GFCI Outlet in Bathroom

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-27-13, 09:56 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
GFCI Outlet in Bathroom


[HR][/HR]Hello all! This is my first post here so here it goes.

I am doing some renovation in the bathroom - new drywall, tiling, fixtures, etc.

The bathroom is very old and has 1 lightswitch that is on the same circuit as the bedroom (says 15 on the panel, assuming 15 amps).

Also has 1 outlet that was not GFCI but I am thinking I should install a GFCI for code/protection, since it is right above the sink. I included a few pictures of the outlet in question here:

Outlet - Imgur

I have changed all of the regular wall outlets in the home that had either 3 or 5 wires, but the ground always seemed to be the copper wire, but in this outlet there is the extra white wire attached to the bottom of the outlet, is that the ground, or something else?

The number on the panel says 20, once again, i'm assuming that means 20 amps. It seems to be on the same circuit as the bathroom adjacent to it and one of the living room outlets downstairs.

I have been doing a lot of research on the forums and it seems like a GFCI is necessary, and a 15 amp GFCI would be okay with a 20 amp circuit. But I just want some of your opinions on what I should do (short of rewiring anything).

Thanks in advance for everything!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-27-13, 10:02 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,365
The white wire appears to be a bootleg ground and is dangerous and should be removed. Does it connect to the green screw?

A 15 amp GFI duplex is fine on a 20 amp circuit.

The downstairs receptacle should not be on the bathroom receptacle circuit. The 20 amp receptacle circuit can be shared between bathrooms if it only serves receptacles in the bathrooms.

A
 
  #3  
Old 02-27-13, 10:04 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,674
The bathroom is very old and has 1 lightswitch that is on the same circuit as the bedroom (says 15 on the panel, assuming 15 amps).
It is okay to share a light circuit but the receptacle must be on a dedicated 20 amp circuit.

but in this outlet there is the extra white wire attached to the bottom of the outlet, is that the ground, or something else?
May be a bootleg ground but whatever it is it needs to be removed. As stated above you need to run a new grounded 20 amp circuit for the bathroom receptacles. Disconnect the current cable for the receptacle and abadon in place by cutting it too short to be reused on both ends.

and a 15 amp GFCI would be okay with a 20 amp circuit.
That is correct.
 
  #4  
Old 02-27-13, 11:12 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Ok so I guess what I would need to do is have an electrician come in and run new circuits for the 3 outlets that are currently on that circuit?

Just switching the current outlet with a 15 amp GFCI would not suffice?
 
  #5  
Old 02-27-13, 11:20 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,365
The bathroom renovation is going to trigger the need to bring things up to code. A new 20 amp circuit should be run.
 
  #6  
Old 02-27-13, 11:22 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,674
Just switching the current outlet with a 15 amp GFCI would not suffice?
Correct. It is not compliant with modern code and most AHJs require bringing up to current code when the walls are opened. This is DIY project if you want to do it. We can walk you through it. Probably no electrician needed.
 
  #7  
Old 02-27-13, 11:30 AM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
Guys, the white wire goes to a ground clip on the box. Regardless, the cable needs to be abandoned and replaced unless it's 12AWG on a 20A circuit serving only the bathroom.
 
  #8  
Old 02-27-13, 11:38 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,674
Thanks, Justin. Didn't notice this is BX and with the NY location may not be DIY.
 
  #9  
Old 02-27-13, 11:58 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
The location is Long Island, New York.
 
  #10  
Old 02-27-13, 04:04 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Welcome to the forums!

The number on the panel says 20, once again, i'm assuming that means 20 amps.
If, when you say "the number on the panel," you're referring to the number imprinted into the handle of the circuit breaker protecting this circuit, then yes, this is a circuit protected at 20 amperes.

It seems to be on the same circuit as the bathroom adjacent to it and one of the living room outlets downstairs.
The receptacle in your picture is obviously at the end of the circuit. If the cable comes to it from the receptacle in the adjacent bathroom, you should be able to install the GFCI receptacle in that bathroom, terminate the wires in the cable coming to this bathroom to the LOAD terminals on the GFCI and the power-in wires to the LINE terminals, and install a standard duplex receptacle in this bathroom. Both receptacles will then be GFCI protected. A 15A GFCI receptacle is rated for 20A pass-through and can be used there.

