GFCI bathroom question


Old 08-29-06, 09:21 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 49
GFCI bathroom question

I am wiring a basement bath in a basement finishing project. My design is to run the supply in through the GFCI outlet then running the 12 gauge to the switch for the bath lights and vent fan, thus having GFCI protection for the entire bathroom. Is there any problem with doing this?
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Old 08-29-06, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
As long as this is a 20 amp circuit dedicated for the bathroom there is nothing wrong with this. However, I discourage it. You probably don't want a GFCI trip to put the bathroom in the dark.
Old 08-29-06, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 97
The NEC only requires GFCI protection on bathroom receptacles, not lights or fans (or their switches), under section 210.8. Local codes may amend this, in my jurisdiction a switch must be GFCI protected if it's within 3 feet of a sink or tub.

I would just bring in the run from the service panel on a regular 20A breaker, wire your fan and light switches off of it, then add the GFCI receptacle and any downstream receptacles to the load side of the GFCI. I wouldn't protect the lights or fan on the GFCI, since it's not really necessary for safety reasons, and a nuisance trip of the GFCI leaves you in the dark. I suppose if the fan housing or light had exposed metallic parts that were within reach of a person, I might protect them. I don't think the NEC requires it, but a little safety overkill isn't awful. But most bathroom fans I've seen do not expose any metal within the room, and most lights are covered up too.
Old 08-29-06, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 49

Good point on bringing the circuit through the gfci. My local code also requires gfci protection of switches within 3 ft of a sink, which my wall switch is. Plus any fan light combos over a tub are also required to be gfci. Due to space restrictions my fan light is about halfway over the tub insert, so I figured it needs to be gfci protected. The simplest wiring diagram for all this was to pull it through the gfci.

Thanks again for your help.

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