I have a three room apartment in an old house with 60 AMP service
coming in from the main. Currently the kitchen has 15 AMPS going to it
and the other two small rooms also have 15 AMPS between them.
I need to re-wire my bathroom for a light fixture, single pole switch
and a GFCI outlet. I was thinking to get a new 15 AMP breaker and run
a 14/3 gauge wire from the box to the bathroom.
Can I get away with a 14/2 wire instead of 14/3?
With the power off. My proposed connections would be:
Place the 15A breaker in the box in the slot below the second breaker.
Take the 14/3 or 14/2 band and slot it through the box and then connect
the white wire to the white column in the box.
to the 15 A breaker via the screw.
FIsh the 14/3 or 14/2 band below the subfloor and then to the area of
the switch or outlet in the wall.
The metal boxes are in place for the switch, GFCI outlet and the light
Now how do I connect the remainder?
Stop right there.
Why would you even consider plugging in the breaker to the box before
connecting the black wire to it?
If you cannot think of a safer way of doing this then please consult a
professional before you hurt yourself.
Don't take this as a personal attack, just what you described is
ill-advised and sounds like your first attempt at residental electrical
wiring. Be safe.
Let me rephrase the entire scenario:
With the POWER OFF from the Electric Company:
I would attach the 15 AMP breaker to the panel right under two 15 AMP
breakers which lead to two of the three rooms of the section of the
house. There is 60 AMPs total going into this section of the house
which functions as the main breaker. I'll never exceed 60 Amps to
throw the 60 AMP breaker, the most I'll have is 30 AMPs.
Next, take the 14/3 wire and fish it thru the box to the breaker and
fasten it the box at the wire hole.
Take the ground wire from the 14/3 and attach the ground to the ground
in the box.
Take the white wire from the 14/3 and attach it to an open slot at the
column containing the white (neutral) wire returns.
Take the black wire from the 14/3 and attach the the new 15 AMP
breaker. The breaker itself is already grounded via the panel.
Take the other end of the 14/3 and create a junction in a junction box
of one 14/3 in and in two bands of 14/3 out of the junction box. Tie
grounds together and to the electrical junction box and then tie all
the white wires together and all the black wires together
Fish one of the two 14/3 to the GFCI and attach the ground wire of the
14/3 to the gfci ground and to the ground of the GFCI electrical box
and the black wire to the hot lead of the GFCI and white wire to the
neutral lead of the GFCI.
Fish the second of the two 14/3 from the junction box of the light,
call it A. Get a another 14/3 wire band call it B.
Fish this B 14/3 wire band to the switch. Connect the 14/3 (A) black
wire (hot) and attach it to the black wire of the other 14/3 B, at the
light electrical box end. At the other end attach the 14/3 (B) black
wire to the hot screw on the switch.
Attach the ground of 14/3 (B) to the switch and to the switch
electrical box. Attach the white wire of 14/3 (B) to the second screw
of the switch. The other end of this white wire which goes back to the
light will be connected to the black wire of the light.
Any other ideas on different wiring techniques?
Why 14/3? What are you going to do with the red wire?
Besides, I would have to look it up, but I think bathrooms require a 20a
Your breakers are grounded? Must be some circuit box to have grounded
You may find fishing is a great deal more challenging then you expected.
Have the power off from the electric company? They will love that
request... "Please shut off my power, I want to install a new branch
circuit." They will shut off your power; until you have the electrical
If you aren't trolling, you better rethink your project. It is as simple as
you say, but since you clearly don't have a clue what you are doing, I
wouldn't want to use your circuit.
Take this free advise at your own risk, I'm not an electrician.
14/3 has three conductors and one ground (black, white, red). I think
you mean 14/2, which has two conductors and a ground (black, white).
Do not count the ground for guage/conductor designations. I doubt you
need 14/3 on this circuit.
For a bathroom GFCI circuit I would run 12/2, install a 20 amp breaker
and all 20 amp rated equipment on the line. If you have a hairdryer
look at the wattage and divide by 120 to get the amperage draw.
Probably about 10 amps? Now figure that a 20 amp circuit is really
only designed for an 80% load (16 amps). Now figure that the light
you're installing will draw 1-2 amps. On a 15amp circuit you are now
drawing an 80% load (~12 amps), with no room to play safely. On a 20
circuit you still have some room to plug more stuff in safely.
If you are still doubtful then go to the library and ask to see the
2005 NEC, or a residental wiring manual based on it.
I would run the 12/2 from the bath to the breaker panel, not from the
panel to the bath. This way you can do as much work as you can using
the lights before cutting the power to the panel.
Cut the power to the panel before opening the box to wire the circuit
and have someone stand a few feet away from you with a flashlight so
you can see what you are doing. And if something should happen to you
they can call 911. No kidding...
The power is shut off in the house... It is being remodeled. And, I
misspoke about grounding the breaker in the panel, otherwise I was
looking for alternate ways of wiring up the bath and updating the wires
to the bath.
With 60 AMPS coming in and currently 15 + 15 Amps in the three rooms,
adding a 15 or 20 Amp breaker to the box won't affect the main breaker
in terms of tripping. The most going thru the three rooms would be 50
AMPs if a 20 AMP breaker and 12/2 was added to the bathroom.
You seem to be under the impression that the sum of breaker ratings on
each leg of the main needs to be less than the main breaker. It doesn't.
The breaker ratings are maximums, and circuits seldom draw that much.
Try to balance things in terms of expected/routine large loads, and
don't worry about sum-of-breakers. Mind you, 60A is mighty small these days.
The level of questions you're asking suggests to me that you need
to read a good book on electrical wiring, or, hire someone to do
the work. If you're asking about color codes, and not familiar with
what "14/3" actually means, I _really_ worry about what you're NOT
asking about and should be.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
Safety is always 1st priority, especially if you are not familar with
electrical work. In this case, having a friend there to call 911 is
not a bad idea. Yes, if you know what you are doing, overkill, but I
wouldn't suggest connecting a CB without a proper understanding of
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.