Philippine Electrical Code Part 1/Chapter 2. Wiring and Protection/Article 2.10 - Branch Circuits

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Article 2.10 - Branch Circuits

DISCLAIMER
This is not an official copy of the Philippine Electrical Code. This is a Design Guide according to the provisions of the Philippine Electrical Code. It also provides interpretation and annotations of the clauses of the Philippine Electrical Code. Any information, interpretation and/or annotation presented herein are based on personal opinion of the authors and does not represent the official interpretation of the Philippine Electrical Code.


While the authors have used good faith and efforts to ensure that the information and instructions contained in this work are accurate, the authors disclaim all responsibility for errors or omissions, including without limitation responsibility for damages resulting from the use of or reliance on this work. Use of the information and instructions contained in this work is at your own risk. If any contents or other technology this work contains or describes is subject to open source licenses or the intellectual property rights of others, it is your responsibility to ensure that your use thereof complies with such licenses and/or rights

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Contents

2.10.1 General Provisions

2.10.1.1 Scope.

This article covers branch circuits except for branch circuits that supply only motor loads, which are covered in Article 4.30. Provisions of this article and Article 4.30 apply to branch circuits with combination loads.

2.10.1.2 Other Articles for Specific-Purpose Branch Circuits.

Branch circuits shall comply with this article and also with the applicable provisions of other articles of this Code. The provisions for branch circuits supplying equipment listed in Table 2.10.1.2 amend or supplement the provisions in this article and shall apply to branch circuits referred to therein.

2.10.1.3 Rating.

Branch circuits recognized by this article shall be rated in accordance with the maximum permitted ampere rating or setting of the overcurrent device. The rating for other than individual branch circuits shall be 15, 20, 30, 40, and 50 amperes. Where conductors of higher ampacity are used for any reason, the ampere rating or setting of the specified overcurrent device shall determine the circuit rating.

Exception: Multioutlet branch circuits greater than 50 amperes shall be permitted to supply nonlighting outlet loads on industrial premises where conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only licensed electrical practitioner or non licensed electrical practitioner under the supervision of a licensed electrical practitioner service the equipment.

2.10.1.4 Multiwire Branch Circuits.

(a) General.

Branch circuits recognized by this article shall be permitted as multiwire circuits. A multiwire circuit shall be permitted to be considered as multiple circuits. All conductors shall originate from the same panelboard or similar distribution equipment.

FPN: A 3-phase, 4-wire, wye-connected power system used to supply power to nonlinear loads may necessitate that the power system design allow for the possibility of high harmonic neutral currents.

(b) Devices or Equipment.

Where a multiwire branch circuit supplies more than one device or equipment on the same yoke, a means shall be provided to disconnect simultaneously all ungrounded conductors supplying those devices or equipment at the point where the branch circuit originates.


Table 2.10.1.2 Specific-Purpose Branch Circuits
Equipment Article Section
Air-conditioning and refrigerating equipment 4.40.1.6, 4.40.4.1, 4.40.4.2
Audio signal processing, amplification, and reproduction equipment 6.40.1.8
Busways
Circuits and equipment operating at less than 50 volts 7.20 3.68.2.8
Central heating equipment other than fixed electric space-heating equipment
Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 remote-control, signaling, and power-limited circuits 7.25 4.22.2.3
Closed-loop and programmed power distribution 7.80
Cranes and hoists
Electric signs and outline lighting 6.10.5.2
Electric welders 6.30 6.0.1.6
Elevators, dumbwaiters, escalators, moving walks, wheelchair lifts, and stairway chair lifts 6.20.7.1
Fire alarm systems 7.60
Fixed electric heating equipment for pipelines and vessels 4.27.1.4
Fixed electric space-heating equipment 4.24.1.3
Fixed outdoor electric deicing and snow-melting equipment 4.26.1.4
Information technology equipment
Infrared lamp industrial heating equipment 6.45.1.5
Induction and dielectric heating equipment 6.65 4.22.4.9, 4.24.1.3
Marinas and boatyards
Mobile homes, manufactured homes, and mobile home parks 5.50 5.55.1.19
Motion picture and television studios and similar locations 5.30
Motors, motor circuits, and controllers 4.30
Pipe organs 6.50.1.7
Recreational vehicles and recreational vehicle parks 5.51
Switchboards and panelboards 4.8.4.3
Theaters, audience areas of motion picture and television studios, and similar locations 5.20.3.1, 5.20.4.3, 5.20.5.2
X-ray equipment 6.60.1.2, 5.17.5.3
(c) Line-to-Neutral Loads.

Multiwire branch circuits shall supply only line-to-neutral loads.

Exception No. 1: A multiwire branch circuit that supplies only one utilization equipment.

Exception No. 2: Where all ungrounded conductors of the multiwire branch circuit are opened simultaneously by the branch-circuit overcurrent device.

FPN: See 3.0.1.13(b) for continuity of grounded conductor on multiwire circuits.

2.10.1.5 Identification for Branch Circuits.

(a) Grounded Conductor.

The grounded conductor of a branch circuit shall be identified in accordance with 2.0.1.6.

(b) Equipment Grounding Conductor.

