You are here:

Electrical Wiring in the Home/Size GFCI for bathroom in So California


QUESTION: 15 or 20 Amp?

ANSWER: Depends on how house was wired

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have a cursory knowledge of construction, can you elaborate on "Depends on how the house was wired. I will add that the home is a tract home, with copper wiring, built in Carlsbad, CA in the 1980's, so it is not an older home. Hopefully this will give you enough info to respond. TIA

Great. There were three iterations of the NEC in the 80s, each one with more defined requirements for GFIs.
What gauge wire was used? 12 or 14?
Are all bathroom GFIs on same circuit?
Is everything in the one bathroom on the same circuit as the GFI outlet?
What else is on the circuit with the GFI outlet?
What year was the house built?
What version of NEC was being enforced in your town [call township offices] when the house was built? It wasn't always the most recent version.
I believe it was still allowed to have GFIs fed from lighting circuits in the 80s, in which case there may be one GFI in a bathroom someplace, with all other required GFI-protected outlets fed from that one receptacle, including the grade-access receptacles on the building exterior.

Further, in the last several years, California has turned the entire licensing process on it's head. I have no idea what the requirements were where and when your house was built.

You can't go wrong if you install a twenty-amp rated GFI. It isn't overcurrent protection.
About Electrical Wiring in the Home
This site answers questions related to home electrical wiring, home wiring, general electrical help,and other electrical questions related to aleternating current (AC). You can find help on the National Electical Code, home electrical issues, wiring electrical outlets, installing lighting, electrical grounding, and general electrical help for do-it-yourself projects not require an electrician. If you do not see your home electrical wiring question answered in this area then please ask your electrical wiring question here

Electrical Wiring in the Home

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

©2017 All rights reserved.