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  1. #1
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    Default Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    As I've never dug this far before or wired an entire home I was not sure if having the master bath shower gfci run at the end of the living room circuit was an issue?? I know it won't cause any hazard but needed to know if it was kosher to nec as my customer is a stickler for every detail.. thanks in advance for input. It appears to have the mud room from the garage first with only a recepticle in the ceiling then an outlet on the stair wall and lastly the master bath.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    As I've never dug this far before or wired an entire home I was not sure if having the master bath shower gfci run at the end of the living room circuit was an issue?? I know it won't cause any hazard but needed to know if it was kosher to nec as my customer is a stickler for every detail.. thanks in advance for input. It appears to have the mud room from the garage first with only a recepticle in the ceiling then an outlet on the stair wall and lastly the master bath.
    Without digging out the code book, I belive that NEC 210.11... requires a 20amp circuit for the outlets in the bathroom or a dedicated 20amp circuit to each bathroom.

    So if it is a 20amp circuit it should be fine.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    As I've never dug this far before or wired an entire home I was not sure if having the master bath shower gfci run at the end of the living room circuit was an issue?? I know it won't cause any hazard but needed to know if it was kosher to nec as my customer is a stickler for every detail.. thanks in advance for input. It appears to have the mud room from the garage first with only a recepticle in the ceiling then an outlet on the stair wall and lastly the master bath.
    Kenny,

    As we've corresponded before, your location intentionally ambiguous, so can't speak to status of your local code status. You do not indicate new construction, entire re-wire, etc.

    Further your post, description of the existing situation? is confusing, not sure if the last sentance is supposed to be describing the path of the same subject circuit of your first sentance?!?

    Existing property, original, or modification or proposed future?

    First - there shouldn't be a receptacle or exposed deadfront or switch to a shower compartment. There are limited self-contained all-in-one expections but somehow I doubt that's what you refer to. Second you are not clear regarding if you are refering to an exhaust fan or overhead flush or recessed fixture/luminaire or combination exhaust fan-light overhead or above a shower.

    You refer to a GFCI not a combination device, such as a GFCI receptacle, etc. So, you leave the reader wondering if you are refering to a deadfront GFCI device protecting a load.

    There are three code areas that might speak to local requirements, property maintenance codes/amendments, electrical code/amendments and construction codes/amendments.

    When/if same is envoked, and of course when/if the present situation was legally modified or installed initially.

    Dedicated branch circuit(s) and required receptacles with specified circuit supply and protection are addressed in the NEC - perhaps it is this you are looking for?

    There have been numerous discussions that have clarified that dedicated 20 amp circuit to bathroom receptacles with GFCI protection. This may be a singular dedicated circuit which supplies only receptacles in all the bathroomS, or more than one bathroom(S), OR a circuit which supplies receptacles AND other outlets (places to work power, such as lights (luminaires), exhaust fan, etc.) in ONE singular bathroom.

    Of course any branch circuit must meet all other requirements which apply in chapters 1, 2, 3 & 4.

    Dedicated is not a term defined in the NEC - "individual branch circuit" is clarified. Dedicated pertains to area or purpose or both. Dedicated does not necessarily equate with individual.

    Now, what is it that you are asking about? WHAT equipment is being worked in the "master bath shower" load side of the GFCI dead-front or is it a combination receptacle, combination switch, or what?!?

    Clarify please both your question, and how many circuits and path you are discussing.

    Also clarify where this ceiling "recepticle" (receptacle?) is, and what type of "outlet" (receptacle, light, appliance, heater, whatever!) is on the "stair wall", and where this "stair" is. What ratings/loads/equipment, etc. are on this wandering circuit you are asking about?!?

    Also why are you asking the question, WHAT IS THE PURPOSE?!? and why do you state "I have never... wired an entire home": what does THAT have to do with your question? Are you desiging something, installing something or inspecting something?

    Your question is ambiguous, unclear, and frankly strange, and is not simple in either your presentation of it, nor the mess of possiblities that might be inferred. Clear it up and share concise and complete details.


    On a personal note, please don't use the term "Kosher" (kasher) unless it applies. If you have a question of halakha (jewish law) question, I suggest you consult with a Talmudic and/or rabbinic authority, but the master bathroom wouldn't be a kasher subject, it would be a Niddah (ritual separation) or Taharat Ha-Mishpachah subject question.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 11-03-2010 at 07:50 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Sorry H.G., I know your atention to detail and I didn't do the best job describing, yes, recessed light in shower, gfci is in hall leading to master bedroom and yes I was describing the path of metioned, it is new construction.. by the way just so all know I did not fill in my location and all because as I said before I am not looking for a date.. but as H.G has pointed out it DOES matter as to someone answering these types of questions and as such I will change it to reflect that I work in KY. (Louisville that is) and live in Indiana.. yes, I'm a LOOSIER!! I use to live in louisville and moved to Indiana.. thanks again for the replies all!!


