Bathroom Receptacle Wiring Question

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Old 07-15-14, 10:30 AM
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Post Bathroom Receptacle Wiring Question

Hello,

I have a few questions regarding how to wire bathroom outlets. I want to meet or exceed current electrical code. I'm located in Columbus, Ohio. Here is the situation:

-House is a 4 level split

-Two Bathrooms are on the upper level and are back to back (wall separates them)

-Both bathrooms have been remodeled including the addition of a dedicated 20amp circuit for four total receptacles (two in each bath) with a GFCI upstream. No lights on this circuit only the outlets.

- A half bath in being added on the lower level, which happens to be right under the upper level bathrooms.

Questions:

1. Can I tap into the electrical wire that feeds the upper level bathroom receptacles for the purpose of adding one receptacle in the half bath? I understand the addition of a junction box would be needed. This would keep all three bathroom outlets on the same dedicated circuit.

2. The half bath outlet would be close (within 6 feet of a sink). Does this need to be a GFCI receptacle since it would be downstream from the GFCI in the upper bathroom?

3. Are there any issues with the above setup if say a short occurred and does this meet code? Is installing a GFCI breaker a better option for this senario?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 07-15-14, 12:15 PM
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Can I tap into the electrical wire that feeds the upper level bathroom receptacles for the purpose of adding one receptacle in the half bath?
You cab but as you know lighting can't be on that breaker. Do you have a convenient source for light? If not and given the potential load if all three bathrooms are in use at the same time it might be better to run a new single 20 amp circuit for the receptacles and lights.
The half bath outlet would be close (within 6 feet of a sink
All general purpose bath room receptacles must be GFCI.

It meets code regarding shorts but the load on the receptacle circuit might be borderline at times. Two hair dryers and a curling iron might trip the breaker.
 
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Old 07-15-14, 12:20 PM
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First off, I'm not a licensed electrician, and I'm not sure of the applicable code in your state.

But here's my best answer to your questions.

1.) I'm not sure where you intend on putting a junction box, or why you think one would be required. I'm assuming you're tapping in to an existing outlet; what exactly would be junctioning in a separate junction box?

2.) Yes, the outlet would definitely need to be GFCI protected, but depending on how the outlets upstairs are wired (series or parallel - are you using the "output" terminals on the GFCI outlet or pigtailing it?) a simple grounding outlet could provide GFCI protection through the upstairs outlet. I believe NEC permits up to 4 additional outlets to receive GFCI protection through 1 GFCI outlet, but I don't know if your state has different requirements. Once again, keep in mind that you must place the GFCI outlet closest to the breaker box, and wire each additional outlet in series (using the "output" terminals) rather than parallel (using a pigtail). Pigtailed GFCI outlets provide no protection for additional outlets "downstream". (I pigtailed a couple in my own home because the @!%& contractor ran the lights through the circuit AFTER the outlet, but this meant I had use all GFCI outlets instead of only one).

3.) If you already have the GFCI outlet, I believe you would be within NEC to wire the rest in series from it, and there would be no need to purchase a GFCI breaker. If this was a new install, I would use a GFCI breaker, but I don't believe they are required for residential units under NEC. However, your state may be different.

In summary, I would make sure the first outlet closest to the breaker box is GFCI, and then make sure the other 4 (one in same bathroom, 2 in other existing bathroom, 1 in new bathroom) are grounded, and then use a basic circuit analyzer to test GFCI protection. If you do have to use a junction box, I'd put GFCI receptacles in the first outlets after the junction - although I don't believe that's necessary under code, that's just me.
 
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Old 07-15-14, 12:21 PM
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Thanks. The lights in all bathrooms would be on a different circuit than the receptacles so load shouldn't be an issue unless the scenario you mentioned plays out.
 
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Old 07-15-14, 01:17 PM
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Ox - The junction box would be required because I would be tapping into the 12-2 wire that supplies the upper level bathroom receptacles for the new receptacle in the half bath if that makes sense. Since this would be a splice I believe code requires a junction box be present to enclose the splice.
 
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Old 07-15-14, 01:20 PM
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All general purpose bath room receptacles must be GFCI
Does this mean all receptacles in a bathroom have to be GFCI or just have one connected upstream to be protected?

Thanks
 
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Old 07-15-14, 01:38 PM
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The latter - they have to have a GFCI receptacle or be tied to one upstream.
 
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Old 07-15-14, 02:57 PM
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Or a GFCI breaker.

.
 
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