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  1. #1
    Thomas Thayer's Avatar
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    Default Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    Greetings. I just finished a inspection today, and in the master bathroom shower enclosure there was a light/fan. See attached picture. I know the fixture needs to be water proof. My question gentlemen is: Does anyone know if this particular lighting fixture meets the criteria? I'm inclined to just write it up, but I want to get some educated feed back first. Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    It is not required to be "waterproof", it is required to be approved for use in a wet location.

    and no, I cannot tell if it is approved, but I do not think it is.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    Broan makes at least one unit that is ok to install in the ceiling of a tub or shower enclosure if protected with GFCI.
    Look up the specific unit.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
    Thomas Thayer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    Thank you fella's!


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Broan makes at least one unit that is ok to install in the ceiling of a tub or shower enclosure if protected with GFCI.
    Look up the specific unit.
    I agree.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    To be installed in the area pictured and described (within the shower compartment footprint), the requirements are more specific than what has been indicated by prior posters. The device must be "Certified", by a 3rd party NTL (such as UL "Listed") and marked: "Acceptable for use over a bathtub or shower when installed in a GFCI protected branch circuit." Furthermore it must be GFCI protected. (UL 507; NEC 110.3, 410). The Shower compartment must have clearances/space (height, width, depth, and access) defined in other areas of the codes, and - the fan/light unit may not encorach upon same or be within an area deliniated or required to be an impervious surface.

    "Combination ceiling-insert exhaust fan/lights are Listed under the product category Electric Fans (GPWV) and are required by the Standard for Electric Fans, UL 507, to be marked, "Acceptable for use over a bathtub or shower when installed in a GFCI protected branch circuit."

    Above from IAEI News, UL Question Corner, 'Do Shower Lights Need GFCIs?", Reprinted from March/April 2003 IAEI News, pp. 94-95, (full copy of Article attached, clickable link below -- pdf format):

    http://www.ul.com/global/documents/o...marapr2003.pdf

    "Ceiling-insert fans, wall-insert fans, and ceiling-insert fan/light combinations intended to be mounted over bathtubs, showers, or within the zone above the bathtub and shower area as defined by Article 410 of the NEC, are marked 'Acceptable for use over a bathtub or shower when installed in a GFCI protected branch circuit.' These products are investigated to determine the effects of moisture (dampness or wetting), such as shower spray."

    Above quote is from the second paragraph under heading "PRODUCT MARKINGS", UL Online Certifications Directory; Fans, Electric; GPWV.GuideInfo; Last Updated: 2009-05-13. You can also find this information in the UL White Book 2011 edition.

    Clickable Link to UL's Category Code File, GPWV.GuideInfo; Electric Fans; UL Online Certifications Directory (html format):

    GPWV.GuideInfo - Fans, Electric

    The manufacturer's instructions will most likely recommend or require equipment grounding/bonding to the system and marked (labeled) that it be connected to wiring rated at 90 degrees C (if of recent manufacture).

    Further, you might review the scope for UL Standard 507 (clickable link):

    Scope for UL 507


    HTH.

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    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 06-06-2011 at 07:23 AM.

  7. #7
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    Likely is a nutone or broan humidity sensing fan. It has an auto feature that will allow the fan to cycle .. controlling the moisture in the bathroom. It can also be manually controlled.

    As you gain experience in the field you will be able to recognize fan types and will know how to determine if they are for installation in a bathroom shower enclosure.

    These fans are compliant with bathroom codes if installed on gfci branch circuits.

    Look on the trim cover then write down the maker, take a picture as you have done, go online and see if you can identify the fan/light, then it is simply a matter of reading the installation requirements and comparing those with what you witnessed at the home

    Some of these if you pull down the trim will have a sticker than will state the branch circuit requirements....,gfci, amperage etc..

    Of course you also need to familiarize yourself with bathroom codes in general, lighting clearances,gfci etc... but your question is about the pictured bathroom fan fixture


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    The Broan website shows 2 models that are approved for that location if provided with a GFCI circuit. The question is - was there a GFCI that turned the light off when it was tripped? If so, and a correct unit was installed, there is no issue.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    The Broan website shows 2 models that are approved for that location if provided with a GFCI circuit. The question is - was there a GFCI that turned the light off when it was tripped? If so, and a correct unit was installed, there is no issue.
    Au contraire (sp?). Although a GFCI does not require to be solidly grounded to operate - most of these units require same for their safety Listing when exposed conductive parts. Rarely in older installations will you find same via switches; and a continuous N was not required to pass through switch boxes and along switch loops until the 2011 NEC.

