Add a GFCI Outlet Circuit to a Bathroom
Jon in New Jersey asks: How should a GFCI Outlet circuit be installed for an existing bathroom?
Bathroom GFCI Outlet
Electrical Question: Jon in New Jersey asks: How should a GFCI Outlet circuit be installed for an existing bathroom?
- I have a bathroom with a GFCI outlet that feeds a vanity light and a exhaust fan/light unit.
- Currently, this bath room shares a 15 amp circuit and I want to move it to its own circuit.
- I would like to run a 12/2 wire to the GFCI, which it currently does not have. But the vanity lights and ceiling fan are run with 14/2 wire.
- Can I do this or do I need to re-wire all the fixtures with 12/2?
This electrical wiring question came from Jon, a Homeowner, in Ewing, New Jersey.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Jon.
Bathroom GFCI Outlet Circuit
Application: Bathroom Electrical Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools for Rough-In Wiring, Electric Drill and Auger Bits and Extension Cord.
Estimated Time: Depends on the extent of the bathroom remodel project, the type of construction and available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing wiring in the immediate area that may interfere with the installation of new construction materials should be identified, turned OFF and Tagged.
Notice: Modifying existing wiring or installing additional bathroom electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Adding a Bathroom GFCI Outlet Circuit
- Bathroom GFCI Circuits in the Home
- In newer homes you will find a dedicated 120 volt 20 amp GFCI Circuit to the Bathroom Outlets. Typically the GFCI circuit is not shared with the bathroom lights or exhaust fan unless these devices are located above the shower or bathtub area.
- In older homes you may find that the GFCI outlet circuit also provides power to the vanity light and exhaust fan. This is the case with Jon, who would now like to install a separate circuit for the bathroom GFCI Outlet.
- So lets review this project:
Jon’s bathroom has a 14 amp 120 volt circuit that takes care of the bathroom GFCI outlet, the vanity light and the exhaust fan.Jon wants to add a new 20amp 120volt circuit for the bathroom outlet, but what should be done with the existing 14amp circuit?
- Installing the GFCI Outlet Circuit
The existing 14amp circuit for the vanity light and exhaust fan and light can remain the same, however the wiring to the GFCI outlet should be removed.
The new 20amp 120volt circuit may be installed and connected only to the bathroom GFCI outlet.
Now there are two circuits for the bathroom, however the wiring of each circuit is kept separate.
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Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.