Do you always count how many devices are on a circuit? How do you go about that? Turn a breaker off then search the home to see what is not working? How much additional time does this take?

I don’t trace circuits or turn breakers on and off. The closest I come to that is using the test button on the AFCI breakers.

He may have had the electrical plans from the renovation.

It was new construction and I saw only one AFCI at the panel so I wondered immediately if all bedrooms were protected by an AFCI or if all bedrooms were on this single circuit. I will trip the AFCI in a new home inspection if it is empty (no appliances or computer and such plugged in) to check that all outlets are protected. It takes some time because I check all the outlets with the breaker off, then check them all again with the breaker on. A couple of trips up and down the stairs and a couple of laps through the rooms.

After I realized they were all on the same circuit I decided to count them.

Thanks for the update. I was just wondering if you did this on all inspections.

The NEC rule is to count each individual receptacle 180 VA or two receptacles on a single yoke as 180 VA. However, is is common for local jurisdictions to override the NEC when it comes to branch circuit calculations. A common alternative is to use a Wattage schedule instead.

In jurisdictions that do not use the NEC 180 VA rule, it is rare to see convenience receptacles rated at less than 90 VA or 90 Watts each. There are some exceptions such as clock receptacles. Clock receptacles are sometimes counted as only 60 VA or 60 Watts. Calculations are based on a nominal Voltage of 120V, which is the US standard.

At 180 VA for each receptacle, a 15 Ampere circuit would be limited to 10 receptacles and a 20 Ampere circuit would be limited to 13 receptacles.

In this instance, you are asking about new construction. It should be noted, however, that it is common for local jurisdictions to have what are commonly called “Old Work” codes. An Old Work calculation can yield very different results than a New Work calculation. If you are going to be doing branch circuit calculations, you need to also know what the requirements were for the installation when the work was done.

It is also worth noting that while a Watt and a Volt-Ampere are not the same thing, they are typically regarded as being equal in residential construction because power factor is considered to be unity in residential calcuations. One Watt is equal to one Volt-Ampere at unity PF. The NEC favors the use of Volt-Amperes because the results of calculations that take power factor into account are more meaningful than Wattage calculations.

None of this 180 VA calculation applies to a residential dwelling so it’s not a matter of the jurisdiction *allowing* it to be exceeded. The NEC simply doesn’t require it.