The equipment grounding conductor shall be identified in accordance with 2.50.6.10.

(c) Ungrounded Conductors.

Where the premises wiring system has branch circuits supplied from more than one nominal voltage system, each ungrounded conductor of a branch circuit, where accessible, shall be identified by system. The means of identification shall be permitted to be by separate color coding, marking tape, tagging, or other approved means and shall be permanently posted at each branch-circuit panelboard or similar branch-circuit distribution equipment.

2.10.1.6 Branch-Circuit Voltage Limitations.

The nominal voltage of branch circuits shall not exceed the values permitted by 2.10.1.6(a) through 2.10.1.6(e).

(a) Occupancy Limitation.

In dwelling units and guest rooms or guest suites of hotels, motels, and similar occupancies, the voltage shall not exceed 230 volts, nominal, between conductors that supply the terminals of the following:

(1) Luminaires (lighting fixtures)
(2) Cord-and-plug-connected loads 1440 volt-amperes, nominal, or less or less than 1/4 hp
(b) 230 Volts Between Conductors.

Circuits not exceeding 230 volts, nominal, between conductors shall be permitted to supply the following:

(1) The terminals of lampholders applied within their voltage ratings
(2) Auxiliary equipment of electric-discharge lamps
(3) Cord-and-plug-connected or permanently connected utilization equipment
(c) 277 Volts to Ground.

Circuits exceeding 230 volts, nominal, between conductors and not exceeding 277 volts, nominal, to ground shall be permitted to supply the following:

(1) Listed electric-discharge luminaires (lighting fixtures)
(2) Listed incandescent luminaires (lighting fixtures), where supplied at 230 volts or less from the output of a stepdown autotransformer that is an integral component of the luminaire (fixture) and the outer shell terminal is electrically connected to a grounded conductor of the branch circuit
(3) Luminaires (lighting fixtures) equipped with mogul-base screw shell lampholders
(4) Lampholders, other than the screw shell type, applied within their voltage ratings
(5) Auxiliary equipment of electric-discharge lamps
(6) Cord-and-plug-connected or permanently connected utilization equipment
(d) 600 Volts Between Conductors.

Circuits exceeding 277 volts, nominal, to ground and not exceeding 600 volts, nominal, between conductors shall be permitted to supply the following:

(1) The auxiliary equipment of electric-discharge lamps mounted in permanently installed luminaires (fixtures) where the luminaires (fixtures) are mounted in accordance with one of the following:
a. Not less than a height of 6 700 mm on poles or similar structures for the illumination of outdoor areas such as highways, roads, bridges, athletic fields, or parking lots
b. Not less than a height of 5 500 mm on other structures such as tunnels
(2) Cord-and-plug-connected or permanently connected utilization equipment other than luminaires (fixtures)

FPN: See 4.10.13.6 for auxiliary equipment limitations.

Exception No. 1 to (b), (c), and (d): For lampholders of infrared industrial heating appliances as provided in 4.22.2.5.

Exception No. 2 to (b), (c), and (d): For railway properties as described in 1.10.1.19.

(e) Over 600 Volts Between Conductors.

Circuits exceeding 600 volts, nominal, between conductors shall be permitted to supply utilization equipment in installations where conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only licensed electrical practitioner or non licensed electrical practitioner under the supervision of a licensed electrical practitioner service the installation.

2.10.1.7 Branch Circuit Receptacle Requirements.

(a) Receptacle Outlet Location.

Receptacle outlets shall be located in branch circuits in accordance with Part 2.10.3.

(b) Multiple Branch Circuits.

Where two or more branch circuits supply devices or equipment on the same yoke, a means to simultaneously disconnect the ungrounded conductors supplying those devices shall be provided at the point at which the branch circuits originate.

2.10.1.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel.

FPN: See 2.15.1.9 for ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel on feeders.

(a) Dwelling Units.

All 125-volt and/or 250 volts, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in (1) through (8) shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

(1) Bathrooms
(2) Garages, and also accessory buildings that have a floor located at or below grade level not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and areas of similar use

Exception No. 1 to (2): Receptacles that are not readily accessible.

Exception No. 2 to (2): A single receptacle or a duplex receptacle for two appliances located within dedicated space for each appliance that, in normal use, is not easily moved from one place to another and that is cord-and-plug connected in accordance with 4.0.1.7(a)(6), (a)(7), or (a)(8).

Receptacles installed under the exceptions to 2.10.1.8(a)(2) shall not be considered as meeting the requirements of 2.10.3.3(g)

(3) Outdoors. Receptacles installed under the exceptions to 2.10.1.8(a)(5) shall not be considered as meeting the requirements of 2.10.3.3(g).
(4) Crawl spaces — at or below grade level
(5) Unfinished basements — for purposes of this section, unfinished basements are defined as portions or areas of the basement not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and the like

Exception No. 1 to (5): Receptacles that are not readily accessible.

Exception No. 2 to (5): A single receptacle or a duplex receptacle for two appliances located within dedicated space for each appliance that, in normal use, is not easily moved from one place to another and that is cord-and-plug connected in accordance with 4.0.1.7(a)(6), (a)(7), or (a)(8).

