Rewiring bathroom/adding outlets

Old 09-02-07, 10:52 PM
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Question Rewiring bathroom/adding outlets

We are in the process of gutting our master bathroom due to a water leak. It was on a 15amp circuit along with our other bathroom, some outlets in my sons room, a GFCI in our kitchen and some of our exterior lights and that seemed like a bit much.

I am going to run a new dedicated 20amp circuit using 12-2 wiring off the breaker box. I just want some feedback to make sure I am going this right. I am going to wire in an exhaust fan on a switch, 2 can lights on the same switch, a vanity fixture and two GFCI outlets.

I don't want the GFCI's to cut out the lights if something would trip them so I was planning on throwing a junction box down in our basement to split the wire so I can come up each of the walls. The walls where the switches will be and the outlets are opposite of each other. I know how to wire in the three switches on one branch coming off the junction box and the outlets off the other branch, but was wondering if there was a better way to go about it without a junction box. I have total access below the bathroom and the walls are down to the studs right now.

2nd question comes into wanting to add an outlet. We had a closet that backed up to our bathroom and are stealing space from that to make the bathroom bigger. I've wanted to put an outlet in the hallway outside the closet as there aren't any at all even close to the hallway. I've got the back wall exposed due to the bathroom remodel and can pull off the switch that goes to the light fixture. The power source routes into the light fixture and then down to the switch though. The only diagram I can find like that in my handy book has three wire with ground coming from the light to the switch hooked into that with a pigtail splice with 2 wire with ground coming off of it.

Is there another way to do it without the three wire? I only have 12-2 in the house right now and don't want to buy six feet of 12-3 if I don't have to. The way that it is wired does the switch control the outlet? To me it looks like it does and I don't want the outlet controlled by the switch.

Hopefully some of this will make sense to you pros out there and you can tell me if I'm about to burn my house down or not.

Old 09-02-07, 11:26 PM
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I wouldn't work so hard to make sure the lights and exhaust fan are not protected by gfci. It's not uncommon to flick the light switch off with wet hands. I think it's good protection. Plus, how often do those things trip? And if they trip while someone is being shocked, I doubt they’ll care if the lights turn off as well.

You can just run the lights 'upstream' from the gfci outlet in the circuit if you don’t want them protected. Anything hooked to the circuit after the gfci outlet will be protected, anything before will not be protected.

You can wire in a switch without using 12-3. I'm having trouble picturing your exact layout, but here's what I'd do:

Run the wires from your power source to the light fixture. Hook up the neutrals. Instead of hooking the hot wire from the power supply to the hot wire on the light, here's where you hook another piece of 12-2 between the hot on the power supply and the hot wire for the light (I call this the switch loop). So in the light fixture box you will have the hot and neutral from the light, the hot and neutral from the power source, and another piece of 12-2 in there for a switch loop (both in the switch loop will actually be hot when the light is on).

Hook the neutral from the power source up to the neutral on the light. Then hook the white wire from the 'switch loop' piece to the black wire on the power source. Then hook the black wire from the switch loop to the black wire on the light. You should mark this white wire on the switch loop with something black, since once hooked up and running it will be hot. The 'switch loop' piece can be run to the switch box, with the black and white wires each being hooked to the switch. You should also mark the white wire in the switch box with something black, since it is now a hot wire.

Hopefully this makes sense. It sounds like this 'switch loop' setup is what you had there to begin with. The power running to the light, with a piece of 12-2 running to the switch. Just make sure to label the white wires as hot to avoid confusion in the future. A black marker or piece of black tape usually suffice.
Old 09-03-07, 07:57 AM
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Do NOT put a junction box in the basement. That is a waste of wire and might lead to trouble later on. Make all your connections on the LINE side of the GFCI receptacles and use all GFCI receptacles.

You can pull power off a switch if it is NOT wired as a switch loop. Examine the wiring at the switch and if there are only two wires in the box (plus the ground) then you have to get power from somewhere else or use three conductor (plus ground) cable to the switch.

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