Laundry branch circuit

mwm1752

Senior Member
Location
Aspen, Colo
210.11 Branch Circuits Required
Branch circuits for lighting and for appliances, including motor operated appliances, shall be provided to supply the loads calculated in accordance with 220.10. In addition, branch circuits shall be provided for specific loads not covered by 220.10 where required elsewhere in this Code and for dwelling unit loads as specified in 210.11(C).
(C) Dwelling Units.
(2) Laundry Branch Circuits. In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at least one additional 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to supply the laundry receptacle outlet(s) required by 210.52(F). This circuit shall have no other outlets.
(F) Laundry Areas. In dwelling units, at least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in areas designated for the installation of laundry equipment.

So, if you have your laundry branch circuit for the washer which serves as the one required branch circuit -- are you allowed to have a laundry counter top receptacle circuit that also serves the laundry lighting? & is it required to be 20 amp?
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Rob, that wasn't what the OP asked. The essential question is this: Do all circuits that serve any loads within a reasonable distance of the washing machine fall under the "laundry circuit rule"? If I met the rule by installing a 20 amp circuit that happens to power the washer and that has no other outlets, can I install other circuits in the same neighborhood and let them share with lighting and other outlets? My answer is that the OP's suggested configuration is code compliant. The circuit that powers an outlet over a countertop (not in the kitchen!) is not "the laundry circuit." Therefore, it can also serve lights.
 

user 100

Senior Member
Location
texas
210.11 Branch Circuits Required
Branch circuits for lighting and for appliances, including motor operated appliances, shall be provided to supply the loads calculated in accordance with 220.10. In addition, branch circuits shall be provided for specific loads not covered by 220.10 where required elsewhere in this Code and for dwelling unit loads as specified in 210.11(C).
(C) Dwelling Units.
(2) Laundry Branch Circuits. In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at least one additional 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to supply the laundry receptacle outlet(s) required by 210.52(F). This circuit shall have no other outlets.
(F) Laundry Areas. In dwelling units, at least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in areas designated for the installation of laundry equipment.

So, if you have your laundry branch circuit for the washer which serves as the one required branch circuit -- are you allowed to have a laundry counter top receptacle circuit that also serves the laundry lighting? & is it required to be 20 amp?
As long as the required laundry ckt is left alone, there is no prohibition against running an extra 20 amp mixed use ckt to the same area. As Charlie B said above they can share the same neighborhood.:)
 
Last edited:

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
As long as the required laundry ckt is left alone, there is no prohibition against running an extra 20 amp mixed use ckt to the same area. As Charlie B said above they can share the same neighborhood.:)
+1
Whereas in a kitchen any countertop receptacle outlet must be on an SABC. (But you are allowed to have more than two SABCs.)
The wording for laundry is significantly different in that it only says that the circuit must exist, not what must be fed from it.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Rob, that wasn't what the OP asked. The essential question is this: Do all circuits that serve any loads within a reasonable distance of the washing machine fall under the "laundry circuit rule"? If I met the rule by installing a 20 amp circuit that happens to power the washer and that has no other outlets, can I install other circuits in the same neighborhood and let them share with lighting and other outlets? My answer is that the OP's suggested configuration is code compliant. The circuit that powers an outlet over a countertop (not in the kitchen!) is not "the laundry circuit." Therefore, it can also serve lights.
Oops I missed that part. :roll:
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
To the op, imo, yes you can feed all the receptacles in the laundry room on one 20 amp circuit.
Dennis, I think the OP was asking if you already had the required laundry circuit, and that circuit could not feed the lights, could you have an additional circuit that would serve one receptacle and also the lights.

I see no practical reason why you couldn't but I will play the "devil's advocate" a little.
Since the wording in the code says:

(2) Laundry Branch Circuits. In addition to the number
of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at
least one additional 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided
to supply the laundry receptacle outlet(s) required by
210.52(F)
. This circuit shall have no other outlets.

The part about "at least one...." you could interpret it to mean if you run more than one you would have to comply with the same rule as only having one circuit.
Meaning you couldn't have the lighting on with the one receptacle the OP described as "laundry counter top" receptacle.
 

al hildenbrand

Senior Member
Location
Minnesota
Occupation
Electrical Contractor, Electrical Consultant, Electrical Engineer
I will play the "devil's advocate" a little.
:thumbsup:

In my opinion there's a rabbit hole here.

2014 NEC 210.52(F) "Laundry Areas. In dwelling units, at least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in areas designated for the installation of laundry equipment."
Laundry ROOM is not included, only "area". AND, "area" is plural. Most bizarre.

I could run with arguments about the Laundry Area inside a Laundry Room being only that for the washer, or washer / dryer (if both are 120 Volt) ONLY, and that a counter is outside of the "Laundry AREA".

I could also argue that one twenty Amp circuit can supply Laundry AreaS, but I'm going to refrain. . . in favor of what I have experienced with my local inspectors.

For the OP, it is my experience and opinion (from the field), that a receptacle serving a laundry counter may be on either a 15 or a 20 Amp circuit, with, or without, lighting outlets, as long as the washer / dryer are supplied by a receptacle on a separate 20 Amp designated Laundry Branch Circuit.

