PEC 2017 – Article 2.10

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Article 2.10 – BRANCH CIRCUITS

2.10.1 General Provisions

2.10.1.1 Scope.

This article provides the general requirements for branch circuits.

2.10.1.3 Other Articles for Specific-Purpose Branch Circuits.

Table 2.10.1.3 lists references for specific equipment and applications not located in Chapters 5, 6, and 7 that amend or supplement the provisions of this article.

EquipmentArticleSection
Air-conditioning and refrigerating equipment4.40.1.6,
4.40.4.1,
4.40.4.2
Busways3.68.2.8
Central heating equipment other than fixed electric space-heating equipment4.22.2.3
Fixed electric heating equipment for pipelines and vessels4.27.1.4
Fixed electric space-heating equipment4.24.1.3
Infrared lamp industrial heating equipment4.22.4.9,
4.24.1.3
Motors, motor circuits, and controllers4.30
Switchboards and panelboards4.8.4.3
Table 2.20.1.3 Specific-Purpose Branch Circuit

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 of a multiwire branch circuit shall originate from the same panelboard or similar distribution equipment.

FPN No. 1: A 3-phase, 4-wire, wye connected power system used to supply power to nonlinear loads may necessitate that the power system design allows for the possibility of high harmonic currents on the neutral conductor.

FPN No. 2: See 3.0.1.13(B) for continuity of grounded conductors on multiwire circuits.

(B) Disconnecting Means. Each multiwire branch circuit shall be provided with a means that will simultaneously disconnect all ungrounded conductors at the point where the branch circuit originates.

FPN: See 2.40.1.15(B) for information on the use of single-pole circuit breakers as the disconnecting means.

(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.

(D) Grouping. The ungrounded and grounded circuit conductors of each multiwire branch circuit shall be grouped in accordance with 2.0.1.4(B).

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) Identification of Ungrounded Conductors. Ungrounded conductors shall be identified in accordance with 2.10.1.5(C)(1) or (2), as applicable.

(1) Branch Circuits Supplied from More Than One Nominal Voltage System. Where the premises wiring system has branch circuits supplied from more than one nominal voltage system, each ungrounded conductor of a branch circuit shall be identified by phase or line and system at all termination, connection, and splice points in compliance with 2.10.1.5(C)(1)(a) and (b).

(a) Means of Identification. The means of identification shall be permitted to be by separate color coding, marking tape, tagging, or other approved means.

(b) Posting of Identification Means. The method utilized for conductors originating within each branch-circuit panelboard or similar branch-circuit distribution equipment shall be documented in a manner that is readily available or shall be permanently posted at each branch-circuit panel-board or similar branch circuit distribution equipment. The label shall be of sufficient durability to withstand the environment involved and shall not be handwritten.

Exception: In existing installations where a voltage system(s) already exists and a different voltage system is being added, it shall be permissible to mark only the new system voltage. Existing unidentified systems shall not be required to be identified at each termination, connection, and splice point in compliance with 2.10.1.5(C)(1)(a) and (b). Labeling shall be required at each voltage system distribution equipment to identify that only one voltage system has been marked for a new system(s). The new system label(s) shall include the words “other unidentified systems exist on the premises.”

(2) Branch Circuits Supplied From Direct Current Systems. Where a branch circuit is supplied from a de system operating at more than60 volts, each ungrounded conductor of 22 mm² or larger shall be identified by polarity at all termination, connection, and splice points by marking tape, tagging, or other approved means; each ungrounded conductor of 14 mm² or smaller shall be identified by polarity at all termination, connection, and splice points in compliance with 2.10.1.5(C)(2)(a) and (b). The identification methods utilized for conductors originating within each branch circuit panelboard or similar branch-circuit distribution equipment shall be documented in a manner that is readily available or shall be permanently posted at each branch circuit panelboard or similar branch circuit distribution equipment.

