This post is one in a series on remodeling small bathrooms. To access the lead post, please select the link in the prior sentence.
The focus of this post is electrical code compliance. It highlights some of the major safety concerns for which the codes exist.
The Solera Group provides expert bathroom remodeling services in the greater San Jose metro area
The first thing to know is these electrical codes really do save lives, every day.
Your entire system must be grounded
Inside your main electrical distribution panel is a ground bus which must be electrically grounded at your premises. This is typically accomplished with a ground rod which is a copper coated steel rod that is driven several feet into the ground.
Every circuit must be grounded
The wiring running from the panel to the various circuits contain a ground wire and the ground lug on the outlets must connect back to the ground bus in the distribution panel.
All wire connections must occur within junction boxes
This one is pretty self explanatory.
All junction boxes must be accessible
This means there can be no junction boxes hidden behind walls.
Outlets near water must be GFCI
The breaker in the GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt) trips when the current in and the current out differ by as little as 5 milliamps (which is very little). They really do save lives.
Outlet circuits and lighting circuits are not mixed
Outlet circuits require 20A breakers and 12 gauge wires. Lighting circuits require 15A breakers and 14 gauge wires. You do not mix the two, except in the bathroom (see below).
Bathrooms require dedicated circuits
This one is fairly new. Bathrooms require a dedicated 20A circuits for outlets and lighting and that circuit can not be shared with any devices in any other rooms.
Microwave ovens require dedicated circuits
Microwave ovens draw around 15 A when they’re running. For this reason you do not run any other device off the microwave oven circuit.
For help with your bathroom remodel, please contact us.