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I have noticed this lately on newer houses, and I wonder what others think about it:

Lately I have noticed bathrooms having GFCI Protection, but the actual mechanism located in another bathroom. I automatically think a cheap builder, won't spring for another GFCI Outlet. I always report this to my client just for they know what they have to do to reset the circuit. I find this a nuisance, and very annoying.

Also I have also noticed that sometimes all the lights are wired downstream from the GFCI. Is this a safety issue? Especially if they have to go into another bathroom to reset.

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I don't think "cheap" has anything to do with it. In the 11 years I've been doing this, I think I've only had a couple of hundred houses where there was a GFCI in every bathroom. Around here, the baths are usually all on the same circuit with one GFCI receptacle for all. Since it seems to be a fact of life that nothing I do or say is going to change, I don't get annoyed with it, I just make sure the client understands where to go to reset the GFCI if power is lost in one of the baths.

The question of whether bathroom lights can be on the GFCI has been discussed at length numerous times. Douglas Hansen's book provided the answer. It explains that since the 1996 NEC a separate 20-amp circuit has been required for the bathroom receptacles and that no other outlets are allowed on that circuit including the bathroom lights unless that circuit only supplies one bathroom, in which case other equipment (fans, lights, hydromassage tubs, etc.) can be on the circuit. So, if that circuit is supplying power to multiple bathrooms, and all of those lights are on that same circuit and being tripped by the GFCI, the electrician screwed it up.



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Mike is right again!

There is another element to this single GFCI configuration - It causes the person to stop the activity that caused the trip and forces them to pause and go somewhere to re-set the device. Often you will see the slave GFCI in the public or kids bath with the master in the main bath. For many years the one gfci would be in the garage and that protected all other locations. For an excellant history of GFI and GFCI read Earl Roberts book "Overcurrents and Undercurrents" It is dated, but written by a co-inventor of the process. The other guy was Charles Dalziel. I was lucky enough to have been able to spend some time with these guys; they are/were real teachers.

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I don't know if it is cheap or not, but, it is not necessary to put a gfci outlet in each location required if the circiut has been run in series. It is generally a standard practice to run the required outlets in series, use one GFCI to protect the downstream outlets, whether it is for a kitchen or a bathroom. The GFCI outlet was designed for this type of application. I agree it could be a pain in the butt to look for the first outlet in the series, but, in actuality it is usually more convenient than going out to the panel and resetting a GFCI breaker.

To say each outlet in a bathroom or kitchen should have its own GFCI is similar to saying each outelt or switch should be individually breakered. Nobody is going to do that because it, also, is not necessary.

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