DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (http://www.diychatroom.com/)
-   Electrical (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/)
-   -   Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/bathroom-fan-heater-15-amp-circuit-breaker-106276/)

paisley13460 06-01-2011 05:10 PM

Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker
 
I bought a 'panasonic' light/nightlight/fan/heater combo unit. Now that I received it, checked the Operating Instructions. It stated in one of the warnings to "Use only 20 ampere branch circuit.". It didn't show that important fact in the website technical specs.

I have one (1) 15-amp circuit for the bathroom.

I considered the option of upgrading the 15-amp circuit for lighting to a 20-amp BUT UNFORTUNATELY the wiring that I currently have for the 15-amp has only 14-gauge. The minimum wire size for a 20-amp is 12-gauge.

It does say in the technical specs that the COMBINED AMPS is only 12.5.
So, my dad (whose an electrical engineer) did some calculations using all the lights, heater, & fan. He said that based on calculations, it's safe to install the unit to a 15-amp circuit breaker.

Is there anybody who thinks otherwise?

Jim Port 06-01-2011 05:34 PM

By Code you are supposed to follow any instructions given by the manufacturer. To do otherwise would create a code violation.

Speedy Petey 06-01-2011 05:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paisley13460 (Post 659305)
I bought a 'panasonic' light/nightlight/fan/heater combo unit. Now that I received it, checked the Operating Instructions. It stated in one of the warnings to "Use only 20 ampere branch circuit.". It didn't show that important fact in the website technical specs.

I have one (1) 15-amp circuit for the bathroom.

I considered the option of upgrading the 15-amp circuit for lighting to a 20-amp BUT UNFORTUNATELY the wiring that I currently have for the 15-amp has only 14-gauge. The minimum wire size for a 20-amp is 12-gauge.

It does say in the technical specs that the COMBINED AMPS is only 12.5.
So, my dad (whose an electrical engineer) did some calculations using all the lights, heater, & fan. He said that based on calculations, it's safe to install the unit to a 15-amp circuit breaker.

Is there anybody who thinks otherwise?

Yes, me.

If the instructions as a 20A circuit you must install it on a 20A circuit.
I know this is not the answer you want to hear but it is the only correct one.

I'll admit, this information is buried in the instructions .pdf on the Panasonic web site, but it IS there.
http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs...2&displayTab=R

paisley13460 06-01-2011 05:38 PM

I actually called their customer service. They told me that the 20-amp is just highly recommended but not required.

I guess they put 20-amp just so nobody would sue them.

Speedy Petey 06-01-2011 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paisley13460 (Post 659322)
I actually called their customer service. They told me that the 20-amp is just highly recommended but not required.

If this is a fact then do what you gotta do.
Thing is, this unit will pretty much max out a 15A circuit. How much else is on it?

paisley13460 06-01-2011 05:42 PM

Is there anything in the Electrical Code that indicates a bathroom fan/heater is required to be on a 20-amp circuit?

Speedy Petey 06-01-2011 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paisley13460 (Post 659328)
Is there anything in the Electrical Code that indicates a bathroom fan/heater is required to be on a 20-amp circuit?

No, but there is something that states we MUST follow manufacturer's instructions.

paisley13460 06-01-2011 06:03 PM

How hard is it to add a 20-amp circuit breaker?

Jim Port 06-01-2011 06:11 PM

You would need to run a new #12-2 cable back to the panel and have space for a single pole breaker.

paisley13460 06-01-2011 06:14 PM

My Circuit Breaker Panel is on the 1st floor. My bathroom is on the 3rd floor. Does that mean opening up walls & ceilings?

Daneel 06-01-2011 06:58 PM

code vs. safe
 
What if you received something from the manufacturer in writing on letterhead stating that installation on a 20A circuit is strongly recommended but not required? (Probably impossible!)

If installation on a 15A circuit is safe, would this satisfy the code requirement regarding compliance with the manufacturer's requirements?

Speedy Petey 06-01-2011 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paisley13460 (Post 659343)
How hard is it to add a 20-amp circuit breaker?

Extremely simple.
The hard part is running the wire up three floors. :whistling2:

Speedy Petey 06-01-2011 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daneel (Post 659375)
What if you received something from the manufacturer in writing on letterhead stating that installation on a 20A circuit is strongly recommended but not required? (Probably impossible!)

If installation on a 15A circuit is safe, would this satisfy the code requirement regarding compliance with the manufacturer's requirements?

I thik a verbal from them is adequate. It's (probably) not like this is something that will be checked by someone.

paisley13460 06-01-2011 07:57 PM

I have a question for you, Speedy Petey

In the other bathroom that I would like to install a bathroom heater... has a 20-amp circuit breaker for all the gfi outlets (which actually is only 2 gfi outlets). Can I connect the heater/fan unit to that?

Speedy Petey 06-01-2011 08:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paisley13460 (Post 659410)
I have a question for you, Speedy Petey

In the other bathroom that I would like to install a bathroom heater... has a 20-amp circuit breaker for all the gfi outlets (which actually is only 1 gfi outlet). Can I connect the heater/fan unit to that?

I wouldn't. Depending on the conditions this may be a code violation, in any case it is a bad idea.

Are you saying it is just one GFI receptacle, in the one bathroom, on the 20A circuit?


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:47 AM.


Copyright 2003-2014 Escalate Media LP. All Rights Reserved