From the circuit panel to my bedroom is a curcuit of 14 ga copper wire. Can you branch to multiple rooms such as to the hallway light or to another room, so that the same 15 amp breaker can be connected to other area of your house?

I also found that my bedroom circuit is connected to two other 15 amp breakers. I was shocked that they were all tied together. Is that allowable and should I try to undo that?

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    "This is what i also found in my bedroom as well as it was connected to that same wire nut two other 15 amp breakers." -- Do you mean there are two breakers that are connected to each other? If so, that is definitely wrong and could even be dangerous (may not correctly trip if over-loaded).
    – gregmac
    Apr 21, 2017 at 16:27
  • I suspect that you're misinterpreting what you're seeing, Larry. You might edit your post to describe more clearly what makes you think those things are true.
    – isherwood
    Apr 21, 2017 at 16:27
  • And yes, it's both acceptable (unless that code has changed very recently) and commonplace that a single circuit breaker serve multiple rooms.
    – isherwood
    Apr 21, 2017 at 16:30
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    I live in a 1950s all electric house (originally electric heat, electric hot water). Initially, there were only four 15 amp circuits for outlets throughout the entire house! That included the kitchen (which had one outlet), garage, bedrooms, living room, dining room, and bath. One of the circuits had almost all the light fixtures and a few outlets: Murphy made sure that one tripped often. Now we have about 14 lighting/outlet circuits. The kitchen now has 18 outlets in four power strips fed from three 20 amp circuits.
    – wallyk
    Apr 21, 2017 at 17:45
  • Thank u, sorry Im not too clear will keep trying. Yes it was similar to your situation in your bedroom that all wires were connected together to three different 15 amps and if so should i undo that? Or what did you do? Or is it acceptable to NEC to do this. Sane with the neutrals. Apr 21, 2017 at 21:22

1 Answer 1


It's perfectly fine to have a single breaker service multiple areas of a house, and in fact, the code doesn't say too much about that beyond certain places require dedicated circuits (eg: kitchen counter outlets). The code limitation only comes from circuit load and the size of the breaker and wiring.

Practically speaking, it's nice to limit the scope of a single circuit.

For example, I try to do one of:

  • Single breaker controls all outlets/lights in one room only
  • Single breaker controls all outlets/lights in two or more rooms
  • All outlets in one room are controlled by two or more breakers, but those breakers don't control any other rooms.

I also generally try to keep lights and outlets on separate circuits, but that's not always practical. It is nice when a circuit breaker blows that the lights don't all turn off as well, and it makes working on things easier (you can either use the lights or plug in a light).

I personally find it dumb when one breaker controls part of the outlets/lights in one room, and part in another room or area, but there's nothing technically wrong with it. I dislike it because it's not intuitive, it's harder to shut off a room, and the breaker labels are really hard to write and understand. At best your breakers get labelled stupid things like "N wall, green bdrm + S Wall blue bdrm + Hall + Bathroom lights".

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    +1 I also like keeping lighting and outlets on separate circuits. Because even 15A breakers are often overkill for supplying lighting in a single room, the only point where I might recommend breaking from your conventions is to allow a 15A lighting-only circuit to supply multiple near-by rooms when making lighting and general purpose receptacles on separate circuits. Apr 21, 2017 at 18:53
  • Bathroom receptacles are another case where they can't share. Apr 21, 2017 at 19:10
  • Basically all of you are saying it is acceptable (NEC) to wire nut three different 14 gauge wires coming from three different circuit breakers in a bedroom? Apr 21, 2017 at 21:40
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    @larrypinsky Absolutely not. If you can't turn off any given light/receptacle by flipping only a single breaker, that's against code and dangerous. The opposite situation -- multiple lights/receptacles and/or multiple rooms on a single breaker -- is fine, other than caveats I gave in my answer.
    – gregmac
    Apr 21, 2017 at 22:12
  • I agree with the absolute not but i thought there was one related exception to this rule when it came to split receptacles. I read from this forum that with splits you can have two 14 different gauge power coming from two double 15 amp circuit breakers as long as they are double together in the panel and if that is the case that would be the only exception to the absolute not. Correct? Please clarify? Apr 23, 2017 at 1:43

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