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TinOH 02-24-2011 10:28 AM

Bathroom Question

New user here. I have a question regarding wiring a new bathroom in our basement.

We are in a new home, just completed 5 months ago. All work originally performed was done by licensed contractors, using a general contractor. A bath was roughed in in the basement, and we are getting ready to start finishing the basement.

After reading through the forum, I see that every where a bath is concerned, it almost always says that a dedicated 20a circuit is required for a bath. This confuses me, since the just completed house has only 15a circuits going to our baths, and they also share with other receptacles in adjacent hallways. All of the work was inspected properly by the township we are located in, I was there when some of the inspections were done so I know (at least I believe) that they were properly inspected. I was personally there when the rough electric was inspected, and it was clear that it was 14-2 wiring being used. The only 20a breakers in the panel (and the only yellow 12-2 wiring run through the house) is for the kitchen, kitchenette and dining room circuits. I have counted the # of 20a breakers, and also the # of 12-2 cables (yellow) that leave the panel, and they match.

I was planning on using 14-2 cable for the new bath, but am unsure of why everone says 12-2 must be used when the new home didn't use that.

Any thoughts?



joed 02-24-2011 10:53 AM

Add your location to your profile. Canada has different rules than USA. In Canada you are fine.

Do It Right 02-24-2011 11:04 AM

20amp is required for the GFCI outlet that's called for.
The lights can and should be on a 15amp circuit, and aren't required to be GFCI protected.
It can be hazardous if the GFI were to trip and the room is in total darkness.

Odd_Guy 02-24-2011 11:06 AM

Even in the US, not every place adopts the newest code when it comes out. Some places might be a couple cycles behind.

TinOH 02-26-2011 09:24 AM


Originally Posted by Odd_Guy (Post 597104)
Even in the US, not every place adopts the newest code when it comes out. Some places might be a couple cycles behind.

Im still confused. Do places adopt the code in total, or just pieces they want? If it is correct that they do not require the 20a bath circuit, then that must be from 2 cycles ago, correct? But, AFCI were required for all living spaces. That is a more recent adoption I thought.

I am just wondering if I can use 15a circuits throughout the new basement finishing, since that was done for the new construction of the rest of the house 5 months ago.


Jim Port 02-26-2011 09:40 AM

For the few cents you would save installing the smaller and non code compliant wiring you would be short changing yourself. Doing it correctly give you an additional 1/3 capacity and will meet the code.

I do not know why the permitted work was allowed as the code changed in the mid 90s or so.

TinOH 03-02-2011 12:03 PM

Thanks all that responded. I will be wiring the bath to code.

Next question then is, What do I do about the current wiring? If/when I pull a permit to do my finish of the basement, and someone inspects and sees the previous wiring, what can they do? Is this something I should question through the Building Department? Or, just leave it alone?

I have copies of the original "Pass" for electrical work (rough, final and the final building inspection). Will this save me from having to redo everything that I didn't touch? Same for down the road and selling. If the electrical inspector and building inspector passed the construction, I'm covered, right?



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