My electrician had to leave the state for work and unsure when he’s going to get back. For now I’m just wanting to pull the Romex (12/2) to connect everything, so I can get the drywall hung in order for the plumbers to finish their part. I don’t plan to actually wire anything up (yet), just pull the lines through the boxes so they are ready for my electrician. This picture shows what I plan to do.

bathroom wiring diagram

  1. “hot” line from circuit breaker to switch box

  2. “hot” line to 2 - GFCI receptacles

  3. line from switch #1 to the 2 vanity/sink lights, with a line connecting the lights to each other

  4. line from switch #2 to fan/vent*

  5. line from switch #2 to over shower light**

*fan is Delta GBR80, placed center of bathroom, no humidity sensor or timer

**shower light is wet-rated canless recessed LED, in 8’6” ceiling

Again, I’m not planning to wire anything up myself at this point, not even at the circuit breaker. Just leave enough line hanging out of the boxes so my electrician has plenty to work with. That might change later if he isn’t back soon, but for now I’d be happy to just get lines ran so I can put the ceiling and walls up (only framed currently).

Location: USA

  • I would want to know if your panelboard has AFCI breakers available and how many sinks are in the bathroom? Commented Jan 16 at 12:51
  • 2 sinks. And my electrician had said I had plenty of availability in the panel board. The builder made sure of that. He put one in sufficient for the house size he built for me. He normally finishes the full house but I requested the basement be left unfinished, with the exception of all the framing being done.
    – DIY_mama80
    Commented Jan 16 at 13:08
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    Then you will be fine for code with that diagram. The rest is about making it work for the future. If someone wants to update the shower luminaire with a product requiring a GFCI, it would be super nice to have it set up for that. Commented Jan 16 at 13:21
  • 3
    Do not underestimate how nice it is to have the fan on a timer to keep mildew in the shower down, even in the dry American Southwest.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jan 16 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


A few comments:

1 - I would install separate switches for fan and light. 3 switches total instead of 2. That gives you more flexibility, particularly for putting in a humidity sensor or timer.

2 - If wired properly, you only need one GFCI to protect multiple receptacles.

3 - The shower light may need to be GFCI protected. Easiest way is to have power for it come off the GFCI/receptacle, so an extra 12/2 to double back from first receptacle to switch box.

  • In my other 2 finished bathrooms, the builder wired the fan and shower light on the same switch, so I was wanting to be consistent with the rest of the house’s bathrooms. If I remove the switch plate in those finished bathrooms, would there be a way for me to tell if they wired the shower light with the GFCI outlet run?
    – DIY_mama80
    Commented Jan 16 at 6:08
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    You can tell if the light depends on the gfci(s) by hitting the test button(s). But consistency isn’t really the goal here: code compliance is the goal. If you don’t know for sure, run extra wire. (As an aside, I’d also send an extra run of 12/2 from the switch to the fan for convenience, but that’s just preference.) Commented Jan 16 at 13:11
  • I hit the test button on the GFCI outlet and it didn’t affect the fan or light over the shower in my existing bathroom. Light is a canless LED, wet-rated (Utilitech). I don’t see anything on the manufacturer paperwork about requiring GFCI.
    – DIY_mama80
    Commented Jan 16 at 14:10
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    I checked a bit more and as far as I can tell, NEC does not require (surprisingly) lights and fans above a shower or tub to be GFCI protected, just wet rated. But it is clear that some manufacturers require GFCI protection in those locations and then you would be required to do so to satisfy the UL/ETL rating (which says follow instructions) in order to satisfy NEC (which says follow UL/ETL, essentially.) But as far as "receiver"? No idea. Model #? Commented Jan 16 at 16:04
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    I’m sure you’re right about the NEC citation; however, I’ve had inspectors insist on all kinds of strange interpretations of code. Caveat sparkie, I suppose. Commented Jan 16 at 18:51

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