Can one AFCI breaker be used for 2 seperate bedrooms.


Yes, I believe they can.

Two bedrooms can share an AFCI circuit, the only requirement is that the outlets be on an AFCI circuit. I’ve never seen anything that specified otherwise. But, there is always the possibility of overloading with all the electronics people like to use in their bedrooms.

You could AFCI all the 120V 15 & 25 amp circuits if you wish…nothing against it as right now the bedrooms demand it…but nothing says it can’t go outside of the bedroom.

A quick rule of thumb is you can have 800 square feet of “bedroom” on a 20a AFCI or 600 on a 15. It is not explicitly defined in the code but it can be inferred by the load calculation section (220). I have heard inspectors saying that is how they would keep a builder from only using one AFCI to serve all the bedroom loads in a big house. In a small house it might not be an issue either way.

Most of the time I use TWO when doing (2) bedrooms…I put the lights on one and the receptacles on the other…just depends on how many lights I have in the layout.

Heck I have even had as many as 4 AFCI breakers for (2) bedrooms…all depended on the number of recess lights and so on…

The NEC does not give a specific “PER” requirement…the Sq Ft. concept is easily abused. The majority of bedrooms I seem to wire are 12 x 20 at the most which would be 240 sq ft. and in most cases BUT the issue needs to be just how many FIXED lighting is in the room which is a KNOWN factor and I have done many that have as many as 8-10 recess lights in the ceiling…

So while methods can be used…common sense has to prevail.

I wish!

I thought it was common sense to have each bedroom(small/medium sized) setup like this. 1 AFCI per bedroom receptacles, and 1 AFCI for the lights(with ceiling fans) per up to 2 bedrooms. This way you trip the breaker vacuuming you don’t get plunged into darkness.

Builder didn’t want the cost of 2 additional AFCI’s per house(3-4 bdrms/house), so each bedrooms gets 1 AFCI with both the lights and receptacles on it. I was comforted in being told that ‘cheaper homes’ might have several bedrooms lights and receptacles on one AFCI.

I seem to lean towards safety and convenience. While others toward the bottom line. :wink:


I like the “lights on one, receptacles on another” idea. With a table lamp or two you should never be totally in the dark, no matter which trips.

Thats actually how I do them…just seems to work out better now that most of the houses we are doing are huge…heck the house I was finishing out today has 8 AFCI’s in it…(4) bedrooms…

Thank you for all your help.

I appreciate all the post.