Exception No. 3 to (5): A receptacle supplying only a permanently installed fire alarm or burglar alarm system shall not be required to have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection.

(6) Kitchens — where the receptacles are installed to serve the countertop surfaces
(7) Laundry, utility, and wet bar sinks — where the receptacles are installed within 1 800 mm of the outside edge of the sink
(8) Boathouses
(b) Other Than Dwelling Units.

All 125-volt and/or 250 volts, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in (1) through (5) shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel:

(1) Bathrooms
(2) Commercial and institutional kitchens — for the purposes of this section, a kitchen is an area with a sink and permanent facilities for food preparation and cooking
(3) Rooftops
(4) Outdoors in public spaces—for the purpose of this section a public space is defined as any space that is for use by, or is accessible to, the public

Exception to (3) and (4): Receptacles that are not readily accessible and are supplied from a dedicated branch circuit for electric snow- melting or deicing equipment shall be permitted to be installed in accordance with the applicable provisions of Article 4.26.

(5) Outdoors, where installed to comply with 2.10.3.14
(c) Boat Hoists.

Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel shall be provided for outlets that supply boat hoists installed in dwelling unit locations and supplied by 125-volt and/or 250 volts, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits.

2.10.1.9 Circuits Derived from Autotransformers.

Branch circuits shall not be derived from autotransformers unless the circuit supplied has a grounded conductor that is electrically connected to a grounded conductor of the system supplying the autotransformer.

Exception No. 1: An autotransformer shall be permitted without the connection to a grounded conductor where transforming from a nominal 208 volts to a nominal 240-volt supply or similarly from 240 volts to 208 volts.

Exception No. 2: In industrial occupancies, where conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only licensed electrical practitioner or non licensed electrical practitioner under the supervision of a licensed electrical practitioner service the installation, autotransformers shall be permitted to supply nominal 600-volt loads from nominal 480-volt systems, and 480-volt loads from nominal 600-volt systems, without the connection to a similar grounded conductor.

2.10.1.10 Ungrounded Conductors Tapped from Grounded Systems.

Two-wire dc circuits and ac circuits of two or more ungrounded conductors shall be permitted to be tapped from the ungrounded conductors of circuits that have a grounded neutral conductor. Switching devices in each tapped circuit shall have a pole in each ungrounded conductor. All poles of multipole switching devices shall manually switch together where such switching devices also serve as a disconnecting means as required by the following:

(1) 4.10.8.2 for double-pole switched lampholders

(2) 4.10.10.2(b) for electric-discharge lamp auxiliary equipment switching devices

(3) 4.22.3.2(b) for an appliance

(4) 4.24.3.2 for a fixed electric space-heating unit

(5) 4.30.7.5 for a motor controller

(6) 4.30.9.3 for a motor

2.10.1.11 Branch Circuits Required.

Branch circuits for lighting and for appliances, including motor-operated appliances, shall be provided to supply the loads calculated in accordance with 2.20.2.1. In addition, branch circuits shall be provided for specific loads not covered by 2.20.2.1 where required elsewhere in this Code and for dwelling unit loads as specified in 2.10.1.11(c).

(a) Number of Branch Circuits.

The minimum number of branch circuits shall be determined from the total calculated load and the size or rating of the circuits used. In all installations, the number of circuits shall be sufficient to supply the load served. In no case shall the load on any circuit exceed the maximum specified by 2.20.2.9.

(b) Load Evenly Proportioned Among Branch Circuits.

Where the load is calculated on the basis of volt-amperes per square meter or per square foot, the wiring system up to and including the branch- circuit panelboard(s) shall be provided to serve not less than the calculated load. This load shall be evenly proportioned among multioutlet branch circuits within the panelboard(s). Branch-circuit overcurrent devices and circuits shall only be required to be installed to serve the connected load.

(c) Dwelling Units.
(1) Small-Appliance Branch Circuits.

In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, two or more 20- ampere small-appliance branch circuits shall be provided for all receptacle outlets specified by 2.10.3.3(b).

(2) Laundry Branch Circuits.

In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at least one additional 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to supply the laundry receptacle outlet(s) required by 2.10.3.3(f). This circuit shall have no other outlets.

(3) Bathroom Branch Circuits.

In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at least one 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to supply bathroom receptacle outlet(s). Such circuits shall have no other outlets.

Exception: Where the 20-ampere circuit supplies a single bathroom, outlets for other equipment within the same bathroom shall be permitted to be supplied in accordance with 2.10.2.5(a)(1) and (a)(2).

FPN: See Examples D1(a), D1(b), D2(b), and D4(a) in Appendix D.

2.10.1.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection.

(a) Definition:
Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter.
An arc-fault circuit interrupter is a device intended to provide protection from the effects of arc faults by recognizing characteristics unique to arcing and by functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc fault is detected.
(b) Dwelling Unit Bedrooms.

All 115-volt and/or 230-volt, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit bedrooms shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination type installed to provide protection of the branch circuit. This requirement shall become effective January 1, 2014.

FPN: For information on types of arc-fault circuit interrupters, see UL 1699-1999, Standard for Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters.

