Wiring a Bathroom
Best practices for running wire, nailing boxes, and installing fixtures.
Synopsis: Running electrical cable, installing boxes for outlets and switches, and preparing the boxes is a process collectively known to electricians as rough wiring. It’s a necessary component of any new construction or addition, and with a little guidance, one that even budget-conscious homeowners can tackle. Electrician Cliff Popejoy chose a typical bathroom to illustrate the finer points of code-compliant rough wiring. He discusses the need to plan the locations of outlets, switches, and fixtures. A drawing illustrates how with a few additions beyond the bare-minimum requirements for code can improve the bath’s comfort and function. After a brief rundown of the various types of electrical boxes, he demonstrates the installation and placement of switch and outlet boxes, a fan/light combo, and a recessed light. He shows his techniques for running cable, explains the difference between cable gauges, and the code requirements for attaching the cable. Last, he shows how to connect a three switch boxes to a home-run feed from the panel. Tips include recommended drill bits, stripping cable jackets, smart labeling of conductors, and how to figure circuit loads. Video Extras: How to Wire a Bathroom
If you want to invest some sweat equity in the house or addition you’re building, you might consider taking on the job of rough-wiring: installing boxes, running cable, and preparing the boxes before the drywall is hung. If the walls are open, it’s a straight forward job, and most building departments allow homeowners to do their own wiring. The task of installing the main service panel is complex and is best left to a professional electrician, but you’ll save money by doing the rest of the work yourself. And there’s no better place to start than the bathroom, a space that’s fairly dense with electrical needs but not overly…