210.11(C)(3) Bathroom Branch Circuits.

As long as at least one 20-amp branch circuit supplies the bathroom receptacle(s) required by 210.52(D) and any countertop and similar work surface receptacle outlets, any other installed branch circuit supplying receptacles not serving the countertop can be 15 or 20-amp rated.
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As long as at least one 20-amp branch circuit supplies the bathroom receptacle(s) required by 210.52(D) and any countertop and similar work surface receptacle outlets, any other installed branch circuit supplying receptacles not serving the countertop can be 15 or 20-amp rated.

Code Change Summary: Revised code language on bathroom branch circuits.

For many code cycles, code experts have argued back and forth about whether a 15-amp branch circuit and receptacle could be installed in a bathroom in addition to the required 20-amp branch circuit that the NEC requires within 3 feet of the outside edge of each bathroom sink.

Some feel that any branch circuit supplying a receptacle in a bathroom must be 20-amps while others feel that as long as at least one 20-amp branch circuit supplies the bathroom receptacle specified in 210.52(D) (within 3 feet of the sink) then any other receptacle in the bathroom can be 15 or 20-amps.

In the 2020 NEC this has finally been cleared up. Now, as long as at least one 20-amp branch circuit supplies the bathroom receptacle(s) required by 210.52(D) and any countertop and similar work surface receptacle outlets, any other installed branch circuit supplying receptacles not serving the countertop can be 15 or 20-amp rated.

Below is a preview of the NEC. See the actual NEC text at NFPA.ORG for the complete code section. Once there, click on their link to free access to the 2020 NEC edition of NFPA 70.

2017 Code Language:

210.11(C) Dwelling Units.

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 120-volt, 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to supply the bathroom(s) receptacle outlet(s). Such circuits shall have no other outlets.

Exception: Where the 20-ampere circuit supplies a single bathroom, outlets for other equipment within the same bathroom shall be permitted to be supplied in accordance with 210.23(A)(1) and (A)(2).

2020 Code Language:

210.11(C) Dwelling Units.

210.11(C)(3) Bathroom Branch Circuits. In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, one or more 120-volt, 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to supply bathroom(s) receptacle outlet(s) required by 210.52(D) and any countertop and similar work surface receptacle outlets. Such circuits shall have no other outlets.

Exception: Where the 20-ampere circuit supplies a single bathroom, outlets for other equipment within the same bathroom shall be permitted to be supplied in accordance with 210.23(A)(1) and (A)(2).

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210.11(C)(3) Bathroom Branch Circuits.

Below is a Real Question from our Electrical Continuing Education Courses for Electrical License Renewal:

Refer to the image of the bathroom:

Based on the 2020 NEC, which of the following is true?

A: Receptacle “A” can be supplied by a 15-amp branch circuit.
B: Receptacle “B” must be supplied by a 15-amp branch circuit.
C: Receptacle “C” can be supplied by a 15-amp or a 20-amp branch circuit.
D: All bathroom receptacles must be supplied from a 20-amp branch circuit.
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