Also, for the OP, a receptacle serving a laundry counter may also be supplied by the designated Laundry Branch Circuit, in addition to the receptacle supplying the washer / dryer, as long as there are no lighting outlets, and as long as there are no other receptacle outlets outside of the "Laundry".
 

mwm1752

Senior Member
Location
Aspen, Colo
:thumbsup:

In my opinion there's a rabbit hole here.


Laundry ROOM is not included, only "area". AND, "area" is plural. Most bizarre.

I could run with arguments about the Laundry Area inside a Laundry Room being only that for the washer, or washer / dryer (if both are 120 Volt) ONLY, and that a counter is outside of the "Laundry AREA".

I could also argue that one twenty Amp circuit can supply Laundry AreaS, but I'm going to refrain. . . in favor of what I have experienced with my local inspectors.

For the OP, it is my experience and opinion (from the field), that a receptacle serving a laundry counter may be on either a 15 or a 20 Amp circuit, with, or without, lighting outlets, as long as the washer / dryer are supplied by a receptacle on a separate 20 Amp designated Laundry Branch Circuit.


Also, for the OP, a receptacle serving a laundry counter may also be supplied by the designated Laundry Branch Circuit, in addition to the receptacle supplying the washer / dryer, as long as there are no lighting outlets, and as long as there are no other receptacle outlets outside of the "Laundry".


I agree, to note laundry equipment would separate washer/dryers from countertop & gen recepts in a laundry room as per
(F) Laundry Areas. In dwelling units, at least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in areas designated for the installation of laundry equipment.

 

al hildenbrand

Senior Member
Location
Minnesota
Occupation
Electrical Contractor, Electrical Consultant, Electrical Engineer
I agree, to note laundry equipment would separate washer/dryers from countertop & gen recepts in a laundry room as per (F) Laundry Areas. In dwelling units, at least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in areas designated for the installation of laundry equipment.
To me, the "rabbit hole" quality of the language in this citation is that "Areas" and "Laundry Areas" is not a Code defined term. The "laundry equipment" is installed within the "laundry area", but there is no guideline whether the area is restricted to the physical dimensions of the laundry equipment, only.

One could argue that a counter installed physically next to, and for use at, the laundry equipment is, in fact, IN the laundry area. . .

And, for another twist in the rabbit hole, if the Laundry Area is in an actual room, designated on the blue prints, and the "Laundry Room", a room with four walls and a door, how are we, the diviners of the Holy Writ, instructed to restrict the room to an area? We aren't instructed, in my understanding. Therefore, in this "Code silence" one can interpret "Laundry Area" as either the room or the laundry equipment. Both are correct, in my opinion.
 

al hildenbrand

Senior Member
Location
Minnesota
Occupation
Electrical Contractor, Electrical Consultant, Electrical Engineer
I guess one could interprete an iron as laundry equipment. . .
But, as a portable cord and plug connected appliance with no other connection such as water, sewer, gas, or venting, is it "installed"?

I could see installing an Ironing Station, such as a built in ironing board with electrical receptacle. But a free standing ironing board, no. And as for the iron itself? I think it's always portable.
 

user 100

Senior Member
Location
texas
To me, the "rabbit hole" quality of the language in this citation is that "Areas" and "Laundry Areas" is not a Code defined term. The "laundry equipment" is installed within the "laundry area", but there is no guideline whether the area is restricted to the physical dimensions of the laundry equipment, only.

One could argue that a counter installed physically next to, and for use at, the laundry equipment is, in fact, IN the laundry area. . .

And, for another twist in the rabbit hole, if the Laundry Area is in an actual room, designated on the blue prints, and the "Laundry Room", a room with four walls and a door, how are we, the diviners of the Holy Writ, instructed to restrict the room to an area? We aren't instructed, in my understanding. Therefore, in this "Code silence" one can interpret "Laundry Area" as either the room or the laundry equipment. Both are correct, in my opinion.
I agree with you about the rabbit hole- there is no definition for laundry area or laundry equipment in art 100. All we do know is that whatever we determine to be laundry equipment has to have at least one 20a bc dedicated for the use of such equipment in the area where it will be installed, and that such ckt can have no other outlets- so just the one ckt is required. An extra ckt run to the same general area, imo, is just that-extra, and isn't bound by the same rule in 210.11(C)(2).
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I guess one could interprete an iron as laundry equipment
I do not believe we have to interpret it that way I think it is a straight up fact.

I have read that electric irons predate electric washing machines and that the laundry circuit was for irons.
 

mwm1752

Senior Member
Location
Aspen, Colo
I do not believe we have to interpret it that way I think it is a straight up fact.

I have read that electric irons predate electric washing machines and that the laundry circuit was for irons.

so please opine on my post specifically as other have --- Yea ney good bad
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
I'll opine that an area that is designated for the use of an iron does not meet the code's language of "areas designated for the installation of laundry equipment." Plugging anything into a receptacle outlet does not constitute "installing" that item. I agree with Al on this point. Therefore, the receptacle into which the iron is plugged can share a circuit with the light fixture directly overhead. Now, a different question is whether that would be a good design choice. If you are holding a hot iron and it overloads the circuit and trips the lights in the room, you would be in an uncomfortable position.
 
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