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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    NorthEast Ohio
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    Default Yet another GFCI question

    I've mentioned this in passing in an earlier post and no one threw a flag, but I want to ask specifically. When I update a bathroom outlet to GFCI, I (if possible) put the light and/or fan on the load side of the GFCI so that the switches are GFCI protected as well. Is this right, wrong, unnecessary, etc? I was told a HUD inspector balked at the light going out during a test inspection.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Elyria, Oh.
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    236

    Default Re: Yet another GFCI question

    A bathroom GFCI is required to be on its own dedicated circuit. You should run another circuit to take care of the bathroom fan/light etc. Whenever I rewired my apartment bathrooms the electrical inspector always asked and double checked my work to make sure that the bath GFCI was in fact its own dedicated circuit with nothing else on it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NorthEast Ohio
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    9

    Default Re: Yet another GFCI question

    The reason for some codes are not always obvious, and I don't understand why the GFCI outlet needs to be a dedicated circuit. But in any event I didn't rewire the bath. It's a housing requirement to replace a standard receptacle with a GFCI, not to add a dedicated circuit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Yet another GFCI question

    1.Code requires a dedicated 20 amp service to the bathroom not a dedicated service to a GFCI.

    2.An inspector is always right, even if he's wrong.

    Almost all electrical is grand fathered in unless there is a local ordinance saying other wise. If the only requirement is to replace the receptacle with a GFCI you can meet that requirement by replacing it and wiring the light and fan to the power side of the GFCI. This will leave the light and fan unprotected by the GFCI but may well meet local requirements.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NorthEast Ohio
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    9

    Default Re: Yet another GFCI question

    Thanks Jack. I'm in complete agreement with everything you said. But what about my question regarding adding the light/fan to the GFCI load; right or wrong? The HUD inspector said no big deal, but clearly didn't agree that it should be that way. I know it's unlikely that a person would short a toggle switch, but why not add the protection when the option is there?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    OKC
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Yet another GFCI question

    I have had several instances where the light switch was close enough to the tub or shower that code required the light switch to be on a gfci, if your bathroom is small, i would leave the switch on the gfci.
    HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL!

    Oklahoma City, OK

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Coventry, RI
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Yet another GFCI question

    If you have the light switch and fan on the load side of a GFCI and the GFCI trips for whatever reason (and sometimes they do go bad or trip for whatever reason called nuisance trips) then your lights will go out as well. This could cause a safety hazard being in the dark or at the very least will be nuisance. Unless you have the cover off of your switch you should have no worries about any electrocution even with a wet hand unless maybe you had a metal cover attached to a metal box and one of the wires was shorting against the metal box which if grounded properly would trip the breaker or blow the fuse.

    Mike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Yet another GFCI question

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    1.Code requires a dedicated 20 amp service to the bathroom not a dedicated service to a GFCI.

    2.An inspector is always right, even if he's wrong.

    Almost all electrical is grand fathered in unless there is a local ordinance saying other wise. If the only requirement is to replace the receptacle with a GFCI you can meet that requirement by replacing it and wiring the light and fan to the power side of the GFCI. This will leave the light and fan unprotected by the GFCI but may well meet local requirements.
    Jack
    A HUD inspector no less !!!!!
    Tell the inspector to look up NEC 210.11{C**{3**. No other devices allowed on the receptacle circuit, unless the dedicated 20 amp circuit supplies only one bathroom. {Example: lights, vent fans, etc.** So it is allowed.
    I am rather surprised he or she missed this one {the inspector**, as that very question pops up on every job it seems.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NorthEast Ohio
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Yet another GFCI question

    Thanks Ernie for pointing to that code. I've read several interpretations and believe I have a good grasp of its requirements. As far as the other non-receptacle outlets in the bathroom- it appears that there is no requirement for them to be ground fault protected or not ground fault protected. So either way is correct as far as NEC goes. Mike brought up a good point about nuisance and hazard when putting them on the load side and I think that’s why the inspector disliked it. HUD inspectors go after general safety problems they’re not electrical/building inspectors.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Yet another GFCI question

    Quote Originally Posted by canuseemenow00 View Post
    Thanks Ernie for pointing to that code. I've read several interpretations and believe I have a good grasp of its requirements. As far as the other non-receptacle outlets in the bathroom- it appears that there is no requirement for them to be ground fault protected or not ground fault protected. So either way is correct as far as NEC goes. Mike brought up a good point about nuisance and hazard when putting them on the load side and I think that’s why the inspector disliked it. HUD inspectors go after general safety problems they’re not electrical/building inspectors.
    I too agree with Mike on the nuisance & hazard part, and I did miss that on my OP.
    I have also been around a few HUD inspectors and are not all that bad. Most will ask for an interpretation on a certain issue, and you can not fault a guy or gal for that.

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