Attic Electric (New)

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Old 01-16-06, 07:02 PM
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Attic Electric (New)

Hello all. Relatively new to the board. Finishing the upper story of my 1 1/2 story Cape Cod and about ready to run the electric. The entire floor is open with the exception of a small bathroom and a dormered out walk in closet.

I was planning on running three brand new 20 amp circuits to the attic. These would control obviously the bathroom, bedroom portion, sitting area and closet. I have designed various plans for proper load balancing but have a specific question regarding the bathroom. Just for additional info, aside from a hallway three way switch with a single light and all of the receptacles (I have written down the appliances I am going to be using and calculated watts/amps for all of them to try and find a good balance), I am installing a ceiling fan with 4 60 watt lights. (BTW, the bedroom circuits will be AFCI)

My question though really is on the bathroom circuit. I was initially planning on intermingling the bathroom circuit with a few outlets outside the bathroom for a better balance. However, I have read recently that there are specific code requirements for the bathroom that may prohibit this. My initial thought was to have the bathroom run be 20 amp (GFI) protected at sink receptacle, but then keep that running on to a light in the bathroom over the vanity, and then out to a wall outlet or two in the bedroom. (reading lights will be plugged in) The bathroom fan I was going to run off the same circuit that was feeding a hallway 3 way light and the exterior ceiling fan.

So my question, does the bathroom have to be SOLELY on one circuit. Can I run to the bathroom fan and light if I wanted to with the same 20 amp run that initially went to the bathroom receptacle.

The plan is relatively open, and I have studied code regarding everything else (that I can think of) including spacing of outlets, switches, etc. Just trying to make sure the bathroom run is done properly and will not lead me astray of code.

Thanks to any and all who choose to comment. (BTW, I am having an electrician finalize the connections into the panel in the basement!)

Paul
 
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Old 01-16-06, 07:37 PM
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I dont recommend putting the vanity light on the load-side of the GFCI,if the GFCI trips for some reason it could leave an occupant in the dark creating a fall hazard.I would run the circuit to the switchbox 1st then to the GFCI.It really depends upon the inspector {if inspected} as to how dedicated this circuit must be.
 
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Old 01-16-06, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by PZimniewicz

So my question, does the bathroom have to be SOLELY on one circuit. Can I run to the bathroom fan and light if I wanted to with the same 20 amp run that initially went to the bathroom receptacle.
Your easiest option is to pigtail the lights and fan off the circuit before the GFCI. That is, as previously stated, do not connect them to the load side of the GFCI. That circuit can serve only the bathroom lights and outlets. The other option is to have a 20A circuit dedicated to the receptacle(s) in the bathroom and run your lights and fan from the general lighting circuit.

Disclaimer: Before you start wiring, you should get copies of your state & local electric codes or talk to an inspector to get the scoop for your local area. Around there there are plenty of contractors who do not know the specific municipal codes and then have to re-do work at their expense.
 
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Old 01-16-06, 08:06 PM
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Wiring

So, if I run the line to the switch, then the light and fan and then into the receptacle and make it GFI I am good for that run? If that is the case, I think I will leave the bathroom just on that one 20 Amp run. switch, light, fan and then finally the receptacle. The other two runs will be separate. Just as a note, is it a complicated hookup to go initially to a double switch, then to the fan and light (two separate fixtures), and finally through to the receptacle?

Thanks for all of your initial replies to this!

Paul
 
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Old 01-16-06, 08:13 PM
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Your bathroom 20 amp receptacle can NOT feed anything outside the bathroom. It can feed the lights and fans inside the bathroom.
The lights and fan in the bathroom can be on a different circuit if you wish.
 
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Old 01-16-06, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by PZimniewicz
Just as a note, is it a complicated hookup to go initially to a double switch, then to the fan and light (two separate fixtures), and finally through to the receptacle?


Paul
So you're talking about a linear layout? The fans I have installed had their own wiring boxes that would not accommodate any wires passing through.

Also remember with 12 AWG you will have to watch your box fill. At your light you probably want an octagon box, but that might not have enough space. You can use a square box of sufficient volume with a round cover to give you the 8-32 tappings to support your light crossbar.

For example at your double switch, you've got 4 volumes for the two switches, 1 ground, 2 hot, 2 switched hots, and assuming you're not using raceway or Greenfield, 2 neutrals. That's 11 volumes * 2.25 cu. in. per volume = 24.75 cu. in. if my math is correct.

A 4x4x2-1/8 box has 30 cu. in. available, so that would meet code, but it does not mean it would be easy to work with, especially with #12 solid. Use the biggest practical box.

I would use either a 4-11/16 with a mud ring or a 3-gang as deep as possible with one blank position. I used a 3-gang 3-1/2" deep. This accommodates #12 stranded, a dimmer and fan speed control and one blank position between the two. Then a foot away I have another 3-gang 3-1/2" deep for a GFCI, then a load-side timer and outlet for my wife's curling iron, which she tends to forget to shut off. From the GFCI box I feed the light above the mirror and then the fan is at the end of the line on the roof. So the fan and light are not on the load side of the GFCI, but their wiring passes thru the GFCI box.

Edit: Forgot to mention my house is all Rigid, EMT, Greenfield and metal boxes, but if you're using NM and plastic boxes, there may be some better options.
 

Last edited by ArgMeMatey; 01-16-06 at 09:34 PM. Reason: Oh yeah
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Old 01-17-06, 02:49 PM
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Use the light switch or the GFCI box as a junction.

I'd go 12/2 power to outlet with pigtails to a GFCI outlet.
Then 12/2 power to switch, double switch 12/3 to light, 12/2 from light to fan, or separate 12/2 from switch each to light and fan.
 
 

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