Exterior Outlet GFCTI - Reset in Bathroom

While testing some of the exterior receptacles for GFCI protection, I couldn’t find the reset as they weren’t in their usual hiding spots. After a fun adventure, I found that the reset was in the bathroom, connected to other bathrooms as well. My understanding is that newer construction calls for dedicated circuits to bathrooms. The home was constructed in 1996, and I’m questioning if this is an issue of inconvenience or potential issues beyond that.

Point the reset location out in your report. Done.


Yes, just note it so they do not have to search it out for themselves. It is only a problem if houses in your area need to be brought up to code when sold. Even then, we are not code inspectors. If the receptacles work and the reset works, then there is no defect or deficiency

1 Like

You are correct, bath circuits can not leave the baths.

Each bathroom is permitted to be on its own 20 amp circuit serving everything In that bathroom or the receptacles in multiple bathrooms can be on a single 20 amp circuit with only bathroom receptacles. The lighting, fans, etc. can be on a shared circuit with other thInga outside of the bathroom.

1 Like

I agree with Michael. Just point it out in your report and call it done.

1 Like

I want to clarify my last post which was based on the current NEC. A modification of section 210-52(d) in the 1996 NEC required a 20 amp branch circuit for the bathroom receptacles, the 1993 NEC did not require the 20 amp branch circuit for the bath receptacles. Unless the home was built under the 1996 NEC the outdoor receptacle was permitted to be connected to the load side of the bathroom GFCI receptacle.

1 Like

The wannabe code inspectors need to know every code for every trade, and how they were interpreted and enforced, spanning about 200 years. Or, they could just do inspections according to the SOP.


That would only be true if the house were built under the 2014 or 2017 National Electric Code (NEC). Older homes have no such requirement because using such circuits for other loads elsewhere in the house was not proscribed in earlier versions of the NEC. Under the present rules a single GFCI protected circuit can protect all of the required bathroom basin receptacles in several bathrooms or the required basin receptacle and any other load within it’s ampacity and other restrictions in a single bathroom. [This latter I consider poor practice because the use of 2 heating devices at the same time could plunge the entire bathroom into darkness. One example would be an installed resistive heater and a hair dryer. The heater could be 1000 watts and the hair dryer 1500.]

When the requirement for GFCI protection was a lot younger, so to speak, GFCIs were very expensive to the tune of about 400 of today’s dollars. That resulted in a GFCI protected branch circuit wandering all over the place. It was not uncommon prior to the requirement extending to kitchen counter circuits to have one circuit serving 2 or more bathrooms and an outdoor receptacle or 2.

Tom Horne

1 Like

The requirement for a 20 amp circuit to servce only the bathroom receptacles entered the NEC in 1996.


Tank you for catching that. I didn’t keep my old handbooks so I couldn’t look back far enough to be sure.
Do you know of any chronological list of code changes that would readily show when the various requirements came in. OF COURSE I WANT IT ONLINE AND FREE. Isn’t everything supposed to be online and free? What do you mean by saying that the effort of preparing the information still has to be paid for?

I should of found another way to look it up before writing an inaccurate reply though.

Apologies to all!

Tom Horne

Yes a free online version would be great especially for searching. :sunglasses:
I have most of the code books back to the 1940 NEC but it can take forever to search things because many of the Articles and sections have been moved around or didn’t exist. And if you want to “copy and paste” you’ll be typing it all in by hand.

It is also connected to the garage, basement and front and back door rec. AND it was only a 15 AMP circuit.

Common pre '96 NEC.

Depends on what was codified!

Even if you find a book that states the code for that year, it does not mean it was actually adopted by the municipality your in.

The best way of thinking about this is if you can’t talk with the code man who did the inspection you have no idea of what was required. So save yourself an argument and just report what you see and what supporting evidence makes it a significant issue to be reported.