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Old 03-17-2007, 01:01 PM   #1
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20A Bathoom Circuit


I am redoing a very small bathroom and took the opportunity to run a new 20A circuit on a 20A GFCI breaker. This circuit is dedicated to this one bathroom. Obviously, the one receptacle will be rated for 20A on the 12 gauge wire, but I am also going to operate a fan/light (no heater) off this circuit. Can I use 15A switches for the light and fan, and can the run to the fan/light be 14 gauge or must it be 12?

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Old 03-17-2007, 01:11 PM   #2
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20A Bathoom Circuit


Quote:
Obviously, the one receptacle will be rated for 20A on the 12 gauge wire, but I am also going to operate a fan/light (no heater) off this circuit.
Not necessary. You can use a 15A receptacle since there are other devices on the circuit.

Quote:
Can I use 15A switches for the light and fan
Yes. Same reason as above.

Quote:
can the run to the fan/light be 14 gauge
No. 14g wire is not rated to carry 20A at all, ever. You have to use 12g.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a professional electrician but this is the NEC as I understand it. Local codes may (and often do) vary.

To the pro's that come along: If any of this is untrue, please say so as I'm sorta starting to doubt myself. Esp. regarding the rec and light/fan constituting multiple devices and also regarding the need for 12g rather than 14. My mind's going both ways...it could be that since the light/fan probably wouldn't draw 15A, and since the light/fan are behind 15A switches anyway, that 14 would be OK. The other side is saying since it's a 20A breaker, it has to be 12g.

That brings up another thought...should 15A switches be used at all. Now I'm going back to the mult. device argument. OK, I'm starting to way overthink this so I'm going to quit editing now.


Last edited by jproffer; 03-17-2007 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 03-17-2007, 01:34 PM   #3
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20A Bathoom Circuit


jproffer,

Before you started to over think this question, you had it right. lol

All of the wire in a 20 amp circuit must be 12 guage or larger.

The only time a 20 amp rec is required on a 20 amp circuit is when it is a dedicated rec. A duplex rec is two recs and therfore can be a 15 amp rec on a 20 amp circuit.

The amp rating of a switch can be based on the amperage of the load being controlled. So, unless the fan light draws more than 15 amps, a 15 amp switch is fine.

Oh and btw I am an electrician. :D
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Old 03-17-2007, 01:44 PM   #4
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20A Bathoom Circuit


Thanks jwhite

Just overthinking at it's finest I guess.

Thanks for setting me straight even though it's my own fault for setting myself crooked .
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Old 03-17-2007, 05:11 PM   #5
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20A Bathoom Circuit


Thanks for the assist, guys. Understand all of it!
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