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shammvw 12-20-2008 04:50 PM

gfci on bathroom exhaust fan
I am installing an exhaust fan in a bathroom. I am jumpering power from a gfci rec. The fan is about 18 inches from the side of the tub. Does the power need to come from the line or load side of the gfci?
Thanks for any info!

rgsgww 12-20-2008 05:42 PM

It usually doesn't matter, if the fan requires gfci protection (check with manufacturer) then connect it to the load side.

What size breaker powers the gfci? What size wire are you using to the fan?

Ultrarunner2017 12-20-2008 05:47 PM

I'm not sure if there is anything in the code that specifies GFCI protection for a fan, but considering that it is less than 1m (~3ft) from the tub, I would put it on the LOAD side of the GFIC just for the added safety, in case the ground connection opens and there is a ground-fault.

I have a set of fluorescent lamps in my basement bathroom wired to the only circuit that supplies the room, which is a GFCI breaker. I like the added safety of having the lamps protected, since they're less than 0.5m from the tub.
I have never had the breaker trip out due to the lighting, which can sometimes happen.
I don't think you will have a problem with your fan either. While it is an inductive load, it is very light.

AS rgsww has already brought up wire size, I think what he's getting at is that the wire size to your fan must be correct for the breaker.
For 15A, #14 is OK. For 20A, you need to use #12, and I hope that the rest of your circuit complies.

shammvw 12-20-2008 06:32 PM

Both the breaker and the gfci are 15 amps. My concern was with the gfci tripping out if the fan and a hair dryer, etc. were running at the same time. I like the added protection from the load side.
Thanks again!

rgsgww 12-20-2008 07:00 PM

You can use 14 awg...but if somebody updates the bathroom to code (code requires 20 amp bath circuit for new work) they would have to pull out the 14.

You could replace the run to 20 amp and 12 awg if you want...then the breaker shouldn't trip with the dryer and fan.

Ultrarunner2017 12-20-2008 07:09 PM

A GFCI is not an overcurrent device. You will not trip the GFCI if the circuit, or even if the receptacle itself is overloaded. The circuit breaker in your service panel will trip.
GFCI circuit breakers, on the other hand combine overcurrent protection with Ground Fault protection, and will trip for either an overcurrent or a Ground-Fault condition.

Most, if not all GFCI receptacles, both the 15A and the 20A will handle 20A through from the LINE to LOAD, so you can use them on 20A branch circuits.

I agree with rgsgww on upgrading to 20A for the bath. Question there is how much more extensive than the original project would this be?

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