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. Oct 31, 2018 at 1:57
  • 1
    @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 Oct 31, 2018 at 2:31

1 Answer 1


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? Oct 30, 2018 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, 2018 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? Oct 30, 2018 at 19:47
  • Thanks. Adding in 2x1,500 for the small appliance circuits I am calculating a total load of 65 amps. Oct 30, 2018 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, 2018 at 20:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.