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Electrical Wire and Cable

How Many Receptacle Outlets Are Allowed Per Circuit

How many receptacles can you wire onto a 20amp circuit breaker? How to Know the Number of Outlets to Wire on a Circuit.

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Electrical Question: How many receptacle outlets can you wire onto a 20amp circuit breaker?

This electrical wiring question came from:
David, a Handyman from Millmont, Pennsylvania.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question David.

The Number of Electric Outlets on a Circuit

Application: Wiring Receptacle Outlets.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This electrical wiring project is best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the number of outlets that will be replaced.
Precaution: Identify the outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional outlet wiring should be done with a permit and be inspected.

Planning Electrical Wiring for Outlet Circuits

Electrical Tip when Planning Electrical Wiring for Outlet Circuits

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Electrical Outlet Wiring

Electrical Circuit Breakers

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How to Install Electrical Outlets
Outlet Wiring

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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
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Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
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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 Electric Wiring Projects.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

6 Responses to “How Many Receptacle Outlets Are Allowed Per Circuit”
  1. Jason says:

    You need to complete an electrical layout of a new single family residence. You plan to locate 5 separtate duplex receptacles on a branch circuit that feeds two walls of a large living room area. The circuit will be fed by a single AFCI-type 20A circuit breaker. Is it allowable to install 15A rated receptacles in all five locations on that circuit?

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Jason,
    Yes – with the AFCI circuit that you are referring to 15 amp receptacles may be installed on a 20 amp circuit, however 20 amp receptacles may not be installed on a 15 amp AFCI circuit.

  3. Robert says:

    Can you wire two outlets, a vent fan, a vanity light, and a recessed light for a bathroom all on one GFCI 20 amp breaker?

  4. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Robert,
    Although a 20 amp circuit should handle all of those devices, it is best to have the GFCI protected outlets on a separate circuit. However if the vent fan or light are located over the tub or shower then they must be GFCI protected as well. The concern is that the vanity light should not go off if the GFCI circuit is tripped off because someone will be left in a dark bathroom. I like to wire the circuit from a regular breaker to the first outlet location which would be a GFCI, and configure the wiring connections to provide GFCI protection as required, which is a matter of branching out to the devices from either the LINE or LOAD side of the GFCI outlet.
    I hope that helps,

  5. Don says:

    How many 110 electrical outlets can be run on a single circuit. I am being told that, in my garage, they can only run three (two wall outlets and one garage door plug in) electrical outlets from one line. To add more outlets I would need to add more lines. They also told me I could only run a refrigerator on a separate line (nothing else plugged into the outlet. Is all of this true? Or, am I being sold a bill of goods?

  6. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Don,
    The number of outlets on each circuit will depend on what the outlets will be used for, and what will be connected to the circuit. Higher load amperage will require more circuits, and in some cases a dedicated circuit. The single outlet for the refrigerator is correct, which allows a refrigerator in the garage connected to a single receptacle not to be GFCI protected. Refrigerators are know to trip GFCI outlets causing a great loss from food spoiling. Additionally, electrical codes for GFCI protection relating to garage outlets and connected appliances and equipment must be considered as per your specific project.
    Be Safe,