Wiring a out door shed that has everything that a home does; bathroom kitchen living room and extra bedroom. Pretty much like a guest home you can say. When I run my wire in the bathroom of it. The GFCI Receptacle does it have to be on a separate circuit than the lights in the bathroom ? Does every receptacle in the bathroom have to be GFCI? I am wanting it to be by the book according to code.

  • You're getting the required permits and inspections for this work right? Doing everything to code is nice, but you can still get in trouble if you're working without permits. – JPhi1618 Nov 8 '19 at 21:51

There is no requirement for GFCI receptacles anywhere.

GFCI protection is what is required. That can be in many locations - a breaker, switch, deadfront or indeed a receptacle. Further, each can protect downline locations so they too are GFCI protected.

Having more than one GFCI per breaker trip circuit indicates someone doesn't understand this concept and perhaps should not be designing wiring schemes. Unless you have a very unusual situation, but that should only ever come up in retrofits, not new construction.

There are restrictions on bathroom circuits which are beyond the scope of this question. Bathroom lights can be on a receptacle circuit that serves only that bathroom. The lights do not need to be GFCI protected unless they are in the shower area.

For the convenience of bathroom users, it can be helpful to have 2 or even 3 receptacle circuits (breakers) in a bathroom so someone can plug in both a hair dryer and a curler without tripping the breaker. Each circuit needs a GFCI protective device. That could be multiple GFCI receptacles; that is fine.


You can put everything for the bathroom on 1 20A circuit, as per the Exception to NEC 210.11(c)(3). All receptacles in a bathroom require GFCI protection but the lights and fan do not require GFCI protection.

  • 1
    I think the light/ fan needs a dedicated 20 Amp circuit if it has a built in heater... I got nailed on that once in my younger years. – JACK Nov 8 '19 at 20:37
  • If it has a heater it would because it would be fixed heating. But the op did not mention heat, but I agree + – Ed Beal Nov 8 '19 at 20:43

It is rather unusual to have more than one receptacle outlet in a bathroom. A receptacle outlet can consist of 4 individual receptacles mounted in the same box. That means that two of the common duplex receptacles; which is two receptacles which will each except a cords plug mounted in the same yoke; mounted side by side in a two gang box is still only one receptacle outlet. The place to install the required receptacle outlet is beside the basin since that is the only place in the bathroom that the code requires a receptacle outlet. The code allows you to have other loads besides the required receptacle outlet on the same circuit as long as that circuit serves only loads which are located in the same bathroom. I took advantage of that when I was still a working electrician to get power for the vanity mirror lights without having to drop a feed down from the overhead lights.

Best practice is to do as someone else already suggested and run 2 20 ampere circuits to the Box in which the basin receptacles will be mounted. That way each of the duplex receptacles mounted in that box is supplied by it's own 20 ampere circuit and overloading either of them becomes unlikely. If the code has not yet required Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) protection for bathrooms you could run those two circuits as a multiwire branch circuit in a single 3 wire + Ground cable. You would either use a handle tie on the handles of two adjacent single pole breakers or a double pole breaker. The underlying principal is that in order to turn off one of those circuits you will have to turn them both off. If AFCI protection is required for bathrooms in your community then you will need to use 4 wire + Ground cable with one circuit on each pair of wires in the cable. That would be to avoid the rather high cost of a double pole AFCI breaker

If the basin is on the same wall as the tub/shower opening or on an adjacent wall and near the opening into the shower or tub area best practice is to put the receptacles on the side of the basin away from the tub or shower. Good practice would also include providing a shelf near the receptacle to hold items which would remain plugged in such as toothbrush or shaver chargers... That shelf could be the top of a vanity cabinet but in the absence of a vanity provide a real shelf which is not the edge of a basin.

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