    The marking/labeling of both the fan units and the self-contained lighting unit or the light kit as well as free standing luminaires/light fixtures have required marking/labeling of the information necessary to be safely installed in such a location be accessible to be visible after installation without deinstallation of the device - thus said labeling/marking should always be accessible/visible by removing the face plate/cover - esp. if having been Listed by UL.

    Products in this category have required holographic labeling indicating UL LISTED status by UL for nearly a decade, if not longer, as have been many products imported long subject to counterfeit marks.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    The Broan website shows 2 models that are approved for that location if provided with a GFCI circuit. The question is - was there a GFCI that turned the light off when it was tripped? If so, and a correct unit was installed, there is no issue.
    Despite that GFCIs can function without solid grounding/bonding, same is required for compliance with the safety provisions of the Listing Standard and manufacturer's instructions when in such a location and the device has exposed conductive parts subject to contact. Rarely is such a path present via switch loop in older installations, in addition (and on a completly different note) continuous grounded conductor/neutral via switch boxes, along switch loop paths, etc. was not required until the 2011 NEC. The TYPE of switch/alternate on/off control employed is additionally important regards to safety (not just its "location" relative to the shower compartment).

    There can be an often are other "issues" to be considered, especially with low clearance ceiling in shower compartment and exposed conductive parts in same. Equal potential vs. differing potentials in contact with, esp. with unbonded water one is standing in/being washed with.

    Above not in any way meant to be an exhaustive or complete "list" of considerations nor examples. Point is merely the conclusionary statement quoted above ('there is no issue') is not correct.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    Sorry for the somewhat duplicative and repetative posts above. First one posted system responded with an error message and seemed to have not posted initially, ah well.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    There are no conductive parts exposed when the grill cover is installed.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    HG,. I'm not sure why you would assume an issue exists with the pictured installation. The OP did not say this was an older home with ungrounded wiring. There is no evidence of a switched neutral. The GFCI opens the hot conductor in the event of a trip, so I'm not sure why you are saying that these hazards exist.
    To call it out as faulty, there has to be reasonable evidence of a faulty installation, which we don't have here.

    The fan in this pic was installed above a tub in an old low ceiling. It was wired directly to the light fixture and it was noisy, so Mr Handy installed a "kill" switch. How's this for scary? I felt a little zap when I touched the switch. Needs more tape.

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    Last edited by John Kogel; 06-07-2011 at 11:32 AM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  14. #14
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    This is one of those cases where it really does not matter if it is approved or not. The tremendous amount of water a vent like this pulls out directly out of that shower will be like running water in that vent pipe. This is an absolutely foolish place to put a bath fan. There will be, almost guaranteed, water issues somewhere down the road and this should be mentioned. These vent pipes are not sealed units from the fan all the way to the exterior and that water will become a problem.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    Ted, would the fan pull any less water vapor if it were mounted outside the shower stall?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    This is one of those cases where it really does not matter if it is approved or not. The tremendous amount of water a vent like this pulls out directly out of that shower will be like running water in that vent pipe. This is an absolutely foolish place to put a bath fan. There will be, almost guaranteed, water issues somewhere down the road and this should be mentioned. These vent pipes are not sealed units from the fan all the way to the exterior and that water will become a problem.
    The specs call for a non-metallic vent pipe. The standard fan uses 4", the ultra quiet has a 6". The specs also stipulate that the fan assembly can be readily removed from the housing. The whole shebang has UL approval, and the thing with the humidistat built in will just run until the water's all gone. So you still call it wrong?

    Oh, sorry, I see you're calling it 'foolish', and I guess it's ok to do that. So do you report it as foolish? I guess you could.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 06-07-2011 at 01:16 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Ted, would the fan pull any less water vapor if it were mounted outside the shower stall?
    Yes, it would. It would be les saturated. Think of flying through the sky with moisture in it. No, head from open sky and fly into a cloud. Yea, you will get very wet


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Light/fan inside bathroom shower

    Since the fan is installed to remove the warm humid air, over the shower seems like the most effective place to locate the fan.

    I see this as similar to the range hood being mounted over the stove where the source originates, not across the room.

    Last edited by Jim Port; 06-07-2011 at 03:30 PM.
    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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