Two Circuits/One Box


Old 02-19-05, 04:53 PM
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Two Circuits/One Box

Sorry to ask such a basic question, but I can't find an answer in any of my books. Is it code legal to have two circuits terminate in the same box? I want to have two separate 20A GFCI circuits to my bathroom and it would work better, spacewise, to have them both end in one double box (receps side by side in same box). Logically, it seems that it would not be legal, but I have run across it in some remodels I've done.
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Old 02-19-05, 05:47 PM
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Location: Central New York State
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Yes, this is legal. If I were you I would make a note at the panel so that someone in the future will turn off both breakers if servicing either receptacle.

As an aside, this is the perfect application for a multiwire circuit. However, if you don't know what a multiwire circuit is, then pretend I didn't mention it.
Old 02-19-05, 07:49 PM
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There is nothing in the NEC that would prevent this type of installation as a matter of fact it is quite common. However it could be possible it is a code issue locally, but I doubt it.
Old 02-20-05, 07:00 AM
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Thanks Bob and Sparky. One more thing, do I need to tie the neutrals and grounds of the two circuits in the box?
Old 02-20-05, 07:22 AM
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Grounds yes.

Neutrals, only if you use a multi-wire as Racraft mentioned.
This is using a 12/3 cable, black to one receptacle, red to the other and the neutral spliced to two pigtails, one to each device.
Old 02-20-05, 07:42 AM
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Thanks, S.P.
Old 02-20-05, 11:33 AM
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In Canada, you would need to use a double-pole breaker or a physical tie between the breaker handles, or an integrated fuse pull-block.

Although this is not required in the US, it is good practice. Someone--could well be you-- could get a nasty shock if you were working on one of the receptacles and forgot the other one was still live. Nasty shocks can sometimes kill!!!

Mr Fixit eh
Old 02-20-05, 05:08 PM
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Good Advice, thanks.
Old 02-20-05, 06:57 PM
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GFCI Protection

Since you mentioned that the circuits are for a bathroom, you need to protect them with some sort of GFCI protection. This may complicate some of the necessary connections that you need to have for the planning.



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