Wiring a GFI for a bathroom ?

reinvestorFebruary 28, 2007

Hi,

I'm remodeling a house and want to run new 12 wire for a first floor GFI. Could I run it to the first floor bath, then jump off of it to the second floor bath and add two more GFI'S to that bath? The second floor gfi's will be at both vanities. Should I also ground fault protect the lights with these GFI'S? And if I should ,how would I ? And should I use 15 or 20 amp breakers?

Thanks for any help

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Ron Natalie

You should probably learn something about basic electrical theory and the minimal code requirements before hacking around on things.

The receptacle circuit in bathrooms has specific requirements that you are flirting with violating here. Your choices are to either run a 20A circuit to just one bathroom and feed the receptacles and other outlets (lights/fan) there *OR* runa 20A circuit and feed only the receptacles in multiple bathrooms.

It's not legitimate to put other rooms on the bathroom recepatcle circuit, nor can you put the lights on a circuit that feeds multiple bathroom receptacles. You must use 20A
(12g or bette rand 20A breakers).

A GFI can protect more than one device. Typically you run the power to the first GFI and connect the subsequent receptacles you want to protect to the load terminals on that unit. However, it's frequently more convenient when there are multiple bathrooms to give each it's own GFCI.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 4:49AM
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thyron

im not quite sure on what youre asking but what i can tell you is that outlets in bathrooms are required to be on their own separate cicuit, they need to be wired in 12 guage wire which is good for 20 amps, and they need to be GFI protected. you never really want any lights to be GFI protected, and in this case youre not allowed to even put lights on the same circuit because the only thing, allowed by the NEC, to put on this circuit are bathroom plugs. also you dont need to put in multiple GFIs on a circuit. just put it in where your homerun from the panel comes to and the whole circuit will be protected

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 9:48PM
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colden

Why 20a? I'm installing a GFCI in my bathroom to run an electric toothbrush charger. Seems that 14 ga and 15 a is plenty. It'll be a branch off a kitchen rec (unused) through the wall.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 2:00PM
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pjb999

Because 20a is the normal rating for #12. Technically, yes, you can down-rate a circuit (but you can't up-rate, ie #14 with a 20a) but it's not considered good practice, since people may make assumptions when they open up a wall or whatever and see #12 - it's more expensive and a bit harder to work with, too. Also, depending on where you are, outlets on #14/15a may not be allowed, #12/20a might be the minimum. Having said that, a circuit that's that under-loaded may in some ways be dangerous, since a fault in a small load could fail to trip the breaker until stuff's already on fire. As I understand it, that's why for the most part, stuff's mixed across a circuit usually.

However, stick to your local code.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 3:30PM
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thyron

the NEC says that your plugs in your bathroom need to be on their own 20 amp circuit. in your kitchen you need two 20 amp circuits that are supposed to be for the kitchen and dining room only. pulling a bathroom plug off of a kitchen plug would be a code violation. if its a kitchen plug its probably already 20 amps anyways so i would definately not use 14 guage wire to come off of that plug if you do, cause then its not only a code violation its a definate safety hazzard. 14 guage wire is not big enough to carry 20 amps safely it will heat up and potentially start a fire

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 4:32PM
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brickeyee

"Why 20a? I'm installing a GFCI in my bathroom to run an electric toothbrush charger."

And the frst time a blow dryer gets plugged in the circuit will trip. A 20 A circuit has been required for bathrooms for many years now.
The NEC does not care what you want to run.

"Seems that 14 ga and 15 a is plenty."

Not under the NEC.

"It'll be a branch off a kitchen rec (unused) through the wall."

Not legal either.
Either do the job correctly or leave it for someone who will.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 9:48AM
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hendricus

Thyron; This is from the Bob Villa site.

You have two options for bathrooms under the NEC.

1. One circuit that ONLY feeds bathroom receptacles. It can feed them in one or more bathrooms. The lighting and fan can be on anyother circuits.