(a) Positive Polarity, Sizes 14 mm² or Smaller. Where the positive polarity of a dc system does not serve as the connection point for the grounded conductor, each positive ungrounded conductor shall be identified by one of the following means:

(1) A continuous red outer finish

(2) A continuous red stripe durably marked along the conductor’s entire length on insulation of a color other than green, white, gray, or black

(3) Imprinted plus signs (+) or the word POSITIVE or POS durably marked on insulation of a color other than green, white, gray, or black, and repeated at intervals not exceeding 610 mm in accordance with 3.10.3.17(B)

(4) An approved permanent marking means such as sleeving or shrink-tubing that is suitable for the conductor size, at all termination, connection, and splice points, with imprinted plus signs (+) or the word POSITIVE or POS durably marked on insulation of a color other than green, white, gray, or black

(b) Negative Polarity, Sizes 14 mm² or Smaller. Where the negative polarity of a dc system does not serve as the connection point for the grounded conductor, each negative ungrounded conductor shall be identified by one of the following means:

(1) A continuous black outer finish

(2) A continuous black stripe durably marked along the conductor’s entire length on insulation of a color other than green, white, gray, or red

(3) Imprinted minus signs () or the word NEGATIVE or NEG durably marked on insulation of a color other than green, white, gray, or red, and repeated at intervals not exceeding 610 mm in accordance with 3.10.3.17(B)

(4) An approved permanent marking means such as sleeving or shrink-tubing that is suitable for the conductor size, at all termination, connection, and splice points, with imprinted plus signs (-) or the word NEGATIVE or NEG durably marked on insulation of a color other than green, white, gray, or black

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 (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

(2) Cord-and-plug-connected loads 2760 volt amperes, nominal, or less or less than 1/2 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 FPN: See 4.10.12.8 for auxiliary equipment limitations.

FPN: See 4.10.12.8 for auxiliary equipment limitations.

(3) Cord-and-plug-connected or connected utilization equipment permanently.

(C) 265 Volts to Ground. Circuits exceeding 115 volts, nominal, between conductors and not exceeding 265 volts, nominal, to ground shall be permitted to supply the following:

(1) Listed electric-discharge or listed light-emitting diode-type luminaires

(2) Listed incandescent luminaires, where supplied at 230 volts or less from the output of a stepdown autotransformer that is an integral component of the luminaire and the outer shell terminal is electrically connected to a grounded conductor of the branch circuit

(3) Luminaires equipped with mogul-base screw shell lamp-holders

(4) Lampholders, other than the screw shell type, applied within their voltage ratings

(5) Auxiliary equipment of electric-discharge lamps

 Informational Note: See 410.137 for auxiliary equipment limitations

(6) Cord-and-plug-connected or permanently connected utilization equipment.

(D) 600 Volts Between Conductors. Circuits exceeding 265 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 where the luminaires 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 5500 mm on other structures such as tunnels

FPN See 4.10.12.8 for auxiliary equipment limitations.

(2) Cord-and-plug-connected ог permanently connected utilization equipment other than luminaires

(3) Luminaires powered from direct-current systems where either of the following apply:

a. The luminaire contains a listed, de-rated ballast that provides isolation between the de power source and the lamp circuit and protection from electric shock when changing lamps.

b. The luminaire contains a listed, de-rated ballast and has no provision for changing lamps.

Exception No. 1 to (B), (C), and (D): For lampholders of infrared industrial heating appliances as provided in 4.22.2.7.

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 qualified persons service the installation.

2.10.1.7 Multiple Branch Circuits.

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

2.10.1.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel.

Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel shall be provided as required in 2.10.1.8(A) through (E). The ground-fault circuit-interrupter shall be installed integrated with the receptacle (GFCI receptacle)

In lieu of the GFCI receptacle(s), a branch circuit supplying 15- and 20- ampere receptacles shall be permitted to be protected by a ground-fault circuit breaker.

FPN No. 1: See 2.15.1.9 for ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel on feeders.

FPN No. 2: See 4 22.1 5(A) for GFCI requirements for appliances

For the purposes of this section, when determining distance from receptacles the distance shall be measured as the shortest path the cord of an appliance connected to the receptacle would follow without piercing a floor, wall, ceiling, or fixed barrier, or passing through a door, doorway, or window.