  5. #5
    tim busche's Avatar
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    Post Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    What is a shower gfic? If its a light or exhaust fan it would be ok on living rm circuit if its a receptacle its not ok. bathroom receptacle circuit shall have no other outlets per NEC 210.11(C)(3).


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    OUCH!!!!!! Slow down H.G., your gonna make my head explode! How do you type so fast and think so fast?? I thought you told me you were an old fart? I just went back and read the "rest of the story" you wrote and legitimately you ask..
    "Also clarify where this ceiling "recepticle" (receptacle?) is, and what type of "outlet" (receptacle, light, appliance, heater, whatever!) is on the "stair wall", and where this "stair" is. What ratings/loads/equipment, etc. are on this wandering circuit you are asking about?!?

    Also why are you asking the question, WHAT IS THE PURPOSE?!? and why do you state "I have never... wired an entire home": what does THAT have to do with your question? Are you desiging something, installing something or inspecting something?

    It is a ceiling outlet at the entry/mud room from garage, outlet at stairs is actually on the wall beneath the stairs as it is an open floor plan from the kitchen to living room w/ balcony and is a typical 20 amp. outlet, not much load on it at all just the mentioned.. and yes I was inspecting a new home w/ numerous other issues and the buyer happened to have a breaker turned off for some reason and I noticed they were all connected.
    Now I tremble in fear as I await your next reply as I may not have yet clearly explained myself for such a detailed oriented person such as yourself. But I sincerely appreciate your attention to detail!!

    Last edited by kenny martin; 11-03-2010 at 08:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    AND!! the gfci is a two plug outlet in the hall leading to the bedroom, seperated by a door only to the living area.. floor was tile, walls were beige, weather was cloudy.. AND it was a gfci, not a fcfi or whatever...


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    AND!! the gfci is a two plug outlet in the hall leading to the bedroom, seperated by a door only to the living area.. floor was tile, walls were beige, weather was cloudy.. AND it was a gfci, not a fcfi or whatever...
    The light can be on a 15amp circuit, but the outlets need to be on a 20amp circuit.


    If the outlets are on a 20 amp circuit then it is not an issue as long as everything else is correct and HG gives his blessing on the cosmic plasma burst.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    AND!! the gfci is a two plug outlet in the hall leading to the bedroom, seperated by a door only to the living area.. floor was tile, walls were beige, weather was cloudy.. AND it was a gfci, not a fcfi or whatever...
    What color tile? Was it just plain ceramic or porcelin, or maybe marble? Was it set straight, or on a diagonal.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    I am not even going to try to read of that HG has posted, but since the clarification that this is new I will say that this practice of sharing the bathroom receptacle circuit with other non-bath areas has been wrong for the past 20+ years.


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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    ...please don't use the term "Kosher" (kasher) unless it applies....
    He didn't use the term "Kosher", or kasher. He used "kosher" which is in the dictionary, un-capitalized, in part as follows:

    a. Legitimate; permissible
    b. Genuine; authentic.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    OK - I'll throw my thoughts into this without getting into all the other useless drivel posted.

    I read the original poster as saying there is an electrical circuit that has various outlets, both lights and receptacles, and it also has the shower light on that circuit. The shower light is protected by a GFCI receptacle located OUTSIDE of the bathroom. There are NO receptacles from this circuit INSIDE the bathroom.
    IF this is correct, then it meets code. Unconventional, but meets the code.


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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    You have a problem Kenny.

    The receptacle in the ceiling in the mudroom, the receptacle on the wall in the stairway or under it, as well as the receptacle in the hall leading to the master bathroom (unless that isn't a receptacle, but a dead-front GFCI) all need to be on an arc fault detecting circuit breaker - one that trips even if the arc fault is on the load side from the receptacle (equipment). That is not going to "play well" with a dead front gfci or a combination receptacle/gfci or light switch/gfci.

    The recessed luminaire over the shower should be GFCI protected via the DEDICATED BATHROOM CIRCUIT.

    A dead front GFCI could/should have been installed IN the bathroom for the recessed light if on a different circuit than what powers the receptacle in the master bathroom (could be a shared multi-bathroom receptacle only circuit), a combination switch/gfci could have also been used in the bathroom if pulling a different circuit for the light over the shower in the master bathroom.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    H.G.,
    It is a recepticle gfci, and yes they are also protected via a afi breaker.. thanks, Kenny


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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    You have a problem Kenny.

