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Thread: Recessed light over shower

  1. #1

    Default Recessed light over shower

    Hello,

    I plan on installing a HALO recessed light and shower trim cover over a corner (neo-angle) shower. A few quick questions....

    Does the light need to be part of a GCFI protected circuit?

    Is it ok to branch from the load side of a GFCI wall outlet to the light?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    IT Consultant / Network Engineer beekerc's Avatar
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    Default recessed shower light

    standard caveat: i am not an electrician, however, i have wired two bathrooms with such lights and they have passed inspection. that being said....

    Quote Originally Posted by Magicrat View Post
    Does the light need to be part of a GCFI protected circuit?
    my understanding is no, unless the switch controlling the light is reachable from the tub/shower. i don't know what the code definition of reachable is, but an electrician did explain it as greater than the distance that you can reach while being able to touch a wet surface in the shower/tub. this roughly equates to 3 to 5 feet. i'm inclined to think that even if it's outside that range, since it's a switch you're likely to hit while still wet (getting out of the shower), it's probably a good idea to GFCI it anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magicrat View Post
    Is it ok to branch from the load side of a GFCI wall outlet to the light?
    yes. however, i would go GFCI (load side) --> switch --> light.

  3. #3

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    GFCI protected? Short answer, No, as long as the fixture and trim is listed for the application and properly secured.

    You can only use the GFCI required receptacle power for this ONLY if the circuit feeds the bathroom in question and no other bathrooms. If it feeds off to another bathroom receptacle as many do then the answer is NO, you cannot use that power at all.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  4. #4
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by beekerc View Post
    my understanding is no, unless the switch controlling the light is reachable from the tub/shower. i don't know what the code definition of reachable is, but an electrician did explain it as greater than the distance that you can reach while being able to touch a wet surface in the shower/tub.
    The location of the switch plays no role at all.

    GFCI protected or not the switch can be right beside the tub/shower it just can't be within the foot print of the tub/shower

  5. #5
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    If I was all wet and touching anything that had to do with electricity, I wouldn't definitely feel more comfortable with GFI protection regardless if the code requires it or not. Don't forget code is minimum standards.
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by GabeS View Post
    If I was all wet and touching anything that had to do with electricity, I wouldn't definitely feel more comfortable with GFI protection regardless if the code requires it or not. Don't forget code is minimum standards.

    Exactly, the code is minimum whether electrical or plumbing.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  7. #7

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    Here is an electrical problem inside a shower.

    Photo by Mike McClogan, Home Inspector
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  8. #8
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    Default

    Did you say that panel was inside a shower? I'm a little confused. Isn't that the main panel?
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  9. #9

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    Yes but it was in the way of where they wanted the shower so he cleverly made a hinged panel to cover it.

    It is not code compliant, nor is it safe but when you are trying to save money, who cares?
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  10. #10
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    That's pretty scary. I've seen dumb things, but that might pretty much top them all.
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  11. #11
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GabeS View Post
    If I was all wet and touching anything that had to do with electricity, I wouldn't definitely feel more comfortable with GFI protection regardless if the code requires it or not. Don't forget code is minimum standards.
    And if you can answer WHY to any of your statments I will be impressed.

  12. #12
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    Chris, I'm not sure I understand exactly what you are asking. Can you please clarify your question.

    If you're asking why I would want GFI protection, it's because the outlet would shut off if electricity starting flowing through my body.
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  13. #13

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    Thanks for the replies,

    Got it, no GFCI required and I will branch off the existing light circuit in the room.

    I also want to install a ventilation fan that will run off the same switch as the recessed light above the shower. The difference is the fan will not be directly above the shower (about 4 feet away). I understand that most fans require GFCI protection if "over a shower or bathtub". Does a fan require GFCI if it is 4 feet away?

    Thanks again

  14. #14
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magicrat View Post

    Got it, no GFCI required and I will branch off the existing light circuit in the room.

    I also want to install a ventilation fan that will run off the same switch as the recessed light above the shower. The difference is the fan will not be directly above the shower (about 4 feet away). I understand that most fans require GFCI protection if "over a shower or bathtub". Does a fan require GFCI if it is 4 feet away?
    Exactly.
    And no, 4' away would not be considered over the shower.
    Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.

  15. #15
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
    and if you can answer why to any of your statments i will be impressed.
    +1 ..........
    Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.

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