The homeowner would like several circuits in every room so a tripped breaker
would not make the whol room dead but fiscal reality severely limits that.
I wire the walls on one circuit and the ceiling fixtures on another. I suspect
the AFCI requirement has made every bedroom outlet in the house on one breaker
if they can get away with it.
From a strict "hold your nose" interpretation of the code, you can put 800
square feet of bedroom on one 20a AFCI.
A typical house that I'd wire generally has 2-3 AFCI breakers, spread across
3-4 bedrooms. I usually limit most cct's to 8-10 devices just for the heck
of it. On the AFCI topic, is bedroom lighting normally put on ccts protected
It always sounds so strange when I hear "20A" cct. Until recently (kitchen
20A GFI requirement), 20A cct's were never really used here (Canada) in
residential applications. The U.S. must have many more uses for it.
A responsible builder will probably use one AFCI per bedroom but I would still
think you should split up the loads a little.
Since the 2002 code all outlets in the bedroom, including the lights, shall be
We are finding that some ceiling fan controllers are tripping AFCIs.
I do not understand why you insist on 1 circuit per bedroom, there is
actualy very litle load in typical bedroom. Home owner hes to pay for the
As to the separating the lighting circuits and plugs, it has few adventages
I can see:
1) for economical reasons - you can put more then 12 lights on one cct
because the maximum load is known,
2) you can turn on fairly safely the lighting circuit to provide the light
for the painters and others before the final inspection,
3) one timer and one photocell can easily make you house "alive" when you go
on extended vacations ;-),
4) truble finding might be easier due to more structured approach.
So far I was mixing the lighting circuits and plugs, right now I am
co-managing the construction of my own house (lot of fun), I will give it a
try and separate the lightin and receptacles.
Can't speak for the NEC but;
It is not commonly done at final circuit level but in commercial
installations it is frequently done at distribution board level.
In the UK there is an obligation (can't remeber BS7671 or elsewhere) to
minimise the disturbance caused by a circuit trip.
You would have to spur off a socket outlet with a fused spur for any
lights on a socket circuit.
The practical upshot of this is a socket circuit for kitchen and one for
other rooms and a separate circuit for upstairs and downstairs lighting.
Considering the low cost of circuit breakers and cable and the faffing
about with spurs it is easier just to keep lighting and sockets
Most installations run for years without breakers tripping.
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