(A) Dwelling Units. All 250 and 125-volt, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in 2.10.1.8(A)(1) through (10) 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

(3) Outdoors

Exception to (3): Receptacles that are not readily accessible and are supplied by a branch circuit dedicated to pipeline and vessel heating equipment shall be permitted to be installed in accordance with 4.27.3.9, as applicable.

(4) Crawl spaces – at or below grade level

(5) Unfinished portions of areas of the basement not intended as habitable rooms.

Exception 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.

FPN See 7.60.2.1(B) and 7.60.3.1(B) for power supply requirements for fire alarm systems.

Receptacles installed under the exception to 2.10.1.8(A)(5) shall not be considered as meeting the requirements of 2.10.3.3(G)

(6) Kitchens – where the receptacles are installed to serve the countertop surfaces

(7) Sinks – where receptacles are installed within 1800 mm from the inside edge of the bowl of the sink

(8) Boathouses

(9) Bathtubs or shower stalls – where receptacles are installed within 1800 mm of the outside edge of the bathtub or shower stall

(10) Laundry areas

(B) Other Than Dwelling Units. All single-phase receptacles rated 250 volts to ground or less, 50 amperes or less and three-phase receptacles rated 250 volts to ground or less, 100 amperes or less installed in the following locations shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

(1) Bathrooms

(2) Kitchens

(3) Rooftops

Exception: Receptacles on rooftops shall not be required to be readily accessible other than from the rooftop.

(4) Outdoors

Exception to (4): In industrial establishments only, where the conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only qualified personnel are involved, an assured equipment grounding conductor program as specified in 5.90.1.6(B)(2) shall be permitted for only those receptacle outlets used to supply equipment that would create a greater hazard if power is interrupted or having a design that is not compatible with GFCI protection.

(5) Sinks – where receptacles are installed within 1800 mm from the inside edge of the bowl of the sink

Exception No. 1 to (5): In industrial laboratories. receptacles used to supply equipment where removal of power would introduce a greater hazard shall be permitted to be installed without GFCI protection.

Exception No. 2 to (5): For receptacles located in patient bed locations of general care (Category 2) or critical care (Category 1) spaces of health care facilities other than those covered under 2.10.1.8(B)(1). GFCI protection shall not be required.

(6) Indoor wet locations

(7) Locker rooms with associated showering facilities

(8) Garages, service bays, and similar areas other than vehicle exhibition halls and showrooms

(9) sat or below grade level Crawl spaces

(10) Unfinished portions or areas of the basement not intended as habitable rooms

(C) Boat Hoists. GFCI protection shall be provided for outlets not exceeding 230 or 115 volts that supply boat hoists installed in dwelling unit locations.

(D) Kitchen Dishwasher Branch Circuit. GFCI protection shall be provided for outlets that supply dishwashers installed in dwelling unit locations.

(E) Crawl Space Lighting Outlets. GFCI protection shall be provided for lighting outlets not exceeding 230 or 115 volts installed in crawl spaces.

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 qualified persons service the installation, autotransformers shall be permitted to supply nominal 600-volt loads from nominal 460-volt systems, and 460 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 de 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) 4.10.8.4 for double-pole switched lampholders

(2) 4.10.9.2(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, 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 be required to be installed only 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, one 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 brunch 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 230-volt, 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to supply a 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 10.2.6(A)(1) and (A)(2).

(4) Garage Branch Circuits. In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at least one 230- or 115-volt. 20-ampere branch circuit shall be installed to supply receptacle outlets in attached garages and in detached garages with electric power. This circuit shall have no other outlets.

Exception: This circuit shall be permitted to supply readily accessible outdoor receptacle outlets.

(5) Single Branch Circuit. For dwelling unit having a floor area not more than 50 m² it shall be permitted to have single 20-ampere 2-wire branch-circuit provided that the total load shall not exceed 3680 volt-amperes.

FPN: See Example D1 in Appendix D.

2.10.1.13 Ground-Fault Protection of Equipment.

Each branch-circuit disconnect rated 1000 A or more and installed on solidly grounded wye electrical systems of more than 150 volts to ground, but not exceeding 600 volts phase-to-phase, shall be provided with ground fault protection of equipment in accordance with the provisions of 2.30.7.6.

