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Electrical Codes for Electrical Circuits

Summary: Listing of electrical codes for circuit with examples of electrical circuit codes for home electrical wiring.

Electrical Code Definitions for Home Electrical Circuits

Introduction to General Electrical Circuitry

NEC 210-11, 422-12 In addition to the branch circuits installed to supply general illumination and receptacle outlets in dwelling units, the following minimum requirements apply:
. Two 20-amp circuits for the kitchen receptacles
. One 20-amp circuit for the laundry receptacles
. One 20-amp circuit for the bathroom receptacles
. One separate, individual branch circuit for central heating equipment.

Code Adoption Information
The codes shown are examples only and may not be current or accurate for your application or jurisdiction. Contact your local building authority for complete information.

NEC Codes

NEC 210.11 General Circuitry bathroom One 20-amp circuit for the bathroom receptacles.

NEC 210.11 General Circuitry central heating equipment
One separate, individual branch circuit for central heating equipment.

NEC 210.11 General Circuitry kitchen Two 20-amp circuits for the kitchen receptacles.

NEC 210.11 General Circuitry laundry One 20-amp circuit for the laundry receptacles.

NEC 240.4 General Circuit Requirements
conductors protected per ampacity Generally, conductors shall be protected in accordance with their ampacity per Table 310.16 and 240.4(D)
Fuse or Circuit Minimum Wire Size Breaker Size Copper Conductor Aluminum Conductor
15 amp......14........N/A
20 amp......12........N/A
30 amp......10.........8
40 amp.......8.........6
50 amp.......6.........4
Note: Conductors that supply motors, air-conditioning units, and other special equipment may have overcurrent protection that exceeds the general limitations in the above chart. Consult the conductor insulation type for correct ampacity rating.

NEC 406.3 General Circuitry Outlets
Receptacle outlets shall be of the grounding type, be effectively grounded, and have proper polarity.

406.8 General Circuit Requirements outdoor outlets
All 15- and 20- amp, 125- and 250- volt receptacles installed outdoors shall be listed as weather-resistant.

NEC 406.11 General Circuit Requirements Dwellings
All 1 25-volt, 15- and 20- amp receptacles installed in dwelling units shall be listed tamper-resistant. This includes receptacles installed outdoors, in basements and in garages.

NEC 408.4 General Circuitry circuit labeling All circuits and circuit modifications shall be legibly identified as to purpose or use on a directory located on the face or inside of the electrical panel doors.

NEC 408.36 Electrical Services plug-in back fed overcurrent devices Plug-in type overcurrent devices that are back-fed shall be secured by an additional approved device.

NEC 422.12 General Circuitry kitchen Two 20-amp circuits for the kitchen receptacles

Residential Electrical Code Examples for Circuits

IRC Codes

1.Circuits to ranges and dryers and similar appliances shall be four-wire and the bonding jumper shall NOT be connected between the neutral terminal and the frame of the appliance. 2003 IRC E3603

2.Range circuits shall be a minimum 40 amp using #8 wire. NEC 210.19 (3)

3.Dryer circuit shall be 5000 watts or the nameplate rating, which ever is larger. NEC 220.18

4.A general lighting circuit shall be provided for each 3 volt-amperes for every square foot. NEC 220.3

5.Kitchen exhaust hoods shall not be on the same circuit as either of the two required small appliance branch circuits. NEC 210

6.Garbage disposals, dishwashers, trash compactors and other motor loads are not permitted on the small appliance branch circuits. NEC 210

7.The two 20 amp small appliance circuits serving the kitchen, pantry, breakfast room, and dining room shall have no other outlets. NEC 210.52 (B)(1)

8.Bathroom receptacles shall be supplied by at least one 20-amp circuit that shall have no other outlets. If the circuit serves a single bathroom, the lights in that bathroom may be on the same circuit. NEC 210.52

Always contact your local building authority for complete and up to date code information.

More about Electrical Codes for Services


Questions about Electrical Codes for Electrical Circuits

Questions about Residential Electrical Wiring Codes for Circuits

Question from Kevin, a Homeowner in Evansville, Indiana.

Can I add a 120volt circuit to an existing circuit?

I need to add a 120volt circuit to an existing enclosed deck area, which is separate from my home. My garden equipment barn, which is in closer proximity to the deck than my house, is powered by a 10/2 w/g, (with ground) UG wire; 30 amp breaker; from my home’s main panel. Can I add a 15 amp breaker in the barn for the new circuit and replace the existing 20 amp breaker to a 15 amp breaker that is for the barn? 12/2 w/g Romex is used in each building.

Dave’s Answer:

Kevin, From what you have described, the equipment barn has a panel with a 20 amp breaker for the barn circuit. The circuit load in the barn is unknown, therefore you will have to make sure there will be enough available circuit capacity to accommodate the proposed electrical loads for the deck area. In a case such as this, an additional circuit breaker could be added into the barn panel to supply power to the deck area. Keep in mind that the deck area should have ground fault protection provided by either the circuit breaker or by installing a GFCI outlet at the first point of entry for the deck circuit.


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