How can I add an outlet to a bathroom with no outlets?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by amateurplumber1, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. amateurplumber1

    amateurplumber1 Member

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    I'm installing a bidet for my grandparents soon an they have no outlet in their bathroom. There are light switches in the bathroom. On the opposite side of the wall of that bathroom is another bathroom. I'm pretty sure there is an outlet either directly opposite where I need it or opposite and a few feet away. Any advice would be much appreciated!
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    A bathroom is required to have a dedicated circuit, which is only allowed to be shared with another bathroom (if there were one). If you don't know how to fish wires and properly install branch circuits, this job is best left for a licensed electrician.
    Caduceus likes this.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Having a light switch does NOT mean you can add an outlet to it, because it depends on how the wiring was installed. In many cases the switch comes FROM the fixture so there is no neutral in the box for a receptacle.
  4. amateurplumber1

    amateurplumber1 Member

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    If it helps any...the house is from the late 80's. The bathroom i want to add a receptacle to is part of a larger master bath that has a bathtub outside it and a couple large sinks that have a receptacle...its just really far away.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Is there an attic above, or a basement below? If so, it often isn't all that bad to run a wire there, then to where you want it. A bathroom receptacle circuit is supposed to be a 20A circuit, so that would require a 20A breaker and 12g wire AND, depending on exactly what codes you are under, at least a GFCI, and maybe an AFCI as well.
  6. amateurplumber1

    amateurplumber1 Member

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    Its on the second floor. No attic and no basement. :/
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    One question I would have is how would a receptacle at the switch affect whether you install a bidet or not. If it is powered, the receptacle would have to be in the vicinity of the fixture. The age of the house has absolutely nothing to do with how the wiring was installed. The installer would do it however it was easiest for him and not worry about what you would be doing years later.
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I think you are saying that you think there is an outlet within inches of where you want to install a new outlet. You are considering putting in a new re-work box on the bidet side of the wall and running power from the existing nearby box.

    What are you looking for? Permission? Your local building inspector can handle that.

    Technique? I think you would inspect the current construction. Find how wires are run. Non-metallic cable or conduit? Plastic or metal boxes? Drywall or plaster and lath? Local regualtions? These will affect what you do.

    Search for "old work electrical box ". Maybe find a Youtube video that matches the construction that you are dealing with.

    I am not a pro.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    It is immaterial what kind of wiring he has because he is not going to cut into the existing wires, according to what he has written. He has to find a hot, neutral, and ground wires that he can attach to and extend to this new outlet.
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I think if the existing wires are THHN or THW in thinwall, that would lead to different techniques and materials for the add-on outlet than if it was 2-conductor (no ground) cloth-covered Romex(r) .
  11. PatrickH

    PatrickH New Member

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    amateurplumber... Where are you in the world?
  12. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    NY State, USA
    He lives in the extremely unfortunate and short sighted part of the world where they originally thought:
    "No, I'll never ever have to do any more wiring or additions to this home."
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    His icon is for New Mexico, and I doubt that any 1980's house there has "conduit", unless I built it for myself.
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