Rewiring for Bedroom and Living Outlet Circuits

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How many outlets I can have on a circuit for a room? Circuit Planning for Room Outlet Circuits, How to Rewire Home Electrical Outlet Circuits.

Wiring Outlet Circuits for Rooms

Electrical Question: How many outlets I can have on a 15 amp circuit for a room?

  • I am working on a project where I am rewiring my house.
  • I need to know how to rewire my home electrical circuits.
  • What is the maximum number of wall outlets I can have on a 15 amp bedroom, living room or family room circuit?

This electrical wiring question came from: Brian, a Homeowner from San Francisco Bay Area, California.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Brian.

How to Rewire Home Electrical Circuits

Application: Rewiring outlet circuits.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, electric drill,  auger bits and extension cord.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and install electrical circuit wiring.
Precaution: Identify the panel circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional circuit wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

Circuit Planning for Bedroom and Living Room Outlet Circuits

The number of outlets that can be placed on a circuit in a general purpose room depends on several factors, including the devices that will be connected to the circuits. The following is an explanation of electrical circuit planning for outlets in the rooms of a home:

  • Circuits Per Area
    In areas such as a bedroom, living room, and family room the rule of thumb is to install one general purpose circuit per 500 square feet of floor space.
  • Outlets per Circuit
    The number of outlets that can be placed on each circuit in a typical general purpose area depends on the layout of the room. For example, typically the number of persons who will occupy the space of one bedroom will be an average or one or two, however the bedroom space may widely vary depending on the size of the home. Therefore it is not unusual to have up to ten or more outlets on one circuit.
  • Outlets for Multiple Rooms
    Keep in mind the size of the rooms when planning the number of outlets for each room circuit. For example if two bedrooms are around 120 square feet each then sharing one circuit between the two bedrooms is typical.
  • Circuits for Receptacles and Lighting
    Keep in mind that when planning the electrical service for the home, the national electrical code requires us to allow 3 watts per square foot for general purpose receptacles and lighting.
  • General Purpose Circuits and Why They Are Important
    The rule of thumb for general purpose circuits is 10 devices on one circuit. But again, this does not take into consideration items such as High-Definition TV’s, high watt home entertainment systems, etc., which may require more power.
  • AFCI Outlet Circuit
    The bedroom outlet circuits are required to be on an AFCI circuit breaker and dedicated circuits.
  • Tamper Proof Receptacle Outlets
    Tamper Proof or Tamper-Resistant rated receptacle outlets are required in several jurisdictions for occupied rooms which is not only limited to areas where there are children. Check with your local building department for specific requirements.
  • Local Code Requirements
    Be sure to check with your local building department for specific local requirements when you obtain your permit for this project.

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Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.

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Electric Circuit Listing
The size of the home electrical service panel is designed by calculating the square footage of the home and factoring in the code requirements for the electrical circuits that are required.

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Electric Code for Outlets
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.

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