New receptacle


Old 04-25-07, 12:18 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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New receptacle


I'm updating my bathroom in my 1950's home. Currently, there is no stand alone electrical outlets in the bathroom but there is one small outlet that is built into the light. It's always been a pain because the light has to be on in order for the outlet to be powered. I'm going to be replacing the sheetrock and also replacing the old fashioned light and my question is: can I easily add an electrical receptacle? Can I run wires from the light or do I have to run wires from another outlet somewhere else in the house?

Old 04-25-07, 12:34 PM
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Location: Central New York State
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You really should have completed your profile, so we know where you are.

Assuming you are in the US...

If you are removing the sheetrock, then you are required to bring the bathroom up to code.

That most likely means completely new wiring. You almost certainly cannot power a receptacle off the light.

Code in the US requires that any receptacles in a bathroom need to be on a 20 amp circuit. The receptacles must be GFCI protected. That circuit cannot serve anything outside the bathroom if it serves any lights or fans in the bathroom.

If the circuit only serves receptacles in the bathroom. then it can also serve receptacles in other bathrooms in the house, but only receptacles.

In a 1950s house the wiring is most likely not grounded. That means that you need to upgrade the wiring that serves the lights.

In your case, the best solution may be a completely new 20 amp circuit from the main panel to serve the entire bathroom.
Old 04-25-07, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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I beleive it has to be a dedicated 20 AMP GFCI according to the NEC code. That means you would have to run a new circuit from the panel to the bathroom:

"Bathroom Branch Circuit. A 20 ampere circuit that does not supply any other load must supply the bathroom receptacle outlet(s) required in Section 210-52(d). According to UL, 125 volt, 15 ampere receptacles are rated for 20 ampere feed-thru and can be used for this purpose [210-21(b)(2)].

Note. This Section does not require a separate 20 ampere circuit for each bathroom. One 20 ampere circuit can be used to supply multiple bathroom receptacles.

Exception. A dedicated 20 ampere circuit to a single bathroom is permitted to supply the bathroom receptacle outlet(s) and other equipment within the same bathroom, but only if the equipment does not exceed 10 ampere (50 percent of the branch circuit ampere rating) in accordance with Section 210-23(a)."

This will assist with the woman's hair dryer dimming the lights or tripping the circuit in the rest of the house.

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