I just installed a Broan Nutone 765H80L fan/heater/light in my bathroom using a 20 Amp dedicated circuit as directed. I purchased a 3 paddle switch to fit in a 1 gang box and each switch is rated to 15 Amps. after hooking everything up the light works, the fan works and the heater works kind of... I was expecting a lot more forced heat to be generated by this unit. Heater is 1300 watts. Is it possible that I need 20 Amp switches instead of 15 Amp? Do I need to run 12 wire instead of 14? If this heater were a toaster we would be waiting a while for toast - I let the unit run for 20 minutes and there was no difference in the output of heat. Any thoughts?

  • The reality is that even though for a bunch of reasons it is preferred to stick these things on a 20A circuit, they size them based on a 15A circuit == 12A maximum continuous, subtract 1A for light and fan and you get 10A+ for heat, so that's all you get. Fact of life in US wiring. In theory a 20A must only ever be on 20A + designed for only ever LED (i.e., integrated LED) could allocate 15A = 1,800W for the heat - a 38% increase. But not gonna happen because of market pressure to stay safely in 15A for retrofits. Oct 30, 2023 at 21:04

1 Answer 1


First off, if you installed a 20 amp dedicated circuit, you better have installed #12 AWG wire or you're in violation of the code (in the USA). The 15 amp switches are OK. A 1300 watt Bathroom heater is just like a common hair dryer on low speed but it has a larger surface area. It wouldn't make toast either. If you have an amp clamp meter, check the amperage. You should get about 10.8 amps. Are you sure you didn't get a 240 volt heater and hook it up to 120V?

  • That model is definitely 120V. Should be about 10A. Oct 30, 2023 at 21:02
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact Typo, thanks.
    – JACK
    Oct 30, 2023 at 21:08
  • Knowing how much work it is to re-run wire and re-do all the connections, you could downsize to a 15A breaker and be code compliant where your wiring is concerned. Depending on how the instructions phrase it, your install might not be compliant with the 15A circuit, though. Oct 30, 2023 at 22:22
  • I have one of these units. They make heat, and if you stand under them you surely notice it, but they don't suddenly transform how the room feels. If you want that, a heat lamp is actually a better choice, but a lot of people don't like how they feel.
    – KMJ
    Oct 30, 2023 at 23:08

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