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Old 03-08-2011, 08:49 AM   #1
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wiring half bath vs full bath


I am currently in process of wiring my new house. The house will have two full baths and one half bath (powder room). It is my understanding of the NEC code that each bathroom must have its own 20Amp circuit. It certainly makes sense considering all the hair dryers and curlers that might be plugged in (at the same time). However, looking at the half bath which is no more than just a guest restroom, I would say a dedicated 20 Amp circuit for that single receptacle is an overkill.
My questions:
A) Do I really have to bring a dedicated 20Amp circuit to this half bath?
B) I've read that you could run the full bathroom's light and fan from the same 20 Amp circuit. Does that mean that I would have to continue the 12/2 wiring (feeding the GFI receptacle) to the light and fan switch-box and from their also with 12/2 to the light and fan? Or can it be 14/2?
C) Is my understanding correct that you can run the batroom's light and fan from a circuit that feeds and adjacent room?

I thank you in advance for your input and help!

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Old 03-08-2011, 09:25 AM   #2
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wiring half bath vs full bath


Where are you located? In the US...

The rules on bathroom circuits can be tricky.

A circuit can contain:

ONE bathroom, outlets & lights/fan
OR
Multiple bathrooms, OUTLETS ONLY

A bath circuit with outlets can not serve anything outside of bathroom. Lighting/fan can be shared with outside circuits

Circuits with bath outlets must be 20A. 20A circuits MUST use ALL 12g wire (even if it serves lights also). All bath outlets must be GFCI. Lighting and fans do not need GFCI protection (unless located inside the shower in some cases).

You could have a lighting circuit (can be 15A with 14g wire) that feeds lights/fans in all your bathrooms.
Whatever bath is used more could have its own 20A outlet circuit.
The second full-bath's outlet circuit could be shared with the 1/2 bath.

So:
Circuit A: Lighting for all baths
Circuit B: Outlets for bath 1
Circuit C: Outlets for baths 2 and 3

Or you could serve each bathroom's lighting/fans with nearby circuits if you want.

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