    The receptacle in the ceiling in the mudroom, the receptacle on the wall in the stairway or under it, as well as the receptacle in the hall leading to the master bathroom (unless that isn't a receptacle, but a dead-front GFCI) all need to be on an arc fault detecting circuit breaker - one that trips even if the arc fault is on the load side from the receptacle (equipment). That is not going to "play well" with a dead front gfci or a combination receptacle/gfci or light switch/gfci.
    There is no reason that a GFI cannot be used in conjunction with an AFCI.

    The recessed luminaire over the shower should be GFCI protected via the DEDICATED BATHROOM CIRCUIT.
    While it can be protected this way there is no Code requirement for this. Posting inaccurate info like this can lead to the creation of yet another inspection myth that when cited adds nothing to the credibility of the HI when proven false.


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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Making such generalized statements claiming them to be false, and ignoring the obvious, are disingenous Mr. Port. I was specific.

    You make no distinction regarding a combination AFCI 1-pole circuilt breaker or a 2-pole (multi-wire circuit? we do NOT know) which tests and reads/protects for a SERIES arc and/or a branch/feeder AFCI which does NOT. I make such a distinction.

    You also do not take into consideration that the combination GFCI/Receptacle(OF UNKNOWN VINTAGE, PRODUCTION, despite being "new construction" could be older stock - and there have been significant changes regarding these combination devices in the last few years, two rewriten standards developed) protecting not only its face, but LOAD SIDE both the switch and the switched LOAD, i.e. the device over the shower. A distinction, which I do consider, in actual use, and in testing.

    In SUCH a situation, there CAN be ISSUES with the two devices not "playing well" together for the load side switched load or when testing one device or the other - tripping.

    Determining IF the trip was test or nusiance related, OR an actual arc event trip or fault, CAN BE DIFFICULT to DETERMINE.

    Dismissing as a "nusiance" in such a critical area, when OTHERWISE can prove to be costly in property, and life safety.

    There is a time and place for a combination GFCI receptacle to be wired to provide GFCI protection load side, and there are circumstances where this IS UNWISE. There are other GFCI combination devices, and other means to provide the protection for THIS outlet (not receptacle) in the master bathroom.

    THIS circuit has a wandering path through areas required to be AFCI/series arc protected with other than a branch/feeder AFCI only IF the specific locale has adopted UNCHANGED/UNAMMENDED portions of the NEC be it 2008. Might be 2005, 2002, or even 1999 - The magic date of January 2008 was often changed, as was/is requirements and locations for arc fault protection (and branch/feeder - no series protection or AFCI combination devices) with MANY jurisdictions that have adopted the ammended NEC. Neighboring Ohio IIRC first adopted an edition for all new residential construction state-wide with provisions to adopt next edition similarly, then by govenor decree back-peddled to ammended earlier edition a few years ago (or was it IN) based mostly on the arc fault protection/cost issue. And as usual more than one area of the "codes" speak to the "subject". Kentucky, for example authors its own plumbing code.

    I have also an "advantage" of off-the-board communications from K.M. regarding this and other threads. Do you?


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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    The recessed luminaire over the shower should be GFCI protected via the DEDICATED BATHROOM CIRCUIT.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    While it can be protected this way there is no Code requirement for this. Posting inaccurate info like this can lead to the creation of yet another inspection myth that when cited adds nothing to the credibility of the HI when proven false.
    Jim is quite correct in his statement.

    Saying "The recessed luminaire over the shower should be GFCI protected via the DEDICATED BATHROOM CIRCUIT." is plain and simply false and incorrect.

    If you want to try to make it sound correct with off board discussions making changes to what is stated on board, then those off board discussions should be on board - or - do not post incorrect information as it relates to what was posted on board.

    Jim is quite correct: "Posting inaccurate info like this can lead to the creation of yet another inspection myth that when cited adds nothing to the credibility of the HI when proven false."

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Then I suggest you review Kentucky's self-authored plumbing code and Kentucky's ammended electrical code. More than one code speaks to this new construction question of a recessed light installed OVER the bathroom shower.Referring to the NEC edition alone is disingenuous and incorrect.It also has nothing to do with the issue of SAFETY, and tripping, and ignoring trips as "nusiance" when may actually be arcing signatures; and what MANUFACTURERS have noted regarding to tripping and faults in this critical area, esp. with a wandering path, increased resistance, and inrush signatures of a standard tungsten filament lamp, and the signature when opened.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 11-08-2010 at 08:34 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Then I suggest you review Kentucky's self-authored plumbing code and Kentucky's ammended electrical code.

