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Old 02-16-2010, 08:04 AM   #1
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


My basement is mostly finished except for one room which I am turing into a workout room. This workout room does have one finished wall with an outlet. On the other side of tis finished wall is a finished 1/2 balth. I have found out that the outlet in the workout room is wired to the power in the bathroom (yes a code violation) The bathroom has a dedicated 20amp circuit on #12 coming from the panel. In the outlet box in the bathroom, this #12 has a non-gfci 15amp outlet. In addition, the #12 is pigtailed to a switch which controls the lighting fixture and the fan in the bathroom. These are on #14 wire. So it looks like they pigtailed #12 for the outlet to #14 for the lighting and fan and then #14 feeding the outlet in the workout room. In addition, there is a dedicated 15 amp circuit from the panel to a switch which controls a light fixture outside the bathroom and in the workout room. The switch is on the wall outside the bathroom and directly behind the gang box in bathroom (so If I pull the drywall at the switch, I should be able to expose all of the wires in the bathroom circuit as well). To fix this problem I would like to take the 20amp #12 and put a gfci on the outlet in the bathroom and that is it for that circuit. I want to take the bathroom lights and fan off of the 20 amp and feed power to them from the 15 amp circuit supplying the lights in the workout room. If I find the main 15amp feeder. Can I install a junction box and have one feed for the electical outlet in the workout room? Then from the same junciton box have 2 more wires feeding power to (1) fan and light in bathroom and (2) hall and workout room light? Is it ok to have a 20 amp circuit to the gfci and a 15amp switch for the bathroom lights and fan in the same gang box? If so, I need to join the grounds?

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Old 02-16-2010, 08:21 AM   #2
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


I'm pretty confident you are not supposed to run anything in the bathroom like lights, fan, radio, off of anything but its own dedicated circuit. You can probably run the new workout room off of that 15 amp breaker for the hallway light, but once again keep everything in the bathroom on its own breaker. There should be no problem running your 15A GFI on your 20A circuit b/c there is no risk of that line buring up and the GFI will do it job correctly, its the other way around that is a hazard for when you have a 20A outlet and you run #14 wire to it which obviously isn't rated at carrying 20A. I'm just a small fish in this big sea of knowledge, many more answers will be on their way.

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Old 02-16-2010, 08:23 AM   #3
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


Yes, you can have different circuits within the same junction box. You need to make sure you have enough cubic inch capacity for all the wires. The grounds from the different circuits do need to be tied together.

I would also label the junction box cover with a note that multiple circuits are involved and the circuit numbers.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:28 AM   #4
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


What exactly is a junction box used for?
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:33 AM   #5
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


I've been told that if circuits share a box, code requires the grounds to be joined.

I know that others in this forum with more experience on the subject tend to recommend not having circiits share a box. I think part of the reason is to just reduce the chance for getting the wires for the circuits crossed, and I think it's so that if someone cuts the breaker off for one circuit to work in the box, they don't get suprised by the power still applied to the other circuit.

Is there any reason why you can't keep the two circuits 100% seperated? For example, can you pull any #14 wire out of the outlet box supplied by the #12 and either rerought it, or plain remove it all together and replace it with a new run of wire to the 15amp circuit?
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:43 AM   #6
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


There is no way I can instal a new homerun of #14 to the panel since it is all the way across a finished basement. I can pull the light/fan switch out of the bathroom double gangbox and just have a single gang for the bathroom outlet. I can then remove the single gang that houses the workout light switch and replace it with a double. I can then move the bathroom/fan light switch into the new double gang. This would give me a single gang in the bathroom with a 20amp dedicated outlet. And a double gang switch on the outside of the bathroom where one swithc controls the fan/light in the bathroom and the light in the workout room.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:43 AM   #7
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


Circuits in the same box are fine, grounds for all circuits must be tied together
Neutrals are NOT joined together from different circuits

Bathrooms must have a dedicated 20a circuit GFCI protected outlet(s)
This can feed 1 bathroom lights & outlets
OR
Multiple bathroom outlets only
Lights in a bathroom do not require a dedicated circuit

