Rewiring 2nd floor project

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Old 02-16-06, 09:01 PM
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Rewiring 2nd floor project

A couple weeks ago I posted a thread asking about setting up a 125A subpanel. Rather than digging it up, I decided on clarifying some points and updating others. To go straight to the questions scroll to the XXX.

First off, my house is like Frankenstein's Monster, and I'm in minor renovations. The first owners lived in the foundation / basement, then built it into a Cape Cod. Then the 1/2 floor inherent in Cape Cods was made into a full second floor at a later date, and from what I can tell was a two family home. The hot water is on the right, the cold on the left. The floor on the first floor slopes from the main beam. The electrical system, while updated to a 200A service, is largely ungrounded.
(The whole second floor was ungrounded, and the previous owners had illegally placed three prong outlets in a few places.) This is the problem I hoped to rectify, since computers, surge protectors etc. need grounded three-prong outlets. In fact my UPS for my computer won't work without a ground being sensed.

Since the circuits were run with no rhyme or reason, running a ground wire the length of each circuit was going to be a major PITA, and running 12/2 to each room was going to waste a lot of copper, so I decided to do a subpanel on the second floor instead. I ran 2-2-2-4 from a 100A breaker in the main panel in the basement through the unfinished first floor wall and into the upstairs storage closet. I'm redoing the whole room the closet is attached to anyway (office), so tearing down the drywall in that room isn't a big deal, and in fact only two walls upstairs will need to be redone due to rewiring so I consider myself lucky. The subpanel is on the wall in the office, the view of which is obstructed by the door.

XXX

Now for the questions I have:

If I'm doing GFCI outlets in the bathroom should I use GFCI breakers too, or would I use just normal breakers?

I was going to go overkill and have two outlet circuits in the bathroom. If these are going to be in the same general location, should I just run 12/3 or is there some code against that? I wouldn't think so, but just making sure.

My friend at work says every bedroom has to be on it's own circuit. Is this true, is this possibly a local code, and if so does that mean only one circuit per bedroom? I was going to make a dressing/makeup area for my wife, and that would probably necessitate it's own circuit considering curlers/hairdryer.

Answers are appreciated, unsolicited helpful comments are welcome. And yes, I have done some reading this time.
 
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Old 02-16-06, 11:52 PM
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running 12/2 to each room was going to waste a lot of copper, so I decided to do a subpanel on the second floor instead.
I like your thinking.

> If I'm doing GFCI outlets in the bathroom should I use GFCI breakers too, or would I use just normal breakers?

Normal.


> I was going to go overkill and have two outlet circuits in the bathroom.
Sounds like a good idea. One blow dryer can be 15A.

> should I just run 12/3 or is there some code against that?
I see no problem with this. Just be careful. (Using a double pole breaker leaves less room for error.)



> My friend at work says every bedroom has to be on its own circuit.
It is a nice idea if you have heavy loads in the bedrooms.


>Is this true, is this possibly a local code?
That's is vaguely possible.
Such a rule would benefit teenager with loads of electronics, electric guitars, and 1450W amplifiers.


> if so does that mean only one circuit per bedroom?
I don't imagine! The receptacle circuit(s) has to be AFCI.
But you can run as many as you can afford.
Beyond that, you'll have to see your local code.


> I was going to make a dressing/makeup area for my wife, and that would
> probably necessitate its own circuit considering curlers/hairdryer.

I concur. The load can add up to 20A quickly.
But having done this, the other circuit could share with other bedrooms.
For example, it is unlikely that you will run a vacuum cleaner in more than one bedroom at a time.
 
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Old 02-17-06, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ignernt
I was going to go overkill and have two outlet circuits in the bathroom. If these are going to be in the same general location, should I just run 12/3 or is there some code against that? I wouldn't think so, but just making sure.
You probably already know but just to be sure, you can't do a multiwire off the load side of GFCIs. In other words each GFCI load side needs its own separate neutral. If you're just feeding the line side of a duplex GFCI, and not using the load side terminals for feed-through, this does not apply.

Originally Posted by ignernt
My friend at work says every bedroom has to be on it's own circuit. Is this true, is this possibly a local code, and if so does that mean only one circuit per bedroom? I was going to make a dressing/makeup area for my wife, and that would probably necessitate it's own circuit considering curlers/hairdryer.
As bolide suggested, checking your local code is imperative. (This local code http://www.villageofshorewood.org/VC.CH9.pdf has some interesting provisions regarding "family rooms" )
 
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Old 02-17-06, 11:12 AM
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The basic rule for bathrooms is that you need a circuit that serves only the bathroom receptacles in two or more bathrooms or you can use a circuit to serve several loads that include a receptacle outlet if that circuit only serves a single bathroom. So you either put several receptacles in different bathrooms on one circuit or several loads including a receptacle but all in the same bathroom on one circuit.

Originally Posted by ignernt
I was going to go overkill and have two outlet circuits in the bathroom. If these are going to be in the same general location, should I just run 12/3 or is there some code against that? I wouldn't think so, but just making sure.
That is perfectly sound practice but the double pole breaker is a good idea. You can also use a three wire + ground circuit to supply the receptacles and the other loads in that bathroom thus supplying the receptacles from one twenty ampere circuit and the remaining loads from another.
 
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