Exception: The location of the arc-fault circuit interrupter shall be permitted to be at other than the origination of the branch circuit in compliance with (a) and (b):

(a) The arc-fault circuit interrupter installed within 1800 mm of the branch circuit overcurrent device as measured along the branch circuit conductors.
(b) The circuit conductors between the branch circuit overcurrent device and the arc-fault circuit interrupter shall be installed in a metal raceway or a cable with a metallic sheath.

2.10.1.18 Guest Rooms and Guest Suites.=

Guest rooms and guest suites that are provided with permanent provisions for cooking shall have branch circuits and outlets installed to meet the rules for dwelling units.

2.10.2 Branch-Circuit Ratings

2.10.2.1 Conductors — Minimum Ampacity and Size.

(a) Branch Circuits Not More Than 600 Volts.
(1) General.

Branch-circuit conductors shall have an ampacity not less than the maximum load to be served. Where a branch circuit supplies continuous loads or any combination of continuous and noncontinuous loads, the minimum branch-circuit conductor size, before the application of any adjustment or correction factors, shall have an allowable ampacity not less than the noncontinuous load plus 125 percent of the continuous load.

Exception: Where the assembly, including the overcurrent devices protecting the branch circuit(s), is listed for operation at 100 percent of its rating, the allowable ampacity of the branch circuit conductors shall be permitted to be not less than the sum of the continuous load plus the noncontinuous load.

FPN No. 1: See 3.10.1.15 for ampacity ratings of conductors.

FPN No. 2: See Part 4.30.2 for minimum rating of motor branch-circuit conductors.

FPN No. 3: See 3.10.1.10 for temperature limitation of conductors.

FPN No. 4: Conductors for branch circuits as defined in Article 1.0, sized to prevent a voltage drop exceeding 3 percent at the farthest outlet of power, heating, and lighting loads, or combinations of such loads, and where the maximum total voltage drop on both feeders and branch circuits to the farthest outlet does not exceed 5 percent, provide reasonable efficiency of operation. See FPN No. 2 of 2.15.1.2(a)(3) for voltage drop on feeder conductors.

(2) Multioutlet Branch Circuits.

Conductors of branch circuits supplying more than one receptacle for cord-and-plug-connected portable loads shall have an ampacity of not less than the rating of the branch circuit.

(3) Household Ranges and Cooking Appliances.

Branch-circuit conductors supplying household ranges, wall-mounted ovens, counter- mounted cooking units, and other household cooking appliances shall have an ampacity not less than the rating of the branch circuit and not less than the maximum load to be served. For ranges of 8¾ kW or more rating, the minimum branch-circuit rating shall be 40 amperes.

Exception No. 1: Tap conductors supplying electric ranges, wall- mounted electric ovens, and counter-mounted electric cooking units from a 50-ampere branch circuit shall have an ampacity of not less than 20 and shall be sufficient for the load to be served. These tap conductors include any conductors that are a part of the leads supplied with the appliance that are smaller than the branch circuit conductors. The taps shall not be longer than necessary for servicing the appliance.

Exception No. 2: The neutral conductor of a 3-wire branch circuit supplying a household electric range, a wall-mounted oven, or a counter-mounted cooking unit shall be permitted to be smaller than the ungrounded conductors where the maximum demand of a range of 8¾ kW or more rating has been calculated according to Column C of Table 2.20.3.16, but such conductor shall have an ampacity of not less than 70 percent of the branch-circuit rating and shall not be smaller than 5.5 mm2 (2.6 mm dia.).

(4) Other Loads.

Branch-circuit conductors that supply loads other than those specified in 2.10.1.2 and other than cooking appliances as covered in 2.10.2.1(a)(3) shall have an ampacity sufficient for the loads served and shall not be smaller than 2.0 mm2 (1.6 mm dia.).

Exception No. 1: Tap conductors shall have an ampacity sufficient for the load served. In addition, they shall have an ampacity of not less than 15 for circuits rated less than 40 amperes and not less than 20 for circuits rated at 40 or 50 amperes and only where these tap conductors supply any of the following loads:

(a) Individual lampholders or luminaires (fixtures) with taps extending not longer than 450 mm beyond any portion of the lampholder or luminaire (fixture).
(b) A fixture having tap conductors as provided in 4.10.11.4.
(c) Individual outlets, other than receptacle outlets, with taps not over 450 mm long.
(d) Infrared lamp industrial heating appliances.
(e) Nonheating leads of deicing and snow-melting cables and mats.
Exception No. 2: Fixture wires and flexible cords shall be permitted to be smaller than 2.0 mm2 (1.6 mm dia.) as permitted by 2.40.1.5.
(b) Branch Circuits Over 600 Volts.

The ampacity of conductors shall be in accordance with 3.10.1.15 and 3.10.160, as applicable. Branch-circuit conductors over 600 volts shall be sized in accordance with 2.10.2.1(b)(1) or (b)(2).

(1) General.

The ampacity of branch-circuit conductors shall not be less than 125 percent of the designed potential load of utilization equipment that will be operated simultaneously.

(2) Supervised Installations.