#14 wire can't be on a 12g 20a circuit
A 15a switch is OK as long as it does not control more then 1800w of lights
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:46 AM   #8
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Abs777 View Post
What exactly is a junction box used for?
The junction would be used to split the 15amp circuit coming from the panel so I have unswitched power to the outlets in the workout room. 2 other feeds of the junction would feed the power for the bathrrom fan/lights and the workout lights which are all swtiched. So, out of the j-box come an unswitched 15amp circuit for the outlets in the workout room and 2 15 amp circuits supplying 2 different switches.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:50 AM   #9
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


If you are going to have a treadmill on this 15 amp circuit you may trip the breaker or suffer from dimming lights. I had to install a dedicated 20 amp circuit for one treadmill.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:50 AM   #10
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Circuits in the same box are fine, grounds for all circuits must be tied together
Neutrals are NOT joined together from different circuits

Bathrooms must have a dedicated 20a circuit GFCI protected outlet(s)
This can feed 1 bathroom lights & outlets
OR
Multiple bathroom outlets only
Lights in a bathroom do not require a dedicated circuit

#14 wire can't be on a 12g 20a circuit
A 15a switch is OK as long as it does not control more then 1800w of lights

Yes, the problem i have with the lights/fan in the bathroom is that they appear to be on #14. So, I can't really join them together with the outlet since the 20 amp is on #12. That is how they are wired up now and I think it is wrong.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:56 AM   #11
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by trailblazer1229 View Post
There is no way I can instal a new homerun of #14 to the panel since it is all the way across a finished basement.
When I was saying a "new run", I only ment from say the bathroom lights to the 15 amp circuit for the workroom lights, not going all the way back to the panel.

I guess I could rexplain the idea like this...
Strip out all the #14 wire in the bathroom. That leaves you with a 20amp GFCI outlet with lights/switches/fan unpowered. Find the source of power from the 15 amp circuit powering lights in the workroom, and use that to run new wires to the lights/switches/fan in the bathroom.

Of course in practice, try to reuse as much #14 already installed in the bathroom as possible.

[Edit]
On second though, you could also rip out the #14 inside the bathroom and rewire it all with #12 and keep it on the bathroom circuit. Then all you would have to do is get the power to the outlet in the workroom from some other source besides the bathroom.

Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 02-16-2010 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:57 AM   #12
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by trailblazer1229 View Post
Yes, the problem i have with the lights/fan in the bathroom is that they appear to be on #14. So, I can't really join them together with the outlet since the 20 amp is on #12. That is how they are wired up now and I think it is wrong.
Yes, it is incorrect to have the #14 on a 20 amp circuit.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:08 AM   #13
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
When I was saying a "new run", I only ment from say the bathroom lights to the 15 amp circuit for the workroom lights, not going all the way back to the panel.

I guess I could rexplain the idea like this...
Strip out all the #14 wire in the bathroom. That leaves you with a 20amp GFCI outlet with lights/switches/fan unpowered. Find the source of power from the 15 amp circuit powering lights in the workroom, and use that to run new wires to the lights/switches/fan in the bathroom.

Of course in practice, try to reuse as much #14 already installed in the bathroom as possible.

[Edit]
On second though, you could also rip out the #14 inside the bathroom and rewire it all with #12 and keep it on the bathroom circuit. Then all you would have to do is get the power to the outlet in the workroom from some other source besides the bathroom.
Since the bathroom is finished and I have found the 15 amp feeder to the workout room lights, it may be easier for the first option. It also looks like it is ok to keep the 20amp bathroom outlet and (new) 15amp switch for bathroom lights/fan in the same gang box in the bathroom? Or, with quite more difficulty should I bother with trying to relocate that swtich on the outside of the bathroom wall?
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:09 AM   #14
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Yes, you can have different circuits within the same junction box. You need to make sure you have enough cubic inch capacity for all the wires. The grounds from the different circuits do need to be tied together.

I would also label the junction box cover with a note that multiple circuits are involved and the circuit numbers.
Still ok to tie a #12 (20amp) ground and #14 (15amp) ground together if different circuits in the same box?
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:17 AM   #15
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Basement bathroom wiring mess. Little help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by trailblazer1229 View Post
Still ok to tie a #12 (20amp) ground and #14 (15amp) ground together if different circuits in the same box?
Yes, it is required.

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