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  1. #1
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    Default Is a sink required in a bathroom.

    Here a single water closet in a private room, No sink, no shower, no heat, no vent.
    My questions:

    1. Does this room require a sink within the room?
    2. If yes, can you reference a code?

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    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is a sink required in a bathroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Here a single water closet in a private room, No sink, no shower, no heat, no vent.
    My questions:

    1. Does this room require a sink within the room?
    2. If yes, can you reference a code?
    It is not a bathroom unless there is a toilet and a sink ... and there should never be a toilet without a sink to wash the users hands after using the toilet.

    Whenever I found a toilet, usually referred to as a gardener's toilet on the old houses I would find them at (typically in the garage or an enclosed area of what was originally a screened or open rear porch), I would take my client to the location, and before I opened the door to reveal what was inside, I would ask 'who here uses the toilet without washing their hands?' (obviously, no one would say they did, and most often the response would be something like 'Oh, that'd be gross' ...

    Then I would open the door and ask "So, this isn't a bathroom, is it?"? Everyone would agree that it was not a bathroom ... even though the real estate agent had just recently pointed out that there was even a 'bathroom in the (wherever it was)' ... which made the real estate agent look kinds silly having called it a "bathroom".

    It is not a "bathroom", it is an "a toilet without a sink is an unsanitary installation".

    The previously '3 bathroom house' just became a '2 bathroom house' ... and the value dropped accordingly.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is a sink required in a bathroom.

    I have seen o-so-clever designs where the toilet is in one "room" and the sink next door. The inspector has allowed them to put a divider up and consider the combination to not constitute a bathroom, which also eliminates the requirement for a GFCI-protected receptacle on a bathroom circuit.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is a sink required in a bathroom.

    David, that is sort of what many houses I've inspected had, and our previous house down in Ormond Beach, FL (except our house was different).

    The houses I inspected had large bathrooms, with a separate toilet room, however, the toilet room was in the bathroom. The shower(s), garden tubs, sinks, etc, were all in the main part of the bathroom.

    Our house in Ormond Beach had a pocket door separating the bathroom from the bedroom, a hinged door separating the closer from the sinks, with another pocket door separating the toilet and shower from the area with the sinks.

    Having a "toilet room" not in the same private room as the adjoining sink makes it a non-bathroom room.

    Having a "toilet room" in the same private room with the sink makes it still a bathroom.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 12-05-2021 at 03:41 PM. Reason: Something with my phone kept not working right in posting
    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is a sink required in a bathroom.

    From the IRC Chapter 2, Definitions:
    - Code development reminder: Code change proposals to definitions in this chapter preceded by a bracketed letter are considered by the IRC-Building Code Development Committee [RB], the IRC-Mechanical/Plumbing Code Development Committee [MP] or the IECC-Residential Code Development Committee [RE] during the Group B (2022) Code Development cycle.

    (bold and underlining are mine)

    From the IRC:
    - [MP] Bathroom Group. A group of fixtures, including or excluding a bidet, consisting of a water closet, lavatory, and a bathtub or shower. Such fixtures are located together on the same floor level.

    From the IPC:
    - Bathroom Group. A group of fixtures consisting of a water closet, lavatory, bathtub or shower, including or excluding a bidet, and emergency floor drain or both. Such fixtures are located together on the same floor level.

    From the IMC:
    - Bathroom. A room containing a bathtub, shower, spa or similar bathing fixture.

    "fixtures are located together" and "A room containing" indicate that a bathroom/bathroom group is "a room" and that the fixture are located together ... on the same floor level (i.e., not spread out in different rooms on the same floor level and not spread out on different floor levels).

    The NEC is simpler:
    - Bathroom: An area including a basin with one or more of the following: a toilet, a urinal, a tub, a shower, a bidet, or similar plumbing fixtures.

    Note that the NEC has one required fixture for a bathroom: An area including a basin with one or more of the following.

    No basin ... no bathroom.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is a sink required in a bathroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    From the IRC Chapter 2, Definitions:
    - Code development reminder: Code change proposals to definitions in this chapter preceded by a bracketed letter are considered by the IRC-Building Code Development Committee [RB], the IRC-Mechanical/Plumbing Code Development Committee [MP] or the IECC-Residential Code Development Committee [RE] during the Group B (2022) Code Development cycle.

