What Amp GFCI For Bathrooms [Explained]

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Most electronic shocks happen in the kitchen or bathroom accidentally. It is due to a short circuit and faulty wire management system.

Therefore, when you use an electronic device near a wet area, you should be more cautious. Especially, your bathroom and kitchen outlets should be GFCI protected with the right amps.

For bathrooms, I always recommend using a 20-amp GFCI outlet which ensures maximum safety. But if you want to use 12 wires, you do not have to worry about the ampere limitation.

While you think and plan for GFCI you need to know the impact of amperage. What amp GFCI for the bathroom? Keep reading to get all about GFCI and amperage.

Why Do You Need GFCI Outlets?

GFCI outlets are electrical sockets that can handle ground faults. Usually, you will find these in the bathroom and kitchen. You can use these in your basement, pool area, and garage. Anywhere you might have possible exposure to water with electricity.

On average you can use these protective sockets in any place near six feet of water sources.

Best GFCI Outlets

Should You Use a 15 amp or 20 amp GFCI in Your Bathroom?

You can use different amp types of GFCI outlets, including 15 and 20 amps. It is not mandatory to install a 20 amp GFCI outlet in the bathroom or kitchen for lighting.

If you don’t want, 15 amps will be ok. However, if you want to use heavy electronic devices like irons and high-powered electric razors in your bathroom, you must use 20 amps rated GFCI outlet or higher.

Make sure for a 15 amp GFCI outlet, you must use 14 gauges wiring in your house. The wire size and the 15 amp breaker together will be equal to 20 amps.

How Can You Differentiate Between 15amp And 20 Amp GFCI?

You have to identify which amp will be used in your house during the planning. For a bathroom, you should have a clear idea between a 15-amp and a 20-amp GFCI. The NEC requires a 20-amp circuit to serve the bathroom receptacle(s). A 15-amp receptacle may also be used as it is two receptacles.

However, you can replace any existing standard receptacle with a GFI-type using the existing wiring. Kitchens and bathrooms should always have 20 amp GFCI outlets.

The main difference is the pin outlet. Also, you should check the surface of the GFCI. If the slot turns sideways or it looks T-shaped, that will only allow a 20 amp plug on it.

On the other hand, 15 amps won’t look like a T shape. Again, the most 15amp GFCI plug will only support 15-amp devices. You can also know what circuit is used in your house with the help of an electrician as well.

Keep in mind you must be using number 12 wire for 20 amps GFCI or regular outlets. If your wiring is number 14 gauge then use a 15 amp GFCI circuit. Additionally, you should never share circuits between bathrooms.

GFCI outlets in bathroom
GFCI outlets in bathroom

Final Thoughts

You need to check your GFCI on a periodic routine to ensure your safety. Most low-quality GFCI gets damaged over time and contact with water.

As you place the GFCI in your bathroom it can be wet by water. Therefore you need to use an outlet cover to protect your GFCI outlet.

Hopefully, you got all the detailed information along with what amp GFCI for the bathroom for future reference.

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