Size Wire and Breaker

Old 02-14-04, 03:46 PM
Todd Carlson
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Size Wire and Breaker

What size breaker do I need for a bathroom and what size wire do I need to use. I will have a ceiling fan and 5 40 watt bulbs and two gfi outlets two plugs each. Also what size wire do I need to use for the lights and outlets thoughout the rest of my basement and any place to find out what size breakers I need for the lights and outlets outside the bathroom.
Old 02-14-04, 04:18 PM
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There are a lot of codes for a bathroom. A lot!

I suggest you dedicate one 20-amp circuit for your bathroom. Use all 12-gauge copper wire. You can put everything inside the bathroom on this one circuit, but don't put anything outside the bathroom on this circuit.

Outside the bathroom, you can use 14-gauge wire and 15-amp circuits, or 12-gauge wire and 20-amp circuits. You can go all one way or all the other way, or some people like to put lighting on 15-amp circuits and receptacles on 20-amp circuits.

If you want to simplify your life, just buy all 12-gauge wire and all 20-amp breakers. This cable is stiffer than 14-gauge. It will cost a few more pennies, takes a few more minutes to run, and make the boxes a bit more crowded. Compensate by buying the largest boxes you can find (22.5 cubic inch for single-gang), and plan carefully so that you never need more than three 12/2 cables into any one box.

Get at least three books on home wiring from your library or home center, and read them cover to cover. Ask more questions here.

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