Can you install a new breaker in your panel and run a new cable from there to a point where you can interrupt the cable leaving the receptacle in the living room to come to the adjacent bathroom? If so, you can but the bathroom receptacles on their own 20A circuit. If not, post back to show us your situation and we'll advise you from there.

Remember, as Justin said, that all of the wiring you add must be #12 AWG on a 20A circuit. In your jurisdiction, the cabling must probably be Type MC, AC or BX - metal clad, not plastic clad - but you can check with your local authorities. We've heard that NY has recently begun allowing Type NM in some residential applications.

If you use Type NM, you will need to bond the ground wire at both ends. If you use Type MC, you will need to insert an anti-short bushing in the cut end of the jacket and wrap the bonding wire back over that to spiral up the outside of the jacket and create a low-resistance path to ground.

The ground clip that the white wire goes to now is an acceptable means of bonding the receptacle to ground, but the wire should be either bare or green-insulated copper, not white-insulated wire.
 
  #11  
Old 02-27-13, 04:09 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,674
Nash O/P is in Long Island New York so not sure if the code has been changed there to allow NM cable.
 
  #12  
Old 02-27-13, 04:31 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Nash O/P is in Long Island New York
I know, Ray. At least, he's somewhere on Long Island. and that's a big ol' chunk of land. It may have two dozen or more jurisdictions with authority over various parts of it. That's why I advised the OP to
Originally Posted by Nashkat1
check with your local authorities
about the kind of cable he needs to use.

Oops. Ray
 

Last edited by ray2047; 02-27-13 at 04:38 PM. Reason: Add oops.
  #13  
Old 02-27-13, 04:47 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Hi Nashkat thank you!

I am going to just try to re-state what you said to see if I have it right.

So the bathrooms need to be on their own circuit, even if I put them both on the same circuit, but the living room cannot be on it.

So assuming it goes living room-adjacent bathroom-renovation bathroom, I can install GFCI receptacles in the 2 bathrooms. But I would need to run a new circuit for the living room?

I'm sorry if this is not at all what you meant. Thank you!
 
  #14  
Old 02-27-13, 05:45 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,674
So the bathrooms need to be on their own circuit, even if I put them both on the same circuit,
They can both be on the same circuit if the bathroom lighting is on a separate circuit which it seems to be. So the answer is yes in your case. If you put the bathroom lighting on the same circuit as the bathroom receptacles then that circuit can only serve one bathroom.

But I would need to run a new circuit for the living room?
Or use the existing circuit for the living room and run a new circuit for the bathroom receptacles. You can leave the bathroom lights on the living room circuit if they are on it already.
 
  #15  
Old 02-27-13, 06:00 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Ah, I see. Yes, the 3 outlets (both bathrooms and living room) are the only things on the circuit, no lights. So either I run a new circuit for the living room, or a new circuit for the bathrooms. I guess it would be rather difficult to run a new circuit from the panel to the outlets in question because they are on the opposite sides of the house, which would be a problem.

Edit: This may not be true, but I'm going to assume they put the living room outlet on that 20 amp circuit because there used to be a room air conditioner plugged into it?
 
  #16  
Old 02-27-13, 06:12 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,674
Is the cable for the living room #12. That would not be common for a living room. If your right about them changing the original breaker to 20 amps for an AC that may have been done without changing out the wiring. if so that breaker needs to be changed to 15 amps ASAP.
 
  #17  
Old 02-27-13, 07:09 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
This is the living room outlet, sorry the quality isnt the greatest, but hopefully you can see what it is:

Living Room Outlet - Imgur

It doesn't even seem to be grounded.
i
 
  #18  
Old 02-27-13, 07:34 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,674
The important thing is if it is #12. I can't tell from the picture. Maybe the pros can.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 02-28-13 at 12:38 AM.
  #19  
Old 02-27-13, 09:41 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
I can install GFCI receptacles in the 2 bathrooms.
Vinny, you need to provide - install - GFCI protection for the receptacles in the two bathrooms. You can do that by installing one new GFCI receptacle in the bathroom that is closer to the panel, as the wiring runs, and using that to protect an ordinary receptacle in the other bathroom.

You can leave the bathroom lights on the living room circuit if they are on it already.
The LR lighting circuit? The bathroom lights are on a 15A circuit - not the same as the LR receptacle in question.

