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View Full Version : 2 GFCI receptacle ?'s



DIY
01-20-2009, 07:00 PM
I would like to add a GFCI receptacle in a bathroom. As far as running power to the GFCI there is a light switch in the bathroom that has two ROMEX® cables running into the box. A receptacle just outside the bathroom has one ROMEX® cable going into that box.

Which of these two boxes can power for the GFCI be gotten from?

The breaker that controls this entire circuit is a 20A (on the circuit is a total of 3 lights,2 ceiling fans and 6 receptacles) Is it best and safest to go with a 15 or 20v rated GFCI receptacle in this case?
Thanks!!

Chris75
01-20-2009, 07:05 PM
By code, you need to run a seperate 20 amp circuit just for the receptacle, or if you want to supply the bath as well you can, but that circuit cannot leave the bathroom.

DIY
01-20-2009, 07:32 PM
By code, you need to run a seperate 20 amp circuit just for the receptacle, or if you want to supply the bath as well you can, but that circuit cannot leave the bathroom.

Thanks for the reply chris75.
There is no room in the breaker box for a seperate circuit. Is there anyway to make this work safely by getting power from the light switch box that has two cables running into it? The GFCI receptacle would be located 19 to 20" from the light switch. Thanks again!

jar546
01-20-2009, 07:56 PM
Sounds like it is time to upgrade your main electrical panel

RayP
01-20-2009, 08:44 PM
The NEC applies to new construction and remodels that require permits, in general, and ultimately this depends on your local codes situation. In my opinion, you can add a GFCI. Now, the best way to do so: either switch or outlet is fine. Whatever is easier to route to your preferred location for the GFCI with minimal wall repair. The only issue is will this outlet have enough ampacity given that the ckt is a bit overloaded if several items are in use. The size (15/20a) depends on the ROMEX® size in the original ckt. Whatever the smallest ROMEX® in the ckt is determines the ampacity for all components. This is the safest.

GabeS
01-21-2009, 07:32 AM
If you're panel is full with breakers, then you could either upgrade to a bigger panel or install a subpanel. Or put skinny breakers if you panel rating can hold more breakers and accepts those breakers. I'm sure the pros can tell you that if you tell them your panel name and type.

The bathroom needs a seperate circuit. Or one circuit for all bath GFI's only.
You can pull power from anywhere and it would work, but that doens't mean it's the right, safe, or compliant way to do it.

If the circuit breaker says 20 amp, then it's a 20 amp circuit assuming it was wired correctly with the correct wire gauges and a previous owner didn't switch the breaker (that's a lot of assumptions).:eek:

In other words, you're not supposed to put the bath light and outlet on the same circuit unless that circuit is only feeding that bathroom.

Chris75
01-21-2009, 04:10 PM
The NEC applies to new construction and remodels that require permits, in general, and ultimately this depends on your local codes situation. In my opinion, you can add a GFCI. Now, the best way to do so: either switch or outlet is fine. Whatever is easier to route to your preferred location for the GFCI with minimal wall repair. The only issue is will this outlet have enough ampacity given that the ckt is a bit overloaded if several items are in use. The size (15/20a) depends on the ROMEX® size in the original ckt. Whatever the smallest ROMEX® in the ckt is determines the ampacity for all components. This is the safest.

Last I knew EVERY job requires a permit.... :rolleyes:

DIY
01-21-2009, 08:32 PM
Thanks for all the replies folks much appreciated!

I do not want to beat this thread into the ground..,I found out from my neighbor who owns the exact same condo. as i do layout and all ,and we talked of the same problems and good points they have. I told him what i was wanting to do ,and he added a gfci @ 1 year ago in his bathroom. Not the same location as i wanted ,but it was not far from it. It was done by a well known commercial and residential electric outfit here. I saw he had the same size breaker panel as me not a new one or a sub panel. Apparently or what i saw is they tapped power from the light switch ( two ROMEX® cables in the box) and my neighbor said from the light switch they ran power directly over to gfci outlet. After i explained as far as i know a separate breaker is needed for the gfci.No room for another breaker as my panel is full up as yours probably is too.Maybe the units do differ.I saw no difference. Perhaps some other work was done in the attic to make this work... I just can't see spending $1200 to $1600 to upgrade a breaker box or sub panel it to put in a $13 or $20 gfci outlet . Perhaps variances are allowed to make some codes possible?, or this code was changed/passed by the NEC within the last year or two?
Thanks all again!

iminaquagmire
01-22-2009, 08:12 AM
In order to stay within code specs, you'd have to run a dedicated 20A circuit to the bathroom, powering the receptacles and lighting (only if the power for the lighting never left the bathroom). Getting an electrician here to tell you to do something against code is unlikely. What the code says to do and what is possible under current circumstances are often two different things. You could keep what you have and run separate power from a new 20A breaker to the the GFCI, or you can do it the illegal way. Will the illegal way burn down the house? Probably not, but if it did you'd be up a creek without a paddle.

