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Old 10-06-2009, 06:45 AM   #1
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Bathroom circuit design


Don't even get me started with the wiring in my house...

Anyway, I want to run a brand new circuit to my bathroom. Currently I have a light bar over the sink, exhaust fan w/light, and a GFI outlet. But I do want to add a light over top of the tub/shower.

Now typically when I rewire a room I will run 1 20A 12-2 run to all the outlets, and 1 15A 14-2 run to the lighting. I would imagine this would be the case here.. but it really seems like a waste of a 12-2 run to just end it at a GFI outlet? Also is 15A enough to run a light bar, ceiling fan w/light, and a can light over the shower (approved can)?

Do I need a GFI breaker for the lighting because of the light over the shower?

Thanks!

One more thing... when it comes to switches I'd like to have the ability to turn on/off the can light, fan, light in fan, and light bar. Can this be done in a double-gang box w/(2) split switches? Or is that too many wires in 1 box? If so can i use a double-gang above the sink and run the GFI outlet on one side, and a light bar switch in the other side? Would the switch have to be GFI protected?

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Old 10-06-2009, 07:00 AM   #2
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Bathroom circuit design


Here is what i did to mine and it passed inspections (with the exception you are running 1 more light). I went from the breaker with 12-2 to a gfi outlet. the out of the gfi to a dual gang box (switch for fan and light). My fan needed to be protected due to the placement of it. I ran 12-3 to the fan, then 12-2 from the fan to the light (from the switch to the fan i used the red wire as my hot to the light, then neutral and ground were all connected together)

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Old 10-06-2009, 07:02 AM   #3
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Bathroom circuit design


So basically you run your feed to the GFI, and then from the LOAD side to all your lights/fan?
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:10 AM   #4
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Bathroom circuit design


Yes, that is what i did. The light didnt have to be protected, but with where i had the switch placement it was easier for me run it like this. Then I had less wires to run (from switch to light, form swich to fan) only 1 cable into the box, and 1 cable out. Keep in mind your box size will depend on how many wires you have and how many items (switches, recpticles)

The light above your shower will need to be protected and your fan depending on where its placed. Its either do it this way or run a gfi breaker (which the outlet is cheaper).
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:12 AM   #5
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Bathroom circuit design


My issue now is that my GFI breaker trips when turning off the fan/light at the same time. Well more times than not it does. Could be a worn out GFI outlet. I'm just trying avoid that issue. It's a pain in the butt to walk over there in the dark and press the reset button. I just figured it was wired incorrectly.

The fan/light is in the middle of the bathroom and there really isn't any possibility of water getting on it, nor someone touching it.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:22 AM   #6
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Bathroom circuit design


If you are going to re-wire it all i would not even think about using the old stuff (switches, outlets).

For sure your light above the shower needs to be protected.

so you will need 4 total switches

so what you could do is have your 12-2 feed from the breaker. to the switch box. first feed the switches that go to the light bar, fan, and light in the fan. then out to the gfi outlet, then load side to the switch for the light above the shower, then that switch to the light.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:32 AM   #7
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Bathroom circuit design


This is true. I was thinking that I could run the 12-2 feed wire to the GFI 2-gang box. Then from the GFI LOAD side (14-2) to a switch that controls the light bar (same box). Then also from the load side run a 12-2 to the switch bank by the door. From there run a 14-3 to the fan/light, and 14-2 to the light over the shower.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:38 AM   #8
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Bathroom circuit design


I may be wrong, but i believe that it all has to be wired with 12- since the main breaker in the in the panel will have to be a 20 amp.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:53 AM   #9
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Bathroom circuit design



This is kinda what I was thinking...
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:58 AM   #10
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Bathroom circuit design


Quote:
Originally Posted by BowDown View Post
This is true. I was thinking that I could run the 12-2 feed wire to the GFI 2-gang box. Then from the GFI LOAD side (14-2) to a switch that controls the light bar (same box). Then also from the load side run a 12-2 to the switch bank by the door. From there run a 14-3 to the fan/light, and 14-2 to the light over the shower.
You must use all 12 ga wire on the 20A circuit. There is no code directive that requires you to have GFCI protection on any of the lights.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:02 AM   #11
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You must use all 12 ga wire on the 20A circuit. There is no code directive that requires you to have GFCI protection on any of the lights.
Well that's good to know. Would you personally do it? I was thinking that with the way I have it layed out if you were to get the switch wet by the sink/GFI it would be protected. Also if you were to get the can light wet in the shower it would be protected?
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:12 AM   #12
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Bathroom circuit design


A GFCI does not protect switches or lights... it protects people. I would not do it. The only time I add GFCI protection to a shower light is when it is part of a fan/light combo, because then the installation instructions require me to do so.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:23 AM   #13
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Bathroom circuit design


Fair enough. I know the GFI protects people, was just referring to the circuit as being protected.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:12 PM   #14
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Bathroom circuit design


I never put GFCI protection on any lights in a bathroom. The downstairs bathroom here at my house that I completely re-wired, I ran the 12/2 to the GFCI outlet LINE side and continued on to the switch box (nothing connected LOAD side). Two switches, first controls all the light (light bar above sink, and fan light) and second controls only the fan (so fan can be on with out lights being on).

I have noticed that turning off the fan and light at the same time does trip the GFCI upstream. However, neither the fan nor the lights are protected by the GFCI.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:43 PM   #15
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Bathroom circuit design


I use a dual switch in a single gang
Sometimes a dual & single in a quad box when needed


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