In a recently remodeled bathroom, a electrician installed a GFCI outlet in a linen closet which controls two outlets near the sink, a floor heater, the ceiling lights, and the vent fan. Only the sink outlets are near water; the lights and fan are outside the shower.

Why wire the circuit this way? I'd like to change the sink outlets to GFCI and run the lights, fan, and floor heater in parallel, but I'm afraid that I'm missing something in the original design.

  • 1
    If you plug a GFCI tester in the existing bathroom outlets and push "test", does it trip a GFCI somewhere? Jan 21, 2019 at 10:56
  • Do you have a whirlpool tub? What size breaker controls the circuit this bathroom is on? Why not call the electrician who recently did this work? Are you having issues with the gfci tripping frequently?
    – Kris
    Jan 21, 2019 at 14:29
  • @Harper Yes, the tester trips the GFCI in the linen closet.
    – saxman
    Jan 23, 2019 at 4:49
  • 1
    @Kris No whirlpool tub. The breaker is 15 amp, but controls quite a few outlights/lights (the bathroom, plus some in the adjoining bedroom). Sadly, I don't know the electrician; he re-modeled before I bought the home. The GFCI doesn't trip frequently; however, I'd prefer to NOT have the GFCI outlet in the closet control the lights, since the bathroom loses all lighting in this case (the darkness can be a hazard itself).
    – saxman
    Jan 23, 2019 at 4:52
  • That's right, that's a big problem with putting a GFCI on too much stuff, e.g. Outlet and lighting, or kitchen counter receps and fridge. Jan 23, 2019 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


It's okay to share other fixtures on the bathroom outlet circuit like the vent fan and lights if the bathroom circuit does not feed outlets in another bathroom. In your post you mentioned a floor heater which might be temporary and portable, but if it's built-in to the base then that might be a violation of 210.32.(A)(2) which permits 50% of 20 amps or 10 amps or less. If it's portable then the code allows 80% of 20 amps or 16 amps or less.

Other than that a GFCI outlet should always be accessible. A linen closet isn't an obvious location for starters, and may eventually get hidden behind stuff.

  • 2
    This question pertains to a bathroom not a kitchen. I think your info is good but editing to make it match the question specifics would be helpful
    – Kris
    Jan 23, 2019 at 21:04
  • Thanks @Kris. For some reason I raw kitchen instead of bathroom
    – Kris
    Jan 23, 2019 at 22:18

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