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Old 05-05-2009, 12:30 PM   #1
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One bathroom circuit for 5 bathroom house


We just moved into a new home. I have recently discovered that there is only one circuit for all the bathroom outlets. We have two powder baths, but the other three are full baths. Will this cause a problem with the circuit popping too often, especially if more than one hair dryer is used? What is the remedy if the house if fully finished? OUr kids are off to college, but will be returning shortly.

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Old 05-05-2009, 12:46 PM   #2
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One bathroom circuit for 5 bathroom house


That's the way it was done in the 80's/early 90's. Your outside receps will probably be on this circuit also.

A couple hairdryers will certainly trip this 15 amp circuit. The solution is to bring it current with a new 20 amp circuit to at least one of the bathrooms. While you are at it, consider doing two.

The installation depends on the structure. Attc access? Is the panel accesible? Interior walls?etc.

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Old 05-05-2009, 02:21 PM   #3
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One bathroom circuit for 5 bathroom house


It's the cost of an upgrade vs.

using the dryers in other rooms
using the dryer with an extension cord to a different nearby outlet
timesharing hair dryer use
running one dryer on full or two on "low"
etc. . .

The probabilities might be on your side depending on each person's schedule, but if an upgrade costs $X and the inconvenience of resetting breakers is worth $X/100 or $X/50 to you and others then somebody will be doing a lot of resetting.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-05-2009 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:28 PM   #4
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One bathroom circuit for 5 bathroom house


I'd upgrade to dedicated circuits on 2 of the full baths
Multiple hair dryers will trip the circuit
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:00 PM   #5
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One bathroom circuit for 5 bathroom house


Was there a "builder's special" on electricians in your neighborhood? Because that's ridiculous. I guess the original electrician came in with the lowest bid, in part, by saving the cost of 4 GFCI receptacles. I'd watch out for other cost cutting measures, such as stab-in connections on all the receptacles, and multi-wire circuits in the kitchen, which can be confusing at first if you've never worked with one.

Question: How recently was code changed to require a dedicated receptacle circuit for each bathroom?
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:01 PM   #6
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One bathroom circuit for 5 bathroom house


Mid 90's??
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:41 PM   #7
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One bathroom circuit for 5 bathroom house


Quote:
Originally Posted by thegonagle View Post
Question: How recently was code changed to require a dedicated receptacle circuit for each bathroom?
1996 code cycle required GFCI and dedicated circuit for bathroom receptacles, but your area may have adopted this requirement much later.
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:49 PM   #8
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One bathroom circuit for 5 bathroom house


Quote:
Originally Posted by thegonagle View Post
Question: How recently was code changed to require a dedicated receptacle circuit for each bathroom?
A dedicated circuit for EACH bathroom?
Still not required as far as I know
The same circuit can feed multiple receptacles in multiple bathrooms, but ONLY bathrooms
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:24 PM   #9
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One bathroom circuit for 5 bathroom house


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
A dedicated circuit for EACH bathroom?
Still not required as far as I know
The same circuit can feed multiple receptacles in multiple bathrooms, but ONLY bathrooms
The 96 code requires a dedicated for each bathroom. The exception for allowing multiple bathrooms (receptacles only) was added later (99 or 02).
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:24 PM   #10
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One bathroom circuit for 5 bathroom house


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
A dedicated circuit for EACH bathroom?
Still not required as far as I know
The same circuit can feed multiple receptacles in multiple bathrooms, but ONLY bathrooms
Both my upstairs bathrooms receptacles which are back to back rooms are on one circuit and it was built in 2005.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:48 PM   #11
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One bathroom circuit for 5 bathroom house


Oh. Well, I'm still learnding.

I'm in Minnesota, and I believe they generally adopt current code statewide, late in the year which it is issued. We've been on '08 since late last year.

So, what's the deal, then? Which of these would be code-compliant?

1) Two bathrooms, two receptacles fed from one 20A breaker, and lighting in both fed from other circuits.
2) Two bathrooms, two receptacles fed from separate 20A breakers, and lighting in each bathroom fed from their respective receptacle circuits. (One circuit per bathroom.)

(So 1 is certainly compliant, but personally, I think 2 makes more sense.)
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:51 PM   #12
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One bathroom circuit for 5 bathroom house


Both meet code
Yup, #2 makes more sense

It boils down to cost in a lot of cases
If bathrooms are back to back it's cheaper to run 1 circuit
I have 3 bathrooms - each one has a dedicated circuit just for outlets
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:37 PM   #13
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One bathroom circuit for 5 bathroom house


Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
The 96 code requires a dedicated for each bathroom. The exception for allowing multiple bathrooms (receptacles only) was added later (99 or 02).
Actually, the '96 code says:

"Bathroom receptacle outlets shall be supplied by at least one 20-ampere branch circuit. Such circuits shall have no other outlets."

In '96, all the bathroom receptacles could be on ONE circuit. No change thru today.

Mark

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