Redoing my bathroom and I purchased GFCI outlets for the walls. But I
just realized that the bathroom, as a whole, is on a GFCI circuit
breaker. Does standard practice or the NEC require both? Or is that
On Jul 15, 3:10 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Per NEC 2005, 550.13 (B) - a GFCI outlet is not required in a bathroom
if the feeder supplying the branch circuit is protected by a ground-
I like put the stickers on the outlet that say "GFCI Protected" when
my protection is at the feeder.
Yeah. I think the kitchen sink would be on it, at least. There is
no other GFI in the house, or the other 108 houses like mine.
I never use any of the outlets though, except the one in the kitchen,
which I really only use for a radio, and sometimes two light bulbs
under the cabinet.
Lately I've been using one in the bathroom for an electric toothbrush
which takes almost no current, and a 12" tv, which uses some.
I had trouble finding your reply because it had >>> in front of it.
How did that happen!!! :)
Maybe I'm wrong about the kitchen outlets. I may never have confirmed
But since I only have one GFI anything, and I thought the outlet in
the kitchen nearest the sink had to be GFI'd, even in 1979, (Don't
they?) I figured it was on the same GFI.
I know for sure that the front outdoor outlet is on the GFI breaker,
and I know for sure that the outlet in the bathroom with the bathtub
is on the same breaker. Is that against code?
I haven't checked the outlets in the other bathrooms or the powder
room, because I guess, I almost never use them, and they've always
I haven't checked the one close to the basement sink, into which is
plugged the washing machine.
That's not readily accessible, because I do have a washing machine and
it's in front of the outlet, but is that supposed to be GFIed. (It's
I believe in 1979 outlets on either side of kitchen sink , within six feet
of the sink were required to be GF protected, but they would be 20 amp
circuits. It was typical to have bathroom outlets, outside outlets, and
possibly garage outlets, on one circuit, protected by either a GF breaker,
or the first outlet in the string, usually nearest the panel, would be a
Use one or the other. It does no particular harm to have both, but if
one trips, it is much more trouble to figure out which and reset it.
It has been common practice until recently to use a single CGI breaker,
or even a single GFI outlet to protect all the kitchen, bathroom,
garage, and outdoor outlets. This is no longer allowed.
If you are remodeling the bathroom, the right way to do it is to run a
new 20a feed from the panel for the bathroom alone. You can put the GFI
in the panel or at the outlets, but I would put it at the outlet for
convenience. One GFI can protect other outlets downstream, or each
outlet can have its own GFI, as you prefer, for convenience. Read the
instructions and follow the diagram that comes with each GFI for more
information on how to wire it.
Each "ordinary" outlet that is protected by a GFI located elsewhere,
whether at another outlet or in the panel should be labeled "GFCI
protected". Most GFIs come with these labels packed in the box.
If you are not doing a remodel, but just replacing the outlets, you can
keep the existing GFI breaker and use appropriately-labeled regular
outlets. You can also replace the GFI breaker with a non-GFI breaker and
protect the bathroom outlets with one GFI at the "first" outlet. If you
replace the GFI breaker with a non-GFI breaker, make sure it is not also
protecting other outlets that require GFI protection, such as another
bathroom, basement, kitchen, garage, or outdoors.
I can't tell you which edition of the NEC started to change those rules.
It didn't happen all at once. It has probably been at least 10 years,
but probably not more than 20. I have seen plenty of this kind of thing.
The phone call goes like this: "All the circuits are dead in my
bathrooms." "How about the garage and outdoor outlets." "Oh my goodness,
yes, those are broken, too." "Go see if you have a GFI outlet in your
garage." "What's that?" "It looks like an outlet, except it has two
buttons on the front." "OK, I found one -- what's it for?" "I can
explain, but first why not go push the reset button." "I have to go get
my other glasses, I can't read the label. -- Oh! My bathroom outlet is
working! What is going on!" Etc, for half an hour.
It was either that, or charge her $70 to drive over there and reset that
GFI. I can tell you that after working up numerous quotes to run new
feeders to the kitchen, bathroom, and garage, I never made a sale from
fixing that problem.
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