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Old 07-25-2008, 11:08 AM   #1
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Basement finishing : Bathroom and Wetbar Outlets


I am pretty sure I know the answer, but I am looking for some confirmation. I am finishing my basement and adding both a 3/4 bathroom and a wetbar. The plan is to have an outlet in the bathroom and one at the wetbar by the sink. I know that the outlets for each of these areas need to be on GFCI outlets, but do they need to be on seperate circuits? In other words, can the same 20amp circuit feed both GFCI outlets?

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Old 07-25-2008, 12:41 PM   #2
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Basement finishing : Bathroom and Wetbar Outlets


Your bathroom must be on a 20amp dedicated circuit. No way around that unless you can tap the dedicated circuit that serves only bath receptacles if your other baths were wired that way. In that case, the receptacle circuit is for receptacles only, and you can pull power for the fan and light from somewhere else. If the circuit serves just that bath, the receptacle(s) in that bath can be on the same circuit as the lights and bath fan, provided the fan and lights don't exceed 10amps total.

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Old 07-25-2008, 01:02 PM   #3
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Basement finishing : Bathroom and Wetbar Outlets


To confirm what kctermite says... bathroom receptacle branch circuits must remain in bathrooms with a couple options as kc explained. The wet bar needs its own branch circuit.
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Old 07-25-2008, 02:16 PM   #4
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Basement finishing : Bathroom and Wetbar Outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
The wet bar needs its own branch circuit.
A lot of people put cooking appliances (stoves, built-in microwaves, wall ovens, etc) in basement bar areas for food preparation. Technically, that makes it a kitchen, which requires two circuits for countertop receptacles, as well as kitchen receptacle minimum spacing requirements. Some jursidictions enforce it, some don't because it is a technicality based on the definition of a kitchen in the code. If it has just a sink, it is a wet bar, and would have to have any receptacles within 6' of the sink GFCI protected.

This is something that might be worth checking with the local inspector on if you are going to have anything down there that might make him consider it a kitchen.
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Old 07-25-2008, 03:14 PM   #5
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Basement finishing : Bathroom and Wetbar Outlets


Thanks for the quick feedback everyone. I am only intending on a sink and mini fridge, but thank you for the heads up anyway...always good to know more than less. With dedicated circuits for the bathroom, wetbar, and bedroom (afci), along with the typical circuits for outlets and lighting, I am quickly running out of available breaker slots.

The plan was to use 15a circuits for all other lights and outlets...perhaps I can switch everything to 20a to allow for more on a given circuit? Bad idea?

So I know I need this...

3 Dedicated circuits for...
8 Bedroom outlets (afci circuit)
1 Bathroom outlet (gfci)
1 Wetbar outlet (gfci)

But what I don't know is how many more circuits I need for...
general outlets - 15
recessed lights - 17
bathroom fan and 2 sconce lights

By what it sounded like, the bathroom fan and lights can be tapped off of the dedicated line to the bathroom, so that just leaves the lighting and other outlets.

Thanks for any feedback
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Old 07-25-2008, 03:41 PM   #6
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Basement finishing : Bathroom and Wetbar Outlets


Twin breakers are made for most panels, and allow you to put two 15 or 20 amp circuits on two separate breakers, but only utilize one slot in the panel. You could consolidate a couple 15 or 20 amp circuits that are not AFCI or GFCI protected, assuming they're not multiwire branch circuits (shared neutral can't have both circuits on the same phase).

There's always the option of a small subpanel.
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Old 07-25-2008, 03:50 PM   #7
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Basement finishing : Bathroom and Wetbar Outlets


Clarification needed...we established that the wetbar GFCI outlet needs to be on a seperate circuit than the bathroom, but does this wetbar GFCI outlet need to be on a dedicated circuit, or can other outlets be a part of this circuit as well? It just seems silly that I would have to run a 20a line for one outlet...but then again, sometimes safety is silly.

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Old 07-25-2008, 03:55 PM   #8
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Basement finishing : Bathroom and Wetbar Outlets


I don't know of any NEC or IRC requirement that would require a dedicated circuit for a wet bar receptacle. Just kitchens, baths, heating equipment, and laundry room receptacles.

GFCI protect the wet bar receptacle if within 6' of the sink.
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:27 PM   #9
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Basement finishing : Bathroom and Wetbar Outlets


I apologize I.. think I confused you by saying 'own' circuit. I should have said a different branch circuit than the bathroom receptacles, as long as it isn't one Kc mentioned. Doesn't need to be dedicated. I believe general purpose receptacles should be on 20 amp branch circuits. Separate lights from receptacle branch circuits and put them on 15 amp 14 awg copper branch circuits. Especially can or recessed lighting due to the small junction boxes on the can lights. 14 is just a heck of a lot friendlier. You have 1800 watts of power on a 15 amp circuit that's eighteen 100 watt fixtures. You have 2400 watts of available power on 20 amp circuits. So you could have your 1400 watt ice crusher and have 1000 watts still left over to power your counter top tv and maybe a hot plate of dip for your chips. And don't forget the beer......

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Last edited by Stubbie; 07-25-2008 at 07:31 PM.
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