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Old 01-13-2011, 03:29 PM   #1
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


last year I installed a bathroom fan as a temp fix. I simple removed the existing light and replaced it with a combo light/fan fixture and ran ducting out the roof. The time has come to finally demo the bathroom and I want to redo the fan properly.

My goals are,
1) add a second switch so as to separate the light from the fan
2) move the fan into the shower area to more efficiently remove moist air.

Presently I have a feed coming into a single switch, the hot wire is switched and goes up to the fan/light combo. I am going to re run two sets of 14/2+1 up so that the feed coming in goes to two switches each feeding either the light or the fan.

QUESTION:
My question, is I am looking at a fan that is rated for in shower use so long as the fan is GFI protected. I am curious as to how I should go about doing this. Is this as simple taking the presently existing power feed, running it into the line side of a GFCI outlet, then running the load side of the GFCI to the two switches and then running up to the fan and light?

Or is there something else that needs to be done?


Thanks much
Brian

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:44 PM   #2
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


The requirement to gfci protect the fan does not come from the code, but from the maker of the fan.
The gfci in the bathroom needs to be a 20 amp circuit, so you can not use #14 wire.
Does the gfci feed other bathrooms, or just this one?

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:52 PM   #3
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


Interesting, the house is 1968, and I am pretty sure the existing wiring is 14 gauge and on a 15 amp circuit (will have to verify this evening). The circuit originates in the box, powers portions of my hall, a guest bathroom, and then ends in the master bathroom.

I had hoped to just put a gfi just ahead of the fan switches so that the GFI outlet would just be feeding the fan.

It sounds as though this may be more work than originally planned and that I may need to run a 20 amp circuit into the shower room area?
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:13 PM   #4
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


Are the lights fed from this circuit now.
20 amp circuits, and gfci's were not required when your house was built.
If the fan is fed from this circuit, then you can add a gfci before the switch.

Sometimes it is easier to run new circuits.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:19 PM   #5
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


I believe that the lights are presently fed from this circuit but I will wait until I get home and verify everything before saying for certain. This should make the debug situation much easier.

Its an interesting situation as the bathroom is split by a sliding door into a shower/toilet area and a vanity area. I am only tearing out completely the shower/toilet area, while the vanity area is just getting cleaned up.

I was under the impression that when remodeling as things are opened up, it is possible that inspection will require me to update to bring old work into current code. IE perhaps this work is going to require that I feed the bathroom with 20 amps and add GFIS to all the outlets? However, as I am only tearing apart half of the bathroom is it feasible that I would have to bring the untouched part of the bathroom up to present code?

I really had hoped to just take the existing 14 gauge wiring split the light from the fan and add the gfi. Sigh.

I suppose some of this is of course a question for the city.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:35 PM   #6
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


That is a question for the city.
Code states that everything in a single bathroom can be fed from this 20 amp circuit, as long as the circuit dosen't leave that bathroom.
It may be easier to abandaon the circuit and install a new 20 amp circuit.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:56 PM   #7
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


Yeah I am going to try and run down to the DPD office tomorrow and ask them what they want me to do. You are right in that it may just be easier to terminate the old circuit and pull a new 12-2 over into the bathroom.

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Old 01-13-2011, 06:45 PM   #8
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


I would pull a 12-3 or a 14-3 to the fan light instead of two 12-2's. You don't have much space in the junction box and do not need two neutrals from the separate cables.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:28 PM   #9
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


My preference at my rental properties when rehabbing a bathroom is to power a GFCI protected bathroom fan off a separate blank-face GFCI:



as it makes makes things that much simpler to trouble shoot later and in the meantime means the fan will remain in service if a tenant trips a receptacle GFCI outlet and does not reset it.

In a "production" environment most people will not want to incur the additional expense, however.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:49 PM   #10
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
I would pull a 12-3 or a 14-3 to the fan light instead of two 12-2's. You don't have much space in the junction box and do not need two neutrals from the separate cables.
That is a good idea. So I would bring up the white neutral shared by both the hot red and blacks.

The bathroom receptacles are supposed to be 20 amp circuits, but what if I use one of those GFCIs shown above with no outlets? Since there is technically no receptacle can I just run 14-2 from the panel and into that, then 14-3 up to the fan/light and power the whole thing from a 15 amp breaker in the box?

Or am I required to bring the 20amp into the bathroom despite not going into a true receptacle?

Perhaps in the long run for future proofing and later remodels it is a better idea to just bring the 12-2 from the panel over anyway.

Brian
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:49 PM   #11
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


Thanks, I had no idea those even existed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
My preference at my rental properties when rehabbing a bathroom is to power a GFCI protected bathroom fan off a separate blank-face GFCI:



as it makes makes things that much simpler to trouble shoot later and in the meantime means the fan will remain in service if a tenant trips a receptacle GFCI outlet and does not reset it.

In a "production" environment most people will not want to incur the additional expense, however.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:54 PM   #12
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


So I have verified that indeed the present bathroom is powered from a 15 amp breaker in the box. Power comes from the panel into the fan switch box. A switched hot lead is then passed up to the fan/light in the ceiling, as well as the hot from the panel is passed down the line to another outlet downstream.

Lets say I run a new 12-2 line over from the panel. In this case I no longer need the existing 14-2 wires in the switch box, but as they are cut, I still need to connect them in a junction box so as to continue powering the downstream outlet.

With the new power I am intending to put a new 3 gang box in. This box will have the new 12-2 come in, go to the GFI noted above, and then I will have two switches with a 12-3 going up to the new fan light.

Question: Can I have the old 14-2 feed and the new 12-2 feed both come into the same 3 gang box, and just make the junction between the old 14-2 and the downstream outlet in the new jbox?


Thanks much guys
Brian
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:12 PM   #13
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


I usually install the blank-face GFCI in a separate box in a location where no one will confuse it with a control for a switched device - however, I'm trying to minimize the likelihood a tenant will inadvertently deactivate the fan in a rental unit and cause moisture damage to the bathroom, which is not a typically a concern in a personal residence.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:27 AM   #14
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


Quote:
Originally Posted by b_corwin View Post

Lets say I run a new 12-2 line over from the panel. In this case I no longer need the existing 14-2 wires in the switch box, but as they are cut, I still
Question: Can I have the old 14-2 feed and the new 12-2 feed both come into the same 3 gang box, and just make the junction between the old 14-2 and the downstream outlet in the new jbox?


Thanks much guys
Brian
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:15 AM   #15
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How to gfi protect bathroom fan?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Yes you can do that!
Thanks, good to hear.

Heading down to the city today to talk about what Im doing and what I've done so far.

Thanks for the help everyone,

I'll post what I find out for continuity.

B

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