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Berthoud, CO
reply to nonymous

Re: Smaller size wire on 20A circuit for dedicated purpose?

So long as the OP keeps the bathroom light on the original 14-gauge circuit (with a 15-amp breaker) while installing a new 12-gauge 20-amp circuit for the outlet, then he is code compliant (assuming he does everything else correctly).

The outlet needs to be a GFCI receptacle outlet, or on a GFCI breaker. His choice. The 20-amp circuit is not allowed to supply any other loads besides receptacle outlets in this bathroom, UNLESS any such other loads are receptacle outlets in a different bathroom which also has a separate circuit for lighting/fans. (The NEC lets you either use a 20-amp circuit for all loads, including lights, in a single bathroom OR it allows a 20-amp circuit to be shared amongst multiple bathrooms if all such bathrooms utilize a different circuit for lighting/fans.)

The 15-amp lighting circuit does not need GFCI protection. It might need AFCI protection though, depending on whether it supplies loads in other locations which require AFCI protection (I think, but am not sure, that bathroom lighting loads do not require AFCI.)