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Old 03-09-2012, 08:46 AM   #1
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Bathroom wiring-No joy


We had a pipe disconnect above the downstairs bathroom and the ceiling just about came down, so I decided since it was a hedious looking space, that it was a sign from the gods: Reno time!

Im now at the wiring stage. Originally there was a junction box with a light fixture out one side and a single pole switch(no ground screw...grnd wire attached to the box)on the other. Typical set up: white from switch marked "hot" or "black" at both ends, and spliced with the incoming power's black wire. Then remaining blacks are spliced together as are the remaining whites... grounded accordingly.

What Im trying to do now is add a GFCI receptical to the mix. But Im having some trouble figuring it all out. NOTE: light fixture is not installed yet, just the wire for it with the ends capped off with a wire nut on each of the wires (Wht/Black/Grnd)

First, whats in the walls: Circuits on a 15 AMP fuse with older (but not the oldest) 12/2 wire with a blue weaved fiber outside cover. Still looks to be in great shape. I've continued using newer, yellow (Lomex or Romex?) 12/2 from homedepot as I've read that you should not mix 14 and 12 together.
All that is on the cicuit is 3 pot lights with 65w bulbs, single bulb on the stairway and what ever goes in the bathroom, so from my math, there should be plenty of room left on the circuit.

What I've tried so far:
A: I spliced the "hot"/"black" white wire from the switch to the incoming power's black, like before. Then I spliced all remaining blacks together with a wire nut, then the same with all remaining whites and then all grounds (did not attach any grnd wire to the Junction box).

Result, Nothing. After switching on the power, I tested the GFCI with a voltage tester as well as the switch and got no read.

B: Undid everything, re-spliced all like to like: all blck together, all white together..etc.

Result: Fuse trips.

Im no electrician, which I imagine is blatantly obvious from the above post, but I am following a Homedepot wiring manual, its just that what Im trying to do is not really addressed in the book... at least not directly. So I've been trying to figure it out by reading every single page, but Im still at a loss.

I've attached a very basic diagram of what is there right now. Any advice would be most appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
John
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Last edited by John_B; 03-09-2012 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:53 AM   #2
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Bathroom wiring-No joy


Could you please fill in your location in your profile? The electrical code varies between countries and I suspect you are in Canada based on your use of the term Loomex.

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Old 03-09-2012, 08:56 AM   #3
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Sorry about that... got carried away with the post and forgot to sort out the profile first! Im in Ottawa Canada.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:01 AM   #4
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Bathroom wiring-No joy


I do know that the CEC has a limit on the number of devices on a circuit. Adding the GFI may put you over the limit.

Under the NEC adding the new receptacle would mean that a new 20 amp circuit would be needed.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:38 AM   #5
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You may be right about the need to upgrade the circuit to 20 amp, however, even if I did install a 20 amp to replace the 15 amp to meet code, I'd still be having the same problem, no?
I mean, simply adding a GFI isn't going to add draw to the circuit unless somethings plugged in. As for CEC codes, my handy-dandy Home depot (Canadian edition) states that a 15 AMP circuit is good for a "safe" capacity of 1440 watts/12 amps Does not specify GFCI requirements).

My logic/math was 4x 65w bulbs = 260 watts diveded by 120 = 2.16 Amps
Is that right? if so, I should be good for another 1180 watts to cover a GFI recetacle on the 15 amp circuit. Either way... Im unclear as to what is triping the circuit and/or why Im not getting any power passed the junction box.

As the wiring is all 12/2 I might as well swap out the 15 amp for a 20, but I need to figure out this bathroom
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:49 AM   #6
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Bathroom wiring-No joy


First of all, you can't 'swap' out the 15 A fuse for a 20 A. Residential lighting in Canada has a maximum overcurrent protection of 15 A. That being said, your problem is obviously a wiring issue.

Secondly, where is that junction box located? Will it be accessible once you finish your reno?

As for the wiring, from your drawing: connect the re-identified white from the switch with the incoming black and the black going to the GFI plug. Connect the remaining two blacks together (one from the switch and one going to the light). Connect all remaining whites together (3 of them left).
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:09 AM   #7
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you can not swap the circuit to 20 amp. Lighting is not permitted to be on 20 amp circuits. You do have a 12 device rule that you can not exceed on the circuit. Switches do not count.

