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Old 08-05-2009, 11:11 PM   #1
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NEC and the existence of an outlet in bathrooms


I have an inspector that is forcing me to install electrical outlets in bathrooms. I think he's doing this, because on his inspection form, it says something along the line of "GFI present in bathroom." I think he feels that it means an outlet must be installed if one isn't present. I interpret it as if an outlet is present, it must be a GFI.

Can someone tell me the truth?

thanks 1,000,000!

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Old 08-05-2009, 11:16 PM   #2
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NEC and the existence of an outlet in bathrooms


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Originally Posted by brokenhammer View Post
I have an inspector that is forcing me to install electrical outlets in bathrooms. I think he's doing this, because on his inspection form, it says something along the line of "GFI present in bathroom." I think he feels that it means an outlet must be installed if one isn't present. I interpret it as if an outlet is present, it must be a GFI.

Can someone tell me the truth?

thanks 1,000,000!
NEC 210.11(C)(3) requires at least one bathroom receptacle circuit.

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Old 08-05-2009, 11:17 PM   #3
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NEC and the existence of an outlet in bathrooms


What are the circumstances of an inspector nosing around your bathrooms?

How old is your house?

Are you installing new wiring, or remodeling, or what?

New work is required to have an outlet in each bathroom, GFI protected. Same probably would apply to any substantial remodeling being done in a bathroom.

Why are you hesitant to comply with this requirement?
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:47 PM   #4
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NEC and the existence of an outlet in bathrooms


It is for a city occupancy inspection. A city inspector examines a home and then gives you a list of things you must fix before someone can move in. Every time the tenancy fully changes, you must get a whole new inspection. So, it is for an existing 50 to 60 year old home. The reason I don't want to to it, is the extra pain in the tail work of snaking wires, etc.
The reason I question the validity of this inspector's claim is because he aslo requires me to have splashblocks at the base of my downspouts even when I have my own downspout extensions in place.... which to me is silly.
So is the answer the same, or was the code cited more for new construction?

thanks again
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:09 AM   #5
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NEC and the existence of an outlet in bathrooms


Cities can enforce certain housing codes, which can include things like GFCI protected outlets in bathrooms. Especially when renting out to new tenants.

You might have to bite the bullet on this one.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:20 AM   #6
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NEC and the existence of an outlet in bathrooms


I don't have a problem dropping in a GFI when an outlet is present - the aggrevation comes from having to run the wire and install an outlet where one wasn't present... I was just trying to determine whether it's the NEC's rule, his rule, or the city's.

thanks again for the insight!
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:26 AM   #7
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NEC and the existence of an outlet in bathrooms


The NEC does not require you to meet new codes as they come out
So, unless you change/renovate something in the bathroom the NEC does not force an upgrade
So it has to be a local thing or due to renting
But I'd never have an outlet in a bathroom in a rental without GFCI protection
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:59 AM   #8
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NEC and the existence of an outlet in bathrooms


The current requirement for new construction and "new work":


As a practical matter the absence of an outlet is potentially a significant safety issue, if someone want to use a hair dryer or shaver they are 1) likely to go out a buy a light gauge extension cord which 2) will be run through the door, with the possibility of the door bring closed on it and 3) will l likely be plugged into a non-GFCI outlet in an adjacent bedroom or hallway.

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Last edited by Michael Thomas; 08-06-2009 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:54 AM   #9
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NEC and the existence of an outlet in bathrooms


The new receptacle will need to be a 20 amp circuit. You can not tap off an existing circuit unless that circuit only serves the bathroom and is 20 amps.

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