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  1. #1
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    Mar 2009
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    Default Type of breaker for bath vent

    I'm installing a new for bathroom light, vent, and ceiling fan + light for an adjoining bedroom. I was planning on putting the circuit on a a combination arc fault 15amp breaker since part of the lighting relates to a bedroom but would this cause any problems for the bath vent since it's a motor? I've read that motors can sometimes cause issues with arc fault or gfci breakers but im not sure how accurate it is.
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

  2. #2
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    May 2008
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    Default Re: Type of breaker for bath vent

    To clarify, the AFCI is only required on bedroom OUTLETS. If the circuit is only supplying overhead lighting, it's not necessary.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
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    738

    Default Re: Type of breaker for bath vent

    Actually, the 2011 Code defines "Outlet. A point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment".

    All lights, switches, receptacles & smoke detectors in most rooms must now be on Arc-Fault breakers. Further, if one mounts a light or fan over a shower or tub it most likely will require additional GFCI protection, even if feed from an Arc-Fault Breaker, which provides some small amount of ground fault protection.

    Very few appliances will trip a combination arc-fault breaker. We tried everything under the sun to do so in a class I taught.

    Also, why run #14 (15A) when #12 (20A) cost just a few cents more and the AFCI breaker cost the same and you can put more outlets on it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    238

    Default Re: Type of breaker for bath vent

    The way I have it laid out is that I was trying to assign 1 breaker for each bedroom with only 3 or 4 outlets each. then put lighting on a lighter circuit.

    Breaker 1 20A AFCI - BedroomA 3 outlets
    Breaker 2 15A AFCI - BedroomA 1 ceilingfan/light + Bathroom main light and vent, and vanity light
    Breaker 3 15A AFCI - BedroomB ceiling fan+light and closet light, BedroomC ceiling fan+light and closet light
    Breaker 4 20A AFCI - BedroomB 5 outlets
    Breaker 5 20A GFCI - dedicated bathroom outlet

    Note: the 3 outlets on BedroomC are not listed because they are already on an existing circuit I will not be removing.

    My thoughts being that if each room has typical tv and air conditioner window unit that in itself will draw a considerable load. Since that works out to very small loads on breaker 2 and 3, I figured I could use the extra 14/2 and 14/3 I have. I'm just not sure if Breaker 2 is allowed to be AFCI or if i have to give the bathroom lighting its own GFCI breaker.
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
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    1,661

    Default Re: Type of breaker for bath vent

    I have yet to see a combination AFCI/GFCI device... why not?

    (And I'll defer to Semi-Retired, he's much more in tune to the codes than I am.)

    The NEC's terminology often doesn't jibe with common usage. For example:

    NEC term: what everyone else calls it
    ----------------------------------------------
    Outlet: Pretty much any distribution point or endpoint of electricity, such as a receptacle (outlet), lamp (light fixture), fan, appliance, etc.
    Luminaire: Lamp (light fixture)
    Lamp: Light bulb (NOT a light fixture!)
    Receptacle: Outlet (plug-in; where you plug something in)

    No wonder people find it confusing.
    Last edited by Fencepost; 11-18-2011 at 04:30 PM.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Type of breaker for bath vent

    Quote Originally Posted by dcalabro View Post
    I'm installing a new for bathroom light, vent, and ceiling fan + light for an adjoining bedroom. I was planning on putting the circuit on a a combination arc fault 15amp breaker since part of the lighting relates to a bedroom but would this cause any problems for the bath vent since it's a motor? I've read that motors can sometimes cause issues with arc fault or gfci breakers but im not sure how accurate it is.
    Shouldn't be an issue with a bath exhaust fan -- they're generally brushless motors so no arching --- besides you are having bedroom ceiling fans on AFI breakers.

    Quote Originally Posted by dcalabro View Post
    The way I have it laid out is that I was trying to assign 1 breaker for each bedroom with only 3 or 4 outlets each. then put lighting on a lighter circuit.

    Breaker 1 20A AFCI - BedroomA 3 outlets
    Breaker 2 15A AFCI - BedroomA 1 ceilingfan/light + Bathroom main light and vent, and vanity light
    Breaker 3 15A AFCI - BedroomB ceiling fan+light and closet light, BedroomC ceiling fan+light and closet light
    Breaker 4 20A AFCI - BedroomB 5 outlets
    Breaker 5 20A GFCI - dedicated bathroom outlet

    Note: the 3 outlets on BedroomC are not listed because they are already on an existing circuit I will not be removing.

    My thoughts being that if each room has typical tv and air conditioner window unit that in itself will draw a considerable load. Since that works out to very small loads on breaker 2 and 3, I figured I could use the extra 14/2 and 14/3 I have. I'm just not sure if Breaker 2 is allowed to be AFCI or if i have to give the bathroom lighting its own GFCI breaker.
    If it were me I would simplify the wiring for the bathroom. A regular 20 amp breaker feeding the bathroom light , fan and have a GFCI receptacle --- simpler and cheaper.
    Also, don't feed the light from the GFCI receptacle load side -- this way when the GFCI trips you will still have light .

    The fan and lights in a bathroom don't have to be GFI protected unless they are directly in a wet area like a shower.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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