Help with rewiring bathroom light/outlet/fan

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  #1  
Old 12-22-12, 01:01 PM
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Help with rewiring bathroom light/outlet/fan

Hi guys,

I'm preparing to redo my bathroom. I have a 40-year-old home and the wiring in the bathroom is quite odd. When I turn on the light switch, the light will turn on along with the receptacle outlet and the bathroom fan. When The light switch is off the receptacle outlet has no power.

I would like to know how to properly wire the bathroom so that when I turn on the light switch the main light will go on as well as the fan but the gfi outlet always has continuous power (regardless if the light switch is on or off). I would also like to be able to have a timer for the fan as well.

Any input would be great.

Thank you so much for your time.
 
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Old 12-22-12, 01:10 PM
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You need to remove the receptacle from the current circuit and run a new dedicated 20 amp GFCI protected circuit for the receptacle. Tell us the wiring at the switch and receptacle and we can tell you how to abandon the wiring to the receptacle.
 
  #3  
Old 12-22-12, 04:14 PM
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Hi ray,

The wiring is 14-2

The wiring is interesting. Here goes.

At the light switch there is just a black and white wire. At the outlet, there is just a black and white wire. Both of these meet at a junction box behind the mirror/vanity. The fan wire also meets At the junction box. So there are three feeds into the junction box. The vanity light is connected within the three feeds somehow (there is a lot of wire!)

I'm going to be pulling off the dry wall during the reno, so I can rewire the bathroom completely.

Thank you again.
 
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Old 12-22-12, 04:51 PM
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To start with if the Jbox is covered by a permanently mounted mirror it is not code compliant and must be moved. All junction boxes must remain permanently accessible.

As I wrote earlier the receptacle must be on a GFCI protected 20 amp dedicated circuit. Depending on what else is on the existing circuit the light and fan can either remain on that circuit or go on the new 20 amp circuit.* What else is currently on the bathroom circuit? If the existing cables have no ground wire they can not be moved or extended by code so you will need to run new cable from the breaker box even if you keep the existing circuit for the lights and fan.

*The 20 amp receptacle circuit can share with another bathroom that needs a receptacle but in that case you can't put the lights on the receptacle circuit.
 
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Old 12-24-12, 10:28 PM
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Steve, most of us live and work in the US. Because you are in Canada, there may be some slight differences between our standard practices and yours. That said, though, I've not yet heard of a case where following US practices did not meet or exceed Canadian requirements - except for additional local requirements, but that can happen within the US as well.

So...

The wiring is 14-2
You can use that circuit for the light and the fan, but not for the GFCI receptacle(s).

At the light switch there is just a black and white wire.
That's a switch loop. Only ungrounded power is present - no neutral. The power should be coming from the panel on the white wire and going to the fan and the light on the black wire.

At the outlet, there is just a black and white wire.
That's a hot and a neutral. It sounds like the switch and the receptacle are in two different boxes. Is that the case?

I'm going to be pulling off the dry wall during the reno, so I can rewire the bathroom completely.
Excellent! Tell us what you want to have, and where, and how and where you want to control it, and we can tell you how to do it.
 
  #6  
Old 01-07-13, 05:33 PM
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Nashkat1,

Thank you for replying. I apologize for my late entry, i've been working over the holidays and now have time to reorganize my thoughts.

I plan on rewiring the entire bathroom to keep things simple. I will hire an electrician to connect the wiring at the electrial box (unless I can do it myself with some assistance from you guys).

What I would like to have is the following:
1) One electrical outlet by the sink that is fully operable at all times.
2) One light switch that controls the main light
3) One switch that controls the bathroom fan
4) Timer for the fan

How would I go about wiring this setup?

Thank you for your time guys!
 
  #7  
Old 01-07-13, 07:06 PM
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I plan on rewiring the entire bathroom to keep things simple. I will hire an electrician to connect the wiring at the electrial box (unless I can do it myself with some assistance from you guys).

What I would like to have is the following:
1) One electrical outlet by the sink that is fully operable at all times.
2) One light switch that controls the main light
3) One switch that controls the bathroom fan
4) Timer for the fan

How would I go about wiring this setup?
To do what you've listed in this bathroom - and only in this bathroom -
Run a new 12-2/G cable from the panel to the switch box in the bathroom;
  • Run a short piece of 12-2/G cable from the switch box to the box for the receptacle;
  • Run a short piece of 12-2/G cable from the switch box to the box for the main light;
  • It sounds like you may be planning to install a combination exhaust fan and light; if so, run a piece of 12-3/G cable from the switch box to that location;
  • A timer is a switch; if you will have two lights plus the fan, install a 3-gang box for the switches; if you will only have one light plus the fan you will only need a 2-gang switch box.
Do that and if you have any questions on how everything gets connected just post back.

Oh - at the panel, the new cable will be fed from, and protected by, a 20A breaker.
 
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Old 01-07-13, 11:28 PM
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Thank you so much.

If it is not too much trouble, could you also explain how to properly wire everything? I have a general idea but the help would make this step of the Reno much easier. Also, the exhaust fan will have no light. Does that mean I just need 12-2 wire?

I will have take a picture of my electrical box in the next few days. It's 30 years old. I have open spots on the panel, but question if I can find a compatible 20a breaker, or if I should just replace the entire box (I plan on redoing mu kitchen in the fall too).
 
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Old 01-08-13, 11:16 PM
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If it is not too much trouble, could you also explain how to properly wire everything?
In the switch box, splice all of the grounds together. Add pigtails to bond to the box, if it's metal, and to each switch. Splice all of the neutrals together. Splice the black wire for the receptacle to the black wire from the panel. Add enough pigtails to that black splice to feed each switch. Terminate one pigtail and one black load wire to each switch.

At the devices, bond the ground to any metal enclosure. Make up the grounds first, then the neutrals, and the hots last. Be sure to terminate the wires to the LINE terminals on the GFCI receptacle.

the exhaust fan will have no light. Does that mean I just need 12-2 wire?
Sure. But what did you mean when you talked about "the main light"? Is there only going to be one light in the bathroom?
 
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