Here is how to connect it.
Power hot/black to receptacle black and switch white.
Switch black to fixture black.
power white, receptacle white and fixture white together with nut.
Box must remain accessible. You can't bury it in the ceiling.

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Old 03-09-2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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Ah....so the existing wiring being 12/2 on a 15 amp circuit is simply a matter of overkill OR perhaps what was concidered code at the time? Sorry...I made a general assumption that steping up to a 20amp circuit would be benificial. But if the max is 15 AMP on a lights, then 15 amps it is.

As for my junction box, it was screwed into the foundation wall and then drywalled over. Since gutting the room, I've purchased a bigger box to accomodate the extra wiring for the receptacle and re-located it on a massive 10"x 6" beam above the ceiling (about 2 feet from where it was previous). I was planning on installing a small access door/panel in the ceiling in case I needed access to it in the future.

As for the wiring... I see what I was doing wrong here. I'll give this a whirl.
Many thanks
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:57 PM   #9
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The access door is acceptable.
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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John,

OK, on your "power-in" line, you have a black, white and gnd. on your wire to the GFI, you will have a black, white, gnd. on your wire to the light switch you have a black, white, gnd.

can you run the wire from the light directly to your light switch?? (this will make it much easier).

in your junction box, twist all of your gnds together, connect to the box. twist and wire-nut the whites together, repeat for the black wires. at your light switch, twist the gnds together and connect to the box and to the light switch. twist and wire-nut the whites together.. finally connect the blacks to each side of the switch.

put the fuse in and everything should work.

if you cannot re-run the wire from the switch to the light then it will go a little different...

in your junction box, twist all of your gnds together, connect to the box. twist and wire-nut the whites together (except the wires from the light switch), twist and wire-nut the the white wire from the switch and the black wires (except the black from the switch and light), twist and wire-nut the black wires from the the light and switch. at your light switch, connect gnd to the box and to the light switch... finally connect the black and white wires to each side of the switch.

i have assumed that you do not have anything connected to the "load" side of the GFCI.

good luck

rod
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rditz View Post
John,

can you run the wire from the light directly to your light switch?? (this will make it much easier).
...how will that make things easier? The wiring is already done, how would re-routing and pulling new wires make things easier? There's nothing difficult about it, he just has to do the connections correctly.

And I hope by now, he has it working. I mean, he's had 3 people tell him how to do it exactly.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye11 View Post
...how will that make things easier? The wiring is already done, how would re-routing and pulling new wires make things easier? There's nothing difficult about it, he just has to do the connections correctly.

And I hope by now, he has it working. I mean, he's had 3 people tell him how to do it exactly.
Hahaha, yes, I got it working Thanks for the help everyone. One odd thing though.... to test the receptacle, I plugged in a florescent shop light and it tripped the receptacle (not the circuit). I thought maybe the ground had disconnected when I put the receptacle in the box since it was a 3 prong plug, but I tried a 3 prong power bar WITH the same light plugged in and its fine.

Now this morning, I plugged the same shop light in, it did not trip, BUT it did trip when I pulled the plug out..... Cheap light? Or is that a sign of something else?
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:38 AM   #13
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Bathroom wiring-No joy


Quote:
Originally Posted by John_B View Post
Hahaha, yes, I got it working Thanks for the help everyone. One odd thing though.... to test the receptacle, I plugged in a florescent shop light and it tripped the receptacle (not the circuit). I thought maybe the ground had disconnected when I put the receptacle in the box since it was a 3 prong plug, but I tried a 3 prong power bar WITH the same light plugged in and its fine.

Now this morning, I plugged the same shop light in, it did not trip, BUT it did trip when I pulled the plug out..... Cheap light? Or is that a sign of something else?
Could be a cheap shop light. I have alot of cheaper ones that trip a breaker or GFCI when plugged/unplugged or even running sometimes. Some of them are just made poorly and cheap. My more expensive ones are fine.

Don'y rely on just the light though. Double check the wiring. Plug in a circuit tester to make sure everything is wired right.

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