Electrical – Can an outdoor receptacle be supplied through a GFCI in a bathroom


My parents just bought a house that is still under the original warranty. There is a standard GFCI outlet in one of the bathrooms with outlets in the other two bathrooms connected to the load side of that GFCI. So far so good.

On their back porch they have another GFCI outlet. It is also connected to the load side of the bathroom GFCI. They found this out when some contractors were working and managed to trip the GFCI in the bathroom with equipment plugged in to the GFCI on the porch.

They know the builder as he just completed other work for them. I contend that it's wired incorrectly and should be fixed under warranty. He admits that it seems odd but doesn't want to get it fixed, of course.

They just had other electricians doing work at the house last week who looked at it and said "that's strange, but it's not dangerous". I'm not saying it's dangerous, just wrong.

I would like the builder to fix it, preferably by putting the outside outlets on a separate circuit. Thoughts?

Best Answer

This isn't "dangerous", but it can be inconvenient when your outlet goes dead and it's tricky to figure out where the GFCI reset button is.

On the other hand, this could be against your local electrical codes. For example, NEC 210.11(C)(3) states that your bathroom circuit may only power bathroom outlets. Note that there is an exception to this rule: When the circuit supplies one bathroom (i.e. isn't shared between bedrooms), other things (such as fans and lights) in the same bathroom can share the same circuit. Regardless, the mentioned situation is against the NEC code.

As to if the builder should modify this, I can't say. When in doubt, call your local building inspector.