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Old 01-05-2007, 10:54 AM   #1
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Wiring electric heater in bathroom


I plan to buy a 1500 watt, 115 v., 12.5 amp electric wall heater for our 2nd floor bathroom. My wife keeps complaining the bathroom is too cold in the morning. I'm now trying to figure out how to bring power to the unit. I have done some wiring in the past but I don't see any way to run a new circuit from the panel in the basement to this 2nd floor bathroom. I see two possible existing sources but I'm not sure if either will work.
1. There is a 15 amp lighting circuit available in the bathroom and I don't believe it has much more than a few lights on it. I'll check the load first, and I can easily run a romex from this circuit to the heater.
2, There is a 20 amp circuit feeding one outlet in each of the three bathrooms. I couldn't run a hair dryer and the heater at the same time but I think we could manage that. I can run a romex from this outlet to the heater.
Will either of these options work? What other options are there for supplying this heater?

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Old 01-05-2007, 01:31 PM   #2
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Wiring electric heater in bathroom


There is always a way. Ok, 99.9% of the time there is a way to get wires to a new appliance.
Either of the choices you describe will create a violation and a very big compromise in living with these circuits.

Is there a plumbing stack you can follow?
Is there a closet you can cut a hand hole to drill between floors?
A last resort can be to run a conduit sleeve up the side of the house into the attic and back down into the bathroom. Or if the heater is on an exterior wall right into the back of the unit.

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Old 01-06-2007, 08:20 AM   #3
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Wiring electric heater in bathroom


Thanks Speedy. I'll look closer today for a way to feed a wire through a wall from the basement panel.
I haven't given up on that yet.
I assume you meant the power sources I was considering would be a violation of the electric code. What makes it a violation? What could happen?
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:49 AM   #4
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Wiring electric heater in bathroom


You may have a 20 amp breaker but you would need to check and see if the existing wire is 14 guage or 12 guage .14 guage can only handle a 15 amp circuit.12 guage can handle a 20 amp circuit. You should check this first because you might need to change that 20 amp breaker to a 15.You wouldnt want a fire hazard by having a oversized circuit protection (circuit breaker)
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:16 AM   #5
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Wiring electric heater in bathroom


By installing a fixed appliance to a circuit with lighting and receptacles it creates a violation if the appliance is more than 50% of the circuit's rating. Your 1500 watt heater is FAR beyond that.

This is more of a convenience code as you will constantly have to be wary of what is running if you intend to use that heater. Also, with other things running the circuit will always be maxed out and on the verge of tripping.
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Old 01-06-2007, 09:40 PM   #6
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Wiring electric heater in bathroom


You need to find a way to feed the heater with it's own circuit, exactly for the reason you talked about. The 1500 watt heater has the circuit maxed out by itself. Any other load will trip the breaker.

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