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Old 03-28-2009, 10:12 AM   #1
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


I have a predicament here... (Forgive my lack of terminology, I have a good idea of what I'm doing, just don't know the generally accepted terms)

I have a 15 amp light switch/gfi combo in my bathroom at the present time. That switch also is a feed through for outlets and lights for the next room. Meaning a I have a input, output to the next room, and an output to the light.

The box is behind tile, and is the type where it has a larger footprint than the opening (as in I would have to make the hole in the wall bigger to pull it out.

As this box is already really crowded, and I don't feel like I can pull the box out of the wall and get it back in there looking good, I'm thinking my best option is to run a new circuit into the bathroom to feed the fan and I could add a 20 amp GFI in the process. How goofy will it look to have the switch for the light and about six inches away the switch/timer for the fan and the outlet? We have talked about redoing the bathroom, so I could probably pull it all together if we ever go down that road.

Or is there some other option here that I should consider?

Any input is greatly appreciated.


Last edited by ande3171; 03-28-2009 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:58 AM   #2
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


You can't go wrong installing a new 20 Amp circuit in your bathroom. In such a situation such as yours, with the tile wall and all, it may be your best alternative.

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Old 03-28-2009, 11:18 AM   #3
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


The bathroom circuit should not be shared with any other rooms. Bring in your new 20 amp branch circuit and remove the other room (circuit) from the bathroom. Since it is already installed this way you do not have to change it, but I would. Simplify and safer.
Remember they make several configurations for the devices (switches, recepts, ect...). Like a switch and receptacle on one yoke. You may only need the existing box.
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:37 PM   #4
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


Is the existing box 2 gang (two devices...one sw one gfci recep?


I'd run the new 20 amp to a separate box and install the gfci recep there.

Fish the ex fan cable into the existing box (if it's 2 gang)

If the existing sw box is single gang, you could put the new gfci in the new location along with the ex fan sw but it won't look "stock"

You can also put the ex fan switch somewhere closer to the toilet if you have access.
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:01 PM   #5
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


If the existing is two gang, how about a stacked switch (one for the light, and the other for the fan)
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:01 PM   #6
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


I think Code says you shouldn't be able to reach any switch from inside the shower.
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:43 PM   #7
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


you can connect your exhaust fan in parallel with your light.
as you turn on the light simultaneously with the e.f. or use 2 gang switch and you need additional wiring to have light and e.f. swithed separately.
if you want i can send you a diagram.

Last edited by abbet; 03-28-2009 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:49 PM   #8
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


Its currently just a single gang.

I had originally considered just running the light and fan in parallel, and I suppose I still could, but having the GFI outlet/switch combo already, plus all the other wires, that box is pretty stuffed...

I'm thinking the new 20 amp service is the only way to go. If I ever redo the bathroom then I can always combine it all together.

Also as this house is about 40 years old, everything is metal jacketed, requiring metal boxes, which of course will be near impossible to replace/expand without destroying a wall...
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:14 PM   #9
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
I think Code says you shouldn't be able to reach any switch from inside the shower.
There is no such rule in the electrical code. The switch just needs to be outside the footprint of the tub or shower.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:03 PM   #10
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
I think Code says you shouldn't be able to reach any switch from inside the shower.
Never heard of that rule.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:06 PM   #11
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


It's common sense but not code
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:41 PM   #12
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


I have a follow up question on this. I've decided a new 20 amp circuit to supply the bathroom is the way to go, but after talking with my dad about it, I'm not so sure thats up to code. In looking at this, I don't see any mention of being able to use a single ciruit for bath lighting AND outlets. (Although I've seen a lot of places on the internet refer to this section and say you could do it). Or am I misinterpreting something here?

Looking at NEC 211.3:
(3) Bathroom Branch Circuits. In addition to the number
of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at
least one 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to
supply bathroom receptacle outlet(s). Such circuits shall
have no other outlets.
Exception: Where the 20-ampere circuit supplies a single
bathroom, outlets for other equipment within the same
bathroom shall be permitted to be supplied in accordance
with 210.23(A)(1) and (A)(2).

NEC 210.23:
210.23 Permissible Loads. In no case shall the load ex-
ceed the branch-circuit ampere rating. An individual branch
circuit shall be permitted to supply any load for which it is
rated. A branch circuit supplying two or more outlets or
receptacles shall supply only the loads specified according
to its size as specified in 210.23(A) through (D) and as
summarized in 210.24 and Table 210.24.

(A) 15- and 20-Ampere Branch Circuits. A 15- or 20-
ampere branch circuit shall be permitted to supply lighting
units or other utilization equipment, or a combination of
both, and shall comply with 210.23(A)(1) and (A)(2).
Exception: The small appliance branch circuits, laundry
branch circuits, and bathroom branch circuits required in a
dwelling unit(s) by 210.11(C)(1), (C)(2), and (C)(3) shall
supply only the receptacle outlets specified in that section.
(1) Cord-and-Plug-Connected Equipment Not Fastened
in Place. The rating of any one cord-and-plug-connected
utilization equipment not fastened in place shall not exceed
80 percent of the branch-circuit ampere rating.
(2) Utilization Equipment Fastened in Place. The total
rating of utilization equipment fastened in place, other than
luminaires (lighting fixtures), shall not exceed 50 percent of
the branch-circuit ampere rating where lighting units, cord-
and-plug-connected utilization equipment not fastened in
place, or both, are also supplied.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:01 PM   #13
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


You did see it, you just missed it.
Exception: Where the 20-ampere circuit supplies a single
bathroom, outlets for other equipment within the same
bathroom shall be permitted to be supplied in accordance
with 210.23(A)(1) and (A)(2).


The Code definition of outlet is any point that uses power. It is not just receptacle outlets. Additional outlets could be fans, lights etc.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:44 PM   #14
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


Ah thanks Jim! Looking at the definitions I now see their definition of outlet. Now it all makes sense.

For some reason my dad is convinced you can't do that as he failed an inspection back in 1998 for running one circuit to a bathroom in his remodeled basement. Has the code since evolved, or did he just have a misinformed or a-hole inspector?
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:46 PM   #15
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Adding Bath Exhaust Fan (where to put switch)


Quote:
did he just have a misinformed or a-hole inspector?
That would be my vote.

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