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How many 15 amp receptacle oulets on a 20 amp CAFIC branch circuit?

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The National Electric Code (NEC) does not directly state the number of outlets per general purpose circuit for a residence. They only state that "x" amount of sq. ft. must have "y" amount of circuits and that they be evenly distributed. The number of outlets is then limited by physical outlet spacing rules.

However, a rule of thumb is the points system. A 20 amp circuit is 20 points. A regular duplex receptacle is 2 points and a light is 1 point. You can have any combination of receptacles and lights that add up to 20 points. For example, 10 duplex receptacles x 2 points = 20 points. Or, (8 duplex receptacles x 2 points = 16) + (4 lights x 1 point) = 20 total.

The concept is the same for a 15 amp circuit except the total points will then be 15.

So, the answer is about 10 receptacle outlets per 20 amp circuit. In a pinch, you can stretch that to 12 or so and still be OK.

Posted on Nov 13, 2010


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The existing outlets in my kitchen are 20 amp. Can I replace them with 15 amp GFCI's, which are a lot cheaper than 20 amp? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Best Answer: This is allowed, since a 20 amp circuit has many 15 amp receptacles. It is VERY rare to have any one device pull that much current. Except in special cases, all outlets in homes are 15 amp. 20 amp outlets have a special sideways T for one prong. This is so that a device that requires 20 amps can't be plugged into an ordinary 15 amp outlet. Look around the room - I'll bet there are no 20 amp outlets in sight. Unless you're wiring up a shop, and have a larger than average table saw or planer (which would have a special plug, and probably require a dedicated circuit) then you're fine. As far as cost, 15 amp outlets are $0.88 - $1.50 and 20 amp are $6. My advice is to use a good quality 15 amp outlet over a cheap 20 amp. Always use the screw terminals, not the quick push-in type. The terminals are every outlet's weakest point. With a good connection, you'll be more than safe.

Dec 04, 2015 | Washing Machines

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Blowing breaker

In general house hold circuit breaker of the house is 15 Amps or 20 Amps.

Either you have defected (weak) circuit breaker and wiring or bad Microwave oven.

The 99.99 % house hold Microwave ovens pull less than 15 Amps. They may have internal ceramic 15A fuse or 15 Amp internal circuit breaker.

To isolate your problem:

1. Plug your Microwave oven to different areas (different electrical circuit) if the different circuit breaker still trips... your Microwave oven has a short - Most of them has a small ceramic fuse 15 amps fuse.-also check some inter lock switches at door .

2. If the Microwave oven works Ok then you may have:

2a. You may overload the existing electrical circuit, try to unplug some other appliances

2b. You may have bad electrical outlet receptacle (Replace it with the same type , - may need helps from licensed electrician)

2c. Weak or defect house hold circuit breaker. (Replace it with the same type , brand - may need helps from licensed electrician)

Jan 24, 2014 | Goldstar Microwave Ovens

1 Answer

Installing arc fault interrupter with ground fault

If you meant arch fault with ground fault then no, the two types interfere with each other and trip the breaker as one senses an arch and the other grounding.
If you meant ground fault breaker with a GFCI. receptacle, you only need one of the two, either GFCI. breaker or receptacle.

and for circuits, you can put up to 12 devices (i.e receptacle, light)assuming they consume 1 amp each. Anything over 12 amps or 80% of the rating on the breaker, it will trip/reset.
Or if your talking about wires on a breaker then no more than 2 wires recommended. Try adding a junction box outside the panel if your trying to add other branch circuits or tap off of a receptacle.

Apr 21, 2013 | Siemens Seimens Arc Fault Breaker

1 Answer

What model Leviton GFCL should I use? My wire is a 600 volt 12/2 with ground. Said wire feeds other GFCL outlets.

Any off-the-shelf GFCI sold today with work on 12-2 wire:
By code, 12-2 wire should be connected to 20 amp circuit breaker, but typically most switches and outlets wired to that circuit are rated 15 amp. Amp rating is printed on electrical devices.
Leviton 15 amp 7599-W:
Leviton 20 amp 7899-W

Jun 17, 2011 | Leviton R01-7299-0NI Switch And GFCI...

