Have hired a Contractor with electrician for a two story bonus rooms addition, now at open stud rough in stage. Upper level will be dedicated 20 amp breaker, lower level on 15 amp circuit. I want the electrician to drop down a 20 amp line for a single outlet in the lower level for an electric fireplace. Just want to know code before electrician arrives. Would ask Contractor but he is not available with a illness. Thanks.

  • 2
    For a fireplace you might want it on its own circuit(1500w plus). Fireplace plus a hair dryer/heater upstairs, not good.
    – crip659
    Dec 7, 2023 at 20:02
  • Yes, that should be on its own separate circuit.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 7, 2023 at 20:26

3 Answers 3


It is permissible to do that. It's not unusual to have an entire floor, three bedrooms, on the same circuit. You might want to consider having a dedicated circuit just for the fireplace since it's electric and will draw a fair amount of current utilizing half of the 20 amp circuit.

  • Remember, code specifies the bare minimums that slumlords and builders must meet for homes to not be declared “unfit for human habitation”. It’s always fine to put in more circuits than the bare minimum. Is it totally legal to put all the bathroom receptacles in 5-bath house on one single 20A circuit? Yup! Is that likely to be useful? Nope! Nothing at all wrong with a circuit per bathroom so you can actually run two hairdryers at once without tripping a breaker.
    – nobody
    Dec 8, 2023 at 3:16
  • @nobody Yep, those high wattage hair dryers out in the late 60's and 70's sure created havoc in bathroom wiring.
    – JACK
    Dec 8, 2023 at 13:15

To the question you ask - yes, it's normal and generally good practice to have more than one circuit supplying a room, or to have outlets from one circuit supplying multiple rooms, except for special cases of bathroom and kitchen area circuits that are restricted to that area, or circuits supplying a furnace or built-in air conditioner.

With regard to the specific application to a heavy plug-in heating load, a dedicated circuit NOT shared with other uses may be wiser, as that one load will use most of the capacity of the circuit you plug it in to, so you may have trouble with the breaker tripping when it's on, and you do other normal things that use power.

  • 1
    Thanks, will take advice and try to get a dedicated 20 amp home run to the panel for likely a 1500w heater (pulling 12+ amps?).
    – DavidP911
    Dec 7, 2023 at 20:46
  • And pay attention to the special requirements for bathrooms and kitchens (although not at issue here).
    – Jon Custer
    Dec 7, 2023 at 22:32

Yes, most receptacle circuits can feed more than one room, but

NEC 210.23 Permissible Loads, Multiple-Outlet Branch Circuits
(B)(2) Utilization Equipment Fastened in Place.
The total rating of utilization equipment fastened in place, other than luminaires, shall not exceed 50 percent of the branch-circuit ampere rating where lighting units, cord-and-plug-connected utilization equipment not fastened in place, or both, are also supplied.

So the fireplace cannot exceed 900 watts on a 15A circuit or 1200 watts on a 20A circuit on a shared circuit.

  • ... unless it's a cord and plug appliance listed for use on a 15A circuit. There are many 1500 W electric fireplaces like that. Dec 8, 2023 at 10:36
  • Thank you all for the replies. Will have a single dedicated home run 20 amp outlet just for the fireplace on the lower level The rest of the lower floor outlets will be on a 15 amp circuit. 2nd story room will have separate home run 20 amp circuit.
    – DavidP911
    Dec 10, 2023 at 20:12

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