Bath GFI

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Old 06-29-07, 02:54 PM
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Bath GFI

New to the forum...Glad I found you guys. I am putting in a bathroom and need to tie in to a 20amp circuit. I think I actually just found the circuit to the downstairs GFI after a stiffling stint in the attic. I assume the best way to proceed is to continue the circuit from the old outlet and run the wire up to the new outlet. Can you ever cut into a circuit in midstream (splice)? I don't think this is acceptable, but wanted to ask anyway. Is there a problem with having a GFI coming off another GFI or should I put a "regular" outlet in the new bath? Sorry if this doesn't make sense. No rush on response, gotta go out and be social. Will tackle all of this in the AM. Thanks for any help. Let me know if you guys need clarification.
 
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Old 06-29-07, 03:16 PM
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Bathrooms have specific code requirements for the receptacles. You can only tap into the existing 20A circuit if it serves nothing other than bathroom receptacles. That means no lights, fans, or any receptacle outside an existing bathroom. If you can verify this is true, then you may tap into the existing circuit via a junction box. If you cannot verify the existing circuit, then you need to run a new 20A circuit for the bathroom back to the main panel.

> Can you ever cut into a circuit in midstream (splice)?

If the circuit can legally be extended and if there's enough slack in the cable to add a permanently accessible junction box with adequate length (8") of wire on either side.

> problem with having a GFI coming off another GFI

It's okay to do, but can cause confusion when resetting trips as either or both receptacles may trip in the event of a fault. An easy remedy for this problem is to only use the LINE terminals on the GFCI receptacle thereby bypassing the downstream protection.
 
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Old 06-29-07, 03:22 PM
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While it is possible to "splice" into a cable midstream there are too many safety and code issues to recommend it for anyone but a pro. Do not do this.

A new bath should be on a separate 20 amp circuit. Receptacles must be GFCI protected. Multiple receptacles can be daisy chained from the first by connecting down stream receptacles to the load side of the GFCI. Lights usually don't need GFCI protection. They can be connected to the line side so you still have light if the GFCI trips.
 
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Old 06-29-07, 04:18 PM
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Thanks a lot for the info. I'll drop a note when I get into it tomorrow. You guys are a great resource. Have a good night. Going to go out and mingle for now.
 
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Old 06-30-07, 10:40 AM
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Getting confused

I have started poking around in the existing bathroom. What I have found is this. Two outlets affected by tripping the breaker at the panel. GFI outlet has both load and line screws utilized, as expected. The slaved outlet downstream also has all four screws utilized, not expected, as I cannot for the life of me figure out where the next outlet/receptacle is. Any ideas?

Second question. I have no spare breaker spots on my panel. Is there any way to simply add a new circuit dedicated to my new bathroom? That would be much easier than tracking down and slaving off the downstairs bathroom. Any help would be much appreciated.
 

Last edited by Loducpa; 06-30-07 at 10:42 AM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 06-30-07, 10:50 AM
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Answered own question?

Piggy-back breaker the way to go with the addition of just one circuit? Probably only one or two outlets. No lights or fan on new circuit, these are already tied into old previous circuit.
 

Last edited by Loducpa; 06-30-07 at 10:51 AM. Reason: still can't spell
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Old 06-30-07, 01:39 PM
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You can only use a piggyback breaker if your panel is listed for their use. You would need to check your panel label to seeif this is an option.

You may have receptacles outside or in the garage that are fed from the downstream duplex. This would depend on when your house was built. The Code would not allow these now.
 
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Old 06-30-07, 03:25 PM
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Where on the panel will you find whether or not tandem/piggyback breakers are acceptable. I will continue to look for the elusive outlet...What are my options if I can't piggy back? House was built in 2001.
 
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Old 06-30-07, 06:23 PM
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Single phase vs 3 phase

How can I tell if my load center is single phase or 3 phase? The single phase square D panels can use tandems, the 3 phase cannot, or so I've read. Please help, getting a little desperate.
 
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Old 06-30-07, 07:15 PM
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Very few residences have three phase power.
 
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Old 06-30-07, 08:11 PM
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Thanks. What's the difference b/w the two?
 
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Old 06-30-07, 09:01 PM
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Basic difference in most cases is there are three hots not two in the panel plus a neutral.
 
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Old 06-30-07, 10:07 PM
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I am sure the pros will correct me if I am wrong:

Usually the load center nameplate (label) lists the models of breakers that may be installed in the panel. You should find the tandem breaker you want to use and check to see if its model number is listed for use with that load center. Shouldn't be a huge challenge with a house built in 2001.

Seems to me modern load centers have certain spaces that are "keyed" to accept tandem breakers, for example only the bottom eight slots. You cannot physically put a tandem in any other slot. But I don't have any tandem breakers in mine.

Regarding single- vs. three-phase, it's three-phase if the panel has three incoming HOT wires. The main breaker would have three terminals or consist of three breakers with approved handle ties. From the pole or transformer you would have three HOTS and one "Neutral" for a total of four wires. Hence 3-phase, 4-wire. Instead of two bus bars (A, B) in the back of the enclosure, there would be three (A, B, C).

However most residential panels would have just TWO hots and a "neutral" coming from the pole or transformer. Exceptions would include very large homes and some multi-housing, for example highrise apartments and condos.
 
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Old 07-01-07, 06:43 AM
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Thanks. Definitely single phase. I will look for tandems and check the box. Thanks for all the help. I'll post back as I get into the wiring more. Also, no luck on the other outlet from the existing GFI bath circuit.
 
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