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GFCI keeps poping when I turn on the dishwasher

Sounds like your electrician miswired your GFCI oulet. They probably pulled power for your dishwasher off of the 20 Amp small appliance circuit required in all kitchens. This could be simple or difficult to fix, depending on where exactly they pulled power from. You will need to trace the dishwasher wire back to find out which receptacle box they pulled power from. If they pulled it from the first GFI outlet, you're in luck. Simply pull out the GFI and move the dishwasher pigtail from the LOAD side of the GFI to the LINE side of the GFI. If they pulled the dishwasher circuit from a receptacle downstream of the GFI, you will have to pull a new circuit for the dishwasher from somewhere else, as switching the branch circuit from LOAD to LINE at the GFI would defeat the ground fault protection for all outlets downstream of the GFI. Before doing all this, make sure there are no shorts to the frame of the dishwasher that could be causing the GFI to trip in the first place. If you need more detailed instructions, let me know. I'd be happy to walk you through it.

Apr 29, 2011 | Dishwashers

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I have an ungrounded outlet. There is no easy way to ground it conventionally. Close by is a grounded outlet on another circuit. Can I jump a ground wire from the grounded outlet to the ungrounded...

First are you sure the other outlet is actually grounded?
Article 250.130 (C) Non grounding Receptacle Replacement or Branch Circuit extensions.
The equipment grounding conductor of a grounding-type receptacle or a branch-circuit extension shall be permitted to be connect to any of the following.
(1) Any accessible point on the grounding electrode system as described in 250.50
(2) Any accessible pint on the grounding electrode conductor
(3) The equipment grounding terminal bar within the enclosure where the branch circuit for that receptacle or branch circuit originates.
(4) For grounded systems, the grounded service conductor within the service equipment enclosure.
(5) For ungrounded systems, the grounding terminal bar within the service equipment enclosure.
Or you can see 406.3(D) replacing with a ground fault receptacle

Aug 06, 2010 | Hammering

1 Answer

I have a 15 amp air conditioner, with afci plug on a dedicated line, on a 20 amp breaker. Why does it nuisance trip, and not allow me to reset it, is it because of the 20 amp breaker? DRJ

It's definitely not related to the 20 Amp breaker. You do mean GFCI, right? The kind built into the end of the cord on the air conditioner, right? The GFCI is either detecting a ground fault (which means it's doing it's job and there is something wrong with the cord or the unit) or you have a bad GFCI. If the GFCI is in the wall receptacle, that could be a different story.

Jun 24, 2010 | Solar 15 Amp Murray Afci Circuit Breaker

1 Answer


I think you mean a grund fault interrupter type breaker or receptacle.

The ground fault breakers fit into a regular box and they snap over the HOT input power tab like miost breakers AND they have a white pigtail wire that connects to the neutral bar in the panel.

The branch circuit that is fed from this breaker has BOTH the hot and the neutral connecting to the breaker as the breaker has two terminals for the purpose. The grounding wire of the branch circuit still goes to tthe ground bar in the panel.

For a GFCI receptacle, the branch circuit feeds the terminals labeled "LINE" and if other receptacles are to be protected by this device, they have their circuits continued from the terminals on the receptacle labeled "{OAD".

Mar 03, 2010 | Aiwa Televison & Video

1 Answer

Ricoh ap 400n keeps blowing fuse

This is more than likely a statement of the electrical supply to the printer.

Laser printer's typically require a high in rush amperage to keep the fuser lamp and fuser warm. You can see the effect of this by looking at the lights in the room. If the lights dim about every four seconds its because the printer is pulling a higher amperage from your electrical system.

Normally, laser printers are "Strongly Suggested" to be on a dedicated 20 amp line. If you are using them on a normal 15 amp line that is also supplying other receptacles and devices, when the fuser demand peaks it may be enough to trip the circuit.

Now, there are a couple of ways to fix this. One is to upgrade the entire circuit to 20 amp. That include a 20 amp breaker, 12 AWG wire and a 20 amp receptacle.

If you cannot do this, then switching either the fuse or the breaker or a "Slow Blow" may help you. This type of fuse or breaker will add a delay into the "trip" part of the circuit.


Dec 01, 2009 | Ricoh Aficio AP400N Laser Printer

1 Answer

Refrigerator cools as normal. Trips 15 AMP circuit breaker.

a full size refrige has to be on a 20 amp circuit, a 15 amp is just not big enough.. you should also know that this circuit has to be on a 12-2 gauge wire.. I also highly recommend installing a 20 amp HD receptacle

Mar 19, 2009 | Refrigerators

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