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I am confused about small-appliance branch circuit for service load calculation. I am trying to size my breaker for a sub-panel in my basement from my main 200A panel.

I will have a main room, wet bar area, bedroom, and bathroom.

I have calculated the following loads:

  • Lighting Wattage = 790sq ft x 3 = 2,370 VA
  • Under counter 46 Bottle Wine Cooler: 90VA
  • Under counter refrigerator: 240VA
  • HVAC Heat Pump = 4,320 VA
  • HVAC Air Handler = 960 VA
  • HVAC Heat Strips = 4,800 VA
  • Sump Pump = 1,200 VA

Do I need to consider any small-appliance branch circuits in my calculation?

  • The heat pump and heat strips do not need to both be counted, since their design precludes both being on at once. – Harper Oct 31 '18 at 1:57
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    @Harper -- not necessarily -- under low ambient conditions where the pump is short capacity, the compressor may be going full bore while the heat strips cycle to make up the difference – ThreePhaseEel Oct 31 '18 at 2:31
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The small appliance requirement is for the kitchen counters 2 as 20 amp circuits. If you want you can add a circuit for the bar but it would not be required.

  • Thanks. I was going to have one GFCI circuit serve the bar counter and the bathroom. So would this add 1,500 VA to my total load? – Atl Improves Oct 30 '18 at 19:10
  • The bathroom usually requires a dedicated circuit for the lighting and outlets unless going to a second bathroom. 210.11.c.3 in the nec – Ed Beal Oct 30 '18 at 19:13
  • Thanks, understand. So the wet bar circuit and dedicated bathroom circuits will count as 2 small appliance requirement (2X1,500)? Or these do not affect the total load for the service load calculation? – Atl Improves Oct 30 '18 at 19:47
  • Thanks. Adding in 2x1,500 for the small appliance circuits I am calculating a total load of 65 amps. – Atl Improves Oct 30 '18 at 20:45
  • The loads count in addition to the required circuit for each bathroom and the 2 for the kitchen small appliance. If you are doing a whole house calc the laundry also requires a circuit. There are some handy online calculators that may help they ask the basics but include the required minimum size branch circuits code requires. I just found one. @ nojolt.com/load/calculations.shtml I have not used it just the first one I found. If you don't want to figure every outlet use 1va per square foot for the outlet load other than the above required bath,kitchen,& laundry. – Ed Beal Oct 30 '18 at 20:50

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