DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 'panasonic' light/nightlight/fan/heater combo unit. Now that I received it, checked the Operating Instructions. It stated in one of the warnings to "Use only 20 ampere branch circuit.". It didn't show that important fact in the website technical specs.

I have one (1) 15-amp circuit for the bathroom.

I considered the option of upgrading the 15-amp circuit for lighting to a 20-amp BUT UNFORTUNATELY the wiring that I currently have for the 15-amp has only 14-gauge. The minimum wire size for a 20-amp is 12-gauge.

It does say in the technical specs that the COMBINED AMPS is only 12.5.
So, my dad (whose an electrical engineer) did some calculations using all the lights, heater, & fan. He said that based on calculations, it's safe to install the unit to a 15-amp circuit breaker.

Is there anybody who thinks otherwise?
 

·
Licensed electrician
Joined
·
13,405 Posts
By Code you are supposed to follow any instructions given by the manufacturer. To do otherwise would create a code violation.
 

·
Licensed Electrical Cont.
Joined
·
7,829 Posts
I bought a 'panasonic' light/nightlight/fan/heater combo unit. Now that I received it, checked the Operating Instructions. It stated in one of the warnings to "Use only 20 ampere branch circuit.". It didn't show that important fact in the website technical specs.

I have one (1) 15-amp circuit for the bathroom.

I considered the option of upgrading the 15-amp circuit for lighting to a 20-amp BUT UNFORTUNATELY the wiring that I currently have for the 15-amp has only 14-gauge. The minimum wire size for a 20-amp is 12-gauge.

It does say in the technical specs that the COMBINED AMPS is only 12.5.
So, my dad (whose an electrical engineer) did some calculations using all the lights, heater, & fan. He said that based on calculations, it's safe to install the unit to a 15-amp circuit breaker.

Is there anybody who thinks otherwise?
Yes, me.

If the instructions as a 20A circuit you must install it on a 20A circuit.
I know this is not the answer you want to hear but it is the only correct one.

I'll admit, this information is buried in the instructions .pdf on the Panasonic web site, but it IS there.
http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wc...roupId=119513&surfModel=FV-11VH2&displayTab=R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I actually called their customer service. They told me that the 20-amp is just highly recommended but not required.

I guess they put 20-amp just so nobody would sue them.
 

·
Licensed Electrical Cont.
Joined
·
7,829 Posts
I actually called their customer service. They told me that the 20-amp is just highly recommended but not required.
If this is a fact then do what you gotta do.
Thing is, this unit will pretty much max out a 15A circuit. How much else is on it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Is there anything in the Electrical Code that indicates a bathroom fan/heater is required to be on a 20-amp circuit?
 

·
Licensed Electrical Cont.
Joined
·
7,829 Posts
Is there anything in the Electrical Code that indicates a bathroom fan/heater is required to be on a 20-amp circuit?
No, but there is something that states we MUST follow manufacturer's instructions.
 

·
Licensed electrician
Joined
·
13,405 Posts
You would need to run a new #12-2 cable back to the panel and have space for a single pole breaker.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
My Circuit Breaker Panel is on the 1st floor. My bathroom is on the 3rd floor. Does that mean opening up walls & ceilings?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
code vs. safe

What if you received something from the manufacturer in writing on letterhead stating that installation on a 20A circuit is strongly recommended but not required? (Probably impossible!)

If installation on a 15A circuit is safe, would this satisfy the code requirement regarding compliance with the manufacturer's requirements?
 

·
Licensed Electrical Cont.
Joined
·
7,829 Posts

·
Licensed Electrical Cont.
Joined
·
7,829 Posts
What if you received something from the manufacturer in writing on letterhead stating that installation on a 20A circuit is strongly recommended but not required? (Probably impossible!)

If installation on a 15A circuit is safe, would this satisfy the code requirement regarding compliance with the manufacturer's requirements?
I thik a verbal from them is adequate. It's (probably) not like this is something that will be checked by someone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I have a question for you, Speedy Petey

In the other bathroom that I would like to install a bathroom heater... has a 20-amp circuit breaker for all the gfi outlets (which actually is only 2 gfi outlets). Can I connect the heater/fan unit to that?
 

·
Licensed Electrical Cont.
Joined
·
7,829 Posts
I have a question for you, Speedy Petey

In the other bathroom that I would like to install a bathroom heater... has a 20-amp circuit breaker for all the gfi outlets (which actually is only 1 gfi outlet). Can I connect the heater/fan unit to that?
I wouldn't. Depending on the conditions this may be a code violation, in any case it is a bad idea.

Are you saying it is just one GFI receptacle, in the one bathroom, on the 20A circuit?
 

·
Licensed electrician
Joined
·
13,405 Posts
Why is it a bad idea?

Sorry, my bad, it's actually 2 gfi outlets on a 20A circuit...
You would not have any capability to run a blow dryer with the heat on. Also bathroom receptacle circuit either can serve receptacles only in multiple bathrooms or only one bathroom and can share lighting and fans.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Speedy Petey

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The Operating Instructions only stated to "Use only 20 ampere branch circuit."

It didn't state that it has to be on a dedicated 20-amp circuit.
 

·
Licensed electrician
Joined
·
13,405 Posts
The Operating Instructions only stated to "Use only 20 ampere branch circuit."

It didn't state that it has to be on a dedicated 20-amp circuit.
Lets try to simplify this. If you have a 15 amp circuit and you try to run a blow dryer that pulls 12.5 amps and the fan/heater that draws 12.5 amps, how many amps is that? Do you think a 15 amp breaker will run both together?

Hint 12.5 + 12.5 = 25, 25>15 NO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Jim Port,

Isn't it your recommendation that I follow the manufacturer's instructions?

This is how it is shown in the manufacturer's instructions

"Use only on 20-ampere branch circuit." (It didn't say dedicated.)

I know you showed me the math.

But still, adding the unit to an existing 20-amp is still following manufacturer's instructions, isn't it?
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top