Bathroom wiring problems

Will code allow for the following:

House was built in 1973 and has seen no upgrades.

Breaker #9 (15amp) handles two half baths (lights, fans and GFI rec) as well as family room lights and receptacles and living room receptacles (approximately 12 combined).

I know code would not allow that today but was this proper back when the house was built and is it ok to leave it?


I don’t think any one here is going to hang their butt out and say one way or the other . best thing you can do is consult with your local electrical inspector. He is the one with final say.

My overall is concern is the future buyers inspection. I’m putting the house on the market this week. All the bathrooms are wired wrong according to current code and I’d rather not have to start busting down drywall to rewire them. I did update the bathrooms with toilets and vanities and some plumbing but not wiring.

Well, it had one upgrade, GFCI’s were not required in bathrooms till 1975 and 1987 for Kitchens. ;):slight_smile:

You will need to speak with your local Authority Having Jurisdiction. Each authority will have its own rules regarding grandfathering and the scope of your project will likely be a significant factor in determining how much of the system would be required to be brought up to current standards vs. grandfathered.

Home inspections are not code enforcement related, so grandfathering is not something that most inspectors deal with.

I don’t know what area you are in, but you may have some issues facing you when you contact the AHJ. If you have done plumbing work and your area requires permits, you may indeed end up opening walls back up for inspection. It is always best to seek the AHJ’s guidance BEFORE starting any type of renovation.

As for the electrical issues, only the AHJ can answer your questions now that you have already commenced work of one type or another. Some areas of the country turn a blind eye to small renovations, some strictly enforce compliance and inspection for even slight changes.

Based on this statement, you should have no issues.

Codes are not retroactive, and there are no requirements to bring existing structures up to current code standards. There are exceptions however, usually pertaining to state or city laws.

If you tell us where you are located, you might get a response from a local inspector, which would certainly be more beneficial.

sounds like some work was done and then discovered wiring issue when you went to isolate which breaker controls the vanity. then discovered loss of power in areas mentioned. if its not a remodel requiring an inspection and the breaker hasnt tripped proir or after work and no rewiring was done other than adding a vanity light i wouldnt worry. if your concern is the load being safe only, it is just the way it was, unaltered. Should all old wiring be redone in a perfect world yes but not always or nec. If walls were opened and electrical was altered or new wires added to old an inspection by the city was req. pre code problems are left alone but note new standards of elec. it will be mentioned in a report but a deal breaker, no on a sale of an older home. Typical scenario.


I like Jeff Popes statement the best regarding this issue. As it has already been stated; todays NEC would not allow this installation practice but as again Jeff stated so well…today is not yesterday !..well I basically said what Jeff said and put my own spin on how I said it…:wink:

If the circuits in question are protected properly by a correctly sized overcurrent protective device then you should be fine. The fact you stated that the bathrooms had GFCI’s then one suggestion may be to replace the older GFCI’s with newer models with more assurances of reliable operation than older GFCI models.(I will leave it at that).

However, as stated by others; in the event you update the house a properly training, licensed and insured electrical contractor can update your electrical system as deemed needed.