    Or the Kentucky Residential Code:
    - E3903.5 Recessed incandescent fixtures.
    - - Recessed incandescent fixtures shall have thermal protection and shall be listed as thermally protected.
    - - Exceptions:
    - - - 1. Thermal protection shall not be required in recessed fixtures listed for the purpose and installed in poured concrete.
    - - - 2. Thermal protection shall not be required in recessed fixtures having design, construction, and thermal performance characteristics equivalent to that of thermally protected fixtures, and such fixtures are identified as inherently protected.
    - E3903.8 Wet or damp locations.
    - - Fixtures installed in wet or damp locations shall be installed so that water cannot enter or accumulate in wiring compartments, lampholders or other electrical parts. All fixtures installed in wet locations shall be marked SUITABLE FOR WET LOCATIONS. All fixtures installed in damp locations shall be marked SUITABLE FOR WET LOCATIONS or SUITABLE FOR DAMP LOCATIONS.
    - E3903.9 Lampholders in wet or damp locations.
    - - Lampholders installed in wet or damp locations shall be of the weatherproof type.
    - E3903.10 Bathtub and shower areas.
    - - Cord-connected fixtures, hanging fixtures, lighting track, pendants, and ceiling-suspended paddle fans shall not have any parts located within a zone measured 3 feet (914 mm) horizontally and 8 feet (2438 mm) vertically from the top of a bathtub rim or shower stall threshold. This zone is all encompassing and includes the zone directly over the tub or shower.

    The only thing I could find requiring GFCI protection in bathrooms was: (underlining and bold are mine)
    - SECTION E3802 GROUND-FAULT AND ARC-FAULT CIRCUIT-INTERRUPTER PROTECTION
    - - E3802.1 Bathroom receptacles.
    - - - All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in bathrooms shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

    I could not find anything requiring the bathroom shower light to be on a dedicated circuit either.

    I am, however, willing to learn if you will show me where both GFCI protection and a dedicated circuit is required.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Question for HG -

    I've read your posts and have a question

    Are you taking the stand that GFCI receptacles should NOT be on AFCI protected circuits ?


  21. #21
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    My understanding for Kentucky (Louisville) is that they have state wide codes that are not amended locally. Their building codes department website states they have adopted the 2008 NEC statewide and amended it as referenced in the Kentucky Building Code (2007) and Kentucky Residential Code. I didn't see anything in the referenced amendments to the 2008 NEC in the KBC that addressed shower luminaires .. recessed or other.

    Jerry posted what I found in the KRC ... so I'm assuming that the plumbing code must address this subject of required gfci for lights in a residential shower area and the protection coming from dedicated circuits.

    Anyway I am far from saying the above is not true only showing that I cannot find reference to gfci requirements of any kind for shower lighting other than addressed in the KRC and 2008 NEC.

    FWIW in my experience in residential there has never been a requirement for gfci in overhead shower lighting in my area other than what is specified for the fixture via manufacturer instructions.

    If I was going to gfci the shower light I don't understand why they did it the way described by Kenny in this particular house. If there is a dedicated circuit to the bath receptacles and that circuit has gfci either in the form of a gfci in the bathroom or in the panel I would have just extended the protection off that circuit to the shower light....no extra cost at all.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Question for HG -

    I've read your posts and have a question

    Are you taking the stand that GFCI receptacles should NOT be on AFCI protected circuits ?
    Nope, I made no such universal stand or statement, and I have made no such stand. I guess you didn't actually read what I wrote in my posts to K.M. I absolutely did NOT say such a general thing.

    I made specific remarks pertaining to a specific condition and specific circumstances. Note the word "the" and "this".

    Regarding your more general question, IT DEPENDS. It further DEPENDS on whether said combination device is protecting only its face or providing "protection" LOAD SIDE, and/or has the ability to "interrupt" the branch circuit itself or just power to the FACE of the receptacle.

    It further DEPENDS, for example, if such a device is being introduced to an AFCI protected circit which provides power to a Smoke or CO detection/annunciation system. GFCIs are NOT to be introduced to branch circuits which for example, are providing power to fire protection systems, even those mandated outlets may be required to be protected by AFCI which protects/interrupts both parallel and series arcing.

    However, I am not going to engage in a debate with those who THINK they understand the DESIGN considerations, or think the NEC is a DESIGN model for operation, function, practicality, or safety. If you wish to more fully understand the issues regarding conflicts and signatures of legitimate momentary events vs. nusiance tripping, etc. you can review the multitude of "white papers" published by respected engineers regarding conditional events, and the ever-changing standards and conflicts for such devices, as the industry struggles to develop meaningful solutions for known conflicts in addressing safety issues.


  23. #23
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Easy electrical question?? Branch circuits from living room to bathroom

    Is not the question we are answering about the Kentucky code compliance of a afci protected circuit (not serving bathroom receptacles) that incorporates a gfci receptacle outside the master bath that has the master bath shower light protected on its load side ?

    If that is correct and we cannot substantiate any amendement that would alter the requirements of the KRC or 2008 NEC as adopted by Louisville, Kentucky then the circuit is compliant ....no??


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