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How many outlets will this carry? - General Electric 20 Amp, 1 Pole Thick Type THQL Ground Fault Interrupter Ge

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While there is a practical limit for the number of outlets on a 15 or 20 amp general purpose lighting circuit in a _residence_, the National Electric Code (NEC) does not impose a # of outlets per circuit limit (residential ONLY).
However, some electrician's design general purpose lighting circuits in a residence using a point system. An outlet is 2 points and a light is 1 point. So, for a twenty amp circuit, (10 outlets x 2 points) = 20. Or, (5 outlets x 2 points) + (10 lights x 1 point) = 10 + 10 = 20. Or (8 outlets x 2 points) + (4 lights x 1 point) = 16 + 4 = 20. However you want to mix it up.

Now, if this is for a Commercial building, the the NEC allows no more than 180 VA (Volt Amps) per outlet. 180 VA / 120 Volts = 1.5 Amps.
20 amps / 1.5 Amps = 13.3 outlets. Drop the .3 and one determines that 13 outlets are allowed on a Commercial 20 amp circuit.

Also, if the 20 amp circuit is considered a continuous circuit (ON for more than 3 hours a day), then it can only be loaded to 80%. 80% of 20 amps = 16 amps.

Posted on Aug 08, 2010

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The reality is that a 20 amp circuit breaker itself does not determine much of anything except the wire gauge. You should use 12 gauge wire with a 20 amp breaker. That is because you want the breaker to always go first before the wire, so then a 20 amp breaker requires thicker wire then a 15 amp breaker.

As far as outlets, that depends on what you want to hook up and where.
If you have properly spread them out, you can hook up about 10 circuits to a 20 amp breaker. That is because most people do not use all rooms at once, so you can divide a breaker up into many different rooms at once, without risk of overload. This also has the advantage of making sure all the lights and sockets in a room do not go out with a single breaker, if there are more than one breaker to a room and each breaker goes to many rooms.
However, because it uses thicker wire, a 20 amp breaker is usually a specialty. It is used for large draws like refrigerator or microwave, and therefore may be hooked up to a single outlet.
It all depends.

Posted on Aug 09, 2010

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