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Adding an outlet

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  • Adding an outlet

    Hello There, I am new to this sight and I like it. It's very formal and educational. I have a question can I add an outlet to an existing circuit? This circuit breaker is being use only for the lighting circuit for now. Does NEC says anywhere that I can not do so provided I do not overload it? Does it also violate NEC code mixing lighting circuit with outlet? Any help be great.

    Thank You.

  • #2
    Re: Adding an outlet

    I'm not sure about your code where you live, but here you can have plugs and lights on same, each one are called outlets, There is an MAX number of outlets on an given circuit, Its 12 here, but you should be able to figure out how much your circuit is drawing now with just lights. If your runing 14/2 wiring then its should only be 15 amps max. Check with your local code if you don't have access to code then get an electrician to do work.

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    • #3
      Re: Adding an outlet

      For residential work there is no NEC limit to number of receptacles on a circuit. Some places, as jave pointed out, do have local amendments that place limitations.

      Adding one receptacle to an existing circuit will rarely cause a circuit to be overloaded. In fact, a receptacle will NEVER "overload" a circuit, what's plugged in will.

      If you use common sense you will be fine. If the circuit in question has 15 lights that are used very regularly then it would not be wise to add receptacles to that circuit. If it is a mixed circuit that does not get much use then you will be fine.
      At the same time, if you are planning to use this receptacle for let's say a space heater or hair dryer then it would be wise to run a new circuit for it regardless.

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      • #4
        Re: Adding an outlet

        But, i would still like to know where in NEC I might be able to find this information. Thanks again to all. By the way I forgot to mention this is not for residential,but for commercial environment.

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        • #5
          Re: Adding an outlet

          Article 220 of the NEC covers most loads.
          Commercial work: To calculate the number of receptacles allowed, divide the VA (volts X amps) rating of the circuit by 180VA for each receptacle strap. So, 120V circuit on a 15A breaker is 15 X 120=1800/180VA=10.
          20A circuit do the math. The above calculation doesn't help if the receptacle goes on a lighting circuit and such circuit, in a commercial app. is considered a continuous load.

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          • #6
            Re: Adding an outlet

            I am not sure as to the code in your area, but most bathrooms have the lighting on the same outlet. This might be because bathrooms use a GFCI. This might be a requirement with something about lighting. I am not sure exactly, but it definitely is done often. it all comes back to local codes.

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