The question, how many outlets on a 20amp, has no direct answer. This is because the amount of outlets varies according to the number of people living in the home. For instance, a house with four bedrooms will require about 25 outlets and eight ceiling light fixtures connected to one 20 amp AFCI breaker.
This can look like an overload as the rule of thumb in counting devices on a circuit requires you to count each outlet as 1.5. So, you only count 80% of the rating which means a 13 amp breaker should not exceed 12 amp load and a 20amp breaker would be 16 amps.
Therefore, a 20-amp circuit should ultimately be able to hold as many outlets as you want without overloading the breaker. This article reviews how outlets on a 20amp may.
Since many of the outlets will not be used at any one time, there is no defined limit to the number of outlets you can have on a 20amp. Here are a few things to know in order to be sure if your breaker can hold a 20-amp circuit.
1. Endeavor Not To Overload Your Outlet
One of the crucial things to know when you are considering how many outlets to add to a 20-amp circuit is the devices you plan to plug to each circuit. The number of devices helps you to know the total number of a draw that should be on a circuit at a time.
Generally, the receptacles should not have more than 26amps at any one time. This is because 16amps converts to a maximum power draw of 1,920 watts on a conventional 120-volt circuit. Although the breaker won’t trip unless the power draw goes beyond 2,400 watts, it is still advisable and safe to keep the outlet rate at about 16amps.
Therefore, it is essential to reduce the amount of outlet on a circuit that will be used with appliances with high watt ratings. For instance, if you make use of two or more electric heaters in your home, you must make sure that the circuits that powers each electric heaters have few other receptacles. This because electric heaters draw about 1,500 when plugging in outlets.
2. Divide the Load
Another thing to do when you are deciding on how many outlets to add to a 20-amp circuit is to distribute the power consumption among all the breakers in the panel. That is, you need to join lights and electrical receptacles on a single circuit. This because lights, most of the time, consume less power compared to appliances. So, when you are fixing up your new home, you need to make sure that your kitchen takes two outlets or more.
These outlets should be fixed on different circuits to keep you safe. Thus, when one breaker trips, you can be sure that the other outlet will provide adequate power whenever you need it. By creating a different circuit for your outlets, you would be able to balance the load and prevent separating lighting circuits.
However, it is essential to know that some kitchen appliances such as dishwashers need to be dedicated to a separate circuit, and no other things should be on the circuit. No lights should also be on the circuit!
3. Allowable Breaker Load
There is no limit to the number of receptacles that you can place on a 20-amp circuit, according to the National Electrical Code. Therefore, one of the best ways to prevent overloading the breaker is only to run appliances that draw less current than the breaker can handle. The NEC made it known that a circuit breaker should not hold more than 80 percent of the load that it can power.
However, if the breaker is labeled otherwise, it should be able to handle 80 percent of the load or more! Thus, it is safer than the total current draw on a 20-amp circuit should not go more than 16 amps. When the receptacles do not exceed 16 amps, there is room for the breaker to hold the temporary surge that often happens when the air conditioner starts up.
Since only one outlet is often used at any one time, it is advisable to distribute as many as possible circuits around the house on a single circuit. This enables you to enjoy adequate power supply around your home whenever you need it.
Meanwhile, you need to assign a maximum draw of 1.5 amps to every outlet. With this, you would get about ten receptacles on a 20-amp circuit at a time. Receptacles installed in places such as outdoors, laundry room, kitchen, and bathroom should all be ground fault interrupting outlets.
Therefore, during this process, you must use 12-gauge wire to connect 20-amp circuits. Besides, circuits plugged into separate outlets often share the same circuit.