**Long but helpful
Question 4. **We have had confusion regarding 210.11©(3), Exception, and 210.23(A), Exception. Can a bath light/fan and other light fixture(s) be on the 20-A, GFCI receptacle circuit if it feeds *only *a single bath room? Is there anything else to know about 210.11 and 210.23? — B.S.
**Answer 4. **The question is being answered with the 2002 *NEC* as a guide document. The exact words of Section 210.11(C)(3), Exception, are as follows: "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 210.23(A)."The base rule of 210.11, Branch Circuits Required, (C) Dwelling Units, (3) Bathroom Branch Circuits states, "In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at least one 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to supply the bathroom receptacle outlet(s).
Such circuit shall have no other outlets. "Thus if you have a dwelling unit with three bathrooms on the same floor level or one or two other floor levels, you can take one 20-ampere branch circuit and feed the GFCI [210.8(A)(1)] protected receptacles in each one on that single circuit. But it is not to have any other outlet(s), meaning other than receptacles on it.With that said and under our first scenario you could have a receptacle in each of the three bathrooms or more in all three provided that you do not have any light outlets, fan units or other loads on that circuit. But what the exception, as was restated above, allows you to do if you choose and have enough branch circuit spaces available in the panelboard is to take one 20-ampere branch circuit to a bathroom; or if you have more than one bathroom in the dwelling, you can take a separate 20-ampere branch circuit to each bathroom location and then since it only serves that one room, you can have other outlets or have other equipment on that same circuit.
Perhaps now is a good time to review the definition of *outlet* per Article 100 which states: "Outlet. A point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment." This could be a light or fan unit or combination of both or a smoke detector if you chose to put one in the bathroom area. Possibly even a motor to a hydromassage tub unit depending on its size. Remember under the exception, it stated, "to be supplied in accordance with" and we were directed to 210.23(A).
With 210.23 being Permissible Loads and (A), being 15- and 20-ampere Branch Circuits, the requirement then indicates "a 15- or 20-ampere branch circuit shall be permitted to supply lighting units or other utilization equipment, or a combination of both, and shall comply with 210.23(A)(1) and (A)(2)." Then(A)(1) states that "The rating of any one cord-and-plug-connected utilization equipment shall not exceed 80 percent of the branch-circuit ampere rating." (A)(2) follow with,
"The total rating of utilization equipment fastened in place, other than luminaires (lighting fixtures), shall not exceed 50 percent of the branch-circuit ampere rating where lighting units, cord-and-plug-connected utilization equipment not fastened in place, or both, are also supplied."Under (A)(1) and with a 20-ampere circuit at 80 percent, you cannot have a cord-and-plug-connected piece of utilization equipment with a load greater than 16 amperes. As well under (A)(2) the total fastened in place utilization equipment cannot exceed 50 percent of the branch circuit ampere rating; or with a 20-ampere circuit have more than 10 amperes supplying that fixed piece of equipment and have lights or cord-and-plug equipment on that same circuit. Oftentimes what we see are baths with a hydro-massage bathtub and a connection made to that circuit, which puts the motor at a single-phase 120-volt, 1/2-hp motor or smaller. If the hydromassage tub has a ¾-hp motor or larger, then a separate circuit would be required; and oftentimes the listing by the manufacturer or nationally recognized testing laboratory and its labeling may require a separate circuit and not allow it to be fed by the single 20-ampere circuit going to the bathroom.
In conclusion, the question as asked indicates "can a bath light/fan unit (fixed piece of utilization equipment, non-cord-and-plug connected utilization equipment) and other light fixtures be on a single 20-ampere GFCI circuit if it feeds only a single bathroom." The answer is yes provided the "bath light/fan unit" does not exceed the 50 percent requirement at 10 amperes on a 20-ampere branch circuit. The important thing to remember is that 210.11 addresses branch circuits required and (3) covers bathroom branch circuits. Whereas 210.23 addresses permissible loads and the two sections are cross-referenced. I am a firm believer in the more circuits the better and lightly load them because we all know that future electrical loads will be added and oftentimes are not planned for. **— Ray Weber, CMP-3**