I need a wiring diagram to help with the re-wiring of a bedroom and bathroom. I will use 14/2 and 14/3 for all lights, then 12/2 and 12/3 for all outlets, ALL LIGHTS will be LED. The whole home will eventually be controlled by a smart system such as lutron radiora2 so I will be using smart switches etc. Bedroom will have a ceiling fan with light combo on a 3 way switch with speed control and dimmer, I was thinking I would run power source 14/2 wire from main lug to switch A then run 2 pieces of 14/3 wire from switch A to Switch C which would be the end of the switch loop and from switch C then run a single 14/3 to the ceiling fan / light combo. But from this point I need to get power to switch B and D which are for two separate closets which will have an LED light strip inside closet above door but I want the switch to control power to the light in each closet independently thus meaning that the ceiling fan light being on or off does not affect turning on or off the closet light. Question is what is the best way to wire this scenario.


I would like to rewire the bathroom with a 2 gang box that would control a ceiling light with built in exhaust fan in center of bathroom, a recessed can light in shower stall, and a vanity light above sink. I was thinking one switch would control the shower light and exhaust fan seperately via a lutron one gang double switch then use the second gang to control the center ceiling light and vanity light both also independent via another lutron single gang double switc, thus having two switches controlling 3 separate lights and a exhaust fan all independently. I also need to have a double gang GFCI near the sink for my wife and her hair dryer etc. I actually have two bathrooms that are fairly close to each other and I am not sure if I can use one power source to feed the GFCI outlets used in both bathrooms or if each bathroom needs to be independent also not sure if I can run one 14/2 power source to control just the lights in both bathrooms since each bathroom is the same setup and the light will also be LED so not much of a draw. As per code does all wiring for bathrooms need to be completely independent or can a bathroom share power from another bathroom. What would be the best way to wire this bathroom as shown in drawing attached.

Any and all help or drawings you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance. I have attached drawings with notes for your information.

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!wiring digram for bedroom lights]3

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  • hoe many breaker spaces can you free up in the main-lug panel? These will need to be full spaces, not halfsies. Mar 24, 2018 at 12:51
  • Your diagram includes switched receptcles. What switch will they be controlled from? Do you imagine that switch having anything clever like dimming? Mar 24, 2018 at 13:15
  • I am rewiring the entire house so I put in a new main lug. I was thinking one power source run for lights with 14/2 and one run for outlets with 12/2 for each of the 3 bedrooms which have similar requirements. Thus each room on it's own dedicated breakers. How many spaces or breakers do you thinking I would need? Mar 24, 2018 at 14:07
  • The switched 1/2 hot outlets would be controlled by switch # A located at door # 1 and would be used for a lamp on each side of the bed to turn light on or off etc. Mar 24, 2018 at 14:12
  • Where is the homerun for the bathroom coming in at? Or were you envisioning it being on the same homerun as the bedroom? Also, do you have access to a good electrical supply house that can order things in, or are you stuck with big-box selection? Mar 24, 2018 at 14:52

2 Answers 2



Bathroom fixed loads like lighting and fan can be served by any convenient circuit.

With the bathroom receptacles, you have two choices.

  • Many things, one bathroom: The circuit serving receptacles in one bathroom can only serve other loads (fixed loads, lights, fan) in that same bathroom. or...
  • Many bathrooms, only receptacles: A circuit may serve receptacles in any number of bathrooms, but it can serve only receptacles and only in bathrooms.

You can go either way.

Switched receptacles

When having split receptacles (one unswitched, one switched)... the usual way that will be most understandable by "the next guy", and keep box fill sane, is to do switched receptacles is off the same circuit that powers the unswitched receptacles. So in that case, you connect 12/3 between the two split receptacles, and from one split receptacle to the switch. Remember, you need to carry /3 to a switch loop because you must bring neutral in a switch loop. You cannot use neutral from the other circuit!!!

Because you will have two different circuits in the same box, you must be very careful not to mix them. You might even consider putting this switch in a different junction box, to remove all risk of confusion.

Having made the /3 connections between the two receptacles and the switch, you now can supply power in any of these locations - or really, anywhere else in the circuit. Since I would be worried quite a lot about box fill in switch #1, I would consider feeding power into the receptacle circuit at the near receptacle.

Off the far receptacle (or anywhere in the circuit), you then continue with 12/2 cable carrying always-hot and neutral to other outlets.

The second way to do it is to put these switched sockets on the lighting circuit. In that case, the switch box would be all one circuit and that would ease box fill there. But now you are running two complete circuits to the switched/split receptacles, although you can use /2 cable. You will need to break off both the hot and neutral tabs and take care to keep separation of circuits. Which will make box fill worse at the receptacles.

