In a residential bathroom is the light over the shower required to be GFI protected?
(Assuming that the light over the shower is the correct type of fixture for that location):
It isn't required by code unless it is part of the manufacturer's recommendations.
It is a good idea though, IMO.
Thanks. I'm surprised by that. Unless I misunderstand, everything in a residential bathroom is supposed to be on a 20A circuit serving no other area save another bathroom. Are we allowed to wire so that only the plug(s) are GFI protected? Seems a good loophole to be plugged.
You are misinterpreting the requirements in 210.11(C)(3) for bathroom branch circuits for the bathroom(s) receptacle outlets. It is permissible for the lighting outlets in the bathroom to be supplied by a separate 15A or 20A branch circuit. The code permits every bathroom's receptacles to be on the same 20A branch circuit in the dwelling, and is a very common installation practice. The code also permits the 20A circuit circuit to supply all outlets an equipment in a single bathroom as long the branch circuit does not leave the bathroom to supply other loads.
Being more precise. In the condo where the issue arose, 1. separate circuits for each of two Baths, 2, no data available about the light over shower other than tied to lights over lavi sink. (not going to disturb the installation from a decade ago to check model #/brand) 3. seems simpler to just GFI the entire circuit (breaker in panel) rather than mess around in switch boxes controlling lights and (separately) the vent fan.
As to 'not required' I am very sure that both a Nutone light/fan unit from years back and several more recent Panasonic units all required GFI protection per instruction paperwork. Cheap at the price to add a further layer of safety. "the code is only a minimum"
It's part of the listing requirements for the exhaust fan that the installation manual require GFCI branch circuit protection for the fan if the fan is located within the tub or shower space. GFCI protection is not required if the fan is not above those spaces. The reason why many electricians do not like to provide branch circuit GFCI protection to lighting circuits in bathrooms is due to the operation of the GFCI can leave a person in total darkness. Not all bathrooms have windows, and would you want to be in shower when the lights go out? That's also a safety concern. There's also cost reasons too, a GFCI circuit breaker is around $45-60 where a GFCI receptacle is around $15-20.
Sir, Your reply delineates a basic difference in our approaches to these issues. My recollection of the 'fan specs' is 'within 3' of the outside edge of the shower enclosure or tub' . In a bathroom remodel in 2000 this caused a discussion with the AHJ, who, once I explained why I had wired the entire room from a GFI breaker rather than a receptacle adjacent the sink, agreed and approved the work.
There is nothing wrong with going above and beyond the minimum requirements in the NEC. You asked if a light over a shower is required to be GFCI protected, and it is not required, unless it is called out by the manufacturer's installation instructions. A bathroom exhaust fan/light in the shower space is required to be protected a GFCI circuit breaker by the installation instructions. A recessed can light with a trim that is listed for wet locations does not require GFCI protection.
No, see 210.11(C)(3) and Exception. I'm using the 2017.
The receptacle is required to have GFCI no matter how the room is wired.
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