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Old 04-23-2010, 08:26 AM   #1
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How would you wire this??


I am finishing my basement and getting ready to wire my bathroom. I have a dedicated 20amp circuit I was going to use for it (lights and GFCI outlet). I want to put two switches in the bathroom (one for the vanity lights and one for the single can light by the shower and the exhaust fan). What is the best way to wire it? The bathroom shares a wall with the game room which has 5 outlets and 4 can lights on a 20 amp circuit, should I run the fan and can light off of that circuit instead? Also, no matter what I do I am going to have to pigtail the main run to split out to the different switches, what is the best method in doing this. Will all of that fit in the light switch box? So condensed my questions are

1. Is it better to just pig tail and run two switches and the GFCI off of the bathroom 20 amp?

2. Split it from the game room switch and run the lights and fan off of that circuit and put the GFCI on it's own?

3. Split the game room to run one switch and the bathroom circuit to run vanity lights and GFCI?

I have attached a layout to give you an idea. Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:33 AM   #2
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First off - A circuit can power either:

Multiple bathrooms, outlets ONLY
or
One bathroom, outlets and lights.

So either of your situations is legal. I think it's a good idea for a bathroom to have a dedicated outlet circuit. Hair dryers can use a lot of power. But you also could be using a lot of power on your game-room outlets. What do you expect to be running in those outlets?
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
First off - A circuit can power either:

Multiple bathrooms, outlets ONLY
or
One bathroom, outlets and lights.

So either of your situations is legal. I think it's a good idea for a bathroom to have a dedicated outlet circuit. Hair dryers can use a lot of power. But you also could be using a lot of power on your game-room outlets. What do you expect to be running in those outlets?
Only thing that will be running is a air hockey table, TV, and maybe an arcade machine in the future (would be powered by a PC).
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:50 AM   #4
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I'd probably run the bathroom outlets/lighting on one circuit, and leave your entertainment circuits on their own.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:15 AM   #5
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That's what I was thinking, but I am concerned about the birdnest of wire that will be there and what to do with it. I am going to have to run 3 wires off of the hot, neutral, and ground main wire. Is there code against the number of wires that can be connected?

Will all of the wires fit in a double gang box?

Thanks.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abs777 View Post
That's what I was thinking, but I am concerned about the birdnest of wire that will be there and what to do with it. I am going to have to run 3 wires off of the hot, neutral, and ground main wire. Is there code against the number of wires that can be connected?

Will all of the wires fit in a double gang box?

Thanks.
You can calculate the legal limit for box fill. The legal limit is sometimes more than can easily fit in.

So - you plan to have a gfci and 2 switches in the 2-gang box, right? I assume you will have a double-switch or an outlet/switch combo on one of the sides, or is the outlet in a different box??
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:34 AM   #7
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The GFCI is going to be in a separate box by the sink. The light switches will be on your right as you walk in the bathroom.
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:07 AM   #8
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In that case, your box fill calc would be like this. This is also assuming your feed comes into the switchbox, then feeds the outlet box.
12AWG wire needs 2.25 sq

Current-carrying wires: 8 x 2.25 = 18
Ground wires: 1 x 2.25 = 2.25
2 switches: 4 x 2.25 = 9
Clamps/connectors: 1 x 2.25 = 2.25 (not sure if wirenuts count for this)
Total: 31.5

The 2-gang carlton heavy duty box has 34.6 cubic inches. You should be fine. If you bring the wire into the outlet first, you can save space in this box. Also, your lights and fan do not need to be GFCI protected, unless the fan is inside the shower.
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:44 AM   #9
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In the U.S. wirenuts and pigtails don't count.

In Canada, two wirenuts count as another conductor (2.25 ci for 12 gauge)

You have three GFCI receptacles planned. You could use just one GFCI and daisy chain the other two receptacle locations from it. But then you might not want to if a trip killing all three locations in three different rooms is inconvenient, or the wire routing may be too roundabout.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-23-2010 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:07 AM   #10
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I am only putting one outlet (GFCI) in the bathroom...drawing is a little confusing, sorry.


I wonder what would be the better path...

1. Running the main run to the switches and from there pigtail to GFCI

or

2. Running the main run to the GFCI then pigtailing to the switches
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:31 AM   #11
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GFCI recepticals generally have really simple screw terminals to work with, and they usually have two terminals on the line side and two terminals on the load side. Most people do NOT want the lights protected by GFCI because if the GFCI ever trips, the lights go out as well. So you could run the hot from the circuit breaker to the LINE side of the GFCI. (If you had more than one outlet, power it from the LOAD side of the GFCI.) Then run a wire from the 2nd set of LINE terminals from the GFCI to power the switches.

