Why did they wire the house this way?


Old 04-11-05, 07:57 AM
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Why did they wire the house this way?

I bought a home, built in 70's, and the wiring is fine except for this: Two 20 amp circuit lines run to a wall switch in the bathroom and connected together, and then lines run from there to three rooms - two bedrooms and the bathroom. To cut power to anything in these rooms I have to trip both 20 amp breakers. The wire is 12/2, with no ground. The rest of the house is fine, so I figure they had a reason for doing this, but what is it? Also, can't I undo this and create two separate circuits so that it only takes one breaker to cut power to the circuit? This is a great forum and I know someone will have the answer to this. Thanks.
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Old 04-11-05, 08:25 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,678
Somebody screwed up. They should not be connected together. They should be connected so that only stuff in the bathroom is on one circuit. All the other stuff should be on the other circuit.
Old 04-11-05, 10:44 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Dry Side of Washington State
Posts: 738
The house wired in the 70's. Don't think today's bathroom rule was in effect back then.

Is a two-pole single handle breaker supplying those two circuits?
Old 04-12-05, 06:14 AM
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Thinman, the two circuits are each on a separate single pole 20 amp breaker. Right now my plans are to go up in the attic and split the lines joining in the bathroom at a junction box, then dedicate one circuit to the bathroom and the other to the bedrooms. Thanks, tractor
Old 04-12-05, 07:03 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 510
You have a potential fire hazard. Right now you could possibly draw up to 40A through a 12ga wire without tripping a breaker.

You might not have to add any junction boxes to fix this though. You say the circuits are connected together in a switch box in your bathroom. Can you describe all the wires in this switch box and where they go to? Sounds like you have figured some of this out already...

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