For supervised installations, branch- circuit conductor sizing shall be permitted to be determined by licensed electrical practitioner or non licensed electrical practitioner under the supervision of a licensed electrical practitioner under engineering supervision. Supervised installations are defined as those portions of a facility where both of the following conditions are met:

a. Conditions of design and installation are provided under engineering supervision.
b. Licensed electrical practitioner or non licensed electrical practitioner under the supervision of a licensed electrical practitioner with documented training and experience in over 600-volt systems provide maintenance, monitoring, and servicing of the system.

2.10.2.2 Overcurrent Protection.

Branch-circuit conductors and equipment shall be protected by overcurrent protective devices that have a rating or setting that complies with 2.10.2.2(a) through (d).

(a) Continuous and Noncontinuous Loads.

Where a branch circuit supplies continuous loads or any combination of continuous and noncontinuous loads, the rating of the overcurrent device shall not be less than the noncontinuous load plus 125 percent of the continuous load.

Exception: Where the assembly, including the overcurrent devices protecting the branch circuit(s), is listed for operation at 100 percent of its rating, the ampere rating of the overcurrent device shall be permitted to be not less than the sum of the continuous load plus the noncontinuous load.

(b) Conductor Protection.

Conductors shall be protected in accordance with 2.40.1.4. Flexible cords and fixture wires shall be protected in accordance with 2.40.1.5.

(c) Equipment.

The rating or setting of the overcurrent protective device shall not exceed that specified in the applicable articles referenced in Table 2.40.1.3 for equipment.

(d) Outlet Devices.

The rating or setting shall not exceed that specified in 2.10.2.3 for outlet devices.

2.10.2.3 Outlet Devices.

Outlet devices shall have an ampere rating that is not less than the load to be served and shall comply with 2.10.2.3(a) and (b).

(a) Lampholders.

Where connected to a branch circuit having a rating in excess of 20 amperes, lampholders shall be of the heavy-duty type. A heavy-duty lampholder shall have a rating of not less than 660 watts if of the admedium type, or not less than 750 watts if of any other type.

(b) Receptacles.
(1) Single Receptacle on an Individual Branch Circuit.

A single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit shall have an ampere rating not less than that of the branch circuit.

Exception No. 1: A receptacle installed in accordance with 4.30.7.1(b).
Exception No. 2: A receptacle installed exclusively for the use of a cord-and-plug-connected arc welder shall be permitted to have an ampere rating not less than the minimum branch-circuit conductor ampacity determined by 6.30.2.1(a) for arc welders.

FPN: See the definition of receptacle in Article 1.0.

(2) Total Cord-and-Plug-Connected Load.

Where connected to a branch circuit supplying two or more receptacles or outlets, a receptacle shall not supply a total cord-and-plug-connected load in excess of the maximum specified in Table 2.10.2.3(b)(2).

Table 2.10.2.3(b)(2) Maximum Cord-and-Plug-Connected Load to Receptacle
Circuit Rating (Amperes) Receptacle Rating (Amperes) Maximum Load (Amperes)
15 or 20 15 12
20 20 16
30 30 24
(3) Receptacle Ratings.

Where connected to a branch circuit supplying two or more receptacles or outlets, receptacle ratings shall conform to the values listed in Table 2.10.2.3(b)(3), or where larger than 50 amperes, the receptacle rating shall not be less than the branch-circuit rating.

Exception No. 1: Receptacles for one or more cord-and-plug- connected arc welders shall be permitted to have ampere ratings not less than the minimum branch-circuit conductor ampacity permitted by 6.30.2.1(a) or (b) as applicable for arc welders.

Exception No. 2: The ampere rating of a receptacle installed for electric discharge lighting shall be permitted to be based on 4.10.6.9(c).

Table 2.10.2.3(b)(3) Receptacle Ratings for Various Size Circuits
Circuit Rating(Amperes) Receptacle Rating(Amperes)
15 Not over 15
20 15 or 20
30 30
40 40 or 50
50 50


(4) Range Receptacle Rating.

The ampere rating of a range receptacle shall be permitted to be based on a single range demand load as specified in Table 2.20.3.16.

2.10.2.5 Permissible Loads.

In no case shall the load exceed the branch-circuit ampere rating. An individual branch circuit shall be permitted to supply any load for which it is rated. A branch circuit supplying two or more outlets or receptacles shall supply only the loads specified according to its size as specified in 2.10.2.5(a) through (d) and as summarized in 2.10.2.6 and Table 2.10.2.6.

(a) 15- and 20-Ampere Branch Circuits.

A 15- or 20-ampere branch circuit shall be permitted to supply lighting units or other utilization equipment, or a combination of both, and shall comply with 2.10.2.5(a)(1) and (a)(2).

Exception: The small appliance branch circuits, laundry branch circuits, and bathroom branch circuits required in a dwelling unit(s) by 2.10.1.11(c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) shall supply only the receptacle outlets specified in that section.

(1) Cord-and-Plug-Connected Equipment Not Fastened in Place.

The rating of any one cord-and-plug-connected utilization equipment not fastened in place shall not exceed 80 percent of the branch-circuit ampere rating.

