For standard 120-volt service, a 20 – amp breaker can support up to 2,400 watts on a single circuit. However, circuits should not be loaded to greater than 80 percent of their maximum capacity for long periods, which makes 1,920 watts the safe maximum for a 20 – amp circuit.
Appliances, such as microwaves, often have 20 – amp plugs and must be plugged into a 20 – amp outlet. A 15 – amp circuit is usually served by 14-gauge wire and is protected by a 15 – amp circuit breaker or fuse. A 20 – amp circuit, protected by a 20 – amp breaker or fuse, must be served by 12-gauge or 10-gauge wire.
240 Volt heating circuits are more common because it reduces the Amp draw on your breaker /fuse panel, as the chart shows, you can place more heaters on a 20 Amp 240 Volt circuit (maximum of 3840 Watts) versus a 120 Volt circuit (maximum of 1920 Watts). 120 and 240 Volt heaters are not interchangeable.
On average, a 15 amp breaker can run a one 1K light each without blowing or about 1800 – 2000 watts. The only issue with relying on this formula is that it is advisable to only load a breaker up to 80 percent of its capacity. Overloading a 15 amp breaker can lead to very dangerous situations.
Basic answer to your question of can a mixture of lights and receptacles be installed on a single circuit is yes.
One rule of thumb is to assign a maximum draw of 1.5 amps to each receptacle, which allows for 10 receptacles on a 20-amp circuit.
Requirement: Provide at least two 20 – amp, 120-volt circuits to supply power to GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) receptacles for countertop and eating areas. Why: The 20 amps are required (vs. 15 amp ) for the higher power requirements found in kitchens. Think toaster ovens, blenders, and mixers.
So yes, a 14 gauge wire will safely carry 20 amps, no problem. You get 50% more current capacity with 12 gauge wire compared to 14 gauge wire. So the 12 gauge wiring would trip immediately if there was a dead short. A 14 gauge wire would not trip the breaker and it could smolder for a while.
Originally Answered: How far can you run 12 gauge wire on a 20 amp circuit? About 400 feet. After that voltage drop is a factor and the gauge will have to be increased or the voltage increased.
You can put up to 40 lights (based on 50 watt light) on a 20 amp breaker.
There is no limit on the maximum number of receptacles allowed on a single branch circuit, either 120 or 240V.
If your question is “can I connect a receptacle rated for 20 amps to a circuit designed for 15 amps?”, the answer is yes, because the receptacle can handle more current than the circuit is rated for. If you exceed 15 amps, the breaker will blow, and protect the receptacle. The inverse is not true.
The answer: It’s possible, but not advisable without an electrician evaluating the situation. You should never just upgrade from a 15 – amp breaker to a 20 – amp one just because the current one is tripping. Otherwise, you may burn your house down via electrical fire.
Breaker Limitations Each CFL or LED bulb typically gives the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb while drawing 10 watts or less, which is equivalent to a current draw of 1/12 amp. Thus a 15-amp circuit can safely control 180 or more fixtures that use CFL or LED bulbs.
Watts To Amps Table (At 120V)
|Watts:||Amps (at 120V):|
|300 Watts to amps||2.50 Amps|
|400 Watts to amps||3.33 Amps|
|500 Watts to amps||4.17 Amps|
|600 Watts to amps||5.00 Amps|