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Old 11-16-2012, 11:25 PM   #1
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Wiring a bath remodel


Greetings. I need some help in rewiring an ensuite bath.

It will have:

Exhaust fan on sidewall of skylight directly above the shower
Sealed ceiling pot light just at the edge of the shower (adjacent to the skylight)
2 pendant lights above the vanity + 1 ceiling light
2 receptacles above the vanity top

There is an abandoned 12/2 cable in the crawlspace that is attached to a 20A GFCI breaker in the subpanel. It was originally used for a now-gonzo'd jacuzzi.

I am thinking of reusing this 12/2 and its expensive 20A GFCI breaker as the dedicated circuit for the new bath build.

I am in western Canada, and the Code seems to only require 14 awg for a bathroom. So, running 14/2 would be so much easier if I could somehow run that new 14/2 wiring from the 12/2 piece in the crawlspace (out of a j-box for instance).

Will any part of this plan work to Code? If not, what are your suggestions?

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:49 AM   #2
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You can not put lighting on a 20 amp circuit. By code lighting is only permitted on 15 amp circuits.
In Canada you are not required to have a dedicated circuit to a bathroom.

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Old 11-17-2012, 11:16 AM   #3
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Ok ..so what is my best use of that spare (expensive) 20A GFCI 12/2 leg?

Can I use it for the recs only? -- then extend another room circuit over for the lights (providing there is enough ampacity)? If so, can I then install a blank face GFCI in the switch box to protect for the over-shower fan and separate sealed shower stall light ..as well as the other lights?

..or howabout changing out the 20A GFCI to a regular 15A breaker, put in a j-box at the end of the 12/2 leg, then continue with two 14/2 -- one cable to two GFCI recs, one cable to switch box for the fan & lights? In that case I can't see the 12/2 giving a problem as it will be the larger cable. I can also label the 12/2 at both ends for any future confusion.

Last edited by Daler; 11-17-2012 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:11 PM   #4
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Lighting can be tapped from another circuit as long as you don't exceed the 12 outlet per circuit rule. So can the receptacle circuit. There is no rule requiring a dedicated circuit to a bathroom in Canada.
You could just make it a 15 amp circuit and still use the 12/2 cable.
A GFCI receptacle can protect the fan and light.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:19 PM   #5
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Lighting can be tapped from another circuit as long as you don't exceed the 12 outlet per circuit rule. So can the receptacle circuit. There is no rule requiring a dedicated circuit to a bathroom in Canada.
You could just make it a 15 amp circuit and still use the 12/2 cable.
A GFCI receptacle can protect the fan and light.

Good explanation

When the code says 12 per, what about lighting outlets that have a ganged fixture? I'm thinking of say, an over vanity light with 4 lights attached to it -- does it still count as one, or does the total wattage also come into play?

Also, what is the trades' easy way of determining the actual number of physical outlets on any given circuit?
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:54 PM   #6
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The bar of lights counts as one fixture just like a chandelier with 20 bulbs counts as one outlet. Basically one junction box = one outlet.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #7
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Ok, thanks

Another nagging question I have is, in Canada does the Code require a bathroom exhaust fan to be GFCI-protected if it's installed within a shower stall? -- it'll be installed in the side wall of our skylight, which is directly over the shower (and no, it ain't a steam shower).

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
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Usually the fan will require that. It should be right there in the instruction manual.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:29 PM   #9
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from ESA FAQ. I imagine the same would apply to a fan.

Quote:
Question
Does the Code require GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection of a light fixture located in a residential tub / shower enclosure?
Answer

No, the Code does not require GFCI protection, however if the fixture manufacturer's installation instructions require GFCI protection, then the Code requires that the instructions be followed.

Rule 2-034.

Ontario Electrical Safety Code 25th Edition/2012.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:18 AM   #10
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Yes indeedee it appears to say so in the online Nutone fan instructs. So if ok, I will probably install a blankface GFCI in the switchbox to satisfy this requirement

Can I maintain my original bathroom wall (light) switches on the outside of the bathroom, or must they be reinstalled just inside the room -- what does the Code say about their location?

Also, when wrecking the ceiling I found a couple of open ended and live circuit cables buried in the attic insulation.
They appear to be from a previous reno hackjob.
What is the best way to deal with them -- can they just have the ends splayed and sealed with heatshrink, taped back to the cable, hung out of the way, and labelled?
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:21 PM   #11
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Nothing in the code about location of switches except in relation to the tub or shower.
Live cable must terminate in an accessible junction box. If you can find the other end of the cable and remove it from the power they can be left as they lie. Once they are dead code does not care what you do with them.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Nothing in the code about location of switches except in relation to the tub or shower.
Live cable must terminate in an accessible junction box. If you can find the other end of the cable and remove it from the power they can be left as they lie. Once they are dead code does not care what you do with them.
Ok, thanks. I'll just leave the switches location where it is ..just outside the ensuite bath.

As for the attic cable ends -- I'd have to dig through the blown insulation in order to trace them back to their last working box in the chain. I guess your alternative is to terminate them each in their own j-box ..and then mount each on a roof truss. I can do what I did in the last house, attach a short length of survey tape from the box to id them.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:19 PM   #13
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In the attic is considered accessible. Terminating them in a box with a cover would be acceptable.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
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You can not put lighting on a 20 amp circuit. By code lighting is only permitted on 15 amp circuits.

Would you mind quoting the (common) Canadian Code that states this - thx
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daler View Post
Would you mind quoting the (common) Canadian Code that states this - thx
I work with the Ontario code.
It is 30-104 (a) in Ontario.

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