There are many factors which play into the answer to this question, so instead of a minimum number which could easily change, we are going to look at a checklist:
● You should have two circuits which are designed for small appliance use in the kitchen and dining room areas. These are strictly for the operation of your coffee machines, blenders, food processors, toaster and convection oven, and other such devices.
● You will need to add circuits for your other kitchen necessities, such as the dishwasher, garbage disposal, and a range hood. These may not be shared with the two circuits above so you may need one or two circuits for these items.
● Refrigerators and freezers should be on designated circuits as well, but you may share a circuit with the two appliances. In homes with more than two refrigerators or freezers, don’t put more than two on any one circuit.
● You will need a designated range circuit if you have an electric range. This will be a two-pole breaker with at least a 40-amp rating. If you have a separate double oven or wall oven, consider a second one for that.
● You may have one circuit for a single bathroom, and if it is not shared between bathrooms, you may also add the lighting to it, so it is best to consider each bathroom a separate entity and put a GFCI at the first point in the room, or use a GFCI breaker in the panel.
● Expect to use one circuit for every 3 volt-amperes per square foot. You may have two or three circuits in a small house, and many more in a larger one.
● Basements, attics, decks, and other areas of the home will need lighting at minimum, and several circuits at maximum, so the intent of use will determine your needs. Depending on whether you have multiple recessed lights in the ceiling or a couple lamps plug in can determine the number of circuits, accordingly.
● Many of these circuits, especially those in damp or outdoor areas, or near water, will need to be GFCI protected. Sinks, laundry areas, bathrooms, basements, and garages are some of the areas which will need them. Some codes also call for AFCI protection, so be sure to ask.
● Remember that if you have the capacity in the panel, it is much better to break the circuits down in such a way that you have more than you need. Overkill is good in this case, as you shouldn’t have problems later with overloading. Building a home, or even re-wiring one, isn’t something that you want to do twice.
As you can see, your home may have an entirely different number of required circuits needed. The basic criteria is the same, but each home is very different. You may have many bathrooms, a lot of lighting, or several entertainment areas. Either way, don’t overload your circuits because this can be a fire hazard and cause problems in the future.
Remember that if you are unsure, in over your head, or overwhelmed, we have electricians available who will help you get the job finished, correctly, and on time. Give Professional Electric a call and Keep It Professional!
If you are in need of any residential or commercial electrical services in Baldwin County or Mobile, Alabama look no further than Professional Electric! Visit us online at www.ProfessionalElectric.biz and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! We are available 24/7 for emergency services! Mobile: (251) 473-5788 Baldwin County: (251) 929-8957.
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