Adding bathroom electrical outlets

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by overlandsea, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. overlandsea

    overlandsea New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle
    Question about adding bathroom outlets:

    Current setup: House built in 1997. 2 bath upstairs, half bath downstairs. All 3 are on a single 15 amp circuit, which was code at that time. Jurisdiction is WA state L&I (county doesn't do electrical) which uses NEC 2014.

    What I need to do: Updating downstairs bath to full bath. Need to move the outlet to do so. I know that I must upgrade this to 20 amp then so that this updated space is up to current code.

    What I would like to do: Run 12 gauge THHN wire through 1/2" PVC conduit around outside of house from 20 amp breaker in box (have free circuit already). I would like to run it to one of the upstairs bathrooms first to install a new outlet next to toilet for one of those high tech heated toilet/bidet things from Japan. Then connect NM to the other side of the outlet and fish the NM through the hole for the tub drain, through the ceiling of the half bath directly below, and down wall for outlet in updated downstairs bathroom.

    My Questions:

    1) Will it pass inspection?

    2) Specifically, if I add the 1 outlet in the upstairs bathroom, am I OK to leave the other ones above the vanity on the 15 amp circuit already there, or is that enough of an alteration that I'm obligated to upgrade them to the 20 amp circuit as well?
     
  2. Stuff

    Stuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    1) Probably as nothing obviously violating NEC.
    2) Normally adding an outlet/receptacle doesn't trigger a rewire of the rest of the room.

    For both you should run it by your inspector first as all codes are local (authority having jurisdiction). And some inspectors make up their own rules.
     
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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Burying the wire as it goes around the house seems more polished.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    I'm not an inspector...if you did what you're planning, if I were one, it would not pass. As I understand things, when you add a circuit, it must meet current codes...those codes to not allow you to feed more than one bathroom with the same circuit, and, it must be GFCI protected, either via a GFCI CB, or a GFCI receptacle. Would what you're proposing work, yes. If you were to extend the existing circuit, it would probably pass, but you're adding one.
     
  6. overlandsea

    overlandsea New Member

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    May 8, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle
    Agreed that would be ideal....vaulted ceiling makes it difficult, but might be able to.
     
  7. overlandsea

    overlandsea New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle
    Thanks for taking the time. Seems like the biggest advice everywhere online is to talk to local inspector. I guess the best way to do this is just call the permit office and ask who the inspector is for my region?
     
  8. overlandsea

    overlandsea New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle
    I think what I've read is that you can have all bath outlets on a single 20 amp circuit if there's nothing else like lighting. What I think I've read is that the one circuit per bathroom rule applies only if outlets and lighting are together. Obviously I'm nothing close to an expert as I'm asking here. Just trying to set myself up for success the first time, so I'm asking lots of questions! Maybe someone can clarify. Lighting and fans are already on a separate circuit in my house.
     
  9. Stuff

    Stuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Correct. A single 20 amp circuit can supply multiple bathrooms as long as it is for receptacles only. As mentioned, all receptacles need to be GFCI protected.

    Outlet is a generic term that includes receptacles and lights.
     
  10. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    Whether it is permitted by code or not, having a single 20A circuit feed receps in multiple baths is a very bad idea.
    I've lived in a couple of places where that was done, and simultaneous use of hair dryers would cause breaker
    tripping with annoying frequency. I am sure the same would apply to some washlets that draw equivalent power.
    Equally annoying is having a GFCI recep (or GFCI breaker) in one place controlling a recep in a different
    bathroom.
     
  11. overlandsea

    overlandsea New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle
    Thanks for clarifying on both code and correct vocab
     
  12. Stuff

    Stuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Good points. Tripping would depend on the washlet. Most draw less than 500 watts or so which would still work with a high end 1800 watt hair dryer (20 amp circuit=2400 watts). A 1500 watt washlet would take a few minutes to trip with a hair dryer on at the same time. If they had a both a curling iron and a hair dryer (don't know why but I have seen it - two curling irons and a hair dryer) the circuit would trip a lot more often.

    Definitely use separate GFCI receptacles for each bathroom to keep them independent. Don't connect to the "load" terminals on the first one
     
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