How to Rewire a Bathroom
Rewiring a Bathroom: Installing a New Circuit and a GFCI Circuit Breaker, Installing exhaust fan and light switches.
Bathroom Electrical Wiring
Electrical Question: I am rewiring my bathroom and ran into some problems that I need help with.
- I replaced a recessed light over my shower with a fan light and night light fixture.
- I ran a new circuit and installed a GFCI circuit breaker and installed a three way switch. I then replaced the existing ceiling fan over the toilet with a fan/light fixture.
- I wanted to control the fan and light separately, so I moved the 12/2 wire from the original fixture over the shower to the new fixture over the toilet.
- The switch controlling the fan over the toilet works, but the switch controlling the light doesn’t and the recessed light over the soaker tub doesn’t work.
- I looked at the switches and the switches for the recessed lights are both single pole and wired in series.
- I checked the breaker and none were tripped, but I flipped the breakers labeled for the second floor.
- I turned the breakers off before removing the original fixtures. I reversed the switch connections on the fan and light fixture. The light turned on and the fan didn’t. Any ideas?
This electrical wiring question came from Mike, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Mike.
Rewiring a Bathroom
Application: Rewiring a Bathroom.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed 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.
Steps to a Successful Bathroom Rewire Project
- Identify the Electrical Codes that Apply to Your Bathroom Wiring Project
Rewiring a bathroom always begins with understanding the required electrical codes and how they will apply to the rewiring process. This is especially essential in the bathroom where GFCI protection must be provided, and special attention to types of light fixtures, and how this all relates to current electrical codes.
- Plan and Layout the Rewiring Project
A layout and electrical plan for the project should be created which would then allow for the application of the electrical codes that are required based upon the electrical devices that will be installed and the location of the devices and the controls that will be used.
- Identify Electrical Circuit Wiring
The existing circuits in the bathroom must be identified along with the devices that are connected to the circuits. Depending on the home and the number of bathrooms consideration must be given to the required dedicated GFCI outlet, and GFCI protection that is required for light fixtures within the proximity of the soaker tub or shower. Isolating dedicated circuits and preventing electrical circuit wiring from becoming shared is very important.
- Rewiring a bathroom may not be limited to just replacing a light switch or installing a new light fixture or exhaust fan.
- The full scope of the project must be taken into consideration so the project will be done right and according to code.
More about Rewiring a Bathroom
Bathroom Electrical Wiring
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Bathroom Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
Home Electrical Codes
Electrical Code Directory covering electrical wiring for bathrooms.
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring Diagrams for Light Switches
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical 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.
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
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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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