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Old 03-05-2007, 11:07 PM   #1
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Bath remodel wiring


I'm planning a complete remodel of my bathroom in the near future and wanted to ask anyone familiar with codes.....

If I redo switches and fixture locations will I need a permit and an inspection?
Also the way it is setup now is that a single breaker controls both bathrooms and the hallway light and outlet.
I understand according to code each bath should have it's own 20A breaker. If I do this, will they make me change that before I go any further to bring it up to code?
I understand local codes vary but has anyone had experience with this?
If so what was the outcome?
If I have to seperate them I am going to need to install a sub-panel because I don't have any breaker openings left in the box.


A related ?? .... the house is on a slab so all wiring is done through attic. If I have to run new cable to the bath how do I need to do this in the attic? Do I have to drill through the rafters and run it like that or can I run it across the tops of them???
I understand I need to fasten it every 4' along the way as well.

Thanks in advance to everyone.

Location is Lehigh Valley PA area. (lehigh county, washington twnshp)

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Old 03-05-2007, 11:48 PM   #2
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Bath remodel wiring


Quote:
I'm planning a complete remodel of my bathroom in the near future and wanted to ask anyone familiar with codes.....

If I redo switches and fixture locations will I need a permit and an inspection?

Where I'm from, yes. Where you're from..... : ..know what I mean?


Also the way it is setup now is that a single breaker controls both bathrooms and the hallway light and outlet. I understand according to code each bath should have it's own 20A breaker.

A breaker feeding a bathroom can feed multiple bathrooms receptacles ONLY...or...it can feed ONE bathroom rec. and lights. Either way it cannot serve any other type of room.


If I do this, will they make me change that before I go any further to bring it up to code?

Depends on where you are and how strict they are with the inspections, assuming you have to have one.


I understand local codes vary but has anyone had experience with this?
If so what was the outcome?
If I have to seperate them I am going to need to install a sub-panel because I don't have any breaker openings left in the box.


A related ?? .... the house is on a slab so all wiring is done through attic. If I have to run new cable to the bath how do I need to do this in the attic? Do I have to drill through the rafters and run it like that or can I run it across the tops of them???

You can do either, but if you go across the top they have to be protected. I've read on here one person's method (I wish I could give credit, but I don't remember who it was...it's not mine at any rate) is to put a 1 x 2 spaced 8" apart outside to outside, lay wires inside this "trench" and staple, then cover with 1/2" plywood for protection


I understand I need to fasten it every 4' along the way as well.

4' 6", but close enough . It's going to end up being 4' anyway because 4'6 leaves you in the middle of nowhere (no joist)

Thanks in advance to everyone.
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:44 AM   #3
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Bath remodel wiring


you dont want to drill any engineered trusses. just staple the wires every other truss. i believe the nec says that you only need to protect the wires within 6 feet from the attic access.
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
i believe the nec says that you only need to protect the wires within 6 feet from the attic access
Depends on the type of access. If you have a ladder or stairs, then you must protect cables through-out. If you have what I call a "scurry hole" (imagine hopping of the top step of a step ladder and pushing yourself into the attic) then gooch is correct.
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Old 03-06-2007, 01:06 AM   #5
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Bath remodel wiring


I have the typical fold-down stairs in the garage area to access the attic. It's what I would consider a walk-up attic I guess, even though I have to walk hunched over when up there.
But then being 6'3" you don't have many areas where that doesn't happen.

So that would mean they have to be secured the whole length, correct?

What about the existing wiring? Will they make me correct anything that I'm not working on or isn't affected by the project?
I've never dealt with an inspection or this type of project before.

My 'better-half" is already getting frustrated with telling her I can't just tear everything apart and redo it without going through the proper channels. I'm trying to explain that if a problem would happen that insurance would probably blame it on something I did if given the chance.
Also if / when we go to sell the house I'd like to be able to provide proof that everything was done how it was legally supposed to be.

I think she's just getting really tired of looking at this:

Thanks guys.
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Old 03-06-2007, 01:14 AM   #6
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Bath remodel wiring


Yep, secure the entire length. It wouldn't take much to secure old wiring too. A few extra "trenches" of 1x2's covered with plywood and you'd be done.

Didn't mention it before, but if there are any splices (and hopefully junction boxes) in the runs, you'll have to leave them above or outside of the "trenches".
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Old 03-06-2007, 09:37 PM   #7
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get a quote to have the entire job done and then she'll be more appreciative of the time it takes you to do it.
Most codes say any change or extension to any branch circuit requires a permit... pretty basic.

good luck
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crecore View Post
get a quote to have the entire job done and then she'll be more appreciative of the time it takes you to do it.
Most codes say any change or extension to any branch circuit requires a permit... pretty basic.

good luck
Good Idea!
I just checked a neighboring county (since they have a website and mine doesn't) and they list the fees as:
Renovation: $200 up to 500 sq. ft.
With electrical: $90
With plumbing: $100
Minimum inspection fee: $65

Do these sound resonable, or a little high? I am calling my local zoning / building dept. tomorrow and see what they tell me.
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Old 03-23-2007, 12:24 AM   #9
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Bath remodel wiring


I'm hoping I can explain this without pictures right now....

Any electricians out there please let me know if I'm on the right track here...

