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  1. #1
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    Default code history question

    When did the NEC start requiring a dedicated bathroom circuit?

    Specifically, when did they stop allowing the garage and exterior outlets to be on the same circuit as the bathrooms?

    In practice, it seems to be around the mid to late 90's around here.


    Please post the old code that allowed this, not the new code.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: code history question

    Off the top of my head it was 1993, could have been 1996 (but I think it was 1993).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: code history question

    1996

    From the 1996 NEC. (underlining is mine)
    210-52. Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets.
    (d) Bathrooms. In dwelling units, at least one wall receptacle outlet shall be installed in bathrooms adjacent to each basin location. Bathroom receptacle outlets shall be supplied by at least one 20-ampere branch circuit. Such circuits shall have no other outlets. See Section 210-8(a)(1).
    Receptacle outlets shall not be installed in a face-up position in the work surfaces or countertops in a bathroom basin location.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 04-10-2009 at 09:58 PM. Reason: oops, reading out of the wrong book - 1996
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: code history question

    The NEC is more or less a restrictive document - given common sense and accepted trade practices, most things are permitted if they aren't prohibited.

    There would have never been a code article or language that permitted garages, bathrooms and other receptacles on the same GFCI and/or circuit. The change came when bathroom circuits weren't permitted to have any other outlets, much like the verbage on the small appliance kitchen circuits.

    As an example, the NEC doesn't "allow" NM-B to be installed by "saying" it is an acceptable practice to drill wood studs and pull the cable horizontally but makes the practice OK by not prohibiting it.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: code history question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce King View Post
    When did the NEC start requiring a dedicated bathroom circuit?

    Specifically, when did they stop allowing the garage and exterior outlets to be on the same circuit as the bathrooms?

    In practice, it seems to be around the mid to late 90's around here.


    Please post the old code that allowed this, not the new code.
    Yes it was the 1996 Edition of the unammended NEC. As previously posted here
    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...html#post74229 is a bit more background on the subject:

    Assuming the unammended NEC was the adopted, dedicated bathroom receptacle circuits 20 amps weren't introduced to the NEC until the 1996 edition. Not all jurisdictions adopt editions without ammendments, nor do they (or did they) adopt them at the time they were published, many jurisdictions even skip(ped) Code cycles.

    Although most outdoor receptacles required GFCI protection beginning around the '71 or 73 edition, and bathroom receptacles since about the '75 edition, there was not a prohibition to share protection or the same circuit. 1984 NEC permitted existing non-grounded receptacles to be replaced with GFCI receptacles where no other grounding means existed. However Code restricted this substitution to allow the GFCI receptacle to be wired to protection only the face not "downstream", and required a separate GFCI receptacle at EACH location on the circuit - This somewhat silly requirement was not changed until 1993. 1984 also introduced GFCI protection for bathroom outlets in hotels and motels.

    The 1993 also required that if replacing an older receptacle in an area required by the 1993 Code to be GFCI protected it had to be upgraded upon receptacle replacement to provide GFCI protection, under 210-7(d):
    "Ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacle outlets that are required to be so protected elsewhere in this Code." Under this language, 1993's 210-7(d) was a far-reaching requirement that went beyond the usual "grandfather" attitude of the Code, requiring that as receptacle outlets wear out in older homes in the kitchens, bathrooms, basements, etc. they MUST be replaced with GFCI type, or provided with GFCI protection, as they were replaced.

    Hopefully that gives you a better understanding on the history of the subject. You would need to check with the authority having jurisdiction regarding code adoption (and ammendments) history for the location.



  6. #6
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    Default Re: code history question

    thanks everyone for the good info,

    Yet another example of why we can't guarantee exact code reporting on every age home in every jurisdiction.


    I ran into a house that had all bathrooms, exterior outlets, exterior porch light, garage AND a room addition with can lights and outlets all on the same circuit.


  7. #7
    Fred Warner's Avatar
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    Default Re: code history question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce King View Post
    ...............

    I ran into a house that had all bathrooms, exterior outlets, exterior porch light, garage AND a room addition with can lights and outlets all on the same circuit.
    A house is still permitted to have all bathroom lighting, exterior outlets, exterior porch light(s), garage lights and receptacles and a general room addition with can lights and receptacles on one circuit, too. However, that circuit might have to be AFCI protected in certain areas and GFCI protected in other areas. Sounds like a nightmare to design and run.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: code history question

    That was bathroom outlets in my list.


    Can lights can be a problem on some houses.

    I had one new house, 1 yr warranty inspection where the owner discovered that she had to vaccum part of the house with the ceiling can lights off to keep the breaker from tripping.


  9. #9
    Fred Warner's Avatar
    Fred Warner Guest

    Default Re: code history question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce King View Post
    That was bathroom outlets in my list.


    Can lights can be a problem on some houses.

    I had one new house, 1 yr warranty inspection where the owner discovered that she had to vaccum part of the house with the ceiling can lights off to keep the breaker from tripping.
    Years ago, when I was an electrician, I always would use lighting circuits which included NO receptacle outlets. And receptacle outlet circuits which included NO lighting outlets. No call backs.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: code history question

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Warner View Post
    Years ago, when I was an electrician, I always would use lighting circuits which included NO receptacle outlets. And receptacle outlet circuits which included NO lighting outlets. No call backs.

    In addition to what Fred stated above, I would also run separate circuits for each room, that way not all adjacent lighting or receptacles went out at the same time when a breaker tripped for some reason.

    Also no call backs. But at least they had lights to see the phone to call us if needed.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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