PeteD
01-22-2009, 08:41 AM
Last I knew EVERY job requires a permit.... :rolleyes:
Not sure this is true in MA, unless you are getting paid (not the HO):
http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/143-3l.htm

"No person shall install for hire any electrical wiring or fixtures subject to this section without first or within five days after commencing the work giving notice to the inspector of wires appointed pursuant to the provisions of section thirty-two of chapter one hundred and sixty-six."

I have heard this will be revised as some point.

Pete

GabeS
01-22-2009, 09:32 AM
Did you get electricians in there to give you quotes? Like I said you may be able to put a skinny breaker in the box if it's rated for that. Get some estimates first.

If you are doing this yourself, I would definately hesitate. No offense intended, but just by listening to your electrical terminology it doesn't sound like you are prepared to tackle this job at the current time.

Get some estimates, see what the pros tell you and take it from there.

The price of the outlet has nothing to do with the price of the job.

DIY
01-22-2009, 09:48 AM
Thanks for the replys all

Not at all do i intend for an electrician here to tell it is ok to go against code... Nor do i intend to do this myself. Estimates will be gotten late this afternoon. I am now leaning towards sub panel size options.It would be nice to add other appliances/fixture, and know a sub panel will allow for it.

Thanks again all

codeone
01-22-2009, 01:54 PM
Thanks for the replys all

Not at all do i intend for an electrician here to tell it is ok to go against code... Nor do i intend to do this myself. Estimates will be gotten late this afternoon. I am now leaning towards sub panel size options.It would be nice to add other appliances/fixture, and know a sub panel will allow for it.

Thanks again all

Dont just get quotes, a reputable electrician will include a permit in his quote and aquire one if you have him do the job and have it inspected. If hes not willing to do this dont use him.

RayP
01-31-2009, 05:44 PM
Last I knew EVERY job requires a permit.... :rolleyes:

The NEC makes it very clear that it is NOT law, is NOT meant to mandate anything. The AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) MAY mandate and enforce the NEC, in part, or in whole, or not at all. For example, although we are in 2009, and the most recent code edition is 2008, New York State requires it's municipalities to enforce the 2002 code, with local control on how closely and how completely. Also, the NEC does not even mention what may apply to existing installations. This is why you won't see officials going house to house to make sure you have your GFCI's or AFCI's in place. If your bank or insurance company has a different opinion, that is up to them and you.
So, not every job requires a permit.

Scuba_Dave
01-31-2009, 06:57 PM
In MA an electric permit is required in my Town & a HO can pull the permit. In some other towns friends have had problems & Building Dept doesn't want to issue an electric permit to the HO

Sub panel is the way to go if you have enough Main power
I added one next to my 200a panel almost right after buying the house

jadnashua
02-01-2009, 01:01 PM
Most places prohibit working on the electrical in a multi-family dwelling by the homeowner...depends on if your condos are standalone units or flats or townhouses. In my condo (a townhouse), it is illegal to do ANY plumbing or electrical work uniless you have a license. I could do work on my home if it was a standalone dwelling.

Even if it was against code, having a separate circuit for a bathroom is a good idea...plug in that hair dryer, curling iron, etc., and someone else turns on something in say a neighboring bedroom on the same circuit, and breakers or GFCI start tripping. Much better to confine it to the one room.

maintenanceguy
02-02-2009, 04:13 AM
The NEC makes it very clear that it is NOT law, is NOT meant to mandate anything. The AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) MAY mandate and enforce the NEC, in part, or in whole, or not at all. For example, although we are in 2009, and the most recent code edition is 2008, New York State requires it's municipalities to enforce the 2002 code, with local control on how closely and how completely. Also, the NEC does not even mention what may apply to existing installations. This is why you won't see officials going house to house to make sure you have your GFCI's or AFCI's in place. If your bank or insurance company has a different opinion, that is up to them and you.
So, not every job requires a permit.

I don't know anything about your state but in mine, the legislature has adopted the NEC AS LAW. And the AHJ is rrequired to enforce the code (LAW) but can't add or subtract from it. In fact, if you have an AHJ that isn't following the code (LAW) there is an appeal process set up in the law to allow you to appeal his decisions.

Now, I have no problem with the AHJ applying common sense in his enforcement and I don't agree with every part of the code. But there seems to be a glut of AHJs who are not endowed with common sense so it's good that they're limited to enforcing the code as its written and aren't given the latitude to do more.