How Many Outlets Should Be in a Room?
March 8th 2021
At OKV Electric in Kelowna, we provide residential, commercial, and solar electrical services. We also provide helpful advice to anyone who is planning, building, or renovating a residential property. Today’s question is, “How many outlets should I have in each room?”
Truthfully, you can have as many as you want, but you can only have a maximum of 12 outlets to a circuit, so plan your circuits accordingly. When planning, consider all the ways you might require the use of an outlet in any given room. Keep in mind convenience and furniture placement when planning where you’d like your outlets to go.
We typically add a plug on each side of a bed in a bedroom, one for the TV across from the bed, and then code as needed.
In the living room.
You need a plug at least every 12 ft, and within 6 ft of the end of a wall. You also want to consider things like where your television will be (if you’re planning to hang a flat-screen on the wall, you will want an outlet behind it to hide the cords) and where you are planning to put your Christmas tree (if you choose to have one). You may also want to include an in-floor plug to sit beneath a coffee table.
In the kitchen.
The kitchen is often the hub of the home andneeds to accommodate a number of both small and large appliances, so placing them strategically around the room is important. If you need help picturing what that placement should look like, feel free to reach out to OKV Electric. In kitchens, there’s a plug required above any counter space of 12" or more, and by code 3ft from the end of every counter and 6 feet between (if you have a long enough counter). We usually put at least 2 counter plugs above any counter bigger than 4 feet.
Islands will require 1 or 2 outlets depending on their size. This is to prevent cords from being strung across the kitchen to the island.
Kitchen plugs have some special points to remember too. General kitchen plugs are 20 amp and 2 to a circuit. Plugs close to sinks must be GFCI protected. Any built-in appliance will be on its own circuit.
In your home office.
If your home contains a dedicated home office, it’s a great idea to plan your outlets with desktop convenience in mind. Placing outlets slightly above desk height will make plugging and unplugging things like modems, printers, etc. much easier.
Even the most thoughtful plans can change over time. For this reason, it’s a good idea to leave several locations in your electrical services box empty to make adding additional outlets in the future a simple, quick process.
In general, we lay out the convenience outlets first and then code after that. We then add extras when the customer requests it, so don’t be shy about telling us what you want! If you need help installing outlets, or completing any other residential electrical work, let OKV Electric help you out. Check out our Residential Electrical Services page for details and to find out how to get a free quote.
A note about power bars. As you plan the placement of outlets in your home, consider if power bars will be needed and think about the possibility of either laying out the outlets differently or adding more outlets to negate the necessity of power bars. Too many plugs in one spot can look cluttered, but in some locations, like inside a built-in cabinet, they might make sense. Traditional power bars increase energy usage and may not always be the best choice. When in doubt, ask a professional. As electricians, we have the knowledge to help guide your decisions!