(2) Utilization Equipment Fastened in Place.

The total rating of utilization equipment fastened in place, other than luminaires (lighting fixtures), shall not exceed 50 percent of the branch-circuit ampere rating where lighting units, cord-and-plug-connected utilization equipment not fastened in place, or both, are also supplied.

(b) 30-Ampere Branch Circuits.

A 30-ampere branch circuit shall be permitted to supply fixed lighting units with heavy-duty lampholders in other than a dwelling unit(s) or utilization equipment in any occupancy. A rating of any one cord-and-plug-connected utilization equipment shall not exceed 80 percent of the branch-circuit ampere rating.

(c) 40- and 50-Ampere Branch Circuits.

A 40- or 50-ampere branch circuit shall be permitted to supply cooking appliances that are fastened in place in any occupancy. In other than dwelling units, such circuits shall be permitted to supply fixed lighting units with heavy- duty lampholders, infrared heating units, or other utilization equipment.

(d) Branch Circuits Larger Than 50 Amperes.

Branch circuits larger than 50 amperes shall supply only nonlighting outlet loads.

2.10.2.6 Branch-Circuit Requirements - Summary. =

The requirements for circuits that have two or more outlets or receptacles, other than the receptacle circuits of 2.10.1.11(c)(1) and (c)(2), are summarized in Table 2.10.2.6. This table provides only a summary of minimum requirements. See 2.10.2.1, 2.10.2.2, and 2.10.2.3 for the specific requirements applying to branch circuits.

2.10.2.7 Common Area Branch Circuits.

Branch circuits in dwelling units shall supply only loads within that dwelling unit or loads associated only with that dwelling unit. Branch circuits required for the purpose of lighting, central alarm, signal, communications, or other needs for public or common areas of a two-family or multifamily dwelling shall not be supplied from equipment that supplies an individual dwelling unit.

Table 2.10.2.6 Summary of Branch-Circuit Requirements
Circuit Rating 15 A 20 A 30 A 40 A 50 A
Conductors (min. size):
Circuit wires1 14 12 10 8 6
Taps 14 14 14 12 12
Fixture wires and cords — see 2.40.1.5
Overcurrent Protection 15 A 20 A 30 A 40 A 50 A
Outlet devices:
Lampholders permitted Any type Any type Any type Any type Any type
Receptacle rating2 15 max. A 15 or 20 A 30 A 40 or 50 A 50 A
Maximum Load 15 A 20 A 30 A 40 A 50 A
Permissible load See 2.10.2.5(a) See 2.10.2.5(a) See 2.10.2.5(b) See 2.10.2.5(c) See 2.10.2.5(c)
1 These gauges are for copper conductors.

2 For receptacle rating of cord-connected electric-discharge luminaires (lighting fixtures), see 4.10.6.9(c).

2.10.3 Required Outlets

2.10.3.1 General.

Receptacle outlets shall be installed as specified in 2.10.3.3 through 2.10.3.14.

(a) Cord Pendants.

A cord connector that is supplied by a permanently connected cord pendant shall be considered a receptacle outlet.

(b) Cord Connections.

A receptacle outlet shall be installed wherever flexible cords with attachment plugs are used. Where flexible cords are permitted to be permanently connected, receptacles shall be permitted to be omitted for such cords.

(c) Appliance Outlets.

Appliance receptacle outlets installed in a dwelling unit for specific appliances, such as laundry equipment, shall be installed within 1 800 mm of the intended location of the appliance.

2.10.3.3 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets.

This section provides requirements for 125-volt, 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets. Receptacle outlets required by this section shall be in addition to any receptacle that is part of a luminaire (lighting fixture) or appliance, located within cabinets or cupboards, or located more than 1 700 mm above the floor.


Permanently installed electric baseboard heaters equipped with factory-installed receptacle outlets or outlets provided as a separate assembly by the manufacturer shall be permitted as the required outlet or outlets for the wall space utilized by such permanently installed heaters. Such receptacle outlets shall not be connected to the heater circuits.

FPN: Listed baseboard heaters include instructions that may not permit their installation below receptacle outlets.

(a) General Provisions.

In every kitchen, family room, dining room, living room, parlor, library, den, sunroom, bedroom, recreation room, or similar room or area of dwelling units, receptacle outlets shall be installed in accordance with the general provisions specified in 2.10.3.3(a)(1) through (a)(3).

(1) Spacing.

Receptacles shall be installed so that no point measured horizontally along the floor line in any wall space is more than 1 800 mm from a receptacle outlet.

(2) Wall Space.

As used in this section, a wall space shall include the following:

a. Any space 600 mm or more in width (including space measured around corners) and unbroken along the floor line by doorways, fireplaces, and similar openings
b. The space occupied by fixed panels in exterior walls, excluding sliding panels
c. The space afforded by fixed room dividers such as freestanding bar-type counters or railings
(3) Floor Receptacles.

Receptacle outlets in floors shall not be counted as part of the required number of receptacle outlets unless located within 450 mm of the wall.

(b) Small Appliances.
(1) Receptacle Outlets Served.

