receptacle from all-time hot

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Old 12-13-09, 03:06 PM
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receptacle from all-time hot

I am in the process of remodeling a bathroom. The existing lighting fixture was a light/receptacle combo so out of the wall I have a copper ground, a white hot, a black neutral, and a red that I believe is all-time hot for the receptacle on the old fixture. I am putting in a new modern light fixture and my mother-in-law wants a separate receptacle on the wall. Would I utilize the all time hot for this purpose? Thanks.

Lucas
 
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Old 12-13-09, 03:37 PM
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Red is usually switched, and black hot, but not necessarily so. Check with a meter or contact beeper(cricket).
 
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Old 12-13-09, 03:37 PM
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First of all the white should not be hot, it should be the neutral. If this is not the case it needs to be corrected.

Second, is there a wall switch to control the light now?

Third, is this bathroom on it's own circuit and is that circuit a 20 amp?
 
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Old 12-14-09, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
First of all the white should not be hot, it should be the neutral. If this is not the case it needs to be corrected.

Second, is there a wall switch to control the light now?

Third, is this bathroom on it's own circuit and is that circuit a 20 amp?
My mistake, it's been awhile since I have done any wiring and for some reason I was thinking white was hot. To answer your question, there is a wall switch to control the light. It appears that the bathroom is on a 15-amp circuit that also controls the hallway light. The house is over 30 years old. Do I need to update the circuit to a 20-amp? Would this be difficult to do by myself?

Lucas
 
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Old 12-14-09, 08:10 AM
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To install a new 20 amp circuit you would need to run a new circuit back to the panel.
 
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Old 12-14-09, 08:17 AM
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So i have established that a 20-amp circuit is required for the GFCI receptacle. Could I run 12/2 wire from a spare fuse on my circuit panel up to the bathroom and use that for my receptacle? And then use the existing 14/2 wires coming out of the bathroom wall for the new light fixture? Or does everything need to be on a 20-amp circuit?

Lucas
 
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Old 12-14-09, 08:24 AM
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Only the receptacle needs to be on a 20 amp circuit. You can continue to use the 15 amp circuit for the lighting.
 
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Old 12-14-09, 09:23 AM
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I noticed the existing wires are 12 gauge. Could I replace the current 15-amp breaker with a 20-amp then make all the necessary connections? So far, I have concluded that this circuit powers the bathroom and the hallway light, as well as the master bed/bath so I am assuming everything is on 12-gauge wire. In order to tell what gauge wire this circuit is on, would I trace the wire coming out of the breaker at the panel up through the access hole and see if it is 12-gauage? The only thing I can think of that is wrong with this plan is that if the GFCI trips, then everything else will trip as well.

My other plan was to run 12-gauge from a spare 20-amp circuit, hook that into my GFCI receptacle and then hook that to the switch/light so that the bathroom has its own dedicated circuit, but after taking the front panel off of the main breaker I realized the electrician must have falsely labeled a circuit as being spare since there is clearly a hot coming out of the breaker.

If I have zero free spaces for new breakers on my panel, am I completely SOL as far as running a new 20-amp circuit?

Does any of this sound possible?


Lucas
 

Last edited by lnb001; 12-14-09 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 12-14-09, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by lnb001 View Post
I noticed the existing wires are 12 gauge. Could I replace the current 15-amp breaker with a 20-amp then make all the necessary connections? So far, I have concluded that this circuit powers the bathroom and the hallway light, as well as the master bed/bath so I am assuming everything is on 12-gauge wire. In order to tell what gauge wire this circuit is on, would I trace the wire coming out of the breaker at the panel up through the access hole and see if it is 12-gauage? The only thing I can think of that is wrong with this plan is that if the GFCI trips, then everything else will trip as well.
If I remember correctly there is some 14ga wire on that circuit so changing it to a 20 is not a good idea. The GFCI receptacle will only kill the power to that device only.

Originally Posted by lnb001 View Post
My other plan was to run 12-gauge from a spare 20-amp circuit, hook that into my GFCI receptacle and then hook that to the switch/light so that the bathroom has its own dedicated circuit,
This is a better plan if you can confirm that the entire bathroom is wired in 12ga wire.

Originally Posted by lnb001 View Post
If I have zero free spaces for new breakers on my panel, am I completely SOL as far as running a new 20-amp circuit?
No, your not SOL. Your panel may be aloud to use tandem breakers. Post your manufacture/model number and one of us can tell you.

FYI the reason we are telling you that you need a 20 amp circuit in the bathroom is that it is the latest code. While it may have been working fine before, it will be better to have the bathroom split from the rest of the house because of high draw appliances like hair driers which can be as high as 1875 watts.
 
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Old 12-14-09, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
If I remember correctly there is some 14ga wire on that circuit so changing it to a 20 is not a good idea. The GFCI receptacle will only kill the power to that device only.

This is a better plan if you can confirm that the entire bathroom is wired in 12ga wire.


No, your not SOL. Your panel may be aloud to use tandem breakers. Post your manufacture/model number and one of us can tell you.

FYI the reason we are telling you that you need a 20 amp circuit in the bathroom is that it is the latest code. While it may have been working fine before, it will be better to have the bathroom split from the rest of the house because of high draw appliances like hair driers which can be as high as 1875 watts.
I double checked and the existing wires are 12-gauge. I then traced the wire coming out of the breaker and it appears everything is in 12-gauge. All I got off the panel was that it is a Square D QO Loadcenter, possible model number=40273-830-02.

If I could use tandem breakers (which I'm pretty sure I can since it appears there are some on there already), Could I keep the light/exhaust fan on the same circuit as the hallway light and use the other half of the tandem breaker for the new gfci?

Lucas
 
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