Well in commercial work you are restricted to the number of outlets that can be installed on a 15 or 20 amp branch circuit, each outlet counts as 180 voltamps. In residential there is no limit except for the 3 watts per square foot. Each branch circuit should be of sufficient size to carry the load to be served.
Yes, that's my understanding but a friend of mine got a "homeowners wiring guide" from the big orange house and he showed me a passage stating that a GFCI receptacle can only protect 4 additional downstream receptacles. I never heard this before and was just wondering if there was a code requirement I missed somewhere along the way.
(Residential)It's not a code issue, other than if it's in the manufacturer's instructions. I use to think there was a limit of 6 downstream receptacles, but the NEC doesn't state this nor have I found anything in any GFI manufacturer's instructions limiting the downstream number.
I can't imagine what the justification could possibly be for a limit on the number of downstream receptacles. In the commercial world you have a restriction on the total number on a branch circuit (the 180va deal) but that doesn't address whether they are upstream or downstream of a GFCI. Beyond that it only depends on the feedthrough ampacity of the GFCI. You can exceed that with one duplex as easily as 10. (2 hair dryers or toasters?) The only other thing I can possibly think of is the "antenna effect" of a long conductor (false trips) but again, that can just be one receptacle way out in the yard.