The Basics of Bathroom And Spa Wiring


Bathrooms are absolute essentials in any sort of accommodation arrangement, be it a cabin, an apartment, a house or a pent house. Modern-day bathrooms tend to generally be damp places and make use of plenty power.

Bathroom and spa wiring are delicate works that need precise attention and special provision made for them. As if not properly done, it can lead to health hazards and sometimes death.

In wiring a bathroom, there are special specific needs that have to be noted and provided for, this includes the airflow, lighting and safety appliances in the bathroom. One has to consider things ranging from proper ventilation to water tight lighting to GFCI outlets.

The requirements for wiring a spa is almost the same as that of wiring a bathroom, with everything adjusted to scale, depending on the size of the spa and the appliances in use there.

In this article, we will explore the basic things that need to be put in place and considered when planning for the wiring of a bathroom.


For some reason, the bathroom most times, tends to be about the darkest room in the house. For this peculiar reason, there is a need for enough lights to be installed so as to provide sufficient illumination, especially for the mirrors, closets, bathtub and showers areas.

The shower area and the bath must certainly be fitted with special fixtures. There are two rating types of light fixtures that can be used for these places, that is, light fixtures with damp locations and wet locations ratings.

The shower zone, i.e. bathing area, is inclusive of the shower area or the bath tub and 3 feet of the room adjacent to the tub measured horizontally from the edge of the shower stall or tub, and 8 feet measuring vertically.

There is a minimum requirement of “damp location” for the light fixtures installed in the shower zone. But, if there is a possibility of water sprays from the shower stall to hit the light fixture, then the fixtures installed must be rated for wet locations.


Ventilation Fans

Bathrooms are for the most part moist places. There are some without windows to directly ventilate it and clear off the accumulated odors and moisture. Even with a window, bathroom ventilation fans have proved to be far more effective in the removal of odors and moisture and there is not much heat loss during winter.

In most places, ventilation fans are absolutely required in every bathroom. There are vent fans that come with built-in heaters, but their wiring requirements are quite different from that of a regular vent fan.


Power Outlets

An ever-present danger in bathrooms is an electric shock, water and electricity don’t mix well at all. To prevent one being shocked while doing their business in the bathroom, it is very imperative that there must be GFCI protection for all bathroom electricity outlets and receptacles.

The GFCI is a safety device that helps in the prevention of electric shock in the bathroom. This can be achieved by the installation of GFCI outlets on the receptacle circuits or making use of a GFCI circuit breaker. If you are making use of just one GFCI device, ensure that it is wired for “Multiple locations” protection. This will help protect every outlet on the same circuit downstream of where you installed the device.


Bathroom Circuits

The most basic plan for wiring a bathroom will include a 15-amp lighting circuit for the vent fan, light fixtures and switches and a 20-amp circuit for the receptacles that is GFCI protected. In some places, one needs to place the receptacles and lighting on separate circuits to prevent the lights from going out when the receptacle trips the circuit breaker.

For ventilation fans that come with inbuilt heaters, it necessarily must be installed on its own dedicated 20-amp circuit. Devices like wall heaters, heat lamps, and other heating appliances might also require being put on their own dedicated circuits.

To learn more about the bathroom wiring requirement of your locality, be sure to contact the building department.