Note that from a fill count perspective, you should have plenty of room is you GFCI is in a single gang box and the switches are in a double gang. That way, you're fill count for the single gang is 7 (15.75 sq.in.) and 13 (29.25 sq.in.) for the double gang. Those are well within standard plastic gang box sizes. (Assumes you are running shower light and fan from a double switch... i.e. you have three switches in a double gang box).

If there is room, you could also use a 3 gang box and have PLENTY of room.

[Edit]
Oh wait, you are going to use a single switch to power the shower light AND fan. But you want all this in a double gang box? That's not the way I would want to wire it. But it's not impossible since there are double switches that fit in a single gang box... so lets try the fill again.

2 for the 20amp power cord, 1 for the ground, 4 for the two devices (double switch and GFCI), 2 for the vanity, 2 for the can lights with fan = 11 needing 24.75 cu.in. Still sounds like plenty of room.

Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 04-23-2010 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:33 AM   #12
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The only advanage with going to the GFI first you can protect the lights and exhaust fan with the GFI. Some people like this but I don't. What happens if your in the bathroom and something trips the GFI, you then are stuck in the dark trying to find the reset button.

I beleive in the Canadian code any switch with 500mm of the shower needs to be GFI protected, don't know if the NEC has a similar rule.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
GFCI recepticals generally have really simple screw terminals to work with, and they usually have two terminals on the line side and two terminals on the load side. Most people do NOT want the lights protected by GFCI because if the GFCI ever trips, the lights go out as well. So you could run the hot from the circuit breaker to the LINE side of the GFCI. (If you had more than one outlet, power it from the LOAD side of the GFCI.) Then run a wire from the 2nd set of LINE terminals from the GFCI to power the switches.

Note that from a fill count perspective, you should have plenty of room is you GFCI is in a single gang box and the switches are in a double gang. That way, you're fill count for the single gang is 7 (15.75 sq.in.) and 13 (29.25 sq.in.) for the double gang. Those are well within standard plastic gang box sizes. (Assumes you are running shower light and fan from a double switch... i.e. you have three switches in a double gang box).

If there is room, you could also use a 3 gang box and have PLENTY of room.

[Edit]
Oh wait, you are going to use a single switch to power the shower light AND fan. But you want all this in a double gang box? That's not the way I would want to wire it. But it's not impossible since there are double switches that fit in a single gang box... so lets try the fill again.

2 for the 20amp power cord, 1 for the ground, 4 for the two devices (double switch and GFCI), 2 for the vanity, 2 for the can lights with fan = 11 needing 24.75 cu.in. Still sounds like plenty of room.
I am not opposed to changing it. How would you wire it?
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:48 AM   #14
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I am wiring my fan/light with this switch. It is pricey, but worth it to me. Fan is a countdown timer, so you set it for 30 min, hit it, it runs during your shower then for 10-15 minutes afterwards. This is good practice anyway, the fan should run for a while after you turn the shower off.

http://www.google.com/products/catal...CAkQgggwADgA#p



It also has a built-in dimmer for your lights. So the light/timer are in one gang, and your other light switch is the other.



A cheaper option is to go with the countdown timer in one gang, and a double-switch in the other:

http://www.google.com/products/catal...CAcQ8wIwADgA#p

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Last edited by secutanudu; 04-23-2010 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:57 AM   #15
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If really want to minimize the amout of wire in the box:

Send Power to GFCI LINE side. Power Vanity from GFCI LINE side. Power Can/Fan from GFCI LOAD side.

Then to minimize pigtails for grounds, use rabbits for the grounds. Basically, the ground wires from the circuit breaker and vanity lights should be several inches longer than the hots/neutrals. Use these extra long ground wires as the pigtails for the grounds of the GFCI and double switch. Basically, mid-way down the wire, wrap the wires 180 degrees around the grounding screws. Then you'll only have three grounding wires (these two plus the one from the can/fan) to connect with a single wire nut.

This all assumes that you are putting two switches and the GFCI outlet in a double gang (and connecting the can lights with the fan so that you only have two switches for the whole bathroom).

Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 04-23-2010 at 12:13 PM.
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