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Old 09-28-2008, 09:05 PM   #1
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Bathroom remodel - lighting over shower / water line


So, I am doing a bathroom remodel and have completely ripped out the room to the studs.

My house was built in 66, and not much was done to update it. I am having my service updagded next week to 200A and having two new panels installed (one meter/main out front) and the 200 30/40 in the garage where all the circuits will be located. This part I am having done by a local electrician. He is doing all the work and permits for that job.

Once that is done, I am going to run 3 lines to my downstairs bath. 1 15a for the lights, outlets, and vent. 1 15a for the tub jets. 1 15a for the tub heater.

I was going to place a recessed lighting can over the shower so that it wont be so dark there when showering. So, today after looking up over the tub area where I was going to mount the can, I noticed the water line was running above the shower.

My main question is, is it against code to run install the lighting can next to the water line?

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Old 09-28-2008, 09:17 PM   #2
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Bathroom remodel - lighting over shower / water line


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My main question is, is it against code to run install the lighting can next to the water line?
No..............................

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Old 09-30-2008, 04:03 PM   #3
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Bathroom remodel - lighting over shower / water line


What kind of pipe is it? If its PVC or CPVC you might want to make sure they aren't in contact with each other. Can lights get pretty hot, and it would really suck if it melted your plastic pipe and spewed water all over the place...
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:10 PM   #4
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Bathroom remodel - lighting over shower / water line


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What kind of pipe is it? If its PVC or CPVC you might want to make sure they aren't in contact with each other. Can lights get pretty hot, and it would really suck if it melted your plastic pipe and spewed water all over the place...

Pipes with water in them would never melt, try catching a cup with water in it on fire.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:46 PM   #5
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Bathroom remodel - lighting over shower / water line


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What kind of pipe is it? If its PVC or CPVC you might want to make sure they aren't in contact with each other. Can lights get pretty hot, and it would really suck if it melted your plastic pipe and spewed water all over the place...

Its the main line coming in from the outside. I believe its 1inch copper. Could be 3/4, but, looks like 1in.

If I cant fit the light by the pipe, I might just try and weld copper pipe through the joist.. kinda like a U in the pipe to move around the light.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:55 AM   #6
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Bathroom remodel - lighting over shower / water line


Copper's proximity to lighting devices is a non-issue.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:04 AM   #7
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Once that is done, I am going to run 3 lines to my downstairs bath. 1 15a for the lights, outlets, and vent. 1 15a for the tub jets. 1 15a for the tub heater.
I believe you should have a 20 amp circuit for the batroom outlets.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:14 AM   #8
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Bathroom remodel - lighting over shower / water line


I'd put that light circuit on a GFI breaker too.. I guess that's not code, but it sounds like a good idea if the fixture will be surrounded on 3 sides by a water pipe. (And you'll be standing around soaking wet underneath it regularly)..
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:00 AM   #9
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Why not ask the electrician installing the service what it would cost to do the rest for you. Since you have a hot tub, I think you should leave that to him at least.
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:11 PM   #10
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I believe you should have a 20 amp circuit for the batroom outlets.
You are right, I was just reading what the manual said. The pump and the heater require a 15A GFCI, but I went ahead and ran 2 20A.


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Why not ask the electrician installing the service what it would cost to do the rest for you. Since you have a hot tub, I think you should leave that to him at least.
I did, and he wanted an extra 300 per line. We just spent $3800 upgrading our old 1966 100A FEP panel to 200A.

The good thing is that the garage is over the second bath. So adding lines is as easy as drilling a hole in the floor dropping a line down.

So far, this is what I am doing/have done:

4 Lines are going to the bathroom. Maybe 3, but it all depends on how I am going to get my routing done.

1 20A - Tub Pump
1 20A - Tub Heater
I used 12/3 so that I only had to run 1 line vs. running two 12/2 (that is OK right?)

1 20A will be run 12/2 for the two GFCI outlets by the vanity sink.
1 15A (or 20A) for the over tub recessed can/vent fan/vanity lights.

I wanted to seperate out the outlets and the lights incase of a tripped breaker so that who ever trips it is not left in the dark. Also, doing this I can power the hallway lights also. If I put them all on one breaker, then I have to run a new line to the hallway.

Right now, my whole downstais is powered by 2 20A breakers. All in armored cable. Hallway, bath, guest room is 1 20. Master Bed/Bath/Kid Room/Deck is all on another 20A.

