- Q.How many receptacles can I
put on a 15-amp and a 20-amp circuit?
A.Rex Cauldwell, a master
electrician in Rocky Mount, Va.; the author of
Wiring a House; and a frequent contributor to
JLC, responds: The electrical code places no
limit on the number of receptacles you can put on
either a 15-amp or a 20-amp general-use circuit in
a residential situation. You could have 10 or you
could have 1,000.
Practically speaking, it's not an issue, because
the code requires that kitchen, bathroom, and
utility-room receptacles be placed on individual
branch circuits. Following minimum code, you could
then put all the leftover rooms — living
room, hall, bedrooms — together on one
circuit. This is often the way it's done on low-bid
In commercial construction, however, the rules
are a bit different: The limit is 10 receptacles on
a 15-amp branch circuit and 13 receptacles on a
Why the difference? In residential situations,
it's assumed that all of the receptacles will not
be used at the same time, while in a commercial
setting they might be.