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Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

Posted by noel-ireland (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 29, 09 at 13:22

I am rewiring 2 small bedrooms. There will be a combination light /fan (controlled seperately) and 6 to 7 outlets per room. I believe they have to be on a AFCI circut.
Can I feed all these using a single 15 amp AFCI circuit.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

It's surely minimal but, yes, you can wire two small bedrooms on a single 15-amp circuit.

Expect complaints if both bedrooms will be occupied by 14- or 15-year old girls with their own hair dryers, electric blankets, computers, stereos, big-screen TVs, makeup lights and sock warmers. (It is axiomatic that all such appliances must be turned on at the same time!) :-)

This is probably more of a lifestyle issue than it is a code issue.


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

If you ever need portable electric heaters in there you will have a problem. If you can afford it put separate 15A or better yet 20A cc'ts for each bedroom.


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

I know this is a stupid question this late in the AFCI adoption stage, but... do AFCIs work on shared-neutral circuits?


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

Yes, but ya need a double-pole AFCI breaker and they're still pretty pricey, last I looked.

(As I'm sure you'll understand, ya can't slap in two single-pole AFCIs on a MWBC.)


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

No. Attached is an interesting article from SquareD talking about AFCI's and shared neutrals in general.

Here is a link that might be useful: SquareD Data Bulletin


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

That article is a load of crap, even if it is from Square D. Besides, it is from 2002. Things are quite different today than they were back in '02. Didn't Square D have a huge recall of their AFCI breakers.......?

First off, they are absolutely NOT saying that you cannot use a shared neutral (Multi-wire branch circuit). They are advising against it. They cite three disadvantages and two of those are bogus!
Also they downplay the real significance of using them. It is far more than just labor savings.

You certainly CAN use a two-pole AFCI breaker with a MWBC, but you MUST be sure your panel will accept them.


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

Thanks for all the responses.
Sounds like individual 15 amp AFCI circuits for each room will be best.
Some more questions.
1. Can I mix lights with outlets on a single circuit.
2. If I use a 20 amp AFCI, How does that affect the light and switch on the circuit. Do the light switch s have an amp rating?
3. What does "MWBC" stand for? It was in one or the responses.


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

In reverse order:

3. MWBC = "Multi-Wire Branch Circuit" - a term that absolutely pisses me the heck off. Any circuit that ISN'T multi-wire simultaneously isn't a circuit, since you cannot usefully distribute power with only a single conductor. It's a stupid freakin term. It's simply two 120V circuits wired using 3-conductor (not counting ground) cable. ie, two hots, one neutral. Two circuits sharing a neutral. "shared neutral".

2. You can use normal switches and lights on 20A circuits, and it is very common to do so. So common, in fact, that I was thrown off by your questioning it.

1. Yes.


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

Dude,

Run 2 20 amp circuits to the rooms (1 per). Don't mess with 15 amp and don't mess with trying to do it all on one circuit.


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

Pharkus, sorry that it bothers you so much, but it IS the correct terminology.
Try looking it up in Art. 100 sometime.


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

The previous posters are correct. Going for 20A will not cost you much now in money or effort. Believe me, I've had a teenage daughter in our 1970's tract house with it's 15A bedroom circuits. She's tripped that breaker with her hair dryer more times than I can recall.


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

petey_racer, no doubt the NEC uses it. That's what I hate: the fact that the NEC uses it, despite it being a stupid term.

Thanks again for arguing with me by pointing out that my peeve is accurate.


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

"petey_racer, no doubt the NEC uses it. That's what I hate: the fact that the NEC uses it, despite it being a stupid term."

Why is it a stupid term? Makes perfect sense to everyone reading this forum, except maybe you?


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

No, it makes sense to me. However, I assert that all functional circuits have multiple wires, and are thus "multi-wire" circuits. I feel "shared neutral" would be a better term.

Is there anything wrong with my having an opinion?


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RE: Wiring 2 new small bedrooms

"Thanks again for arguing with me by pointing out that my peeve is accurate."

A) I wasn't "arguing".

B) HOW in the world do you see my comment as pointing out that your peeve is "accurate".
It is IMO not all accurate, but it IS an opinion, and you are perfectly entitled to it. Sorry that most of us do not agree though.

I think this is getting silly now.


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