Receptacles in the bathroom

charlie b

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Seattle, WA
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Electrical Engineer
This is not as simple a question as it might first appear. 210.11(C)(3) could be read as establishing that requirement. But it just calls for a circuit, and does not tell how many receptacles are needed. It also does not say that you can't have one 20 amp circuit supplying one or more receptacles in the bathroom, as well as a second circuit in the bathroom, this one 15 amps, to supply other bathroom receptacles. Finally, it does not tie you to the receptacle that is required by 210.52(D).

I don't know what specifically you have in mind. But if, as an example, you put one 20 amp circuit to supply one receptacle, the fan, and the heater in one bathroom, and supply nothing else from that circuit, and if you wanted to install a 15 amp circuit to supply other receptacles in the same bathroom, I think the code would not prohibit that installation.

So, what do you have in mind?
 

Dennis Alwon

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Chapel Hill, NC
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The OP didnt mention whether this was residential or commercial.
True, but It would be very unusual for anyone to run 15 amp circuits in a commercial setting even though there is no requirement for 20 amps there. In non residential a receptacle is not even required however if one is added it must be gfci protected. I think that may be he only rule.
 

Npstewart

Senior Member
True, but It would be very unusual for anyone to run 15 amp circuits in a commercial setting even though there is no requirement for 20 amps there. In non residential a receptacle is not even required however if one is added it must be gfci protected. I think that may be he only rule.
Agreed. I was just pointing it out because I run into a lot of ECs that do residential primarily but venture into commercial occasionally and use the same methodology across the board. It happens very often actually, maybe its just specific to my area.
 
20 amp bathroom circuit

20 amp bathroom circuit

This is not as simple a question as it might first appear. 210.11(C)(3) could be read as establishing that requirement. But it just calls for a circuit, and does not tell how many receptacles are needed. It also does not say that you can't have one 20 amp circuit supplying one or more receptacles in the bathroom, as well as a second circuit in the bathroom, this one 15 amps, to supply other bathroom receptacles. Finally, it does not tie you to the receptacle that is required by 210.52(D).

I don't know what specifically you have in mind. But if, as an example, you put one 20 amp circuit to supply one receptacle, the fan, and the heater in one bathroom, and supply nothing else from that circuit, and if you wanted to install a 15 amp circuit to supply other receptacles in the same bathroom, I think the code would not prohibit that installation.

So, what do you have in mind?
I did not have anything in mind I was failed because I just wired up a bathroom with one 20 amp circuit and 2 -15 amp circuits. Although same city two months earlier I did a bathroom with one 20 amp and one 15 amp circuit and passes, with a different inspector????

Just thought I would ask around to see how others interpreted 210.11 (c) (3)

Thanks,

Keith
 

GoldDigger

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I did not have anything in mind I was failed because I just wired up a bathroom with one 20 amp circuit and 2 -15 amp circuits. Although same city two months earlier I did a bathroom with one 20 amp and one 15 amp circuit and passes, with a different inspector????

Just thought I would ask around to see how others interpreted 210.11 (c) (3)

Thanks,

Keith
I also read that Code section as requiring a 20A receptacle branch circuit (which implies at least one receptacle connected!) but does not make any statement prohibiting additional receptacle circuits of either 15A or 20A.
But as a practical matter, if the receptacles installed on the 20A circuit are not 20A receptacles (and that is not required, as I see it), there will be a problem down the road distinguishing which are the required 20A circuit receptacles and which are "additional" receptacles.
 
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GoldDigger

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Staff member
Hair dryer plugger-iners also wont be able to tell the difference between a 15 or 20 amp receptacle!!;)
No, but the electrician will have an easier time explaining to them why the circuit tripped.
Has anybody seen an appliance with a 20A plug attached that is appropriate for use in a bathroom?
 
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