# Electrical Code for Electrical Box Fill Capacity

 Summary: One of the mistakes often made is over loading an electrical box with too many wires. This will cause switches and outlets to not fit correctly and could even cause wires to become damaged. This information will help you plan your electrical box size properly.

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Part (1) of Section 370-16(a) describes in detail the method of counting wires, as well as clamps, fittings, or devices (i.e., switches, receptacles, combination devices) - by establishing an equivalent conductor-value for each.

These values are added together to get a total number of conductors.

The minimum size box is the smallest one in the Box Fill Table (shown) that can accommodate that number of conductors.

 BOX FILL TABLE
 DEDUCTIONS 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
 Volume Required per Conductor Size per Deductions #18 (1.50) 9 10.5 12 13.5 15 16.5 18 19.5 21.00 #16 (1.75) 10.50 12.25 14 15.75 17.5 19.25 21 22.75 24.5 #14 (2.00) 12.00 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 #12 (2.25) 13.50 15.75 18 20.25 22.5 24.75 27 29.25 31.5 #10 (2.50) 15.00 17.5 20 22.5 25 27.5 30 32.5 35 #8 (3.00) 18.00 21 24 27 30 33 36 39 42 #6 (5.00) 30.00 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70

## Electrical Box Fill Table Information

Box Fill Guidelines:

• No matter how many ground wires, they only count as one conductor in the box.
• A wire running through the box counts as one wire.
• Each wire coming into a splice connector is counted as one wire.
• Each wire connecting to a device counts as one wire of that size.
• When devices are mounted in the box, the total conductor count must be increased by two for each mounting strap.

## NEC Table 370-16 Electrical Box Fill

### NEC Table 370-16(a) for Metal Boxes

Number of Conductors in Outlet, Device,
and Junction Boxes

Box Dimension
in Inches
or Type

Minimum
Capacity
(in.3)

Maximum Number of Conductors

No. 18

No. 16

No. 14

No. 12

No. 10

No. 8

No. 6

4 X 1-1/4 round or octagonal
4 X 1-1/2 round or octagonal
4 X 2-1/8 round or octagonal

12.5
15.5
21.5

8
10
14

7
8
12

6
7
10

5
6
9

5
6
8

4
5
7

2
3
4

4 X 1-1/4 square
4 X 1-1/2 square
4 X 2-1/8 square

18.0
21.0
30.3

12
14
20

10
12
17

9
10
15

8
9
13

7
8
12

6
7
10

3
4
6

4-11/16 X 1-1/4 square
4-11/16 X 1-1/2 square
4-11/16 X 2-1/8 square

25.5
29.5
42.0

17
19
28

14
16
24

12
14
21

11
13
18

10
11
16

8
9
14

5
5
8

3 X 2 X 1-1/2 device
3 X 2 X 2 device
3 X 2 X 2-1/4 device
3 X 2 X 2-1/2 device
3 X 2 X 2-3/4 device
3 X 2 X 3-1/2 device

7.5
10.0
10.5
12.5
14.0
18.0

5
6
7
8
9
12

4
5
6
7
8
10

3
5
5
6
7
9

3
4
4
5
6
8

3
4
4
5
5
7

2
3
3
4
4
6

1
2
2
2
2
3

4 X 2-1/8 X 1-1/2 device
4 X 2-1/8 X 1-7/8 device
4 X 2-1/8 X 2-1/8 device

10.3
13.0
14.5

6
8
9

5
7
8

5
6
7

4
5
6

4
5
5

3
4
4

2
2
2

3-3/4 X 2 X 2-1/2 masonry
box / gang
3-3/4 X 2 X 3-1/2 masonry
box / gang

14.0

21.0

9

14

8

12

7

10

6

9

5

8

4

7

2

4

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This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

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wire electrical box - 1907