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Thread: NC Electrical Code - 20A GFCI Circuit in bathroom

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    Default NC Electrical Code - 20A GFCI Circuit in bathroom

    Does anyone know if North Carolina Electrical Code requires 20A GFCI protected outlets in a bathroom, or are 15A GFCI outlets acceptable?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalterHego View Post
    Does anyone know if North Carolina Electrical Code requires 20A GFCI protected outlets in a bathroom, or are 15A GFCI outlets acceptable?
    You are under the 2008 NEC from what I am told. If that is the case, then yes, a 20A is required. Don't know all of the specifics for your installation so that is a general answer.

    There are at least 2 very knowledgeable NC code guys on this forum that can help you in case NC has some code changes to the NEC.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalterHego View Post
    Does anyone know if North Carolina Electrical Code requires 20A GFCI protected outlets in a bathroom, or are 15A GFCI outlets acceptable?
    This is worded funny. You are asking if 20A "outlets" are required. I don't know of any local amendments, but 20A receptacles devices are not required. As long as there is at least one duplex on the circuit you can use 15A receptacles, but they are required to be on a 20A circuit.
    Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.

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    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    You're right Petey. This could certainly have been more clearly worded.

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalterHego View Post
    Does anyone know if North Carolina Electrical Code requires 20A GFCI protected outlets in a bathroom, or are 15A GFCI outlets acceptable?
    New member and all, looks like it might be a little cute play with words.


    NC as well as the rest of the nation allows 15 amp outlets in a bathroom.

    Any where that the NEC is adopted into the state or local codes a 20 amp outlet is required in a bathroom.

    Does this seem confusing? As others has pointed out it is the verbiage of your question that makes the answer hard to give. In some peoples mind it looks like a trick question.
    In my mind the reference to the “North Carolina Electrical Code” tells me that this is a question aimed at certain people. It is confusing to me that you would know that it is the NC Electrical Code but wouldn’t understand the difference about outlets.

    The word outlet defined by the NEC is:
    Outlet. A point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment.

    There is;
    Lighting Outlet. An outlet intended for the direct connection of a lampholder or luminaire.
    And
    Receptacle Outlet. An outlet where one or more receptacles are installed.

    Both are required to be installed in a bathroom. In most cases the lighting outlet is not required to be installed on a 20 amp GFCI protected circuit. The receptacle outlets can be either 15 or 20 amp but are required to be on a 20 amp GFCI protected circuit.

    For code references see 210.11(C), Table 210.21(B)(3), 210.52(D), 210.70(A)(1) and 410.10(D) of the National Electrical Code which is adopted into the North Carolina Electrical Code with amendments.
    Last edited by jwelectric; 12-21-2009 at 06:35 AM. Reason: to add section on receptacle ratings

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    Sorry, all of you are correct - the wording could have been much better, but you figured out what I meant (at midnight).

    I have a proposed 12 gauge bathroom circuit with 4 duplex receptacles in series. The first receptacle in the circuit is GFCI, and the remaining 3 are standard receptacles. From you answers I gather the circuit must be connected to a 20 amp breaker, and all 4 receptacles can be 15 amp. However, one statement was made that I need clarified: "NC as well as the rest of the nation allows 15 amp outlets in a bathroom. Any where that the NEC is adopted into the state or local codes a 20 amp outlet is required in a bathroom." With regards to my circuit, does this imply that one of the 4 receptacles, most likely the GFCI receptacle, be 20 amp with the remaining 3 15 amp?

    Also, NC recently adopted the use of Arc-Fault breakers in all living areas. I presume that I should use a 20 Amp AFCI breaker in my proposed circuit?

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    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    NEC requires a 20a circuit, not a 20a outlet
    With a duplex outlet each indivual plug is rated 15a, outlet is rated 20a pass thru

    If this IS their EXACT wording, then they require a 20a
    BUT an outlet can be different from a receptacle is my understanding
    The "outlet" part is the connection, the receptacle is what is connnected
    My wording or understanding may be off
    Need someone with direct NC code knowledge

    Any where that the NEC is adopted into the state or local codes a 20 amp outlet is required in a bathroom
    You can't have a single 15a rated recaptacle on a 20a circuit, it must be a duplex (2 outlets/plugs/recaptacles)

    Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 12-21-2009 at 09:42 AM. Reason: sp
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalterHego View Post
    Sorry, all of you are correct - the wording could have been much better, but you figured out what I meant (at midnight).

