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Need some advice on wiring in my half bath. (Pics of existing wiring inside)

Need some advice on wiring in my half bath. (Pics of existing wiring inside)

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  #1  
Old 07-14-11, 11:29 AM
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Question Need some advice on wiring in my half bath. (Pics of existing wiring inside)

We are putting up new drywall in my upstairs half bath. I want to install a new light fixture above the mirror with a wall switch to the side. I was also thinking about installing an outlet next to the switch. A combo plate I guess.

I've been reading and I know that it will have to be a GFCI due to it being in a bathroom. I dont know if I'll be able to accomplish what I want, though, with the wiring that is there. Let me spell it out and hopefully someone can chime in with some sound advice.

From what it looks like, most of my upstairs is old cloth covered wiring (no ground) and the bathroom and a couple other rooms are on one one circuit.

A image in the bathroom of where the wire comes up from below:



It runs up the stud and it splits (they must have had an old light fixture with a built in switch there before):



It then runs back down and cuts through 2 studs and then back up and splits again (second old light fixture?):





After the second split, it then heads down the stud to a power receptacle box for the adjacent bedroom:



Then from the receptacle it heads up to the ceiling to the rest of the circuit:



They also installed a ground wire from the 2 splits and attached it to the the cold water pipe:



And to confuse everyone even more, here is a rough sketch of the wiring:




So, what can be done in this situation? I hear now that bathrooms MUST contain at least ONE power outlet? What are my options?

Thanks in advance!
 
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  #2  
Old 07-14-11, 11:40 AM
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Welcome to the forums

I'm no electrician so I don't know exactly what you have there but I do know you'll need a 20 amp circuit for this
 
  #3  
Old 07-14-11, 11:48 AM
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Luckily you have enough of the existing cable to reroute it without adding a junction box. You'll need to move the cable coming up the right stud bay horizontally through the studs into the junction box that opens up into the adjoining room. The add-on ground wiring should be eliminated as it is not a legal grounding method. The wiring to and from the old light location should be eliminated. This will successfully remove this bathroom from the existing circuit; when you're done the existing circuit will come up the right stud bay, cross over to the j-box, then continue up the left stud bay to the upper floor.

You can then pull a new 20A circuit using 12-2g romex NM-B cable from your circuit panel to this bathroom. This circuit can power all loads inside this bathroom such as the required GFCI receptacle near the sink, the switched light fixture and optionally a fan if you have one.
 
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Old 07-14-11, 01:02 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I was afraid of that. I understand what you are suggesting. (Eliminate the bathroom from this circuit.) I don't know the first thing about running new wires. I was trying to avoid having to call in an electrician for this drywall project.
 
  #5  
Old 07-14-11, 02:13 PM
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With the wall open running cables should be easy. Is there an unfinished attic above or an unfinished basement or crawl space below? How far to the breaker or fuse box. Is the Breaker or fuse box inside or outside? Answer these questions and we should be able to walk you through it.

Also pick up a book on home wiring such a Wiring Simplified available at Home Depot, Amazon and other places.
 
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Old 07-14-11, 06:39 PM
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Those flying splices need to be in a junction box. The junction box needs to be permanently accessible, with a blank cover plate.
 
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Old 07-14-11, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
Those flying splices need to be in a junction box. The junction box needs to be permanently accessible, with a blank cover plate.
Justin the bathroom circuit is going to be removed so it is a moot point.
 
  #8  
Old 07-15-11, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
With the wall open running cables should be easy. Is there an unfinished attic above or an unfinished basement or crawl space below? How far to the breaker or fuse box. Is the Breaker or fuse box inside or outside? Answer these questions and we should be able to walk you through it.

Also pick up a book on home wiring such a Wiring Simplified available at Home Depot, Amazon and other places.
The breaker box is in the basement. The half bath in question is on the second floor above the main bathroom which itself is actually directly above the breaker box in the basement. Everything is on the same side of the house. The wall with new drywall on it you see in the first pic is the same wall the breaker is on in the basement. If a wire was run straight down that wall, it would literally emerge right above the box. I would not be against removing that piece of drywall.

Opposite the half bath (directly behind me in the photos) is an unfinished attic storage space. Let me know if you want any more pics or details. Thanks guys.
 
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Old 07-15-11, 07:41 AM
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The wall with new drywall on it you see in the first pic is the same wall the breaker is on in the basement. If a wire was run straight down that wall, it would literally emerge right above the box. I would not be against removing that piece of drywall.
That would be the way to go. You'd need to remove just enough to drill for the cable into the wall below. Then from the basement you can drill up into the bedroom wall. I'd also remove the base board in the bedroom and make a hole for fishing. Probably wouldn't even need to patch the bedroom hole because the base board when replaced would cover it.
 
  #10  
Old 07-15-11, 08:48 AM
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It seems simple enough, but that is an exterior wall. I'm guessing it is full of insulation and might also have horizontal studs in between the regular ones. I guess what I was looking for was just a confirmation from people with more experience that, yes, a new circuit is needed if I want all of this to be correct.
 
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Old 07-15-11, 08:54 AM
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I'm guessing it is full of insulation
Yes, but unless it is foam you should be able to easily push a fish tape through.
and might also have horizontal studs in between the regular ones
Newer houses don;t usually have fire stops. Have you seen any in the gutted bathroom?
 
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