This is the living room outlet, sorry the quality isnt the greatest, but hopefully you can see what it is:

Living Room Outlet - Imgur

It doesn't even seem to be grounded.
That does appear to be a two-slot outlet. No way to make a guess at the wire size. If you don't know what size it is, use a pair of wire strippers to slice through the very end of the insulation on one of the (power off) conductors. See which size hole gets you cleanly through to the wire but doesn't cut into the wire.

The ground is provided by the metal conduit, or jacket. See post #10.
 
  #20  
Old 02-28-13, 12:18 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Vinny, you need to provide - install - GFCI protection for the receptacles in the two bathrooms. You can do that by installing one new GFCI receptacle in the bathroom that is closer to the panel, as the wiring runs, and using that to protect an ordinary receptacle in the other bathroom.
Right.

The LR lighting circuit? The bathroom lights are on a 15A circuit - not the same as the LR receptacle in question.
Yeah, the bathroom lights are on a different circuit as the one in question. They are on a normal 15amp circuit.



Unfortunately I do not have a pair of wire strippers - I included some better pictures of the living room outlet here, but I don't know if you can tell from just a picture.

Living Room Outlet 2 - Imgur
 
  #21  
Old 02-28-13, 01:19 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,674
Unfortunately I do not have a pair of wire strippers
Then you need to get a pair. You can't work without basic tools and they don't cost that much. You could also buy one foot of #14 THWN and one foot of #12 THWN, strip* an inch or two of insulation off two compare to the stripped wires on the receptacles. Compare at more then one receptacle to make sure they didn't mix wire sizes.

*Insulation on older wire is thicker then new wire so you can't compare by looking at the insulated wire.
 
  #22  
Old 02-28-13, 04:30 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Insulation on older wire is thicker then new wire so you can't compare by looking at the insulated wire.
That's why I said
Originally Posted by Nashkat1
No way to make a guess at the wire size.
If I was looking at it in person, this is what I would need to do to determine the size of the conductor:
Originally Posted by Nashkat1
If you don't know what size it is, use a pair of wire strippers to slice through the very end of the insulation on one of the (power off) conductors. See which size hole gets you cleanly through to the wire but doesn't cut into the wire.
Either that or the method that Ray suggested.
 
  #23  
Old 02-28-13, 06:36 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,221
This is DIY project if you want to do it. We can walk you through it. Probably no electrician needed.
Vinny, if you are thinking about making this a DIY project, you should check with the local AHJ and see if they will allow a homeowner to take out a permit and do his own wiring. Some will and some won't. You are on Long Island, I wouldn't even guess whether they issue homeowner permits or not.
 
  #24  
Old 02-28-13, 06:51 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,674
The quote was written before I noticed he was in Long Island. My next post was:
Didn't notice this is BX and with the NY location may not be DIY.
 
  #25  
Old 02-28-13, 06:55 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,221
Yep, I hear ya, ray. I didn't catch the Long Island location right away either. I know a contractor on Long Island if the OP needs to call someone.
 
  #26  
Old 02-28-13, 07:17 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
I know a contractor on Long Island if the OP needs to call someone.
I know some in the closer-in parts, like Brooklyn and Queens, come to think of it.
 
  #27  
Old 02-28-13, 07:41 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
You are on Long Island, I wouldn't even guess whether they issue homeowner permits or not.
Vinny, since Long Island isn't a jurisdiction and doesn't issue any permits, where do you live? That is, what permitting jurisdiction is the house in?
 
  #28  
Old 02-28-13, 07:45 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,674
And that's a no-no on the forum. Becky or Tom will send their hit men looking for you.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 03-01-13 at 03:12 PM.
  #29  
Old 03-01-13, 03:03 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
And that's a no-no on the forum. Becky or Tom will send their hit men looking for you.
That's true. I've been trying to think, though, if I know any I'd actually recommend to someone.

As opposed to those I know from seeing their stickers on panels I wouldn't let my worst enemy's dog go near. So far the "recommend" list is empty.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 03-01-13 at 03:13 PM. Reason: Correct my spelling in quote.
  #30  
Old 03-01-13, 06:02 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,221
And that's a no-no on the forum. Becky or Tom will send their hit men looking for you.
I wasn't going to mention any names on the forum. I was thinking more like sending the name by telepathy.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'