Lighted medicine cabinets with electrical outlets within cabinet

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  #1  
Old 02-20-18, 06:38 AM
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Lighted medicine cabinets with electrical outlets within cabinet

Planning for installation of KOHLER Verdera lighted medicine cabinet. There is a power box within the cabinet that accepts the feed for the lighting and the electrical outlet within the box.

Two wires enter the cabinet to feed the power box with the following requirements:
- Grounding is required for the outlets within the power box. Connect only to a circuit protected by a Class A Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI)*, which protects against line-to-ground shock hazard. Use a 120 V, 15 A service.
- A dimmer switch is required.

My understanding of NEC bathroom code regulations is there should also be a 20-amp circuit, separate from the lighting circuit, to provide power for an outlet to feed things like curling irons, razors, hair dryers, and even portable milk house heaters.

I looking for guidance on how to connect the lights within the medicine cabinet to my main bathroom light switch which also controls the overhead lights. The dimmer will be used to dim the medicine cabinet lights independently. I also want to maintain code by not having the medicine cabinet (lights + outlet) feed from one source (the 1- amp lighting feed) as it seems code requires a 20-amp circuit for all bathroom outlets.

What do I do?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-20-18, 09:42 AM
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Itís hard to tell what you have there,but seems that a new 20 amp circuit could be run to the outlet in the cabinet to meet the code requirements,as for the dimmer that will have to be fed from the existing light fixture so that when the overhead is switched on the dimmer will also have power and the capability of dimming the medicine cabinet lighting.
Geo
 
  #3  
Old 02-20-18, 09:58 PM
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even portable milk house heaters.
Yes... especially those.

You may be able to connect the medicine cabinet lights to the wall lighting switch. A single circuit is allowed to feed both the receptacle and the lights in the bathroom only.

The receptacle in the cabinet must be connected to a GFI receptacle or a GFI protected circuit.

I tried looking up the cabinet but there are several in the Verdera line.
What model is that one ?
 
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Old 02-21-18, 04:57 PM
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Pete, Geo - Thank you for the reply. The Model # is 99011-TL-NA. Installation directions are located on the product webpage.

I'm surprised it specifically states "Use a 120 V, 15 A service." I thought all bathroom outlets had to be 20A service regardless is shared with lights in a single bath or shared in multiple bath but outlet dedicated.

My plan is to have an GFI outlet on the left side of the cabinet and dimmer on the right side of the cabinet. The GFI outlet will feed the outlet within the cabinet. The main light switch will feed the dimmer switch which feeds the lights within the cabinet.
 
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Old 02-21-18, 06:09 PM
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I like your plan. That will require you to separate the receptacle and light wiring inside the fixture. A little tough to get an exact feel of the wiring from the diagram but I wouldn't think the separation should be too difficult.

Most bathrooms are fed with a 20A circuit so that 15A max circuit size is a little puzzling. I'm wondering if that is to protect the light circuit or if that receptacle wiring is only rated for 15A. Can you tell what size the receptacle wiring is ?

Instruction manual.... Kohler install manual.pdf
 
  #6  
Old 02-22-18, 04:47 PM
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Pete - Thank you again for the feedback. I called Kohler today and asked the same question about requirement "Use a 120 V, 15 A service." I asked if the vanity cabinet was designed for use in bathrooms as it does not seem to meet with NEC 210.11(3) code. They said they have put the question in front of their electrical code expert and would get back with me today.

The question about the wire size feeding the electrical out receptacle located within the cabinet is a great one that I will ask. It will be interesting if it is 12 or 14.

Is there a way to install this cabinet in the bathroom, actually provide electricity to the receptacle with 15A service and adhere to NEC code?
 
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Old 02-22-18, 05:33 PM
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The one way it could be done is to run a 15A circuit to it and either protect it with a dead front GFI or a 15A GFI circuit breaker. You'll still be code compliant as you also have a 20A circuit with GFI receptacle in place.

If you look at their supplied wiring diagram.... that is actually a dead front GFI shown. It has the test and reset buttons but no receptacles.
 
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Old 02-23-18, 02:12 PM
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Issue Resolved. In short Kohler said the outlet could be connected to 20A service. They stated the installation manual would be revised.

