The National Electrical Code and Outlets The number of outlets per circuit is not limited by the National Electrical Code (NEC). According to the NEC, a circuit cannot deliver more than 80% of the circuit breaker limitations. For example, if a circuit breaker can handle 120 volts, it can have up to 96 outlets on that circuit as long as they are all set to 12 volts. If some are set to 24 volts they would count as two outlets per circuit.
In general, the number of outlets on a circuit should be limited by how much current you can safely carry. If you need more than one outlet per circuit, then you will need more than one power source. For example, if you need four outlets but your circuit breaker can only handle three, then you could use a double-breaker system or separate circuits for each outlet required.
You should also consider your wiring method when determining how many outlets can be on a circuit. If you are using metal piping, you can usually put multiple outlets on a single circuit without worrying about breaking down your pipe with too many wires inside of it. If you go over the recommended amount of outlets on a circuit, you may experience overheating damage to your appliances. This could include burning labels off clothes irons or other heat-sensitive items.
(1) Except as specified by other regulations of this code, no 2-wire branch circuit must have more than 12 outlets. (2) Except as authorized by Subrule, such outlets will be assumed to be rated at no less than 1 A per outlet (3). The requirement in (1) does not apply to special wiring methods or equipment types listed in other regulations. For example, a system of 2-wire branches connected to a load center with 20-A main wires and 10-amp feeders is permitted if each branch contains not more than 4 outlets.
The NEC permits up to 15 outlets on a 2-wire circuit. However, most homes were built with 12-outlet circuits, so this is all that's required by regulation. If you need more than 12 outlets on a circuit, you'll need 3-wire outlets or replace some of the 2-wire outlets with 3-wire versions.
Outlets use metal pins inside the casing of the device that connect to the hot and neutral wires running to them. These pins pass through the wall when the plug is inserted into a receptacle, making contact with another set of pins inside the receptacle. This connection ensures that current can flow through the cord and back to the appliance plugged into it. Receptacles also contain springs that push the pins inside the plug toward the center of the socket to make these connections safely.
Check the size of the breaker you're using to power your outlets. Residential 15-amp, 120-volt receptacles must be fed by 20-amp circuits, according to the National Electrical Code (NEC). To get the overall wattage of the circuit, multiply amps by volts. A single pole 20-amp breaker multiplied by 120 volts equals 2,400 watts. A dual-pole 20-amp breaker multiplied by 120 volts equals 4,800 watts.
If the box is larger than 1/4 inch in diameter, it can accept more than one wire at a time. These are called "multi-outlet boxes." The NEC requires that all household wiring be done in metal boxes or conduit. If you use other materials, such as wood or plastic, you must use cable if you want to meet code requirements. Cable is available in different sizes and styles for different applications. It's used to run data and voice signals between remote locations, such as inside buildings where wall space is limited. Voice cables should be at least 6 gauge to handle normal household current.
Cable comes in three types: armored, unarmored and hybrid. Armored cable is designed to protect against damage caused by lightning strikes. It includes aluminum or steel wires surrounded by a protective layer of insulation. This type of cable is required for network connections to security systems. Unarmored cable has only insulated wires; it's not protected against damage from lightning or power surges. Hybrid cable has both armored and unarmored conductors within the same cable.