12

I’m wanting to replace the GFCI outlet in my master bathroom to one with USB plugs due to my wife’s new electric toothbrushes requiring USB to charge. Is it possible to do? Or should I just buy a brick and keep it plugged in there? New homeowner looking for advice

3
  • Welcome. Please take the tour to learn how to respond to answers.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 25 at 14:18
  • My last beard trimmer came with a USB charging cable and an A/C brick for it too. I suspect this is going to become more and more common.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Jun 27 at 13:38
  • 1
    you CAN NOT go from gfci to not-gfci. NO
    – Fattie
    Commented Jun 28 at 12:06

2 Answers 2

31

GFCI outlet in my master bathroom

You can't replace GFCI with non-GFCI in a bathroom. Technically, you could if you replaced the breaker with a GFCI/breaker, but that will cost more.

However, you can replace a GFCI with a GFCI that also has USB, such as this Leviton from Home Depot:

GFCI with USB

Alternatively, you can replace the existing junction box with a larger one and chain from the GFCI to a non-GFCI receptacle with USB. I did that in my kitchen because you can never have too many receptacles.

13
  • 1
    My upvote for an accurate answer cancels my down one for what a POS the example is. :(. Net zero
    – jay613
    Commented Jun 25 at 13:27
  • 1
    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact When renovating my apartment I suggested having receptacles all along the rail (we have a rail on the bottom of the wall that carries the cables, you cannot dig in the wall). Every 10 cm - this way something will always match. My wife had a different opinion, so we do not have that. And more or less every receptacle is misplaced or missing. On the serious side - I saw solutions where you plug your receptacle into the rail where you need this but the price was astronomical.
    – WoJ
    Commented Jun 25 at 16:52
  • 1
    In a kitchen you can easily have too many receptacles because just adding more of them leads to situations when you try using too many countertop appliances at once and tripping the breaker. What you can never have too many of in the kitchen is circuits. Commented Jun 25 at 18:49
  • 1
    @DanIsFiddlingByFirelight I believe in one outlet for every 2 ft of linear counter space, with 2-3 outlets per circuit... More then that is overkill.
    – Questor
    Commented Jun 25 at 22:18
  • 1
    @rjt The circuit must be 20A. But a 20A circuit (in general, not just when GFCI is involved such as kitchen and bathroom) can have 15A receptacles as long as there are at least two receptacles, and a typical duplex receptacle counts as two. Commented Jun 26 at 23:46
31

Buy a brick!

USB outlets built into walls are overpriced and underspec'ed even the day you install them and they become obsolete like potato salad in the sun.

The Lowe's one in the other answer is 10W and costs $45. 10W? That's like, 2010?

I know it'll be fine for the toothbrush but think a little more generally.

For that price, or less, you can buy a 100W 4 port GAN charger that at least today is state of the art and when it fails or becomes obsolete you don't have to remove it from the wall or replace the GFCI with it.

Update

Having thought about all the comments, I'm swayed by a combination of them, and I'll suggest the circumstances where you might prefer to install a combo outlet:

  1. Counter space at the outlet is very limited, and/or very near the sink so you will never have large numbers of electrical things all being used/charged at once. (@MonkeyZeus)
  2. You can find a combo outlet with at a USB-A port that is QC3 or better, and a USB-C port that is 25W PD or better (@Manasseh), the outlet is UL listed, made by a company with a significant presence in the USA or in your country, and sold by a retailer in your country. (@Dan Is Fiddling...)
  3. That combo outlet is worth whatever it costs to you, versus a cheaper brick if you already have a GFCI outlet, or versus $0 if you have old chargers to plug into your GFCI outlet that are good enough for your needs.

If all the above are true ... I would go this way. A 25W PD charger may not be state of the art but it will be a very good 80/20 solution, it will charge what you probably need to charge, fast enough, and take no space in the bathroom.

1

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.