I have a 15 amp circuit that powers 8 recessed lights running 8 watt LED bulbs, a bathroom exhaust fan, a bathroom vanity light fixture and a wall outlet. In case this detail is important: the wall outlet is located in the room next to the bathroom and it is not a GFCI wall outlet.

When calculating the load on the circuit, what should I add for the wall outlet? Do I imagine a worst case scenario such as a vacuum cleaner, space heater or a clothing iron being plugged in? Or is there a generally-accepted load factor used for wall outlets? Thanks!

1 Answer 1


In a residential load calculation, general-use receptacles are included in with the 3 volt-ampere (VA) per square foot general lighting value.

In other than dwelling units, receptacles are calculated at 180 VA.

If you wanted to use the 180 VA value, it would be 1.5 amperes (180VA / 120V = 1.5 A).

  • We are being told not to use bathroom circuits elsewhere now. No?
    – DMoore
    Jan 7, 2017 at 17:24
  • @DMoore I'm confused by your question.
    – Tester101
    Jan 7, 2017 at 17:45
  • We aren't allowed to co-mingle bathroom circuits with other outlets, and he is asking about adding an outlet onto a circuit for a bathroom - this wouldn't pass code here or you could just skip getting it inspected...
    – DMoore
    Jan 7, 2017 at 20:22
  • @DMoore doesn't sound like the OP is doing any work, just calculating a load (or at least that's all the question asks about).
    – Tester101
    Jan 8, 2017 at 2:19

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