2. One circuit for each bathroom. In that case the circuit can feed the both the receptacles and the lights and fan, but only in that one bathroom.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 4:37PM
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bigbird_1

"a circuit that's that under-loaded may in some ways be dangerous, since a fault in a small load could fail to trip the breaker until stuff's already on fire"

An underloaded cc't is dangerous? I have to laugh at that one. Any device that fails internally (which is quite different from shorting to ground) will just stop working. The CSA and UL must test every device sold in the US & Canada to make sure that if just what you suggest happens, it won't start a fire. If it shorts out, the breaker will trip regardless of the size of the load.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 4:40PM
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thyron

hendricus, i dint know that you were allowed to do that so thanks for letting me know. but in reinvestor's main question this would still be against code to put his lights on with his bathroom plugs because he wants to put multiple bathrooms on this circuit along with his bath vanities, which according to what you say isnt allowed either. i still would not protect my lights with the gfi in that case.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 10:29PM
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reinvestor

RONNATALIE OR Anyone,

Follow up. I ran new 12 g wire from the circuit box. I went to the first floor GFCI then I will jump to the second floor GFCI then back over to the second vanity in the bath room and that will be another GFCI or a standard outlet. I used a 20 amp CB in the main panel, but the guy at Home Depot said I should use 15 amp GFCI'S ? Is that ok?

thanks

please e mail any replies if possible ---- easytradernj@aol.com

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 2:03AM
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Ron Natalie

If all you have on the circuit are receptacles, the above is fine. The 15A receptacles (GFCI included) are OK on a 20A circuit (at least in the US). They are all rated at 20A feedthrough, the only difference is that the 15A won't accept a 20A plug. Your choice as to which you use in this case. By the way, you don't need to have multiple GFCI's in the circuit (unless you want to), they all support connecting the downstream receptacles to the protected "load" side of the first.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 11:43AM
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reinvestor

Hi Ron,

Thanks for getting back so fast. I was trying to e mail you, but no option for that.

I was going to put GFI just for looks. If I put a GFI on the first floor --- I know it would protect the 2 on the second floor, but do you think maybe a buyer down the road would think this bathroom is not protected?

And should I just switch the 15 amp gfi to 20 amp gfi's since I have a 20 amp breaker? What is a 20 amp plug? (as in what type of electrical device?)

thanks

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 12:44PM
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normel

It would be more convenient to wire the feed to the second floor bathroom from the line side of the downstairs GFCI and install a GFCI receptacle upstairs. That way, if it trips, you won't have to run downstairs to reset it.
Use the 15A receptacles. No need to pay extra for something you will never need. A 20A plug has one of the flat blades turned 90 degrees to the other; the 20A receptacle has one "T" slot and one "I" slot.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 2:17PM
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Ron Natalie

Most GFCI's come with some extra "GFCI Protected" stickers if your really want them (no overwhelming reason to put them on in MOST cases). The only real advantage to individual ones is that you can reset it without having to run down to the other bathroom (or be surprised why the outlet isn't working because the kids or a house guest has pressed the TEST button on the one in the other room).

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 8:13PM
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reinvestor

I'd like to thank everyone for their help and info. If anyone ever has any Real Estate questions, feel free to ask !!

Thanks Again !!

(Ronnatalie) Nice planes !!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 12:16PM
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reinvestor

Normel -or anyone who knows.--

Can you follow up on this for me ---- You posted above.

Here's the question

Can you give me more detail on this ? are you saying to make my first floor bathroom GFI hot from the circuit box on the load side of the GFI? then jump it to the second floor bathroom from the line side of the 1ST FL. GFI? I wired it today, but then it did what you said --- cut out the second floor when I tested the first floor. -- can you explain it to me ?

thanks
Al

easytradernj@aol.com or reply here --- thanks agian

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 1:20AM
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normel

Wire the first floor GFCI to the line side (it will not work properly wired to the load side). Coming from that same line side wire another GFCI to the upstairs bath. That way both are on the same circuit, but will operate independently of each other.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 7:10AM
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reinvestor

Cool

thanks Normel.

I got what you mean now.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 12:36PM
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reinvestor

EUREKA ---IT'S DONE LOL THANKS EVERYONE FOR ALL THE HELP !!!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 12:33AM
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R1exhaler_aol_com

Simply put... a bathroom receptacles HAS to be on it's own 20 amp dedicated circuit. This circuit is allowed to feed other bathroom OUTLETS (GFCI) protected.. and outlets only. If this dedicated circuit is only feeding one bathroom outlet, then it also may serve to feed lights and fans within that SAME bathroom.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 1:57PM
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