FPN: For buildings that contain health care occupancies, see the requirements of 5.17.2.8.

Exception No. 1: The provisions of this section shall not apply to a disconnecting means for a continuous industrial process where a non-orderly shutdown will introduce additional or increased hazards.

Exception No. 2: The provisions of this section shall not apply if ground-fault protection of equipment is provided on the supply side of the branch circuit and on the load side of any transformer supplying the branch circuit.

2.10.1.17 Guest Rooms and Guest Suites.

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

2.10.2 Branch-Circuit Ratings

2.10.2.1 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 over-current device shall determine the circuit rating.

Exception: Multioutlet branch circuits greater than 50 amperes shall be permitted to supply non-lighting outlet loads on industrial premises where conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only qualified persons service the equipment.

2.10.2.2 Conductors – Minimum Ampacity and Size.

(A) Branch Circuits Not More Than 600 Volts.

FPN No. 1: See 3.10.2.6 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 3.10.2.6(A)(3) for temperature limitation of conductors.

FPN No. 4: Conductors for branch circuits as defined in Article 1.1. 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 exceeds 5 percent, provide reasonable efficiency of operation. See FPN No. 2 of 2.15.1.2(A)(1) for voltage drop on feeder conductors.

(1) General. Branch-circuit conductors shall have an ampacity not less than the maximum load to be served. Conductors shall be sized to carry not less than the larger of 2.10.2.2(A)(1)(a) or (b).

(a) Where a branch circuit supplies continuous loads or any combination of continuous and noncontinuous loads, the minimum branch circuit conductor size shall have an allowable ampacity not less than the noncontinuous load plus 125 percent of the continuous load.

(b) The minimum branch-circuit conductor size shall have an allowable ampacity not less than the maximum load to be served after the application of any adjustment or correction factors.

Exception: If 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.

(2) Branch Circuits with More than One Receptacle. 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 8 3/4 kW or more rating, the minimum branch circuit rating shall be 40 amperes.

Exception No. 1: Conductors tapped from a 50-ampere branch circuit supplying electric ranges, wall-mounted electric ovens, and counter-mounted electric cooking units shall have an ampacity of not less than 20 amperes 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 8 3/4-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 2.10.1.3 and other than cooking appliances as covered in 2.10.2.2(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 with taps extending not longer than 450 mm beyond any portion of the lampholder or luminaire.

(b) A luminaire having tap conductors as provided in 4.10.10.8.

(e) Individual outlets, other than receptacle outlets. with taps not over 450 mm long.

(d) Infrared lamp industrial heating appliances.

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 3.10.2.6 and 3.10.2.51, as applicable. Branch-circuit conductors over 600 volts shall be sized in accordance with 2.10.2.2(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 qualified persons under engineering supervision. Supervised installations are defined as those portions of a facility where both of the following conditions are met:

(1) Conditions of design and installation are provided under engineering supervision.

(2) Qualified persons with documented training and experience in over 600-volt systems provide maintenance, monitoring, and servicing of the system.

2.10.2.3 Overcurrent Protection.

Branch-circuit conductors and equipment shall be protected by overcurrent protective devices that have a rating or setting that complies with 2.10.2.3(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 2.10.2.4 for outlet devices.

2.10.2.4 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 41A) 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. 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 1.1

(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 2.10.2.4(B)(2).

(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 2.10.2.4(B)(3), or, where rated higher than 50 amperes, the receptacle rating shall not be less than the branch-circuit rating.

Exception No. 1: Receptacles installed exclusively for the use of 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 determined by 6.30.2.1(A) or (B) for arc welders.

Exception No. 2: The ampere rating of a receptacle installed for electric discharge lighting shall be permitted to be based on 4.10.6.15(C).

(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, Individual Branch Circuits.

An individual branch circuit shall be permitted to supply any load for which it is rated, but in no case shall the load exceed the branch-circuit ampere rating.