So far what I am doing seems right from what I have researched. My only issue now is running a new line for the bedroom that is currently tied into the bath/hallway. So, that will be another 20A AFCI line I have to run there. Since the bath and bedroom share the same wall, I might run a 12/3 to the GFCI outlets and run the red to the AFCI? That sounds doable, basically what I did for the Tub/Heater. Two circuits on a 12/3.
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:16 PM   #11
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Copper's proximity to lighting devices is a non-issue.

Thats good as I test fitted the 5in can and there is enough clearance to mount it without having to do anything with the water line. Which is good as now that is less work and copper welding I will have to do.

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Old 10-09-2008, 08:18 PM   #12
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Bathroom remodel - lighting over shower / water line


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My only issue now is running a new line for the bedroom that is currently tied into the bath/hallway. So, that will be another 20A AFCI line I have to run there. Since the bath and bedroom share the same wall, I might run a 12/3 to the GFCI outlets and run the red to the AFCI? That sounds doable, basically what I did for the Tub/Heater. Two circuits on a 12/3.
I believe AFCI's must have their own neutral and hot wire, meaning you would not be able to run 12/3 and use one hot for an AFCI circuit. Can't you re-use one of those existing 20 amp circuits to feed just the bedroom and remove whatever is connected to it that shouldn't be? That way you'd have the dedicated hot and dedicated neutral for the AFCI bedroom circuit.

Also, with MWBC (Multi-Wire Branch Circuits) you must always pigtail the neutral at your junction point if it happens to be in the same box as an outlet or other device. Meaning, don't wire the 12/3 into an outlet and run the incoming neutral directly to the outlet.
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:06 PM   #13
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I believe AFCI's must have their own neutral and hot wire, meaning you would not be able to run 12/3 and use one hot for an AFCI circuit. Can't you re-use one of those existing 20 amp circuits to feed just the bedroom and remove whatever is connected to it that shouldn't be? That way you'd have the dedicated hot and dedicated neutral for the AFCI bedroom circuit.

Also, with MWBC (Multi-Wire Branch Circuits) you must always pigtail the neutral at your junction point if it happens to be in the same box as an outlet or other device. Meaning, don't wire the 12/3 into an outlet and run the incoming neutral directly to the outlet.

Well, that would throw a wrench in my routing then if the AFCI requires its own neutral. I would have assumed that doing a 12/3 for 2 GFCI would be the same for AFCI. I couldnt find anything showing not too, but I guess a call into the inspector would help, unless some one else here knows the answer?

Yeah, I am not a fan of direct wire, I usually pigtail when I can, so that should cover me.

I would have used the old armored cable, but that ran through the hallway first.. then to the bathroom.. then to the room. It was a spider web of armored cabled I found after I knocked down the walls in the bathroom. I would have to tear into the hallway and bedroom to redo the cabling. So, if thats the case, I may have to run another line, I really dont want to, but if I have to, then I will.

Really hoping that someone can shed some light on that question.
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:28 PM   #14
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Bathroom remodel - lighting over shower / water line


The AFCI's need their own neutral in the way they work. If the neutral is shared with another circuit, the AFCI will never work because it will always be tripped. GFCI's are the same way ONLY if your GFCI protection is a circuit breaker veses at the outlet.

It sounds like you are already doing about 4 circuits, mostly for the bathroom. You can run two sets of 12/3, using one for the pump/heater (2 circuits of course), and the second for the bathroom outlets on one circuit and the bath/hall lights on the other. Bath lights are not required to be GFCI protected (unless you have a fan assembly that requires it) and the outlets can be just GFCI outlets on a standard breaker.

With MWBC's you need to make sure that you are using 2 pole breakers and that the 2 wires land on different legs of the service. That is, across red and black you should have 240 volts. This is so you don't overload the shared neutral. (if you need/want more info on MWBC's just say so)

Personally id run your two sets of 12/3 to take care of the hot tub (pump/heater) bath outlets, and bath lights/hall lights. Then a 5th circuit for the AFCI in the bedroom on its own 12/2.

Your other option would be to purchase some 12/2/2. Which is a 5 wire cable, 2 hots, 2 neutrals, and a ground. It allows your AFCI to have its own neutral, and another circuit to have its own neutral as well.
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Old 10-10-2008, 12:45 AM   #15
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Bathroom remodel - lighting over shower / water line


First, does the armored cable have a ground? If so, why not leave it in place to the hall light, then branch from there to two or three other rooms to catch the lighting there? Then, use the other cable on an AFCI to catch the power in the guest room and kids' room. This could eliminate two of the new runs.

Also, unless the tub manufacturer states that the pump requires a dedicated circuit, you could put the pump on the bath GFCI circuit, and save another run.

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