Main hallway bath GFCI

I was inspecting an older, but updated Town House today and when I tested the main hallway bath GFCI it killed the hallway recess light as well.

It seems to me that I read something someplace that said that was ok, but I still have an weird feeling about it and I don’t know why.

And one other thing in the kitchen… the dishwasher was on a switched circuit. One switch was for the disposal, the other interrupted power to the dishwasher. I could trace the disposal
power to the outlet onder the sink, but never could find the power cord for the dishwasher.

Could be that I have a bad cold and I’m just not thinking right tonight…

Paul, Joe…anyone?


The GFCI controlling the hall light is OK. I beleive that newer codes may call for the bathrooms to be on their own circuit, but I am sure Paul or Joe will verify that.

Was the kitchen remodeled. They may have moved the diswahser and are using a circuited outlet. It really is not a problem so long as everyone knows the switch controls the dishwasher.

Thanks William, I appreciate your thoughts.

As to the dishwasher, thats kind of what I was thinking, but just want to be certain before I release the report this today.

Today’s codes only seem to only allow bathroom receptacles on a dedicated bathroom receptacle circuit(with an exception for bathroom loads like lights under certain conditions). So by code it wouldn’t be ok, today.

However, I would point out the the client, that the GFCI can be wired in such a way, that if the receptacle trips, the lights remain on. This way a bad hair dryer doesn’t create for a dark and dangerous situation. Recommend deferring to a qualified electrician for further evaluation, as needed.

As for the dishwasher, you might have some code junkie trying to meet some disconnect in sight rule. Or someone that just wired it with what they had. Once again, for the convenience of the home owner, might want to have a qualified electrician to investigate further.


As for the dishwasher, Thomas is correct. All fastened in place appliances are required by the NEC to have a service disconnect. The cord can be used ifthe appliance is cord and plug connected, but if the appliance is hardwired, as I suppect this one was and the reason you couldn’t find the appliance cord, then you must have a disconnecting means and a switch meets that requirement. By the way, that’s how I usually wire a dishwasher and disposal. One two gang bo with one switch for the disposal and one for the dishwasher and hard wire to both.

Hello All,

I will have to agree on the switch for the dishwasher, as many areas would like it disconnected in this manner as most of the time we simply cord and plug them as Steve was refering to.

On the hall Recess on the GFCI…really depends on when the remodel was done and IF this was part of the remodel…technically speaking the GFCI in the bathroom should not have anything else on it except another bathroom GFCI from a different bathroom ( or if only one bathroom…it can have the lights of that same bathroom as well…but the circuit can’t leave that single bathroom. )

Again…no major red flags on the dishwasher thing to worry about…unless of course the switch is a ROCKER style…then it would not be allowed for use as the disconnection means for that circuit because rockers are not labeled with on and off.

AS for the recess again…Really depends on when the house was built…and when a remodel takes place…but if the bathroom recept. is on GFCI…and is protected…I would probably say it is fine…

It sounds like this is a older home where electrical wiring can be a bit of a mystery sometimes. I work Contra Costa county too, so I’ve seen a lot of variation in electrical wiring depending on the age of the house.

Ideally, the bathroom(s) and dishwasher outlet should be on separate circuits. Unless, this is a relatively new house, I wouldn’t write it up as a electrical hazard. However, I would definitely insert a comment about it.