In the kitchen, pantry, breakfast room, dining room, or similar area of a dwelling unit, the two or more 20-ampere small-appliance branch circuits required by 2.10.1.11(c)(1) shall serve all wall and floor receptacle outlets covered by 2.10.3.3(a), all countertop outlets covered by 2.10.3.3(c), and receptacle outlets for refrigeration equipment.

Exception No. 1: In addition to the required receptacles specified by 2.10.3.3, switched receptacles supplied from a general-purpose branch circuit as defined in 2.10.3.21(a)(1), Exception No. 1, shall be permitted.

Exception No. 2: The receptacle outlet for refrigeration equipment shall be permitted to be supplied from an individual branch circuit rated 15 amperes or greater.

(2) No Other Outlets.

The two or more small-appliance branch circuits specified in 2.10.3.3(b)(1) shall have no other outlets. Exception No. 1: A receptacle installed solely for the electrical supply to and support of an electric clock in any of the rooms specified in 2.10.3.3(b)(1).

Exception No. 1: A receptacle installed solely for the electrical supply to and support of an electric clock in any of the rooms specified in 2.10.3.3(b)(1).

Exception No. 2: Receptacles installed to provide power for supplemental equipment and lighting on gas-fired ranges, ovens, or counter-mounted cooking units.

(3) Kitchen Receptacle Requirements.

Receptacles installed in a kitchen to serve countertop surfaces shall be supplied by not fewer than two small-appliance branch circuits, either or both of which shall also be permitted to supply receptacle outlets in the same kitchen and in other rooms specified in 2.10.3.3(b)(1). Additional small-appliance branch circuits shall be permitted to supply receptacle outlets in the kitchen and other rooms specified in 2.10.3.3(b)(1). No small- appliance branch circuit shall serve more than one kitchen.

(c) Countertops.

In kitchens and dining rooms of dwelling units, receptacle outlets for counter spaces shall be installed in accordance with 2.10.3.3(c)(1) through (c)(5).

(1) Wall Counter Spaces.

A receptacle outlet shall be installed at each wall counter space that is 300 mm or wider. Receptacle outlets shall be installed so that no point along the wall line is more than 600 mm measured horizontally from a receptacle outlet in that space.

Exception: Receptacle outlets shall not be required on a wall directly behind a range or sink in the installation described in Figure 2.10.3.3.

(2) Island Counter Spaces.

At least one receptacle shall be installed at each island counter space with a long dimension of 600 mm or greater and a short dimension of 300 mm or greater. Where a rangetop or sink is installed in an island counter and the width of the counter behind the rangetop or sink is less than 300 mm, the rangetop or sink is considered to divide the island into two separate countertop spaces as defined in 2.10.3.3(c)(4).

(3) Peninsular Counter Spaces.

At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed at each peninsular counter space with a long dimension of 600 mm or greater and a short dimension of 300 mm or greater. A peninsular countertop is measured from the connecting edge.

(4) Separate Spaces.

Countertop spaces separated by rangetops, refrigerators, or sinks shall be considered as separate countertop spaces in applying the requirements of 2.10.3.3(c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3)

(5) Receptacle Outlet Location.

Receptacle outlets shall be located above, but not more than 500 mm above, the countertop. Receptacle outlets rendered not readily accessible by appliances fastened in place, appliance garages, sinks, or rangetops as covered in 2.10.3.3(c)(1), Exception, or appliances occupying dedicated space shall not be considered as these required outlets.

Figure 2.10.3.3 Determination of Area Behind Sink or Range

Exception to (5): To comply with the conditions specified in (1) or (2), receptacle outlets shall be permitted to be mounted not more than 300 mm below the countertop. Receptacles mounted below a countertop in accordance with this exception shall not be located where the countertop extends more than 150 mm beyond its support base.

(1) Construction for the physically impaired
(2) On island and peninsular countertops where the countertop is flat across its entire surface (no backsplashes, dividers, etc.) and there are no means to mount a receptacle within 500 mm above the countertop, such as an overhead cabinet
(d) Bathrooms.

In dwelling units, at least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in bathrooms within 900 mm of the outside edge of each basin. The receptacle outlet shall be located on a wall or partition that is adjacent to the basin or basin countertop.

Exception: The receptacle shall not be required to be mounted in the wall or partition where it is installed on the side or face of the basin cabinet not more than 300 mm below the countertop.

(e) Outdoor Outlets.

For a one-family dwelling and each unit of a two-family dwelling that is at grade level, at least one receptacle outlet accessible at grade level and not more than 2 000 mm above grade shall be installed at the front and back of the dwelling. For each dwelling unit of a multifamily dwelling where the dwelling unit is located at grade level and provided with individual exterior entrance/egress, at least one receptacle outlet accessible from grade level and not more than 2 000 mm above grade shall be installed. See 2.10.1.8(a)(3).


(f) Laundry Areas.

In dwelling units, at least one receptacle outlet shall be installed for the laundry.

Exception No. 1: In a dwelling unit that is an apartment or living area in a multifamily building where laundry facilities are provided on the premises and are available to all building occupants, a laundry receptacle shall not be required.

Exception No. 2: In other than one-family dwellings where laundry facilities are not to be installed or permitted, a laundry receptacle shall not be required.

