Branch Circuit Requirements Table

Branch Circuit Requirements Table
Branch Circuit TypeUsageWire Size (AWG or mm²)Maximum LoadProtection (Circuit Breaker Rating)
Lighting CircuitResidential and commercial lighting2.0 mm² (14 AWG)10A15A
Convenience OutletGeneral purpose outlets3.5 mm² (12 AWG)16A20A
Small ApplianceKitchen, laundry, etc.3.5 mm² (12 AWG)16A20A
Dedicated CircuitAir conditioners, water heaters, etc.Depends on appliance ratingBased on appliance ratingBased on appliance rating
Motor CircuitMotors (e.g., HVAC, pumps)Sized per motor ratingBased on motor rating125% of motor full-load current
Range CircuitElectric ranges8.0 mm² (8 AWG)40A40A
Dryer CircuitElectric dryers5.5 mm² (10 AWG)30A30A
Electric Water HeaterWater heaters5.5 mm² (10 AWG)30A30A
Refrigerator CircuitRefrigerators (Dedicated)3.5 mm² (12 AWG)16A20A
Microwave CircuitMicrowaves (Dedicated)3.5 mm² (12 AWG)16A20A
Dishwasher CircuitDishwashers (Dedicated)3.5 mm² (12 AWG)16A20A
Laundry CircuitLaundry equipment (washer, iron, etc.)3.5 mm² (12 AWG)16A20A
GFCI CircuitWet areas (kitchen, bathroom, outdoor)3.5 mm² (12 AWG)16A20A with GFCI protection


  1. Wire Size:
    • Wire size is given in both square millimeters (mm²) and American Wire Gauge (AWG). The PEC often uses mm², but AWG is included for reference.
  2. Branch Circuit Conductors:
    • Branch circuit conductors shall have an ampacity not less than the maximum load to be served.
  3. Maximum Load:
    • The maximum load refers to the current that the circuit is designed to handle. It is critical to ensure that the load does not exceed this value to avoid overheating and potential fire hazards.
  4. Protection:
    • Circuit breakers or fuses are used to protect the circuits. The rating of these protective devices must match the requirements specified by the PEC for each type of branch circuit.
  5. Dedicated Circuits:
    • These circuits are intended for specific appliances that have higher power requirements. The wire size and circuit breaker rating must be selected based on the specific appliance’s power rating.
  6. GFCI Protection:
    • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are required in wet areas to protect against electrical shock. The circuit breakers for these areas must include GFCI protection.
  7. Branch Circuit Larger than 50 Amperes:
    • A branch circuit larger than 50 Amperes shall supply only nonlighting outlet loads.

Practical Tips:

  • Regular Inspection:
    • Ensure that all electrical installations are regularly inspected by a licensed electrician or Registered Master Electrician (RME) to comply with PEC standards.
  • Correct Sizing:
    • Always select the correct wire size and circuit breaker rating for the specific application to prevent electrical hazards.
  • GFCI Installation:
    • Install GFCIs in kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor outlets to enhance safety.
  • Label Circuits:
    • Clearly label each circuit in the breaker panel to facilitate easy identification and maintenance.
  • Compliance:
    • Adhere to the PEC requirements for all electrical installations to ensure safety and reliability.

For specific applications and further details, always refer to the latest edition of the PEC or consult with a professional electrician.


Before taking any actions in your Electrical Installations if you are unsure or not qualified or trained to do Electrical works always consult a Licensed Electrical Practitioner, Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE), Registered Electrical Engineer (REE), or Registered Master Electrician (RME).

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