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Does the light switch in bathroom need to be on a GFCI?

Posted by KristiR (My Page) on
Fri, May 24, 13 at 2:28

Hello,

We're purchasing a home and recently had an inspection completed. One of the safety items that was redlined by the inspector relayed the following:

"The light switch for the shower light was located just outside of the shower (closer than 5 feet) and is not on a GFCI circuit. Recommend putting the light on a GFCI circuit to provide the potential for electrocution."

Call me clueless, but I thought only outlets were on GFCI circuits. If we ask an electricion to follow the inspector's recommendations, would it be considered an unusual request? How difficult is it to convert a receptacle to GFCI?

Thanks
Kristi


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Does the light switch in bathroom need to be on a GFCI?

"Recommend putting the light on a GFCI circuit to provide the potential for electrocution."
Is this precisely what he wrote? Idiocy!!
The existing switch location complies with Article 404.3(C) of the 2011 NEC.


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RE: Does the light switch in bathroom need to be on a GFCI?

Thank you, bus_driver. I appreciate your feedback. I was really worried given the wording, but I'm not at all familiar with electrical code so thought I'd check in here.


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RE: Does the light switch in bathroom need to be on a GFCI?

While Bus and I both have relatively low regard for most home inspector, let's skip over that.

If the light is in the shower area it needs to be damp rated, if it can be exposed to spray (which with your hand shower I would count as a YES) then it must be wet rated. Almost every wet rated shower light I've seen REQUIRES a GFCI by its manufacturer.

So, there's a strong possibility that it should have a GFCI, but you can't tell for sure unless you look specifically at the fixture and check with the manufacturer.


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RE: Does the light switch in bathroom need to be on a GFCI?

The wording in my original post is a compilation of what was stated at the inspection and what was written in the report.


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RE: Does the light switch in bathroom need to be on a GFCI?

The problem I have is that the report of such inspectors has huge ramifications, and if in error, can be quite difficult and expensive to correct. And some of them vastly overestimate their abilities.
The competent ones or those who are willing to learn are OK by me.


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RE: Does the light switch in bathroom need to be on a GFCI?

ronnatalie, that's what a friend who tinkers with wires told me, too. What is involved in making changing an unprotected switch to CFGI?


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RE: Does the light switch in bathroom need to be on a GFCI?

The wording of that HI is flat out scare tactics IMO.
I HATE it when those clowns use electrical as a venue to justify their means by using these scare tactics.


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To Ron:

"Almost every wet rated shower light I've seen REQUIRES a GFCI by its manufacturer."

Do you have any references to this, or any kind of documentation?
Your opinion here is one of the most well respected, but in all my years I have only seen this a couple of times, and what you are saying contradicts this.
I am curious as to what lights you've seen that require GFI protection.


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