# Number of receptacles on a circuit

Originally Posted By: phughes
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Is there a standard minimum number of receptacles that should be on a 15 or 20 amp circuit breaker?

Is there a good testing device for an Arc protector?

Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Question #1: Yes. one.

Question #2: Yes. The test button on the arc-fault breaker. That is also the most convenient way to test arc-fault protected circuits.

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Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: dbush
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Peter, did you mean a Maximum number of receps?

Dave Bush

MAB Member

"LIFE'S TOUGH, WEAR A HELMET"

Originally Posted By: phughes
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I’m not sure testing the button the the arc protector actually tests anything other than the button.

I find with GFCI the buttons can work, but the recept it doesn't trip when tested from the receptacles.

As far as the number goes, is there a minimum and or a maximum?

This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.

 phughes wrote: Is there a standard minimum number of receptacles that should be on a 15 or 20 amp circuit breaker?

If you mean the maximum number of receptacles on a circuit, there is no official number for residential work.

Numbers I hear from guys that do residential work range from 7 to 12 duplex receptacle outlets.

As a comparison the NEC maximum in commercial work on a 20 amp circuit is 12 to 13 duplex receptacles depending on how you round your numbers when doing the math.

The commercial job I am doing now has 3 to 4 duplex receptacles per 20 amp circuit.

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Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
Mike Holt Code Forum

Originally Posted By: jpeck
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The test button, on both GFCI and AFCI devices, actually ‘test’ the operation of the device.

With phughes's statement, that would indicate a defective or mis-wired GFCI. The test button does actually test it with a simulated ground fault.

Down here, before the South Florida Building Code was replaced with the Florida Building Code, they used to apply the 180 va per receptacle, making it 6 duplex on the circuit. Not any more, though.

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Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: phughes
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Yup, I find it all the time. If you place a tester on a GFCI receptacle, the unit won’t pop, but push the button, and guess what. Everything looks just perfect.

I have learned never trust the button test. In my opinion, the button only tests that pushing the button will shut off the power.

Maybe I just have bad luck...

Originally Posted By: phughes
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I also test the downstream receptacles to make sure that all of them pop the GFCI. I have run into the actual GFCI that will not trip with a fault, and/or the downstream units that use the GFCI. In some cases the GFCI button will not work, and in other cases the GFCI button will turn off the power, but not when a ground fault is placed on the circuit.

This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.

 phughes wrote: Yup, I find it all the time. If you place a tester on a GFCI receptacle, the unit won't pop, but push the button, and guess what. Everything looks just perfect.

We must be clear are we talking about the GFCI outlet itself or down stream outlets.

The test button in a GFCI is one of the few self test features in this world I trust.

Follow carefully, if there is no grounding conductor at a GFCI (as allowed by 406.3(D) your hand held tester CAN NOT / WILL NOT test the GFCI.

The internal test button can and it does not just test the test button, it creates the correct amount of current imbalance to trip test the GFCI.

What the internal test button can not do is test the downstream outlets, that is where your handheld tester should be used if there is a grounding conductor between the GFCI and the downstream outlets.

I can not comment on AFCIs as I know almost nothing about them.

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Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
Mike Holt Code Forum

Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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Jerry

You're kidding. They used 180va X 2 for a duplex? 360va per duplex?

BTW the 180va per duplex is a good rule to follow even if it is not required.

Mike P.

Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Mike P.,

Yep, 6 duplex and one single (yeah, right) makes 13.

13 x 180 va = 2340 va / 120 v = 19.5 a x .80 = 15.6 amps

20 amp circuit is allowed to have 80%, or 16 amps.

That was the reasoning behind it.

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Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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If you wish to be more confused read this:

http://www.mikeholt.com/codeforum/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000069;p=1

Mike P.

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I do not recommend it, I think it went about 180 posts.

I will save you some trouble and tell you my view was wrong, I thought there was no limit for residential or commercial.

But that is not why it went so long. ![icon_rolleyes.gif](upload://iqxt7ABYC2TEBomNkCmZARIrQr6.gif)

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Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
Mike Holt Code Forum

Originally Posted By: tgardner
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I have run across GFCI outlets that still light my tester after the test button trips out. I say it is not functioning properly and needs…

I do not trust the test button either as a result.

TG

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 tgardner wrote: I have run across GFCI outlets that still light my tester after the test button trips out. I say it is not functioning properly and needs....... I do not trust the test button either as a result. TG

This result is not the result of a bad test feature.

This is the result of a faulty GFCI and it does need replacing.

Saying you do not trust the test button is like saying you do not believe electricity makes a lamp light.

The way a GFCI test circuit works is a true reliable test.

Here is an article (sorry that the graphic will not display) from the International Association of Electrical Inspectors by way of code check.

http://www.codecheck.com/gfci_testing.htm

Here is a quote from there.

 Quote: Some installers and inspectors question the efficacy of the internal GFCI test circuit either because they mistakenly believe the test is merely a mechanical check or because the internal test and the commercially available GFCI testers may give different results. Their skepticism is unwarranted

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Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
Mike Holt Code Forum

Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Tim,

I don't know how many times we have to tell you (this is my last time) THE GFCI TEST BUTTON TESTS THE GFCI. If it trips off, the GFCI is GOOD.

Now, you can have other wiring problems, and you described one of them. That would be caused by the line and load being reversed.

BUT THE GFCI IS GOOD IF IT TRIPS OFF WITH THE TEST BUTTON.

Think WIRING PROBLEM.

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Jerry Peck
South Florida

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Here is a quote on the correct testing of GFCIs please note my links have nothing to do with the manufacturers of GFCIs or devices to test them.

 Quote: The HWESB recommends these steps for testing GFCI's: 1)Visually inspect the device for obvious defects and broken parts (do not continue if the device is broken!). 2)Press the reset button (or check for voltage at the device) to determine if it is tripped. 3)If device was found in a tripped state (no voltage, or you hear or feel a "click" when you press the reset button), be suspicious - ground fault protection may be inoperative when voltage is present after the device is reset - DO NOT USE until you complete the following test sequence! 4)Press the test button and observe that the device trips (hear or feel a "click"). 5)Verify no voltage at the outlet (a voltage meter, load device, or trouble light will work). 6)Press the reset button and verify that power is restored.

Notice part of the correct testing procedure is verifying no voltage.

Here is where I got this info.

http://www.hanford.gov/lessons/sitell/ll00/2000-04.htm

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Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
Mike Holt Code Forum

Originally Posted By: rmoore
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While we?re on this slight drift?

The HTML SOP available at http://www.nachi.org/sop.htm states the Inspector shall inspect ?The ground fault circuit interrupters with a GFCI tester.? (my bold) while the PDF version found at NACHI Documents only states ?The ground fault circuit interrupters?.

Which SOP am I supposed to be following?

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Richard Moore
Rest Assured Inspection Services
Seattle, WA
www.rainspect.com

Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Richard,

Isn't the test button on the GFCI device "a GFCI tester"?

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Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: rmoore
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Jerry…

It may be semantics but the test button on the GFCI device is the test button on the GFCI device. A GFCI tester, to my mind, denotes a seperate test instrument from your tool-bag.

--
Richard Moore
Rest Assured Inspection Services
Seattle, WA
www.rainspect.com