Bathroom electrical question

Looking for the nec rules on bathroom gfci’s

The issue at hand is two baths plus the laundry, bedroom, and some of the living room is tied togeather… Almost 30 outlets all togeather…

Some clairty please.

What is the vintage? The rules concerning bathroom receptacle circuits not being shared started in the 90’s.

Sean, Code says you have 2 choices for bathrooms.

#1: You can run a single 20amp circuit to feed the outlets (and only the outlets) in all bathrooms. In this case you could use 1 gfci in the first location, and protect the other outlets from it. The downfall to this is that if you trip a gfci in the downstairs, and you are in the upstairs bathroom, you have to run downstair to reset it.

#2: You can run a single 20amp circuit to feed everything in one bathroom only (outlets, lights, fans etc…), and not use that circuit in any other room. Since there is alot more hair dryers, curling irons etc being used these days, it makes more sense to run 1 circuit for each bathroom, and install a gfci in each required location, next to the basin.

House is 2 years old.

James, where in the nec???

Thanks btw

Right here:

I was looking at 210.8…
Once again thank you Robert!!:stuck_out_tongue:

There is a mention of bathrooms in 210.8 since that the section that covers GFCI protection.

But not the specific bathroom rule, which is what I was looking for…

IRC code and commentary below.

2009 IRC E3703.3 Laundry circuit. A minimum of one 20-ampere-rated
branch circuit shall be provided for receptacles located in the
laundry area and shall serve only receptacle outlets located in the
laundry area.

** Commentary **A dedicated branch circuit is required for the laundry
area. This circuit can serve receptacles that, for example,
are used for ironing, clothes washers and gas

E3703.4 Bathroom branch circuits. A minimum of one
20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to supply bathroom
receptacle outlet(s). Such circuits shall have no other outlets.
Exception: Where the 20-ampere circuit supplies a single
bathroom, outlets for other equipment within the same bathroom
shall be permitted to be supplied in accordance with
Section E3702.

** Commentary **This section requires a dedicated branch circuit for the
bathroom receptacle outlet(s). Section E3901.6 provides
rules for the location of the receptacle(s). Two
choices are available for the branch circuit serving the
bathroom(s) in the house.

  1. One 20-ampere-rated circuit may serve the required
    receptacle(s) in all the bathrooms in the
    house. In this case, no other outlets may be
    served by this circuit. The bathroom lighting and
    any fan or heat lamps would be served by a distinct
    general purpose branch circuit.

  2. A 20-ampere circuit may serve only one bathroom.
    For additional bathrooms in the house,
    additional separate circuits would be run. The
    one circuit for the single bathroom supplies the
    required receptacle(s) and is also permitted to
    serve lighting and equipment in the bathroom
    such as an exhaust fan and/or heat lamp. Because
    this circuit is subject to the provisions of
    Section E3702, the load of the other equipment
    can be a maximum of 50 percent of the rating of
    the branch circuit.
    The bathroom receptacle must be Ground Fault Interrupters
    (GFCI) protected, but lighting and other
    equipment is not required to be GFCI protected unless
    otherwise stated as a condition of the listing of a
    fixture or equipment. Some electricians supply the
    luminaires and fans in a bathroom from a GFCI protected
    circuit to provide additional safety for the occupants
    who come in contact with the luminaires, fans
    and switches.

Regarding the exception E3703.4 for “other equipment” in the same room if you have one bathroom on the circuit. Does this refer only to bathroom fans, heaters, etc., or is it permitted to combine the bathroom and laundry circuit, since the washing machine is ‘equipment’.

If not, can we use a quad box with one duplex outlet for the bathroom circuit and one for the laundry circuit? (And also quad boxes in the kitchen with two circuits in each)?

An electrical engineer advised us NOT to use 12-3 cable (two black one white wire)
with the two breakers adjacent (numbers 3 and 4, for instance) because if someone in future changed the breakers (to 2 and 4) the white wire could be carrying double load and cause a fire. Is it safe to put two circuits in one box or could someone in future wire things wrong and cause problems?

Owner-builder. Have not yet asked the local inspector these questions.

Sindi, it would have been better to start your own thread.

The other equipment refers to lights and fans in that one bathroom. If the circuit serves other bathrooms the circuit can only serve receptacles in the bathrooms.

A xx-3 cable would have a black, a red, a white conductor, not two blacks. The multiwire branch circuit is now required to have the handles of the two circuits handle-tied together or use a two pole breaker to prevent overloading the neutral.

Two circuits can and are installed in junction boxes safely every day.

The breaker numbers on most panels are odd on one side with even on the other. With that said, a MWBC would be wired to #2 and 4 or #1, and 3, not 3 and 4. Positions 3 and 4 are on the same bus and are across from each other.

There is also a restriction on the laundry circuit to only supply the receptacles in the laundry under the NEC.

Thank you. I reused this thread because it already quoted the bathroom exception. We will run two separate single-pole circuits (for which we already have breakers - and we bought more 12-2 wires instead of using the 12-3) and use two separate outlet boxes to be safer. With two circuits in one box someone might disconnect one circuit and not realize the other was live. So the bathroom will have two circuits going to two duplex receptacles in two separate boxes side by side.

Personally IMO that will look hideous. Just use a 2 gang box. If you’re worried about someone only shutting off one CB use a handle tie on both CB’s.