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Old 04-20-2012, 10:22 AM
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Default Wiring a new bathroom

I'm adding a bathroom to our unfinished basement.
I have the framing done and the plumbing all done. Now for the electric. I think I have a good handle on it. Going to run 12/2 wire. I only need 3 switches for lights & fan and the rest outlets.

As I understand it I just need one GFCI outlet and the rest in the string will be protected by that one (I suppose it has to be the first one in the string though). Is this correct?

Any tips you care to offer up before I start pulling the wire. Believe me, I could use them.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

Doc, the gfci outlet has two sets of terminals, the first the input from the panel and you attach the other outlets to the second so they are protected.

Jim
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

I don't believe the switches need to be on the GFCI. Just the outlets.

A tip that comes to mind. GFCI's are a lot bigger then a standard receptacle. I would consider putting it in a box by itself (as the first in series as already noted). Make sure you use a deep box.

Have you picked your lighting yet? I would consider a dimmer for the light(s) over the mirror. Personally, I can't stand the super bright lights. I'm not putting on make-up or popping zits so I don't want/need/like them that bright.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

Gerry's the one to ask to be sure, but I think it needs to be a dedicated 20 amp circuit. I also don't believe that the lighting has to be GFCI protected. Finally, there's a minimum distance requirement between the outlet and any water source. Not sure what that is though.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim slagle View Post
Doc, the gfci outlet has two sets of terminals, the first the input from the panel and you attach the other outlets to the second so they are protected.

Jim
First in the string from the panel then anything down stream is protected.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

It may not be in the code but, there is nothing wrong with putting the entire bathroom on a GFI.

Also, in a basement, below ground one should put all circuts on GFI as a matter of safety, not law.

GFI's are cheap. Worth the margin of safety.

Here's a note, don't put them in series. One to a circut or it will drive you nuts.

Codes vary from place to place. Tired retired would have the definitive answers on this.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

All outlets will be on one circuit so one GFCI should do. As for the dimmer, I am planning for some indirect 'mood' type lighting near the ceiling. so I had not considered a dimmer. No special wiring for a dimmer is there? Still time to add a dimmer switch to the plan. Thanks guys.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:36 AM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

Doc,

BTW, they make GFCI circuit breakers. If you're doing a home run back to the box with all new, you can just put a GFCI breaker in the box and be done with it.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc View Post
All outlets will be on one circuit so one GFCI should do. As for the dimmer, I am planning for some indirect 'mood' type lighting near the ceiling. so I had not considered a dimmer. No special wiring for a dimmer is there? Still time to add a dimmer switch to the plan. Thanks guys.
Dimmers are easy and come with specific instructions. Note that they use more room in the box than a standard outlet or switch.

Three wires, still black, white and green for ground. Use a permanet closed eye on the ground wire! Crimp the two ground wires together or with sepearate eyes,,,,Screw it to the box.
Wire nuts on the other two wires.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

No special wiring for a dimmer if you're using standard incandescent bulbs.

If you're going with halogen bulbs, there's a couple considerations.

What type bulbs are you using?
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:41 AM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

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Originally Posted by FrancSevin View Post
Three wires, still black, white and green for ground.
Ummm, isn't that black (in), black (out) and green? The white is wire nutted without going to the switch.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

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Originally Posted by bczoom View Post
Ummm, isn't that black (in), black (out) and green? The white is wire nutted without going to the switch.
Depends on which way you are going. Power should not be at the fixture unless it is post GFI. Even then, I do not like to do it that way in a bathroom.

White should be spliced white to white, black in to the dimmer and out to black. Green to ground. If the dimmer doesn't have a green lead it has a green lug. Instuctions would be the same.

My bad if my instrctions were not clear. Related to the inclosed instructions I mentioned, it would have made sense.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

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Originally Posted by bczoom View Post
No special wiring for a dimmer if you're using standard incandescent bulbs.

If you're going with halogen bulbs, there's a couple considerations.

What type bulbs are you using?
What considerations?
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

With halogen bulbs, there's a different dimmer so you don't get a hum.

Also, with halogens, you need to make it a point to run them to full power somewhat frequently to keep the bulb life where it should be. A a couple seconds for each minute it was dimmed is adequate. Do it at the end of when it was lit on the dimmer before turning it completely off.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

Quote:
Originally Posted by bczoom View Post
No special wiring for a dimmer if you're using standard incandescent bulbs.

If you're going with halogen bulbs, there's a couple considerations.

What type bulbs are you using?
We'll be using standard incandescent bulbs.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

Quote:
Originally Posted by bczoom View Post
With halogen bulbs, there's a different dimmer so you don't get a hum.

