            member of the Christine car club

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Would NEC section 210.11(B) apply here? It reads in part The load shall be evenly proportioned among multioutlet brach circuits within the panelboard. Does this mean that it is not permissable to have 20 general lighting outlets on one circuit and ten on another?

                              romeo

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