How to add an outlet to a room with just a light fixture

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  #1  
Old 08-11-05, 06:35 AM
nelaco
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How to add an outlet to a room with just a light fixture

Hello everyone, I have a bathroom that doesn't have an outlet. The wall light fixture had one in it, but I am renovating and everything is going, including the fixture. The box has many wires...1 RED, 3 BLACK, 3 WHITE, and the bare ground wire. The box is controlled by a wall switch by the door. How do I go about adding an outlet (about 3' away from the box), and out of curiosity, why the RED wire in there? Could I replace the switch with a combo one? Is this something best left to a pro, and if so, how much would be a fair price? I am in Maryland. Thank you for any help you can give me.

Nelson
 
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  #2  
Old 08-11-05, 07:03 AM
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This would be considered a new installation, and as such must meet today's codes.

The NEC requires that the receptacles in bathrooms must be on a 20 amp dedicated circuit. This circuit can serve anything in one bathroom, or can serve receptacles in multiple bathrooms.

To comply with code I suggest that you run a new circuit to this bathroom. You can then choose to run the entire bathroom on this new circuit, or you can use the existing circuit for the lights and the new circuit for the receptacle.

To answer your question, the red wire is most likely the switched hot wire from the switch to the light. The fact that you are asking this question says that you either haven't fully investigated the current wiring and/or that you don't yet have sufficient knowledge to tackle this electrical work your self. Please consider hiring someone for this work or at least take it upon yourself to read several good books on home wiring before doing any of this work yourself.

Electricity can kill and start fires. Please be safe.
 
  #3  
Old 08-11-05, 07:07 AM
nelaco
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Yes, I agree, I think a pro is in order here. Thank you for your reply. I was just looking at the yellow pages...yikes! Could I replace the light switch with some kind of outlet/switch combo? I really appreciate your input.
 
  #4  
Old 08-11-05, 07:11 AM
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No, you can't put in a light switch/receptacle duplex, unless it is attached to a completely new circuit.
 
  #5  
Old 08-11-05, 07:52 AM
nelaco
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Thank you Bob, the bathroom is on the second floor, so it would probably be too much money to run a new circuit from the basement. Can somebody give me an idea of much it could be? I am in Maryland. Thank you
 
  #6  
Old 08-11-05, 08:30 AM
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I dont think there is anyone here that can give you a quote without seeing the situation you have. You might try this site that I googled....
http://www.leadingcontractors.com/ht...rician/MD.html
By some sheer stroke of luck I recently was upgrading a bath that was on a 15 amp circuit. While in the attic I noticed a junction box with a 12/2G romex cable capped off inside. I traced it to the customers panel to a 20 amp unused breaker labeled...attic fan. Only no attic fan was installed. All I needed was a extension of about 10 feet from the JB and a gfci plus an additional protected outlet and finished. I broke the lights/fan off on the existing 15 amp breaker.

Maybe you could be so lucky?
 
  #7  
Old 08-11-05, 08:59 AM
nelaco
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Thank you Roger, I went ahead and used that link to request an estimate. Appreciate your help. I doubt I'll be as lucky though Thanks again.
 
  #8  
Old 08-11-05, 09:08 AM
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You may not have an unused 20 amp circuit running to the attic, but you might be lucky in another way. The pipes (hot and cold water and drain) need to run from the bathroom down to the basement. Often it is quite easy to snake a wire next to these pipes from the basement up to the bathroom.

I recommend getting several quotes from different electricians before proceeding. You will probably find that the labor is the biggest portion of the expense. The cable, the junction boxes and the devices (switches, receptacles) are relatively inexpensive. The labor will easily surpass the cost of these items for a bathroom remodel.
 
  #9  
Old 08-11-05, 07:25 PM
nelaco
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I have somebody coming this coming wednesday for a free estimate. We'll see what he says and then I'll decide. I'll try getting a second one but sometimes is just not worth the hassle if the first number sounds reasonable. Thank you for your help!
 
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