    (bold and underlining are mine)

    From the IRC:
    - [MP] Bathroom Group. A group of fixtures, including or excluding a bidet, consisting of a water closet, lavatory, and a bathtub or shower. Such fixtures are located together on the same floor level.

    From the IPC:
    - Bathroom Group. A group of fixtures consisting of a water closet, lavatory, bathtub or shower, including or excluding a bidet, and emergency floor drain or both. Such fixtures are located together on the same floor level.

    From the IMC:
    - Bathroom. A room containing a bathtub, shower, spa or similar bathing fixture.

    "fixtures are located together" and "A room containing" indicate that a bathroom/bathroom group is "a room" and that the fixture are located together ... on the same floor level (i.e., not spread out in different rooms on the same floor level and not spread out on different floor levels).

    The NEC is simpler:
    - Bathroom: An area including a basin with one or more of the following: a toilet, a urinal, a tub, a shower, a bidet, or similar plumbing fixtures.

    Note that the NEC has one required fixture for a bathroom: An area including a basin with one or more of the following.

    No basin ... no bathroom.


    Very odd, as if I have a room with a sink and a shower (per the NEC) it is considered a Bathroom, one would think a Sink, Toilet are required to call it a Bathroom and the other items are extra's.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is a sink required in a bathroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    Very odd, as if I have a room with a sink and a shower (per the NEC) it is considered a Bathroom, one would think a Sink, Toilet are required to call it a Bathroom and the other items are extra's.
    Keep in mind that "bath"rooms originally were rooms (typically extra "bed"rooms in larger houses that had a "bathtubs installed and became "bath"rooms.

    Toilets came along later.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is a sink required in a bathroom.

    And when toilets came, they were typically stuck in small rooms, i.e. closets ... thus waterclosets.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is a sink required in a bathroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    And when toilets came, they were typically stuck in small rooms, i.e. closets ... thus waterclosets.
    Jerry, I'm not quite so sure of the -> -> -> you're drawing. As you may know, garderobes were closets in which clothes were hung in order for the uric fumes to prevent their becoming moth-eaten. We're beyond under-the-bed chamber pots here.

    (I've been researching the etymology of "loo," which probably is not simply "l'eau.")


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is a sink required in a bathroom.

    That was then, this is now.
    For under $100, a sink that sits in place of the tank lid, very common in Japan. Happy 2022 to all!

    https://www.amazon.com/Twice-toilet-...1483832&sr=8-2

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is a sink required in a bathroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    That was then, this is now.
    For under $100, a sink that sits in place of the tank lid, very common in Japan. Happy 2022 to all!

    https://www.amazon.com/Twice-toilet-...1483832&sr=8-2
    Sure, it is connected to a potable water supply (which also supplies the tank) ... okay ... sort of connects to a potable water supply (the outlet from the water level fill valve which is designed to go to the overflow) and it only works when you flush the toilet, and it drains back into the tank (the waste from a fixture is not supposed to be mixed with potable water ... as in that sink drains into the water in the tank.

    And, let's see ... oh, what are the clearances for one to stand in front of a sink to use it?

    That is one of those 'cute, but very dumb' ideas that Git-R-Done people come up with in their attempt to Git-R-Done without regard to 'how it is supposed to be done, and why'.

    Why not install a sink next to the toilet and also use it as a urinal? Would save having to lift the toilet seat lid and seat.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is a sink required in a bathroom.

    OK, so you don't approve of the simple tank sink, and frankly, neither do I but it's an option for an existing toilet room, maybe with some space beside the toilet?
    I personally would mount one of the tiny sinks on the wall in the standing space in front for a clear space of 3 feet.
    A new bachelor apartment in a converted city building had a 3 foot square shower left of the pocket door, toilet to the right and a tiny sink across from the doorway, bathroom barely 3 X 6.
    It was approved by the city inspector, and it was functional, if not comfortable.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Is a sink required in a bathroom.

    I don't consider it "an option".

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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