How many outlets do I need?
If you live in a house that was built sometime before the 1980s, you have probably experienced a lack of available electric outlets to keep your stuff recharged, running, or ready to go. Phones now need to be recharged when they used to be hardwired; cable boxes and DVRs crowd out electrical outlets that used to only need to power the television; and microwaves and coffee brewers now compete for power in a circuit that was designed only to run your fridge and the occasional mix-master. Crowding electrical outlets is more than unsightly and frustrating; it represents a real hazard to the safety and security of your home. If you’re considering adding outlets to your home’s electrical system, or if you’re looking for a complete modernization of your system during a remodel, there are some rules of thumb to consider when planning for adequate electrical outlets in your home.
Through the years, the rules of thumb for adequately planning for electrical usage in a room have changed as demand has changed, so one what may seem reasonable to one contractor may not be optimal to another contractor. Be sure that you and your electrical contractor are of the same mind when planning for usage.
Know the Code
The electrical code in your area may specify the number of standard double-plug outlets in a room, but remember that these guidelines are minimum requirements and do not reflect real-life usage patterns.
Codes may specify that outlets be, for example, not further away than 6 (or as much as 12) feet from any point on the wall. Or a code may give guidelines on the number of outlets for the type of room being wired. Kitchens often need more outlets than other rooms, and kitchen outlets will probably vary in height to accommodate cabinets and countertops. If any outlet is within 6 feet of a water source (faucet, sink, toilet, etc.), the code my require the outlet to be a ground fault interrupter, or GFI, outlet, to prevent shocks.
Electrical outlets should be spaced at a consistent height throughout the room. The height of the outlet is not specified, only that it remain consistent for wall outlets throughout the room.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) recommends the number of outlets in each type of room as:
- Lounge: 6-10
- Dining: 3
- Kitchen: 6-10
- Double bedroom: 4-6
- Single bedroom: 4-6
- Hall: 2
- Stairs/Landing: 1
Ultimately it is your decision to make when planning for new electrical outlets. If you know that your phone and tablet and alarm clock and air conditioner and television in your bedroom all need to be powered up and ready, you may consider adding more outlets to the bedroom.
Know the Right Contractor
Whether it’s a home renovation, installing new light fixtures or an emergency call, choosing the right electrician to work with is just as important as choosing the right contractor. You need a company you can trust will be there for you. The experienced professionals at Effective Electric are always happy to provide free, detailed written estimates, which we’re happy to discuss with you step by step. We’ll show you how, with the proper planning, your electrician can save you time and money both now and in the years to come.
Effective Electric have expert electricians. If you have any questions pertaining to an electrician in the 10541 area, Mahopac, NY, Cortlandt Manor, NY, Croton, NY, Buchanan, NY, and Peekskill, contact Effective Electric at (914) 737-2651.