general complaints home improvements

pleeeeeease, can I dry my hair in the baaaaaathrooooooom?

We’re coming up on the 3-year house anniversary.  And it’s been 3 years of drying my hair in the hallway.  Because the bathroom outlets don’t work.

They managed to pass inspection just fine – but somewhere between the inspection and my first attempt at drying my hair, they stopped working.  Granted, I blow dry my hair about once every 2 months, so who knows how long it was after we moved in that I discovered it.  Who knows what may have happened.  Malicious sellers?  Careless cable or direct tv installers?  Or maybe my 1875-watt monster of a hair dry made the wires asplode.

So as part of the bathroom remodel, we negotiated in that they would fix the outlet and put in a GFI.  Because it had no such protections.

The electrician is here now, and informed me that the … wire? … is only for 15 amps, not 20 amps as is standard these days for bathrooms.  

He has discovered that our GFI is in the basement utility room.  When it is not tripped, the utility room, porch outlet, and two bathrooms work.  The backyard outlet (never even knew we had one …) and the upstairs bathrooms never work ….

The electrician is going to steal power from the upstairs hall, feed it to the guest bath, and use that to power the master bath.  (With GFI protections, of course.)  He can’t upgrade the wire without tearing up all the walls through the entire house, so I’ll be stuck with a wimpy 15 amps.  That probably won’t power my one-true-love of a hair dryer.  But – at least the husband will be able to shave in the bathroom …

5 replies on “pleeeeeease, can I dry my hair in the baaaaaathrooooooom?”

I thinks the old owner paid off the inspection man. Or somethin like that.

watts = amps x volts. do the math. 15a x 120v =1800w. and a 15 amp breaker is only good for 80% continuous (thats 12a or 1440w). sorry

Wait, what?!? I’m supposed to spend 15 minutes with a wimpy hair dryer? Hmm, think I’ll stick with my monster that takes a minute and a half … Will anything bad happen?

the electrical code is made with over protection. #14 wire on a 15 amp breaker. keeps the wire from getting hot enough to burn the wood in the walls or melt the insulation on the wire. breakers will trip instantaneously on a short circuit and anywhere from 10 min to 2 min on an 80% load to a 300% load and getting faster with more load. two mechanisms-a magnetic and a thermal. but small (residential) type breakers tend to fail by tripping faster and faster. the more they get tripped the faster they trip. but that would take lots of trips-a couple a day?-for months.

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