Receptacles in dwelling unit bathrooms

Question: When checking for the presence of GFCI protection for the receptacles in a bathroom, do you also verify that the receptacle in the lighting fixture, if there is one, is also protected?

In dwelling units **ALL **125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in a bathroom are required to have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

Good point, Joe. Sometimes they are not real obvious.

I can’t even remember the last time I saw a receptacle on a light fixture in a bathroom!

I do note them in the report as not being GFCI protected.

The older mirror/medicine cabinet/light combinations are typically where I’ve seen and occasionally on individual wall mounted light fixtures.

Before we get to carried away here a receptacle that is part of a light fixture does not count as one of the required receptacles and might get shot down by someone else.

Just a note of warning in case it happens but by all means write it up.

Are you saying that receptacles which are part of a light fixture in the bathroom, often within 3 feet of the sink, are not required to be GFCI protected? And, if so, are the mirror/medicine cabinet/light combinations the excluded as well from the requirement?


210.52 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets.
This section provides requirements for 125-volt, 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets. Receptacle outlets required by this section shall be in addition to any receptacle that is part of a luminaire (lighting fixture) or appliance, located within cabinets or cupboards, or located more than 1.7 m (5½ ft) above the floor.

Yes please call them out as I would call them out if i was doing the inspection.

In my opinion they should be protected. What I am saying it might be called due to the above section. I have seen this debated in the past.

Thanks, calling them out and recommending GFCI’s for enhanced safety often has nothing to do with code interpretation.

I got called away while making my last post which sometimes happens.

The NEC mandates that any receptacle installed in a bathroom be GFCI protected and I would say that a light fixture that has a receptacle installed in the bathroom would also be required to be protected.

I have always protected the complete fixture when running across these items and will continue to do so.

I was in a debate a couple years back about a medicine cabinet that had a single receptacle installed on both sides inside the cabinet by two screws. The enclosure for these receptacles didn’t have enough room to make joints and came from the factory with conductors that reached up to the junction box for the cabinet light. These conductors were #16 gauge conductors.

Now the question of how to wire these built in receptacles. The electrical contractor had installed a 15 amp circuit to the opening for the medicine cabinet not knowing or caring that it came with these receptacles.

The code enforcement officer wanted them wired to the load side to the 20 amp circuit supplying the required receptacle.

The electrical contractor said they were an integral part of the equipment and outside the scope of the NEC and that protecting the #16 conductors with a 20 amp overcurrent device was against code.

In the end the receptacles were GFCI protected from a receptacle installed in the bedroom and on the same circuit that supplied the cabinet and also Arc Fault protected by the circuit supplying the bedroom. Everybody was happy. See sometimes I do come up with a pretty good idea.

[FONT=Book Antiqua][size=3]A bathroom is required to be supplied by at [/size][/FONT]least one 20 amp branch circuit for the supply to the bathroom receptacle outlet(s). Such circuits cannot have any other outlets, unless*[size=3] the 20-ampere circuit supplies a single bathroom.[/size]*


Are you saying that if a circuit supplies two bathrooms then it can’t supply the receptacle that is part of the light?
Or are you saying that if the light has a receptacle that the circuit can not leave that bathroom and must protect the light and receptacle.

Help me to understand just what you mean by your post please.

You said that the circuit in the bedroom was used, that’s not acceptable, the 20 amp circuit to the bathroom must be installed to protect ALL … bathroom receptacle outlet(s) and they are to be protected by a GFCI DEVICE

So what you are saying is that the receptacles that are an integral part of a UL listed piece of equipment must be protected by the same 20 amp receptacle required by 210.52(D) even if the conductors that are internal to the piece of equipment is smaller than #12 and to connect to them would violate the listing of the equipment.

I believe he is saying that if you serve 2 (or more) bathrooms with the required 20a dedicated receptacle circuit that circuit can’t serve any lights or fans.
If your customer insists on keeping his light/receptacle assembly you will probably be looking for a 90-4 accomedation from the AHJ to find a way to make it legal.

I am insisting that the receptacle in the bathroom fixture be properly protected by a GFCI device, or it can be removed and blanked off!

Home Inspectors don’t do code, STOP, please STOP quoting the Code! :mrgreen:

Personally I want to know where a requirement comes from. Be it the NEC, IRC, or the UBC etc…

As some one else here says “knowledge is power”

Joe please…Just what are you doing here

and here

and here

If the cabinet comes prewired as a piece of equipment then protect a 15 amp general lighting circuit and be done with it as long as the required receptacle is installed.

No shalls, or numbers were included, the home inspector must veriify that the receptacle in the lighting fixture is protected, that’s all I was covering! Never said anything about any cabinet!

I don’t have the proper PPE to enter this discussion … Carry on

Greg, please do join in, we are dealing with the type of person who we encountered during the early 90’s on Prodigy when we were covering the code within the SSE!

You can use my PPE, I am taking a rest now, OK?