An unusual circuit question


Old 04-11-19, 11:56 AM
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An unusual circuit question

I’m having a bathroom remodeled – too big a job for me to do – but there’s a situation.

There are three circuits in the bathroom: the code required circuit; a second, dedicated circuit for an electric baseboard heater; and a third somewhat unusual circuit. The first two circuits will be shut down until fixtures /receptacles etc. have been replaced.

The “unusual circuit” was here when I bought the house in 1985. It powers the exhaust fan and a second GFI receptacle in the bathroom. Strangely, it also powers the clothes washer and (gas) dryer , which are in the basement at the far end of the house, as well as a set of outdoor security lights on the same side of the house as the bathroom in question. I plan on capping all of the wires from this circuit that end up in the bathroom for the duration of the project.

My question: Would it be safe to turn on the circuit after the workers have left, so we could use the washer dryer at night, and have the security lights function ? (of course shut it down before the next work day)?
As always, thanks in advance
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Old 04-11-19, 12:16 PM
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If I was doing this one, I would reconfigure the old circuit such that it no longer powers anything in the bathroom. By modern code you can't have all that other stuff on a bathroom or laundry room receptacle circuit (it was OK in '85 though), so part of the remodel should be bringing it up to modern standard. One way to do that would be to disconnect the leg from the laundry area to the bathroom and feed a new circuit from the main panel to the bathroom junction box where the old one fed in.

As far as turning things on and off in someone else's work zone, I don't think this is a safe thing to do. You might forget to turn it off in the morning, and they might assume it's still off or a dozen other scenarios that end up with someone touching live wires they thought were dead. If your contractor is following 100% proper procedure they'll disconnect or lock-out the circuits, but that is not the norm in residential remodeling.
Old 04-11-19, 12:17 PM
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Sure as long as everything is capped off. Can you determine where the cables come from that go into the bathroom, you may be able to pull it back to a “J” and box it off there.
Old 04-12-19, 07:40 AM
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So long as the unusual circuit also powers the outdoor lights, it does not qualify as the code required laundry area circuit. But it is probably grandfathered if you do not wish to at this time add to your electrician's task to string a brand new dedicated 20 amp laundry area circuit.

The existing code required bath circuit cannot be tapped or extended to power the lights and fan if it also powers receptacles in a second bathroom.

The unusual circuit will still stir up questions from a future homeowner if it first zigs to a junction box (with required accessible cover) near the bathroom where the light and fan connections were lopped off and then zags to the laundry area.
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