Circuit Rating
(Amperes)
Receptacle Rating
(Amperes)
Maximum Load
(Amperes)
15 or 201512
202016
303024
Table 2.10.2.4 (B)(2) Maximum Cord-and-Plug Connected Load to Receptacle
Circuit Rating (Amperes)Receptacle Rating (Amperes)
Not over 15
2015 or 20
3030
4040 or 50
5050
Table 2.10.2.4(B)(3) Receptacle Ratings for Various Size Circuits

2.10.2.6 Permissible Loads, Multiple-Outlet Branch Circuits.

In no case shall the load exceed the branch circuit ampere rating. A branch circuit supplying two or more outlets or receptacles shall supply only the loads specified according to its size as specified in 2.10.2.6(A) through (D) and as summarized in 2.10.2.7 and Table 2.10.2.7.

(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 2.10.2.6(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, 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.

Circuit Rating15 A20 A30 A40 A50 A
Conductors (min. size):
Circuit Wires12.0 (1.6)3.5 (2.0)5.5 (2.6)8.0 (3.2)14
Taps12.0 (1.6)2.0 (1.6) 2.0 (1.6) 3.5 (2.0) 3.5 (2.0)
Fixtures wires and cords
– See 2.40.1.5
Overcurrent Protection15 A20 A30 A40 A50 A
Outlet devices:
Lampholders permittedAny typeAny typeHeavy Duty Heavy duty Heavy Duty
Receptacle Rating215 max A15 or 20 A30 A40 or 50 A50 A
Maximum Load15 A20 A30 A40 A50 A
Permissible LoadSee 2.10.2.6(A) See 2.10.2.6(A) See 2.10.2.6(B) See 2.10.2.6(C) See 2.10.2.6(C)
Table 2.10.2.7 Summary of Branch-Circuit Requirements
1 These wire sizes are for 60 degree C insulated conductors – mm2 (mm dia.)
2For receptacle rating of cord-connected electric-discharge luminaires, see 4.10.6.15

(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.

2.10.2.7 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), (C)(2), and (C)(3), are summarized in Table 2.10.2.7. This table provides only a summary of minimum requirements. See 2.10.2.2, 2.10.2.3, and 2.10.2.4 for the specific requirements applying to branch circuits.

2.10.2.8 Branch Circuits in Buildings and Site Development with More Than One Occupancy.

(A) Dwelling Unit Branch Circuits. Branch circuits in each dwelling unit shall supply only loads within that dwelling unit or loads associated only with that dwelling unit.

(B) Common Area Branch Circuits. Branch circuits installed for the purpose of lighting, central alarm, signal, communications, or other purposes for public or common areas of a two-family dwelling, a multifamily dwelling, or a multi-occupancy building or a site development with group of single detached buildings shall not be supplied from equipment that supplies an individual dwelling unit or tenant space. This branch circuit shall be permitted only owned and managed by one person or entity or under single management.

2.10.3 Required Outlets

2.10.3.1 General.

Receptacle outlets shall be installed as specified in 2.10.3.3 through 2.10.3.15.

(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 Receptacle Outlets. Appliance receptacle outlets installed in a dwelling unit for specific appliances, such as laundry equipment, shall be installed within 1800 mm of the intended location of the appliance.

2.10.3.3 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets.

This section provides requirements for 250- and 125-volt, 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets. The receptacles required by this section shall be in addition to any receptacle that is:

(1) Part of a luminaire or appliance.or

(2) Controlled by a wall switch in accordance with 2.10.3.21(A)(1). Exception No. 1. or

(3) Located within cabinets or cupboards, or

(4) Located more than 1700 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)(4).

(1) Spacing. Receptacles shall be installed such that no point measured horizontally along the floor line of any wall space is more than 1800 mm from a receptacle outlet.

(2) Wall Space. As used in this section, a wall space shall include the following:

(1) Any space 600 mm or more in width (including space measured around corners) and unbroken along the floor line by doorways and similar openings, fireplaces, and fixed cabinets that do not have countertops or similar work surfaces

(2) The space occupied by fixed panels in exterior walls, excluding sliding panels

(3) The space afforded by fixed room dividers, such as freestanding bar-type counters or railings

(3) Floor Receptacles. Receptacle outlets in or on floors shall not be counted as part of the required number of receptacle outlets unless located within 450 mm of the wall.

