In Oregon:

I am remodeling our master bedroom/bathroom, and moving the location of the bathroom, hence I need to rewire everything.

The house was built in 1989 in the following manner:

  1. 20 amp circuit supplying bathroom GFis for two bathrooms (including master)

  2. 15 amp circuit providing bedroom receptacles and lighting, and bathroom lighting and fan (no heater).

I want to keep this same design, but I am uncertain if the fan will need a separate circuit from the bedroom receptacles?

Also, I want to add an outdoor receptacle and outdoor light to the bedroom receptacle circuit with the GFI outlet in the receptacle. Is this allowed to tee into this circuit?

  • 1
    Thinking about the design functionally, wouldn't you want the bathrooms wired so that a hair dryer could be used in each one simultaneously? A modern hand held hair dryer can be consume 1600 W, so drawing over 13 A at 120 V. I think the receptacles for the two bathrooms need to be on separate 20-A circuits. Our tract house has the two bathrooms wired on one 15-A circuit, but we don't trip breakers because my wife is the only one using a hair dryer. A neighboring couple with both full baths wired on the same circuit get breaker trips when the wife's female relatives visit. Aug 13, 2018 at 21:12

2 Answers 2


With bathrooms, Code now gives you two forks in the road.

  • One 20A circuit can power only bathroom receptacles in any number of bathrooms, but absolutely nothing other than bathroom receptacles. Hardwired loads in the bathrooms (lighting, fan) must be powered by other household circuits.
  • One 20A circuit must power one bathroom only, but can power receptacles and hardwired loads in that same bathroom only. This circuit cannot power anything in any other room. However, hardwired loads in that bathroom could be powered by other household circuits.

Rewire time is a great time to address problems like, as Jim Stewart says, breakers tripping when Mom and daughter try to run hair dryers at once. Honestly, I wouldn't even consider it excessive to supply two 20A receptacle circuits, so the occupant of that bathroom can run a curler and hair dryer at once. This could even be done with a single 12/3 cable using our old friend the MWBC.

As far as extending the bedroom circuit outside, that is fine. However I learned not to leave expensive electronic things outdoors. That includes GFCIs. I would fit a cheaper indoor-rated GFCI+receptacle inside the bedroom at whichever location you tap for the outside extension. Hang the cable to the outdoor receptacle off the LOAD terminals of that GFCI. Then, fit a plain receptacle outdoors. It won't deteriorate nearly as fast, and when it does, it's $2.


Code has changed since the home was built. NEC 210.11.c.3 requires the 20 amp bathroom circuit. You can power what you have listed in the bathroom from that 1 circuit see the exception but no other outlets .( the fan can be on this circuit) make sure to have a delay timer for the fan they have been hitting folks on the delay off timer in bathrooms for a while in Lynn, Benton & lane counties for a while now.

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