Actual Kohler response:
"John,

Thank you for contacting Kohler Co. I appreciate your patience on our researching the following information. I apologize on the inconveniences. I have tried to call you and was unable to connect with you. The information our codes department provided:

- If the cabinet receptacle is the only outlet in the bathroom, then it must be connected to a 20 amp circuit, as code does require at least one 20 circuit for bathroom receptacles. There is nothing preventing connection to a 20 amp circuit in the Kohler instructions or the design of the cabinet.
The cabinets lighting can be connected to the bathroomís lighting circuit, via a dimmer, as shown in the Kohler instructions.

-It has a 15 Amp receptacle, os nothing over 15 amps should be plugged in. Code allows it to be connected to a 20 amp circuit.
Cabinet lighting can be connected to another circuit (Bathroom lighting circuit) and the cabinets lighting is rated at 0.8 amps."

Still not satisfied with the response, I called Kohler back and asked them what is meant by "15A service". They replied that they are referring to the breaker amperage. However, 20A service is acceptable as well.

For reference NEC 210.24 allows you to put a 15A receptacle on a 20A circuit if it has 2 or more outlets on a circuit. The thinking behind it is the use of the receptacle. Is it being used for devices that are rated at 12A or less, or is it being used for a specific purpose that requires a 20A circuit? So it is rating and approving the demand of the device instead of the demand of the circuit
 
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Old 02-23-18, 02:21 PM
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There is nothing preventing connection to a 20 amp circuit in the Kohler instructions or the design of the cabinet.
Ok..... except that as we now know.... the instructions are incorrect.
 
  #10  
Old 11-02-18, 11:56 PM
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Possible work around.

I'm just wondering why cant you just replace the inside outlet with a 20Amp integrated gfci outlet instead of running a gfci on the outside of the unit? Does this mess with the LED power?
 
  #11  
Old 11-03-18, 07:25 AM
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Is the built in receptacle prewired to the built in lights and to a single black and a singe white wire coming out of the medicine chest?

The leads to the 0.8 amp lighting subcircuit within the medicne chest fit under the classification of taps and may (in the U.S.) be connected to a 20 amp branch circuit. Same as for an ordinary ceiling light equipped with protruding black and white conductors as opposed to gold and silver screw terminals..

Does the receptacle unit inside your medicine chest have two receptacles as pictured in the instructions?

If not then put a duplex GFCI instead of the dead front GFCI just outside the medicine chest as shown in the medicine chest instructions (or elsewhere in the same bathroom) and now you will have at least 2 receptacles on the 20 amp circuit which in turn will permit receptacles without T slots for 20 amp appliances..

Will a GFCI receptacle unit fit in the space provided inside the medicine chest? A question arises whether you are allowed to substitute something else for the receptacle that came with the medicine chest without voiding the U.L. rating but certainly there must be a provision for replacing the receptacle if it should wear out without replacing the whole medicine chest.

A dimmer switch is never required where an ordinary switch will fit.

A dimmer may not serve (control) a receptacle.

If dimmer control is described or if switch control of the lights only is allowed then ultimately more than two conductors must enter the medicine chest. Should the additional conductors be sold separately then you may run your own 12-2 Romex directly in to the receptacle unit.

In the bathroom there may be other GFCI protected receptacles of any description and connected to any branch circuit in addition to the required (and GFCI protected) bathroom receptacles on code compliant (20 amp) bathroom circuit(s).
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 11-03-18 at 08:33 AM.
  #12  
Old 11-06-18, 12:20 PM
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Possible work around.

Wow your very knowledgeable AllanJ. Thanks for the reply. I would upload some pics but this app is not allowing me. The setup is the same depicted in the illustration at the top of this post. I want to limit clutter by replacing the outlet inside the mirror which looks removable with a gfci outlet. From what your telling me it seems like it would be safe, it may just void some kind of rating standard?
 
  #13  
Old 11-06-18, 03:24 PM
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It's best to load pictures from a desktop or laptop.
Otherwise they need to be hosted on a site and linked here.... How-to-insert-pictures

I'm sure the receptacle inside the cabinet is removable for servicing. I'm not even sure if the UL listing is an issue BUT.... is there physically enough depth to fit a GFI device ? Typically there is not.
 
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