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  1. #1
    Wendell Swedberg's Avatar
    Wendell Swedberg Guest

    Default Minimum branch circuits for a living room

    Is there a code requiring a receptacles in a living room?

    Here is the ICC question:

    What is the minimum number of branch circuits required for a 200 hundred square foot living room and what must be served?

    a) one - for lighting or switched receptacles and receptacles
    b) two - one for lighting nad one for receptacles
    c) two - one for lighting and one for small appliance repectacles
    d) three - one for lighting and two for counter top receptacles.

    The answer is A.

    I found the code section requiring lighting in a habitable room (3803.2) but I couldn't find one for receptacles. I thought at least one branch circuit for receptacles was also required in habitable rooms.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Minimum branch circuits for a living room

    Quote Originally Posted by Wendell Swedberg View Post
    Is there a code requiring a receptacles in a living room?

    Here is the ICC question:

    What is the minimum number of branch circuits required for a 200 hundred square foot living room and what must be served?

    a) one - for lighting or switched receptacles and receptacles
    b) two - one for lighting nad one for receptacles
    c) two - one for lighting and one for small appliance repectacles
    d) three - one for lighting and two for counter top receptacles.

    The answer is A.

    I found the code section requiring lighting in a habitable room (3803.2) but I couldn't find one for receptacles. I thought at least one branch circuit for receptacles was also required in habitable rooms.

    Hi Wendell,

    Individual branch circuits are not needed for each habitable room.

    In residential (not withstanding local requirements or local trade practice) there is no requirement as to how many receptacles are allowed on a circuit.

    There are also no requirements that lights and receptacles be on different circuits.

    The reason "A" is the answer is because the lighting and receptacles can be on the same circuit and receptacles are needed. Here's why.

    NEC 210.52(a)(1) talks about spacing. The wording gets a little confusing and says "Receptacles shall be installed such that no point measured horizontally along the floor line in any wall space is more than 6 ft from a receptacle outet" That means they can be up to 12' apart.

    The following section 210.(a)(2)(1) goes on to explain (basically) that a wall space is considered a wall space needing a receptacle if it is 2 feet or more.

    In the example you gave the area is 200 sq. ft. There have to be walls longer than 2 feet to accomplish 200 sq. ft. Therefore, receptacles are needed.

    This section along with others indicates that receptacles would be needed in the living room even though it doesn't specifically list the rooms.

    Hope this helps.

    Sincerely,

    Corey


  3. #3
    Randy Clayton's Avatar
    Randy Clayton Guest

    Default Re: Minimum branch circuits for a living room

    thats right its the [6-12] rule doesnt specify how many just how far apart.
    Which always make me wunder what would happen if you plugged in something in every outlet what will happen?
    Of course it will be overloaded but thats not really addressed common sense has to come into play!!!!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,222

    Default Re: Minimum branch circuits for a living room

    It all depends on what you plug in. 20 clock radios wouldn't be significant. One 120 volt welder might be enough to overload the circuit. The amount of receptacles or items plugged in is not the relevant part of the equation.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  5. #5
    Richard Moore's Avatar
    Richard Moore Guest

    Default Re: Minimum branch circuits for a living room

    My standard boilerplate...

    "The living room is served by a single 15-amp circuit. If it likely your wife will be sitting under a hair dryer, watching soaps on a 60" plasma TV and welding large iron sculptures, all at the same time, that may not be sufficient and extra circuits (or the fire department) will be required."




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