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Old 06-01-2011, 05:10 PM   #1
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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?

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Old 06-01-2011, 05:34 PM   #2
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


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

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Old 06-01-2011, 05:35 PM   #3
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by paisley13460 View Post
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
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:38 PM   #4
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


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.
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:40 PM   #5
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


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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?
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:42 PM   #6
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


Is there anything in the Electrical Code that indicates a bathroom fan/heater is required to be on a 20-amp circuit?
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:55 PM   #7
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


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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.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:03 PM   #8
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


How hard is it to add a 20-amp circuit breaker?
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:11 PM   #9
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


You would need to run a new #12-2 cable back to the panel and have space for a single pole breaker.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:14 PM   #10
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


My Circuit Breaker Panel is on the 1st floor. My bathroom is on the 3rd floor. Does that mean opening up walls & ceilings?
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:58 PM   #11
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


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?
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:46 PM   #12
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


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How hard is it to add a 20-amp circuit breaker?
Extremely simple.
The hard part is running the wire up three floors.
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:47 PM   #13
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


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Originally Posted by Daneel View Post
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.
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:57 PM   #14
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


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?

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Old 06-01-2011, 08:31 PM   #15
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Bathroom Fan/Heater on a 15-amp Circuit Breaker


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Originally Posted by paisley13460 View Post
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?

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