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Separate power and lighting circuits

Posted by frank_rizzo (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 30, 09 at 1:12

I cant find where the requirement is in the NEC to separate power and lighting circuits in a residence. I can find art. 250 where it is "suggested" in comm'l work but not required.
It's making me feel that it might not be a requirement, and I have to pull the foot out of my mouth because I started an arument with some thinking is was required...
It seems obvious to me that you would not want to be flipping breakers in the dark if you trip a circuit, but is it a requirement?

Can someone clear me up? Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Separate power and lighting circuits

There is no such requirement. You may share lighting and general purpose receptacles on the same circuit.


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RE: Separate power and lighting circuits

to quote Homer.......D'oh!
Seems sooo simple. Hair dryer trips lighting circuit in the bathroom? Why? It's avoidable!


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RE: Separate power and lighting circuits

It is not required.

Usually when the hair dryer trips the circuit it is because the bathroom is sharing the circuit with another bathroom or bedroom and thus the circuit gets overloaded. Typically happens in older homes.

The newer NEC codes require the bathrooms to be on their own dedicated circuit. 210.11(C)(3)

The argument that can be used against you is: 210.23 Permissable Loads, specifically: 210.23(A)15- and 20-Ampere Branch Circuits. A 15- or 20-ampere branch circuit shall be permitted to supply lighting
units or other utilization equipment, or a combination of
both...


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RE: Separate power and lighting circuits

Required to be separate? No.

A good idea in some cases? Yes.

After listening to a friend complain about standing in the dark as his table saw spun down from a tripped breaker.

I urged him to run some separate circuits to run the power tools from.

I prefer each bathrooms have a separate 20 A GFCI receptacle circuit, and more than one circuit if it has two sink basins.

The NEC is a minimum with electrical safety in mind, not convenience.


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Separate power and lighting circuits in a Bathroom

I am rewiring a bathroom in a very old house and have used a separate 20A GFCI receptical. My question is can I share the bath lighting with a lighting circuit that feeds other rooms and has no load problems?


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RE: Separate power and lighting circuits

"can I share the bath lighting with a lighting circuit that feeds other rooms and has no load problems?"

It will have a load problem as soon as a blow dryer is plugged in.


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RE: Separate power and lighting circuits

The more modern codes (for the past decade at least) require the 20A circuit feeding the receptacle in the bathroom to either only serve other bathroom receptacles *OR* outlets in the same bathroom.

As brick aludes, anybody with an older house and teenage daughters knows all about blowdriers and circuit capacities.


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RE: Separate power and lighting circuits

If you are making ANY changes to the bathroom circuits you are likely to have to comply with the new code in affect in your location.

Call your AHJ.


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