Bathroom Electrical Codes Requirements

Bathroom electrical circuits

National electrical code requires the following branch circuits to be added for new or remodeled bathroom,

  • One 20 amps dedicated circuit for the bathroom outlet, you may connect an additional outlet within the same bathroom. However it can not be coNnected to other outlets outside the bathroom.(NEC 210.11(c)(3)).The 20 amps circuit can connect two outlets in two different bathroom as long as its within the same dwelling unit.
  • 15 or 20 amps branch circuit is required for the lighting within the bathroom. (NEC 210.23(A)).
  • If you are planning to add bathtub or a whirlpool, a dedicated branch circuit will be required. check the manufacture specs for the minimum size of the branch circuit. Circuit breaker for whirlpool shall be protected by GFCI.

Bathroom outlet electrical requirements

Rough-in electrical outlet inside the bathroom

Outlet location

At least one outlet shall be provided in every bathroom, the outlet shall be located within 3 ft. outside the edge of each the vanity installed. For example if you have double vanity, you need to install an outlet within 3 ft. from each vanity edge, but not more than 12 inches below the top of the vanity counter top. the outlet can be installed on the wall or partition near the countertop. (NEC 210.52 (D)).

At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in bathrooms within 3 ft. of the outside edge of each basin. The receptacle outlet shall be located on a wall or partition that is adjacent to the basin or basin countertop.

(NEC 210.52 (D))

Outlet type

Any outlet located inside the bathroom shall be protected by GFCI and it has to be tamper resistant GFCI. Tamper resistant requirements is not required if the GFCI outlet located more 5.5 ft. above the floor. (NEC 210.8 (A)) (NEC 406.12)

(NEC 210.8 (A))

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Bathroom ventilation

Local and international building code require some sort of bathroom ventilation. First thing comes to anyone mind is a window but in some cases the bathroom located in the middle of the house, and it will be impossible to add a window.

bathroom exhaust fan, rough-in installations

Building code requires a window with a minimum of 3 square feet which one half is openable but its perfect for a powder room only. However, if the bathroom containing a tub or whirlpool, the bathroom ventilation shall be a combination naturally and mechanically.

If a window can not be provided an exhaust fan with a minimum of 50 CFM (Cubic feet per minute) shall be provided.

The purpose of having the exhaust fan to remove the humidity which caused by the tub or whirlpool to the outside of the house.


The electrical code changes every three years, this article will have the most updated electrical codes that will help you remodeling your bathroom. Local cities or counties may have adopted all or a few requirements from the NEC, and always remember the local codes supersede the national or international codes.

Reference Codes – National Electrical Code.

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