bathroom strategy

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Old 02-27-06, 08:29 AM
wgc
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bathroom strategy

Here's a strategy question for someone: I don't have a specific project in mind at the moment but am looking for strategies so any projects will build toward the best wiring I can have. I've seen several threads here mention that a bathroom outlet must be GFCI and can share a circuit with the light but only inside the same bathroom. Ok, but that still leaves some choices. How would you do it? How would you choose where to use GFCI outlet vs breaker?

My main bathroom has one GFCI outlet (not really room for more), a ceiling light, and a vent combo that also includes another light and a heater. Would you put this all on one circuit? Would you do the lights seperately so a hair dryer combined with the heater wouldn't be too much load? Are there other requirements I'm not aware of? Since the vent has a heater, can/should that be a dedicated circuit?

The advice is always phrased as "you _can_ share one circuit across an outlet and a light within one bathroom". If you don't share, can the outlet share a circuit with anything else or must it be dedicated? In my case, this might be a moot question since the other side of the wall is a kitchen and I don't imagine you'd want to share a kitchen circuit even if you could.

In general, when would you use GFCI breaker vs outlet? So far, I've had easy choices: a circuit for a shed really can only have a breaker and a bathroom outlet with other things on the circuit seems like a GFCI outlet is the obvious answer (plus the convenience of resetting it easily). When the choice isn't as obvious, is one better than the other, or do you have reason for a preference?

This last one is a request/thanks to the experts here ... Thank you for all your advice to code, but extra thanks for advice on going beyond code. One of these things I can get from a book/inspector/electrician, but the other I can't. I always like going beyond the minimum requirements where reasonable, and appreciate the threads with advice identified as such (and remember that at one point in my life I thought using extra large nails was going beyond the minimum requirements but sometimes it takes someone with experience to indentify the bad ideas that seem good).
 
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Old 02-27-06, 08:52 AM
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How would you choose where to use GFCI outlet vs breaker?
In almost all cases, use the GFCI receptacle. It is cheaper and more convenient to reset than the breaker. A GFCI breaker is normally only required for feeders and multiwire circuits, and you don't even need to know what these are.

Would you put this all on one circuit?
A bathroom heater should almost always be on a circuit by itself. Everything else in the bathroom could be on the same circuit.

If you don't share, can the outlet share a circuit with anything else or must it be dedicated?
If the receptacle is not on the same circuit with anything else in the bathroom, then it can be on the same circuit as other bathroom receptacles. Those are your only two options. A bathroom receptacle can never be on the same circuit as anything outside a bathroom. But a bathroom light can.

In general, when would you use GFCI breaker vs outlet? So far, I've had easy choices: a circuit for a shed really can only have a breaker
I don't know why, but it seems that every time somebody asserts something they already know, that it's not correct. You don't necessarily need a GFCI breaker for a shed. It can always be done with a GFCI receptacle or two, either in the shed or in the house.

In general, if a GFCI receptacle will do the job, it's almost always the better choice than a GFCI breaker (because it's cheaper).
 
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Old 02-27-06, 10:49 AM
wgc
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but more effort

Originally Posted by John Nelson
I don't know why, but it seems that every time somebody asserts something they already know, that it's not correct. You don't necessarily need a GFCI breaker for a shed. It can always be done with a GFCI receptacle or two, either in the shed or in the house.

In general, if a GFCI receptacle will do the job, it's almost always the better choice than a GFCI breaker (because it's cheaper).
I suppose so, but that would have meant either putting in the GFCI in the shed which seems like it may not protect as well, or breaking the cable in the basement to install an extra outlet at a new junction, in a place that would be less obvious to find.
 
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Old 02-27-06, 03:28 PM
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It is true that the branch is better protected before it leaves the house.
So Code usually permits a 15 or 20A GFCI-protected cable to be buried 12" instead of 24".

As for me personally, I like the test button where I can use it and the reset button where I don't have to go looking for it.
 
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