Some people tend to connect outlets and lights on the same circuit to increase the options in a certain spot in the house. The circuit should always be under eighty percent of its capacity to leave some unused load for any unexpected currents or power surges.
Therefore, when you connect outlets and lights on the same circuit you will need to make sure that appliances connected to the outlets are not using much power. Because this can overload the circuit and cause many issues either to the outlets or the light fixtures.
Can I Put Outlets and Lights on the Same Circuit?
Putting lights and outlets in the same circuit got nothing to worry about because, according to regulations, it’s allowed. Outlets and lights are connected on the same circuit in most of the United States; it’s a very common setup, but you shouldn’t overload the circuit.
Don’t overload the outlets connected to this circuit; the load put on the outlets should always be under 80 percent of the total load allowed for the circuit. The circuit to choose is either 20 or 15 amperes because they can supply outlets, lights, or both simultaneously.
Homeowners can choose whether to use this setup in their homes without worrying about violating the safety regulations or guidelines. In addition, setting up lights and outlets on the same circuit is a great way to solve different issues at your house. For example, if you want to add some lights to an area that didn’t have lights before.
In some cases, you will not be able to add new wiring for the lights; therefore, adding the lights on the same circuit of the outlets will save your effort and time. In addition, this setup can increase the efficiency of a certain area in your home, like putting a fan in the reading area next to the light for reading.
Which Areas Are Allowed To Put Lights and Outlets on the Same Circuit?
Using the lights and outlets on the same circuit setup is allowed; however, it’s not allowed in some areas of your home. If you use this setup in these areas, you will violate the safety guidelines. Therefore, before using this setup in your home, you must know the spots first.
- The Kitchen
If you are willing to connect the outlets and lights in your kitchen on the same circuit, you should not. The reason why is that the appliances that are used in the kitchen consume and withdraw too much power. As a result, this will put too much load on the circuit because the outlets will use more than the circuit ratings.
This violates the safety guidelines and can put your appliances at risk of damage; therefore, it is better not to go with setup in your kitchen.
- The Laundry Room
The appliances in the laundry room are similar to the appliances in the kitchen; they both withdraw and consume too much power. Even if you connect only one appliance, you can overload the circuit and the outlet. The laundry room wiring should remain the same; if you want to make alternations, you should consider another room.
- The Bathroom
It’s allowed to connect the outlets and lights on the same circuit in the bathroom; however, there is some point you should consider before using this setup. If the bathroom circuit serves another outlet outside the room, you can connect both lights and outlets on this circuit. The circuit should only be designed for the electricity needs inside the bathroom.
What Are The Risks of Connecting Lights and Outlets on the Same Circuit?
If you want to connect both lights and outlets on the same circuit, you should consider this setup’s risks. The risks can increase if you use the setup in a spot or place where it’s not recommended, like the laundry room or the kitchen.
- The Wires Can Be Inappropriate For More Outlets
In case you have installed the lights first to the circuit, this can be an issue if you want to add outlets to the circuit. Light fixtures don’t consume much electricity; therefore, electricians use thin wires when they install lights to an electric circuit, so the light fixture doesn’t put heavy loads on the circuit.
The thin wires will be a problem when you try to add outlets to the circuit because the appliance you connect to the outlets will need thicker wires because they withdraw too much electricity. So, you will need to change the wires to be able to install outlets to the circuit. In addition, if you have a fuse connected to the circuit, it can blow up when you connect an appliance to the outlet; you will also need to change the fuses to suit the new load.
- The Lights Can Affect The Outlet and Vica Versa
Let’s say that the light fixtures had a problem or issue, and they blow up; this will also affect the outlets connected on the same circuit. In addition, appliances connected to the outlets will also be affected, which means you can lose your appliances and light fixtures simultaneously.
As a result, you will need to fix the issue in your circuit as soon as possible, or you will have no lights or appliances working in this part of the house. Some people prefer to use separate setups because it’s safer and easier.
- Tougher Replacing in The Future
When you connect outlet and lights on the same circuit, this can do the job of replacing an outlet in the future harder. Because when you disable the circuit to replace the outlet, you will lose all the lights in this area. This means you will need a light source connected to another part of the house.
If you don’t try to replace any outlets in the future, you won’t face this issue, but you can’t guarantee the lifespan of your outlets, so you should take precautions.
How Many Outlets Can Be Connected To Electric Circuit?
Each circuit has a certain capacity, you should be using only 80 percent of this capacity, so if there are any power surges, the circuit can handle them. Knowing that you should reserve every outlet you connect to circuit 1.5 amperes, this is the thumb rule for connecting outlets.
For example, if you have a circuit of 15 amperes, you should be connecting eight outlets; if you have a circuit of 20 amperes, you should connect ten outlets.
How to Know If You Have Overloaded Circuit?
An overloaded circuit has many signs, and they are easy to spot; for example, if there are lights connected to the circuit that is overloaded, you will notice that they are flickering. You can also smell a burning smell or hear some noise like sizzling when close to the overloaded circuit.
A discoloring outlet is normal when they have been used for a long time, but when the outlet becomes discolored in a short time, this can be a sign of an overloaded circuit. When you use an overloaded circuit, you may sometimes feel a little shock, electric shocks are dangerous, so whenever you notice any signs on an overloaded circuit, you will need to fix it as soon as possible.
To sum up, connecting lights and outlets to the same circuit is allowed by regulations, and you have nothing to worry about when using this setup. However, there are some guidelines that you should follow when installing this setup. In addition, some places can have this setup installed in them.
For example, the kitchen and the laundry room shouldn’t have lights and outlets connected to the same circuit. Because the outlets are used to plug in appliances that use too much electricity, as a result, this can overload the circuit. Therefore, before connecting the lights and outlets to the same circuit, you need to the risks of this setup.
If the lights are installed first, you must ensure that the wires are appropriate for connecting outlets. You should know that if you have an issue in the circuit, you will lose both the appliances and light simultaneously. The last thing is future upgrades may be tougher because there will be no lights in this part of the house.
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