(4) Countertop and Similar Work Surface Receptacle Outlets. Receptacles installed for countertop and similar work surfaces as specified in 2.10.3.3(C) shall not be considered as the receptacle outlets required by 2.10.3.3(A).

(B) Small Appliances.

(1) Receptacle Outlets Served. In the kitchen, pantry, breakfast room, dining room, or similar area of a dwelling unit, the one 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. I: 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: In addition to the receptacles specified by 2.10.3.3. a receptacle outlet to serve a specific appliance shall be permitted to be supplied from an individual branch circuit rated 15 amperes or greater.

(2) No Other Outlets. The one 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. 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 at least one small-appliance branch circuits, 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 and Work Surfaces. In kitchens, pantries, breakfast rooms, dining rooms, and similar areas of dwelling units, receptacle outlets for countertop and work surface shall be installed in accordance with 2.10.3.3(C)(1) through (C)(5).

(1) Wall Countertop and Work Surface. A receptacle outlet shall be installed at each wall countertop and work surface 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, counter-mounted cooking unit, or sink in the installation described in Figure 2.10.3.3(C)(1).

Figure 2.10.3.3(C)(1) Determination of Area Behind a Range, Counter-Mounted Cooking Unit, or Sink

(2) Island Countertop Spaces. At least one receptacle shall be installed at each island countertop space with a long dimension of 600 mm or greater and a short dimension of 300 mm or greater.

(3) Peninsular Countertop Spaces. At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed at each peninsular countertop long dimension 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 connected perpendicular wall.

(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). If a range, counter-mounted cooking unit, or sink is installed in an island or peninsular countertop and the depth of the countertop behind the range, counter-mounted cooking unit, or sink is less than 300 mm, the range, counter- mounted cooking unit, or sink shall be considered to divide the countertop space into two separate countertop spaces. Each separate countertop space shall comply with the applicable requirements in 2.10.3.3(C).

(5) Receptacle Outlet Location. Receptacle outlets shall be located on or above, but not more than 500 mm above, the countertop or work surface. Receptacle outlet assemblies listed for use in countertops or work surfaces shall be permitted to be installed in countertops or work surfaces. 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.

FPN: See 4.6.1.5(E) and 4.6.1.5(G) for requirements for installation of receptacles in countertops and 4.6.1.5(F) and 4.6.1.5(G) for requirements for installation of receptacles in work surfaces.

Exception to (5): To comply with the following conditions (1) and (2), receptacle outlets shall be permitted to be mounted not more than 300 mm below the countertop or work surface. Receptacles mounted below a countertop or work surface in accordance with this exception shall not be located where the countertop or work surface 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. 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, located on the countertop, or installed on the side or face of the basin cabinet. In no case shall the receptacle be located more than 300 mm below the top of the basin or basin countertop. Receptacle outlet assemblies listed for use in countertops shall be permitted to be installed in the countertop.

FPN: See 4.6.1.5(E) and 4.6.1.5(G) for requirements for installation of receptacles in countertops.

(E) Outdoor Outlets. Outdoor receptacle outlets shall be installed in accordance with 2.10.3.3(E)(1) through(E)(3).

FPN: See 2.10.1.8(A)(3).

(1) One-Family and Two-Family Dwellings. For a one-family dwelling and each unit of a two family dwelling that is at grade level, at least one receptacle outlet readily accessible from grade and not more than 2000 mm above grade level shall be installed at the front and back of the dwelling

(2) Multifamily Dwellings. 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 readily accessible from grade and not more than 2000 mm above grade level shall be installed.

(3) Balconies, Decks, and Porches. Balconies, decks, and porches that are attached to the dwelling unit and are accessible from inside the dwelling unit shall have at least one receptacle outlet accessible from the balcony, deck, or porch. The receptacle outlet shall not be located more than 2000 mm above the balcony, deck, or porch walking surface

(F) Laundry Areas. In dwelling units, at least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in areas designated for the installation of laundry equipment.

Exception No. 1: A receptacle for laundry equipment shall not be required in a dwelling unit of a multifamily building where laundry facilities are provided on the premises for use by all building occupants.

Exception No. 2: A receptacle for laundry equipment shall not be required in other than one-family dwellings where laundry facilities are not to be installed or permitted.

