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How Many Outlets Per Circuit?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Johnna (sp) in North Carolina is on the line with an electrical question. What can we do for you today?

    JOHNNA (sp): We were wondering: how many 20-amp outlets can you have on one circuit?

    TOM: Hmm. OK. Well, it’s a 20-amp circuit, so Johnna (sp), it doesn’t really matter how many outlets you have. What really matters is how much you’re plugged into those outlets, because 20 amps is all the circuit can take. Does that make sense? In other words, if you have a 20-amp breaker and you plug in more than 20 amps, the breaker is going to trip. So, you can put in as many outlets as you feel like you need.

    LESLIE: Right. That’s the service for your house, correct?

    TOM: Well, it’s not the service for the house; it’s the service for the circuit. So like say the house has 150-amp service and you’re going to have some number of 15-amp circuits and some number of 20-amp circuits and so on. But Johnna (sp) is saying, “Well, how many outlets can I put in?” You can put in as many as you want. You can just only do – you can only power 20 amps or up to 20 amps at a time.

    JOHNNA (sp): Got it.

    TOM: How do you want – why are you asking the question? Where do you want to use the circuit?

    JOHNNA (sp): In our bedroom.

    TOM: Oh, I mean how many outlets can you possibly put in? You’re going to have one about every 6 to 8 to 10 feet, right?

    JOHNNA (sp): Well, we’re – actually, we’re redoing our whole house.

    TOM: OK.

    JOHNNA (sp): We’re remodeling the entire house and we’re running electrical and we’re putting plugs where we think we would use them.

    TOM: Well, that’s smart to do. And frankly, 20 amps is a big circuit for a bedroom circuit. Typically, the bedrooms and the lighting circuits are 15 amps. The circuits for the kitchen, for example, and for the garage would be 20 amps.

    JOHNNA (sp): OK.

    TOM: Alright?

    JOHNNA (sp): I think my husband – we’re putting 20-amp outlets throughout the house. I think they’re all 20 amps.

    TOM: Well, that’s because that’s what guys do; we like to go big on everything.

    Johnna (sp), thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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