Also, with halogens, you need to make it a point to run them to full power somewhat frequently to keep the bulb life where it should be. A a couple seconds for each minute it was dimmed is adequate. Do it at the end of when it was lit on the dimmer before turning it completely off.
Now that is a new one. I have Hals in a long halway/video library to the Laundry room downstairs. Mostly kept low. Yet the bulbs burn out often, and I could not fathom why since we have them on low power.


Thanks BZ!
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

Quote:
Originally Posted by bczoom View Post
With halogen bulbs, there's a different dimmer so you don't get a hum.

Also, with halogens, you need to make it a point to run them to full power somewhat frequently to keep the bulb life where it should be. A a couple seconds for each minute it was dimmed is adequate. Do it at the end of when it was lit on the dimmer before turning it completely off.
I have 6 20w under-cabinet halogen puck lights on a dimmer. They don't hum at all when dimmed, but that's probably because the wattage is so low?
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancSevin View Post
It may not be in the code but, there is nothing wrong with putting the entire bathroom on a GFI.

Also, in a basement, below ground one should put all circuts on GFI as a matter of safety, not law.

GFI's are cheap. Worth the margin of safety.

Here's a note, don't put them in series. One to a circut or it will drive you nuts.

Codes vary from place to place. Tired retired would have the definitive answers on this.
Actually, all outlets in the basement need to be on GFI in unfinished areas. I usually do not put the lights in a bathroom on GFI because if the GFI trips I would not want to lose my lights. I do not see not having the lights on GFI as a shock hazard.

Outlet in bathroom needs to be GFI. Other outlets downstream can be connected on the load side of that GFI outlet if you so desire. However, if those downstream outlets are not required by code to be GFI it can create a nusance situation.

12/2 romex is your standard 20A rated wire for home. Outer jacket will be colored yellow to ID for inspectors.

Yes, do not put GFI is series.

My kitchen fixture uses a halogen lamp and I have no humming when dimmed using an electronic dimmer.

Do you know what makes them hum? They do not know the words. Sorry, standard industry joke.

Always switch the black wire. Never switch the grounded conductor (white)

Proper terminology. Black & Red = Hot Conductor or current carrying conductor White = Grounded conductor old term neutral Green = Grounding conductor

Yes, you can still get zapped off the white wire. Not to ground but if you get between two white wires say one in each hand and your body acts as the continuation of the circuit. Trust me, that one really hurts.
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

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Originally Posted by TiredRetired View Post
Actually, all outlets in the basement need to be on GFI in unfinished areas. I usually do not put the lights in a bathroom on GFI because if the GFI trips I would not want to lose my lights. I do not see not having the lights on GFI as a shock hazard.

Outlet in bathroom needs to be GFI. Other outlets downstream can be connected on the load side of that GFI outlet if you so desire. However, if those downstream outlets are not required by code to be GFI it can create a nusance situation.

12/2 romex is your standard 20A rated wire for home. Outer jacket will be colored yellow to ID for inspectors.

Yes, do not put GFI is series.

My kitchen fixture uses a halogen lamp and I have no humming when dimmed using an electronic dimmer.

Do you know what makes them hum? They do not know the words. Sorry, standard industry joke.

Always switch the black wire. Never switch the grounded conductor (white)

Proper terminology. Black & Red = Hot Conductor or current carrying conductor White = Grounded conductor old term neutral Green = Grounding conductor

Yes, you can still get zapped off the white wire. Not to ground but if you get between two white wires say one in each hand and your body acts as the continuation of the circuit. Trust me, that one really hurts.
Thanks TR. I have put two circits in the Bath, one light fixture a wall sconce is on a separate circut, GFI of course. part of the on-suite's bedroom circut.

This is especialy useful in lower lever (basement) circuts as you seldom have ambient lighting. But, I do it in all bedrooms, al levels.. Not sure it is code but, I have never been called by any inspector on it.
Is it wrong to do that?
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Wiring a new bathroom

Doc,
Here's what the code says, if you decide to follow it. You might be in an area that does not adopt that.

The circuit feeding the bathroom receptacle(s) must be 20A
The circuit can be used to feed receptacles in another bathroom in the house
The circuit can be used to feed other equipment in that bathroom but can then go no where else

My personal choice is having the receptacle(s) on a different circuit than the lighting. If it trips while I'm in a steamy shower, I still have lights. I also like to have each bathroom receptacle on a separate circuit. They are now selling 1800 watt hair dryers. That's 15 friggin' amps all by it self. Two bathrooms on the same circuit and two hair dryers just ain't gonna work.
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