(G) Basements, Garages, and Accessory Buildings. For one and two- family dwelling, at least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in the areas specified in 2.10.3.3(G)(1) through (3).

These receptacles shall be in addition to receptacles required for specific equipment.

(1) Garages. In each attached garage and in each detached garage with electric power. The branch circuit supplying this receptacle(s) shall not supply outlets outside of the garage. At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in each vehicle bay and not more than 1700 mm above the floor.

(2) Accessory Buildings. In each accessory building with electric power.

(3) Basements. In each separate unfinished portion of a basement.

(H) Hallways. In dwelling units, hallways of 3000 mm or more in length shall have at least one receptacle outlet.

As used in this subsection, the hallway length shall be considered the length along the centerline of the hallway without passing through a doorway.

(I) Foyers. Foyers that are not part of a hallway in accordance with 2.10.3.3(H) and that have an area that is greater than 5.6 m² shall have a receptacle(s) located in each wall space 900 mm or more in width. Doorways, door-side windows that extend to the floor, and similar openings shall not be considered wall space.

2.10.3.11 Guest Rooms, Guest Suites, Dormitories, and Similar Occupancies.

(A) General. Guest rooms or guest suites in hotels.motels, sleeping rooms in dormitories, and similar occupancies shall have receptacle outlets installed in accordance with 2.10.3.3(A) and (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 250 or 125-volt, single-phase, 15- or 20-ampere-rated receptacle outlet shall be installed within 450 mm of the top of a show window for each 3700 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 250- or 125- volt, 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 7500 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.

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

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

2.10.3.15 Electrical Service Areas. At least one 250 or 125-volt, single-phase, 15- or 20-ampere-rated receptacle outlet shall be installed in an accessible location within 7500 mm of the indoor within 15 m of the electrical service equipment. The required receptacle outlet shall be located within the same room or area as the service equipment.

Exception No. 1: The receptacle outlet shall not be required to be installed in one-and two-family dwellings.

Exception No. 2: Where the service voltage is greater than 115 volts to ground, a receptacle outlet shall not be required for services dedicated to equipment covered in Articles 6.75 and 6.82.

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, kitchen 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 the following.

(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, in stairways, and at outdoor entrances, remote, central, or automatic control of lighting shall be permitted.

(d) Lighting outlets controlled in accordance with 2.10.3.21(A)(2)(c) shall not be controlled by use of dimmer switches unless they provide the full range of dimming control at each location.

(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 allows the sensor to function as a wall switch

(C) All Occupancies. For attics and 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.

2.10.3.22 Meeting Rooms.

(A) General. Each meeting room of not more than 93 m in other than dwelling units shall have outlets for nonlocking-type. 250 or 125-volt, 15- or 20-ampere receptacles. The outlets shall be installed in accordance with 2.10.3.22(B). Where a room or space is provided with movable partition(s), each room size shall be determined with the partition in the position that results in the smallest size meeting room.

FPN No. 1: For the purposes of this section, meeting rooms are typically designed or intended for the gathering of seated occupants for such purposes as conferences, deliberations, or similar purposes, where portable electronic equipment such as computers, projectors, or similar equipment is likely to be used.

FPN No. 2: Examples of rooms that are not meeting rooms include auditoriums, schoolrooms, and coffee shops.

(B) Receptacle Outlets Required. The total number of receptacle outlets, including floor outlets and receptacle outlets in fixed furniture, shall not be less than as determined in (1) and (2). These receptacle outlets shall be permitted to be located as determined by the designer or building owner.

(1) Receptacle Outlets in Fixed Walls. Receptacle outlets shall be installed in accordance with 2.10.3.3(A)(1) through (A)(4).

(2) Floor Receptacle Outlets. A meeting room that is at least 3700 mm wide and that has a floor area of at least 20 m² shall have at least one receptacle outlet located in the floor at a distance not less than 1800 mm from any fixed wall for each 20 m² or major portion of floor space.

FPN No. 1 See Section 3.14.2.13(B) for floor boxes used for receptacles located on the floor.

FPN No. 2: See Article 5.18 for assembly occupancies designed for 100 or more persons.