Remodeling a Bathroom with GFI Outlet and Lights
Chris in Grand Rapids Michigan asks: How is a bathroom wired with GFCI outlets and light fixtures? Electrical Wiring for a Bathroom Remodel Project.
Electrical Question: How is a bathroom wired with GFCI outlets and light fixtures?
- I’m in the middle of a bathroom remodel and (as expected) some surprises cropped up when it came to wiring. We have taken the walls and ceiling down to the studs, so there’s a lot of room to play with.
- First, the easy one. Circuit breaker 11 is a 15A breaker. Previously it ran to two lights and a receptacle in the bathroom. My new plan is to have it feed five bathroom lights (60W), two vanity lights (75W) and one vent fan (draws 0.6A).
- Breaker 11 also feeds the hallway light, dining room light, guest bedroom light and three receptacles in the guest bedroom. But I believe if my calculations are right, a 15A breaker should be fine with this, right? All wires on this circuit are 14/2.
- It took a while to discover this, but there is a set of breakers (22 and 24) wired in parallel with each other, effectively making a 35 amp breaker (one 15A and one 20A). This feeds the fridge in the kitchen, as well as four receptacles in the kitchen area (one of which is on the opposite side of a bathroom wall). I planned to use this circuit to feed two more outlets in the bathroom – both GFCI. But this circuit for some reason I can’t fathom has 3 wire cable (red, black, white). I can’t find a double pole GFCI receptacle anywhere, so my plan is to split off 10/2 cable (black and white) to each GFCI outlet. I’ll then plan to just daisy-chain the red wire along to the rest of the circuit (since my GFCI outlets will be in the middle of the circuit). Is this a good plan?
- One I’m most nervous about. I’m not sure of the gauge on the existing circuit that runs through breakers 22 and 24, but I’m concerned it’s not a thick enough wire. I changed the breakers so there are now two 15A instead of a 15A and 20A (effectively making a 30A circuit). That way, I’m sure my 10/2 wire is safe for the GFCI’s. But is the wiring safe for the rest of the home, or do I need to replace it?
- The house is not huge (2800 sq ft, ranch style), and the furthest outlet is about 2/3rds of the way down the house from the breaker box, so shouldn’t be a huge distance issue.
Happy to provide more info if needed – hopefully all this makes sense.
Thanks so much for your help!
This electrical question came from: Chris, from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Chris.
Wow, this is a great Bathroom Remodel project Chris, please see the information below to help answer your electrical wiring questions.
Electrical Wiring for a Bathroom Remodel Project
Application: Bathroom Electrical Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
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.
Bathroom Electrical Circuit Wiring
- The bathroom receptacle outlet should be on a dedicated 20 amp circuit and the bathroom vanity light may be on a shared circuit.
- The following resources will give you access to wiring diagrams and answer your electrical questions.
More about Bathroom Electrical Wiring
Bathroom Electrical Wiring
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Bathroom Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
Electrical Circuit Wiring
This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
GFCI and GFI Wiring Diagrams
The features and benefits of GFCI outlets and receptacles will give you a clear understanding of the importance why these safety devices are required by code to help protect you and your family against accidental electrical shock hazards.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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