Closet lamp #4

Given the proximity of closet lamp #4 to a receptacle location, consider powering closet lamp #4 off the receptacle circuit instead of the lighting circuit. This will need #12 wire because ALL wiring in a 20A circuit must be #12, no exceptions. It is totally legal to do this, it's just not recommended to put lighting on receptacle circuits generally, because if you overload a socket, the breaker trip will plunge you into darkness. That's not a big issue on a single closet.

By the way, no receptacles allowed in closets, and lamps can't be where clothing can touch them.

Box fill

Switches 1 and 3 are going to have a rather significant box-fill problem. I believe we discussed this six months ago on the three-fan circuit. Be careful selecting your boxes so they are large enough, I'm fond of 4-11/16 square steel boxes and either 1-gang or 2-gang mud rings.

  • Harper, Thanks for the input much appreciated. I wanted to attach 2 drawings that I believe may be close to what your explaining but for some reason I cant attach any photos or drawings. If you are able to sketch something out I would love to see what you have to share. thanks. Mar 25, 2018 at 5:05
  • Harper. I have just attached 2 drawings that I believe may be close to what your explaining. please let me know what you think if possible Mar 25, 2018 at 5:27
  • Yes, they look good. Between the switch and the light, you only need 14/3 if the power enters at the light (if unsure it doesn't hurt to run it.) Also if you have 39" to the right of closet 1, you do need a receptacle there. Remember, you can use a tree topology (have incoming and TWO outgoing cables or even three). If you don't know how to fork 3 wires on a receptacle, either use wirenuts or get the Leviton ProGrade sockets which accommodate 4. That's a basic skill you should know. Mar 25, 2018 at 5:38
  • all of my power will originate at the switch for all lights of which will all begin at box #A and branch off from there. Between the switch and the light don't you need 14/3 for any future smart home applications switch wise and to meet neutral requirements at each switch. Thanks Mar 25, 2018 at 6:07
  • Can I have a Code cite for "no receptacles in closets" please? It's definitely not in Art 406, where I at least was expecting to find it... Mar 25, 2018 at 16:58

My take on this

I'm going to challenge three things here:

  1. The use of two separate homerun cables into the bedroom -- they can be multiplexed into a single two circuit (12/2/2) cable (see the picture below for an example of what you're after -- it's also available in MC form, or you can simply pull a grey or striped 2nd neutral thru in a conduit job), especially since they're both going to the same box anyway! This saves slightly on termination labor (one less cable to pull, one less ground wire to fuss with) and also facilitates the other two points here...
  2. Using 14AWG wire for lights is somewhat silly from a Bill of Materials perspective -- having to order two extra spools of wire and also having leftover wires you can't use very well isn't a good trade for the slightly reduced copper costs you're getting here, and the extra box fill is relatively easy to accommodate given that you can get jumbo boxes these days. So, my plan in this situation would be to use 12AWG for all the things.
  3. Furthermore, the 12/3 cable is yet another Bill of Materials line item, and we need so little of it anyway, that it's better to replace it with a 12/2/2 with one of the neutrals retaped to be a hot (which is effectively a 12/4). Thus, we can get this job done with only two spools of NM or MC: a spool of 12/2 and a spool of 12/2/2, as well as some electrical tape. Less hassle keeping track of what cable goes where, less leftover wire, more uses for said leftover wire.

12/2/2 NM

That being said, here's the diagram. edited diagram showing wiring

Lowercase letters (a, b, c) indicate which switch pairs with which light, while the numerals b1 and b2 indicate that it's a 3-way circuit. Triple-hashes indicate a 12/2/2 cable with a neutral remarked as a hot, while the alternating long and short hashes (or the double arrow on the bedroom homerun) indicate an unaltered 12/2/2 cable. Note that the 4th wire in the cable to the ceiling fan should be an always hot that's simply capped off at the fan (this means that someone can extend more lights from there readily if they want to in the future), while the extra wires in the cable going up to the bath fan should simply be capped off -- they're for if you want fancy bath fan controls in the future (there'd be enough room there if e and f were a double switch, freeing up a gang for the fan controller).

Last but not least, I'll one-up Harper's box suggestion -- since you have a supply house handy, Steel City/T&B and Garvin both make 5" square/2.875" deep metal boxes (Steel City 82181 or equivalent) -- these give you 64 in3 of wiring space, which is more than plenty for the two cable-heaviest switch boxes (A and C) in this design, especially when paired with a mud ring.

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