(g) Basements and Garages.

For a one-family dwelling, at least one receptacle outlet, in addition to any provided for laundry equipment, shall be installed in each basement and in each attached garage, and in each detached garage with electric power. See 2.10.1.8(a)(2) and (a)(5). Where a portion of the basement is finished into one or more habitable rooms, each separate unfinished portion shall have a receptacle outlet installed in accordance with this section. (h) Hallways. In dwelling units, hallways of 3 000 mm or more in length shall have at least one receptacle outlet. As used in this subsection, the hall length shall be considered the length along the centerline of the hall without passing through a doorway.

2.10.3.11 Guest Rooms or Guest Suites.

(a) General.

Guest rooms or guest suites in hotels, motels, and similar occupancies shall have receptacle outlets installed in accordance with 2.10.3.3(a) and 2.10.3.3(d). Guest rooms or guest suites provided with permanent provisions for cooking shall have receptacle outlets installed in accordance with all of the applicable rules in 2.10.3.3.


(b) Receptacle Placement.

In applying the provisions of 2.10.3.3(a), the total number of receptacle outlets shall not be less than the minimum number that would comply with the provisions of that section. These receptacle outlets shall be permitted to be located conveniently for permanent furniture layout. At least two receptacle outlets shall be readily accessible. Where receptacles are installed behind the bed, the receptacle shall be located to prevent the bed from contacting any attachment plug that may be installed or the receptacle shall be provided with a suitable guard.

2.10.3.13 Show Windows.

At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed directly above a show window for each 3 600 linear mm or major fraction thereof of show window area measured horizontally at its maximum width.

2.10.3.14 Heating, Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration Equipment Outlet.

A 125-volt and/or 250 volts, single-phase, 15- or 20-ampere-rated receptacle outlet shall be installed at an accessible location for the servicing of heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration equipment. The receptacle shall be located on the same level and within 7 600 mm of the heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration equipment. The receptacle outlet shall not be connected to the load side of the equipment disconnecting means.

Exception: A receptacle outlet shall not be required at one- and two- family dwellings for the service of evaporative coolers.

FPN: See 2.10.1.8 for ground-fault circuit-interrupter requirements.

2.10.3.21 Lighting Outlets Required.

Lighting outlets shall be installed where specified in 2.10.3.21(a), (b), and (c).

(a) Dwelling Units.

In dwelling units, lighting outlets shall be installed in accordance with 2.10.3.21(a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3).

(1) Habitable Rooms.

At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in every habitable room and bathroom.

Exception No. 1: In other than kitchens and bathrooms, one or more receptacles controlled by a wall switch shall be permitted in lieu of lighting outlets.

Exception No. 2: Lighting outlets shall be permitted to be controlled by occupancy sensors that are (1) in addition to wall switches or (2) located at a customary wall switch location and equipped with a manual override that will allow the sensor to function as a wall switch.

(2) Additional Locations.

Additional lighting outlets shall be installed in accordance with (a)(2)a, (a)(2)b, and (a)(2)c.

a. At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in hallways, stairways, attached garages, and detached garages with electric power.
b. For dwelling units, attached garages, and detached garages with electric power, at least one wall switch–controlled lighting outlet shall be installed to provide illumination on the exterior side of outdoor entrances or exits with grade level access. A vehicle door in a garage shall not be considered as an outdoor entrance or exit.
c. Where one or more lighting outlet(s) are installed for interior stairways, there shall be a wall switch at each floor level, and landing level that includes an entryway, to control the lighting outlet(s) where the stairway between floor levels has six risers or more.

Exception to (a)(2)a, (a)(2)b, and (a)(2)c: In hallways, stairways, and at outdoor entrances, remote, central, or automatic control of lighting shall be permitted.

(3) Storage or Equipment Spaces.

For attics, underfloor spaces, utility rooms, and basements, at least one lighting outlet containing a switch or controlled by a wall switch shall be installed where these spaces are used for storage or contain equipment requiring servicing. At least one point of control shall be at the usual point of entry to these spaces. The lighting outlet shall be provided at or near the equipment requiring servicing.

(b) Guest Rooms or Guest Suites.

In hotels, motels, or similar occupancies, guest rooms or guest suites shall have at least one wall switch–controlled lighting outlet installed in every habitable room and bathroom.

Exception No. 1: In other than bathrooms and kitchens where provided, one or more receptacles controlled by a wall switch shall be permitted in lieu of lighting outlets.

Exception No. 2: Lighting outlets shall be permitted to be controlled by occupancy sensors that are (1) in addition to wall switches or (2) located at a customary wall switch location and equipped with a manual override that will allow the sensor to function as a wall switch.

(c) Other Than Dwelling Units.

For attics and underfloor spaces containing equipment requiring servicing, such as heating, air- conditioning, and refrigeration equipment, at least one lighting outlet containing a switch or controlled by a wall switch shall be installed in such spaces. At least one point of control shall be at the usual point of entry to these spaces. The lighting outlet shall be provided at or near the equipment requiring servicing.

Other Pages in this Category: Chapter 2. Wiring and Protection

References