Bathroom GFI Circuit potential problem

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-21-06, 04:33 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7
Bathroom GFI Circuit potential problem

I recently purchased a home that was built in 1975, and since the Breaker Panels are not marked as to what all of the different breakers go to, I have been spending a lot of time tracing each circuit so that I fully understand my wiring situation.

One potential issue that I have found so far is with the only receptacle box in the main bathroom. Power comes directly from the 15A breaker over 14/2 wiring into the box. Using wire nuts, there is a junction that connects a 14/2 wire that runs out to what used to be 2 outside receptacles in the back of the house (which has since been converted into an additional room, so those outlets are inside receptacles now), and a 14/2 wire from that junction connects to the LINE side of a 15A GFI receptacle in the box itself. From there, two separate 14/2 wires run from the LOAD side of the outlet (from the two available load side connections). One goes to a single outside receptacle on the front of the house and the other to a receptacle, vanity light and ceiling light in a small 1/2 bath in the basement.

With just 2 non-GFI protected receptacles, 3 GFI protected receptacles and two switched lights (also on the GFI protected side) on the circuit, does this pose any sort of problem with either there being too many GFI protected receptacles or too diverse of a circuit?

When tested, the GFI works as it should for receptacles that are downstream from it, and I have not had an overloading problem?

I'm fairly certain that this is in violation of current electrical code (since I think Bathrooms should all be on their own circuit), but since this is probably all original house wiring, should I bother to run separate circuits to each bathroom as well as one to the 2 inside receptacles, and a new circuit to the outside receptacle, or should I be fine with the current wiring setup?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-21-06, 04:57 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA.
Posts: 2,113
As confusing as it sounds(to me). Your current wireing was up to code at the time.
Now the real questions are, What is your demand? How handy are you? Are you up to the task? Anything you upgrade must be to current standards. With that, do some thinking, and you will answer yourself. Don't hesitate to post back. If at all handy you can get good advice here.
 
  #3  
Old 03-21-06, 06:15 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7
Sorry if it is a bit confusing, but I tried to explain as best I could....I found it helpful to sketch it out as I was explaining it...

The only thing I did to this circuit was to swap the GFI receptacle for a new one, since I was getting "iffy" testing results from the original.

I'm fairly handy with electrical wiring...I've done my share of roughing, swapping receptacles, light fixtures, switches, and have wired most basic circuits. All I want to do is make sure that there are no serious problems in the current house wiring, correct any that are found, and then maybe run a few completely new circuits for some changes I am going to be making in some rooms.

As far as the circuit in question, is it OK to leave as is (since it was to code when it was originally installed), and is it any sort of hazard (fire or shock) being a 15A GFCI on 14/2 to multiple bathrooms/outside receptacles?

Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 03-21-06, 06:25 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA.
Posts: 2,113
Always good to update the old GFI's, They've come a long way. As far as safe, It's been there since the 70's. If (as I do) You have people who must use hair dryers (for an hour,I digress)in the house, then you may want to add some ckts to the bath/powder rooms. I'm not alarmed by what you have described. At this point, it appears to be your needs that will dictate.

15 Amp on 14/2 is fine.
 
  #5  
Old 03-21-06, 06:50 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
As you by now realize, what is code now was not code 30 years ago. Or even ten years ago. Or sometimes even last year.

Yes, code now requires bathroom receptacles to be on a 20 amp circuit, and for that 20 amp circuit to be dedicated to only one bathroom, or to only receptacles in bathrooms.

But that was not code years ago. Years ago it was permissible for bathrooms to be on any circuit. It is quite common for people to have the bathroom on the same circuit as the garage, the basement, the outside, etc. Sometimes people have no idea where the GFCI is located to reset it. often when they finally find it, they realize that they forgot where it was, or that they never really knew.

If and when you remodel either bathroom, you will have to bring the bathroom up to code. Of course, you can bring it up to code now, but you don't have to.

As for the mapping of the circuit, good for you. I encourage you to finish this ASAP. This information could save your life some day. It will certainly come in handy when you all of a sudden lose power to a portion of a circuit. You at least will know what circuit it is and know everywhere on the circuit to look for a problem. Too many people have no clue what on each breaker. They realize too late why they should have mapped their circuits when they had the chance.
 
  #6  
Old 03-21-06, 07:35 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7
Thanks for the help so far. If anything, I think I am more comfortable leaving the circuit the way it is for now. Some day down the road I will likely split off the different bathrooms onto their own 20A GFI-protected circuits, as well a dedicated circuit to the outside receptacle currently on that same circuit.

I have completed all of the circuit tracing in my new house (as I mentioned I was doing earlier) and have a detailed house layout drawn up that shows every receptacle, switch, light fixture and major appliance graphically with a cross-reference to the breaker each is on in the two main electrical panels and 2 other sub-panels. My degree is in graphic design, I'm a computer technician by trade and electronics are one of my hobbies, so this stuff is a bit too much fun for me.

Now I just have to determine where my problems are and get them addressed, so I'm sure I'll have many more posts about future issues that I find.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'