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Old 03-21-2011, 12:25 PM   #1
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Stairway light powered from GFCI circuit?


Hello,

I was wondering if it is against code to power a basement staircase light from a GFCI circuit? I am in Massachusetts. This staircase leads from the basement to the garage. The nearest outlet to my light is the end of the garage circuit, where the first outlet is a GFCI, and the other 8 outlets are protected from this first GFCI. Is it against code if I power this basement stair light from this protected circuit? My other alternative is to replace all the other plugs with individual GFCIs, so that the last plug (which feeds my light) can have an uninterrupted power source. Besides possibly being left in the dark, if there anything in the code that will not allow this?

The basement has two other points of egress.

Thank you,
Jeff

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Old 03-21-2011, 12:31 PM   #2
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Stairway light powered from GFCI circuit?


You could power the light from the first gfci receptacle and not worry about it.
It is not against code as far as I know.

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Old 03-21-2011, 04:14 PM   #3
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Stairway light powered from GFCI circuit?



Thanks Jbfan. But unfortunately, the wires are in, and the sheetrock was hung before I realized what I had done. So I don't have access to the first outlet.

The inspector told me it was against code to have a stairway light connected to the GFCI, but I have never heard this, and wanted to get other opinions before questioning him.

I can put all GFCI's to keep him happy, but wanted to know if the inspector was busting me up, or if this really was code. This guy has been know to make his "own code" from time to time.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:51 PM   #4
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Stairway light powered from GFCI circuit?


Every AHJ is different. I would follow your local code, and if they say that it can not be wired to a GFCI. BTW, what wiregage is going to said GFCI, and what gage is going to said lighting circuit. Was there an inspection before sheet rock went up also? Worst case, he would tell you to cut the sheet rock where the wire runs, and pull it back to a lighting circuit to correct, and put a stop work on all other work, until inspected before proceeding to finish.

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Old 03-22-2011, 09:23 AM   #5
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Stairway light powered from GFCI circuit?


I'm not aware of any NEC code that forbids lighting to be on a GFCI circiut in residential. Maybe not always the greatest idea, but that doesn't forbid it. If the inspector isn't going to allow it, ask him to show you the code. Keep in mind, it may be a local thing, and not in the NEC.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:28 AM   #6
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Stairway light powered from GFCI circuit?


the only problem I see is having 8 receptacles protected by the one GFCI recep. You might want to read the literature that came with that GFCI recep. Most I am aware of limit themselves to 4 or 5 additional receps. If that is the case then you must do what it takes to reduce the number of receptacles protected by that one GFCI receptacle.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:49 AM   #7
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Stairway light powered from GFCI circuit?


That's a Massachusetts code, you cannot have the lighting circuit on GFCI.

210.70D The operation of a single GFCI device shall not deenergize all lighting outlets in a given area.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:54 AM   #8
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Stairway light powered from GFCI circuit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Clutchcargo View Post
That's a Massachusetts code, you cannot have the lighting circuit on GFCI.

210.70D The operation of a single GFCI device shall not deenergize all lighting outlets in a given area.
Uh oh. Sounds like it's time for some rewiring.

So, it's not that it's on a GFCI but that the tripping of that one GFCI would extinguish all the lights in the area.

Quote:
Besides possibly being left in the dark, if there anything in the code that will not allow this?
that appears to be the exact concern of the rule. So, no, no other concerns but obviously that one is the issue.


good info Clutch, and Paddlefoot too.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:32 AM   #9
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Stairway light powered from GFCI circuit?


I made the same mistake, I've got to do some rewiring as well.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:09 AM   #10
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Stairway light powered from GFCI circuit?


Thanks everyone. I guess I am going to be doing some re-wiring.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:57 AM   #11
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Stairway light powered from GFCI circuit?


I think the easy way out is the 7 additional GFCIs. They're not that expensive these days and they are easy to wire with the clamp connections.

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