    I have a proposed 12 gauge bathroom circuit with 4 duplex receptacles in series. The first receptacle in the circuit is GFCI, and the remaining 3 are standard receptacles. From you answers I gather the circuit must be connected to a 20 amp breaker, and all 4 receptacles can be 15 amp. However, one statement was made that I need clarified: "NC as well as the rest of the nation allows 15 amp outlets in a bathroom. Any where that the NEC is adopted into the state or local codes a 20 amp outlet is required in a bathroom." With regards to my circuit, does this imply that one of the 4 receptacles, most likely the GFCI receptacle, be 20 amp with the remaining 3 15 amp?

    Also, NC recently adopted the use of Arc-Fault breakers in all living areas. I presume that I should use a 20 Amp AFCI breaker in my proposed circuit?
    First off if the four receptacles are wired in series they will not work. Receptacles are wired in parallel.

    The first receptacle in the circuit is wired to the line side of the GFCI and the remainder wired to the load side. Any or all of the receptacles can be rated for 15 or 20 amps.

    The circuit that supplies them must be rated at 20 amps. There is no permission in 210.11(C)(3) that allows any receptacle installed in a bathroom to be supplied by a 15 amp circuit. Any and all receptacles must be on a 20 amp circuit.

    210.11(C)(3) Bathroom Branch Circuits. In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at least one 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to supply bathroom receptacle outlet(s). Such circuits shall have no other outlets.

    210.12 mandates which areas of a dwelling unit that are required to be protected by arc-fault devices they are as follows;
    210.12(B) (B) Dwelling Units. All 120-volt, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination-type, installed to provide protection of the branch circuit.

    Bathrooms are not mentioned in the list of areas requiring arc-fault protection therefore arc-fault protection is not required in the bathroom area.

    The lighting “outlets” in the bathroom area can be on a general purpose 15 amp circuit.

    If you are making this installation, depending on where you live in NC, you will have to pass a test concerning the installation you are making before you are issued a permit. If this installation is being made without a permit there could be some pretty serious ramification from both the inspection department as well as homeowners insurance when the installation is discovered.

    My simple advice to anyone wanting or needing an electrical installation in NC is to hire a qualified electrician to make the installation. Be sure to obtain all needed permits before work starts.

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    Code Enforcement codeone's Avatar
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    Article 210.21 of the NEC reads at 210.21(B)(1)

    A single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit shall have an ampere rating not less than that of the branch circuit.

    There are 2 exceptions but one applies to portable motors 1/3 hp or less.
    The other applies to arc welders.

    Now 210.21(B)(2) Total Cord-and-Plug Connected Load. Where connected to a branch circuit supplying two or more receptacles or outlets, a receptacle shall not supply a total cord-and-plug-connected load in excess of the maximum specified in Table 210.21(B)(2).

    Which states that
    circuit rating-----Rec rating--------Max Load
    (Amps)---------(Amps)-----------(Amps)

    15 or 20------------15--------------12
    20---------------20--------------16
    30---------------30--------------24


    Now 210.21(B)(3) Tells us

    Receptacle Ratings. Where connected to a branch circuit supplying two or more receptacles or outlets, receptacle ratings shall conform to the values listed in Table 210.21(B)(3), or where larger than 50 amperes, the receptacle
    rating shall not be less than the branch-circuit rating.

    There are two exceptions.
    #1 applies to arc welders
    #2 applies to electric discharge lighting

    Table 210.21(B)(3) Receptacle Ratings for Various Size Circuits

    Circuit Rating-------------------Receptacle Rating
    (Amperes)----------------------(Amperes)

    15-----------------------------Not over 15
    20-----------------------------15 or 20
    30-------------------------------30
    40-----------------------------40 or 50
    50-------------------------------50
    Last edited by codeone; 12-21-2009 at 11:29 AM.

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