When we think about bathrooms, we think of water. This is an obvious and very correct association. A well-known fact is bathrooms are always wet, and an unpopular fact Is they use enormous electricity. Water and power in the same place can cause problems. The combination of water and electricity wiring produces a unique environment. It would help if you had lights, air conditioning, safety protocols and ventilation in a habitable and functional bathroom. But the big question is, Can Bathroom Lights And Outlets Be On the Same Circuit?
The answer is yes, and no. Lights and outlets in the bathroom can be on the same outlet. It all depends on the type of wiring; if it’s done one way, the answer is yes. If it’s done the other way, the answer is no.
Lighting Fixtures and Receptacles in the Bathroom
The lighting fixtures in the bathroom are special. They have a unique design that entails being watertight and non-porous. If they’re permeable, the electrics may cause damage when exposed to moisture. This is a huge safety hazard and has potential health risks.
Imagine you’re in the bathtub or shower, and water splashes up onto the light on the ceiling. If your fixture is installed wrongly, you’ll be exposed to the danger of electric shock, health issues or even lead death. To avoid this, most bathroom fixtures have a wet location, rating dampness. If you have a light close enough to water to get wet, you’ll require a wet rating or damp.
This is very important. It makes sense that different lighting fixtures are necessary for different areas. Even if splashing occurs, you should stay on the safer side and use a damp rating or a wet-location rating.
Do bathroom lights need to Have Their Circuit?
Most of us lived in houses during the construction boom in the 1960s. In those days, it was permissible to extend the circuit branch of one room to another. Such as from a bedroom to a bathroom. This is no longer allowed.
The electrical code of the bathroom now states that the bathroom should have its dedicated circuits and shouldn’t be shared with any light or outlets in another room.
Also, you must provide your bathroom with at least two of these circuits. One is a 15 amp circuit that powers the lights, and the other is a 20 amp circuit that powers the outlets. If your bathroom has a ventilation fan, it will use the lighting circuit, but you’ve to upgrade it to 20 amps. If you have an additional amenity that draws a lot of light, like a Jacuzzi, consider giving it a separate circuit.
According to the electrical construction and maintenance, the electrical code of the bathroom doesn’t specify that the outlet circuit should serve only one bathroom. Multiple bathrooms can share the outlet circuit if it does not require power lights and outlets in other rooms.
Do All Outlets in a Bathroom Need to Have GFCI?
Before we answer this question, let’s look at GFCI. A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is an electrical safety device that can save lives and properties. It detects an electricity imbalance and turns off the outlet’s power so it will not be broken.
If a GFCI receptacle is at risk of getting wet, the outlet will shut down to prevent potential damage. This means GFCI protection is needed in all areas where electrical switches and outlets could get wet while you’re using water.
This includes the bathtub area, the shower stall and the sink area. You might be thinking you don’t have real GFC protection since you don’t use these areas all the time. However, the code says all bathrooms should have at least one GFCI-protected outlet. Many homeowners choose to install 3 or 4 for added protection.
The number of GFCI outlets you install, make sure there’s one in the bathroom and where water enters the house. Using a GFCI circuit breaker in your electrical panels or installing GFCI outlets helps protect you from shock.
If you’re using one outlet for protection, make sure it has multiple location wiring to protect against shock in the whole house and not just at the GFCI outlet it was installed.
Can Bathroom Lights And Outlets Be On the Same Circuit
The answer is lighting and receptacles in the bathroom can be on the same circuit depending on the type of wiring you have.
You may want to avoid wiring light fixtures and outlets on the same electrical circuit. Experts say this changes when a 20A circuit powers a bathroom, outlets of the bathroom equipment can work on the same circuit. This is by the National Electrical Code.
The only exception is a large bathroom fixture like a hot bathtub or a whirlpool. If you’re one of these, make sure you didn’t connect it in the same circuit with your other outlets.
Again, there’s only one answer for you. It depends on the electricity supply of your bathroom. If you have a 20 amp circuit supplying power to your bathroom, the fixtures and outlets can stay on it. That’s it! You now have a solid foundation to start redesigning your bathroom!
Now here you go, pick out your lights, lay out the wires, and make sure you’ve got all your receptacles. Let’s go a bit technical; wear your tool belt and put on your strap hat, then get to work.
Why Do I Have to Put GFCI Protection in My Bathroom?
The National Electrical Code (NEC) doesn’t require the installation of GFCI circuits on all the outlets within a bathroom if they’re rated wet or damp.
However, if your fixture includes switches that need to protect from current flow, you can install a breaker box outlet with a wall switch on the exterior of your home.
As for lighting fixtures, it depends on the type you’re using over your shower or bathtub.
If you’re using a recessed light, a fluorescent or incandescent fixture or any form of electric lighting that is not waterproof, you don’t require a GFCI protection except if you want to voluntarily install it.
When you don’t have GFCI protection in your bathrooms, there’s always a risk of shock or fire outbreak if things get wet. A single spark could be all it takes for a fire to break and burn down the whole place.
We all know that bathrooms are full of plumbing; as such, they’re always wet and full of water. This exposes bathrooms to the risk of electric circuits if proper precaution is not taken. Electrical shock can lead to serious injury or death.
Installing GFCI protection to your bathroom lights ensures you’re safe even if an electric shock happens.
These days, most manufacturers require GFCI protection on bathroom lighting and outlets above showers or bathtubs. If you don’t have these protections, there’s a chance your house will burn down if something goes wrong.
To provide necessary protection against electrical shocks and injuries, it is required to install a GFCI protection on your outlets.
How Do I Know If My Light Fixture Has a GFCI Protection?
If you’re unsure whether you’ve GFCI protection in your bathroom, you must evaluate each light fixture and see whether they’ve it. This is a simple process and will take only a few minutes of your time.
For most light fixtures, the GFCI protection is a tiny black box beside the outlet or switch. There’s a test button beside it, which tests if the protection is working properly.
If you’re having a power flow issue and your GFCI tripped, all you’ve to do is to press the reset button to reset the circuit.
If your light fixtures don’t have this small box with a test button, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean your lighting is unprotected; rather, it indicates they do not have GFCI protection and probably don’t need it.
This is mostly found in lights that don’t usually get wet in the bathroom, such as overhead lights and vent fans.
Do bathroom lights need Have a Separate circuit?
Yes, bathrooms must have dedicated circuits that any lights or outlets do not share in other rooms. Also, a bathroom is required to have two of these circuits; one for the lights and the other for the outlet.
Can bedroom and bathroom lights be on the same circuit?
No. It’s not advisable to have bedroom and bathroom lights on the same circuit. Because bathrooms tend to have exhaust fans that consume a lot more amps than bedroom lights, this can cause overload.
Do lights in the bathroom need to be GFCI protected?
Yes, lights in the bathroom need to be GFCI protected since they’re in areas where they can get wet. As said earlier, GFCI protection is needed in any area where you could get wet, including the shower stalls, the bathtubs and the sink area.