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CharlieR 03-25-2012 07:48 AM

bathroom circuit size.....
Hello all,
Ontario here for code purposes. I'm re-doing a bathroom and my intention was to put it on it's own circuit. (plus I have aluminum wiring, so I"m trying to replace what I can as I do stuff in the house).

So, the bathroom is going to have two outlets (GFCI), a bathroom fan and two light fixtures. My original intent was to run it's own 15 Amp 14/2 circuit. However, after doing some reading, it sounds as if it's a good idea to have the outlets on 20 amp 12/2. Now, I don't believe this is code in Ontario, as it appears to be elsewhere.

I plan on doing the adjacent bathroom at some point in the future so I'm trying to plan ahead.

So my question is which is the better option, considering extra work and cost for the 12/2.

1. Run each bathroom on it's own 15 amp 14/2 circuit. It would only be what is listed above on the one bathroom circuit and something very similar on the other bathroom circuit. This allows me to run the circuit to the bathroom I"m currently working on, as well as run a circuit (not hooked up) and leave it in the attic for the adjacent bathroom when I get to it.

2. Run a 14/2 and a 12/2 to the location. Use the 14/2 to power all lights and fans in both bathrooms, and the 12/2 to power all 4 GFCI outlets in both bathrooms (2 in one, 2 in the other). THe downside here is the cost of the 12/2, as well as I have to somehow run the 12/2 and 14/2 to the one bathroom to wire stuff up and somehow leave something accessible in place to be able to run it to the other bathroom when the time comes.... (leave it accessible, yet not hooked up so I don't have live wires just laying around in the attic).

So, which option would you guys use? Provided I'm correct about 12/2 not being needed for Ontario code.

I mean it's not much on one 15 amp circuit, but I know hair dryers and such draw lots of power, which is why 12/2 is suggested.

I'd really appreciate some feedback, as I'm stuck at this point of my reno... I'm a DIY'er that gets paralyzed with decisions like this! :( I want to do it right, but I don't want to make life miserable for myself either if it isn't totally necessary.... :eek:

k_buz 03-25-2012 08:06 AM

In the NEC, I have no idea about codes for Canada, an entire bathroom can be on one 20 A circuit (lights and outlets), but if you have a second bathroom in the house, that would have to be on a different bathroom circuit.


All the bathroom outlets in the house can be on one 20 A circuit. Bathroom lighting would have to be supplied by a different circuit.

darren 03-25-2012 08:10 AM

If your worried about tripping breakers run a 14/3 up to your first bathroom. Use one circuit for one bathroom and the second circuit for the other bathroom.

You can use 12/2 and a 20A breaker for plugs but you will have to use 20A t-slot plugs. This circuit could not do lights since lights are required to be on a 15A breaker.

k_buz 03-25-2012 08:20 AM


Originally Posted by darren (Post 884899)
If your worried about tripping breakers run a 14/3 up to your first bathroom. Use one circuit for one bathroom and the second circuit for the other bathroom.

You can use 12/2 and a 20A breaker for plugs but you will have to use 20A t-slot plugs. This circuit could not do lights since lights are required to be on a 15A breaker.

For my information, are you saying that, in Canada you don't need a 20A circuit for bathroom recepts?

CharlieR 03-25-2012 08:38 AM

T-Buzz - I think that is correct, from what I've read, we don't require 20A for a bathroom, though it sounds as if it's a good idea, hence my dilemma. (Though I'd like confirmation of that from someone that knows the code for sure)

Darren - running 14-3 would be the same as my idea of running each bathroom on its own seperate 15 Amp circuit, correct? It just saves having to run seperate wires? Do you think 15 amps suffices for one bathroom with the load of two outlets, two light fixtures and a fairly low power consuption fan? Or do I risk tripping and/or dimming with a hair dryer in use or something....

CharlieR 03-25-2012 08:39 AM

Sorry, I meant K-buz above... :whistling2: (not T..)

k_buz 03-25-2012 08:44 AM

Might want to read this thread, it seems like there is some good stuff in there specific to Canada.

CharlieR 03-25-2012 08:52 AM

Thanks K-Buz, actually read that last night :laughing:
I wish the O.P. had responded with what he ended up doing and how it worked out.
So that post you linked is what got me thinking... do I bother with the 20A since it's not code, and just do each washroom on it's own dedictaed 15A... but am worried I'll regret it later.

Thanks for all the help guys... what do you think you'd each do?

k_buz 03-25-2012 08:54 AM

I'm not trying to be funny here...if you have a wife and daughters, I would run the 20A circuit for the bathroom outlets. Personally, I would put each bathroom on its own 20A circuit (but that is code in the US). Hairdryers are about 12A's on their own.

CharlieR 03-25-2012 08:58 AM

:thumbup: It's still funny! :yes:

But you're right. I have one wife (thank god only one!), and a son, with an unknown second child on the way. Lets assume daughter for electrical worst case purposes... they would both be using different washrooms in theory. Still do a 20A? Problem is, I think i canada (and it looks that way from that other post..) is that lighting can't be on 20A... so a dedicated 20A for each bathroom, I'm not sure I can do that. Hence my 20A for plugs in both bathrooms... and 15 amp for lighting. However, if the 20A is serving both bathrooms, then a hairdryer in each (unlikely but is possible) would possibly trip the breaker? (12 + 12 ?)

k_buz 03-25-2012 09:28 AM

Again, I don't know about Canada, but if you cannot put one whole bathroom on a circuit, I would wire the recepts in each bathroom on different (separate 20 A) circuits.

CharlieR 03-25-2012 10:02 AM

Thanks for the input K-buz. I've come to the conclusion I can more easily run a circuit to the next bathroom if I so choose at the time. Still need to decide what to do for this one... 20A for the outlets or not. I'd run 20A for the whole room if code allowed, but I think Canada doesn't allow lights on 20A...which is annoying.

CharlieR 03-25-2012 01:21 PM

Any other opinions, maybe from someone local in Ontario?

hawkeye11 03-25-2012 01:49 PM

There are several ways we wire new bathrooms in Ontario, each one depends upon the electrician and the specific requirements of the house. Some will simply run a 15 A circuit to a bathroom and add on the bathroom receptacles. Other electricians will put bathroom receptacles on their own circuits (i.e. one circuit per bathroom receptacles).

Often when you have the receptacles on the circuit with the lights, the use of a hairdryer will dim the lights, so I don't recommend using only one circuit for the entire bathroom. But, a 15 A circuit for bathroom receptacles is more than enough, even with the use of hairdryers.

In my opinion, and the way I always wire houses, the best option is to run a 15 A circuit for the bathroom lights and fans (and in your case, extend this circuit to the next bathroom) and run a separate 15 A circuit for receptacles to each bathroom. This way, you won't ever have a problem or ever have to worry about it again.

CharlieR 03-25-2012 02:52 PM

Thanks Hawkeye, and I think I like that solution, particularily since I think I can run another circuit later for the other bathroom recepticles. I was worried about having to try and get the 20A over to the next bathroom later, but if I just have a seperate 15 for the two outlets and use one 15 for all the lights, I'm cool with that. THen run another 15 later for the other bathroom recepticles. THe only downside is 3 breakers for 2 bathrooms only... but I think it's the right thing to do. I am need of a sub panel anyhow...I just don't want to use it all up for the bathrooms! :eek:

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