bathroom lights on GFCI ?

hoosierdocJuly 10, 2011

I wired my basement and followed what I thought was code. Our inspector (selling it) said that the lights cannot be on the GFCI circuit. I have a normal 20A breaker that feeds this bathroom only. The outlet is a GFCI one and it feeds a vent fan, light, and shower light.

Isn't this one of the valid code installs if you have a dedicated 20A circuit?

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petey_racer

You are perfectly within code here. Do not listen to this hack inspector. He is wrong.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 10:19PM
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Ron Natalie

Yes, as far as the NEC is concerned as long as the circuit feeds only that bathroom you are allowed to put the lights and fan on the same circuit. NOWHERE does the NEC prohibit what you can put on a GFCI, there are things you are not required or otherwise allowed to NOT put on a GFCI.

Some fans and light fixtures actually recommend/require GFCI (for wet/damp areas).

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 8:39AM
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Billl

I assume this is the house inspector and not an electrical inspector?

A dedicated 20amp circuit can be used for the bathroom receptacles and lights. Your shower light should be GFCI protected. If you fan is above a wet area, it should be GFCI.

In an ideal world where cost isn't a factor and you have unlimited breaker space available, it would be nice for the bath light to be on a separate lighting circuit. That way, if a hair dryer trips, it doesn't knock out the lights too. That is a convenience factor though, not a safety factor.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 8:46AM
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petey_racer

A shower light CAN be GFI protected. "Should" and "must" are subjective words here.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 8:38PM
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Ron Natalie

The shower light is required to be GFCI protected if the manufacturer's instructions say it is required for the application. Otherwise it is optional.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 7:04AM
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petey_racer

And I for one have never seen this as a requirement.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 7:27AM
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Billl

I'm in the middle of multiple bathroom remodels, and every shower light kit I've looked at has a GFCI requirement. It seems to be pretty common. It certainly is required on the 2 I've purchased this year.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 8:46AM
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hoosierdoc

To clarify, I'm asking mainly about the light above the sink. The light above tub requires GFCI. I don't think it changes things but wanted to be sure.

Thanks for the guidance!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:08AM
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petey_racer

Billl, I've never seen a "shower light kit" before, let alone one that required GFI protection. What brand are they?

I will say, I have seen a couple of steam room specific lights that did require GFI protection.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 9:28PM
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fa_f3_20

I don't know of any situation where code prohibits something from being protected by a GFCI. There are a few situations where it is discouraged, such as a circuit dedicated to a refrigerator.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 7:54PM
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