Ran new 12/2 cable from circuit box to bathroom, securing to all but a few ceiling joists. Cable comes in and enters a single-gang box that will house a GFCI duplex outlet.
Another section of 12/2 exits the box from the bottom then over to a 3-gang box that will house the switches.
That wire will connect to the first switch which will feed the 2nd and that one the 3rd.
I have a 12/2 cable coming in from 2 recessed fixtures above shower (vapor proof) which will be controlled by a dimmer in the box.
I have another 12/2 coming in for the vanity light to a switch.
I have a 12/3 wire coming in from the vent fan / light combo. One will hook to a regular switch, one to a time switch.
I would assume that I would connect all neutral wires together in this box?
I would also connect all the grounds together in this box.
(by the way if you add it up it comes to 4, I have a Lutron switch that is a dimmer on top with a timer on bottom for one gang)
Is there a simpler way of hooking all this up without having all those wires in a 3-gang box?

If you need further clarification I will try to put together a diagram of how everything is run.

Lastly, is it a good idea to run everything off the GFCI outlet? I'm thinking if the thing trips you'll be without all light in the bathroom but I think the protection is good.

Thanks!

Last edited by Nhrafan; 03-23-2007 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 03-23-2007, 01:13 AM   #10
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Bath remodel wiring


Quote:
I'm hoping I can explain this without pictures right now....

Any electricians out there please let me know if I'm on the right track here...

that rules me out, but I'll try it anyway

Ran new 12/2 cable from circuit box to bathroom, securing to all but a few ceiling joists. Cable comes in and enters a single-gang box that will house a GFCI duplex outlet.
Another section of 12/2 exits the box from the bottom then over to a 3-gang box that will house the switches.
That wire will connect to the first switch which will feed the 2nd and that one the 3rd.
I have a 12/2 cable coming in from 2 recessed fixtures above shower (vapor proof) which will be controlled by a dimmer in the box.
I have another 12/2 coming in for the vanity light to a switch.
I have a 12/3 wire coming in from the vent fan / light combo. One will hook to a regular switch, one to a time switch.

I'm thinking your going to be over box fill even for a 3 gang, but I don't have one to check the cu.in.

I would assume that I would connect all neutral wires together in this box?

Yes.

I would also connect all the grounds together in this box.

Yes

(by the way if you add it up it comes to 4, I have a Lutron switch that is a dimmer on top with a timer on bottom for one gang)
Is there a simpler way of hooking all this up without having all those wires in a 3-gang box?

Junction boxes in adjacent rooms and pigtails is one way.

If you need further clarification I will try to put together a diagram of how everything is run.

Lastly, is it a good idea to run everything off the GFCI outlet? I'm thinking if the thing trips you'll be without all light in the bathroom but I think the protection is good.

Not only is it a bad idea, it's against code. You'll have to pigtail to the GFI instead of using the load side to run past it.

Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2007, 06:37 AM   #11
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Bath remodel wiring


jproffer is correct,with a few clarifications.

You should be fine with a typical 3-gang plastic nail on box. Unless it is one of those really small ones. If you have the box tell us what it says inside. There should be a fill chart.
If you do not have it yet get the deepest one you can find.

There is NO code in the US, NEC at least, that prohibits things from being fed from the load side of a GFI in a bath. There are other rules concering bath wiring, but this is not one of them.
In fact some times it IS required. For example when a fan is over a tub or shower.


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Old 03-23-2007, 07:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
There is NO code in the US, NEC at least, that prohibits things from being fed from the load side of a GFI in a bath.
I thought I had read that somewhere (or maybe I just assumed it...but the fan makes sense). Obviously not in the NEC ...but anyway thanks Speedy.
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Old 03-23-2007, 04:45 PM   #13
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Bath remodel wiring


Okay, tried to reduce my photos but Photoshop is throwing a MAJOR fit on my PC today for some reason.
I will try a different approach in a little bit and get a picture or two up here.

So are you saying that it would be better to run the main cable into the switch box and then a cable from there to the GFCI box?
I can do this without a whole lot of work since the distance to the two is very close to the same.
I would like to get this resolved as quickly as possible so I can call for rough inspection early next week. (so be prepared for any ??? this weekend!)

I looked up the specs for the box and it states it as 44 cu in.
It's one of the Carlon blue boxes with nails to the studs.
My measurements of the box were: 5 3/4" W X 2 5/8" D X 3 3/4" H

I'll check back in a bit as I'm working on this and popping in and out of here all day now! At least the rooms are across the hallway!

Thanks to you guys for helping out!
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:03 PM   #14
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Bath remodel wiring


As long as the fan is not over the tub leave it the way it is an feed the switch box off the LINE side of the GFI.

You can have 19 "conductors" in that box.
-ALL the grounds count as one.
-EACH device counts as two.
That takes away seven conductors. So you can have 12 #12 conductors in that box.
From your description you have nine not counting the grounds.
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Old 03-23-2007, 06:53 PM   #15
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Bath remodel wiring


Correct, counting all white, red and black wires amounts to 9 in that box.

All 12 AWG due to the 20 amp breaker I installed in the box.

So this setup is okay then?

Here are 2 pictures of what I have.

See any grief from an inspection possible here?


(the one is from before I put in the vanity light wire)
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Bath remodel wiring-dsc00511s.jpg   Bath remodel wiring-dsc00525s.jpg   Bath remodel wiring-dsc00510s.jpg  

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