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  #1  
Old 9/18/07, 11:59 PM
Douglas W. Book Douglas W. Book is offline
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Question GFCI light fixtures?

I need some clarification on what I heard at a home site where I was doing a new build phase inspection. The city electrical inspector was talking with the building supervisor about the need for GFCIs in the four bathrooms. While the receptacles were standard GFCI units, he said the IRC code required that any appliances and luminaries in the bathrooms had to be GFCI protected.

Being a questioning kind of guy, I jumped in and asked, You mean the light fixtures above the sink, and the stand along exhaust fan in the ceiling have to be protected by either a GFCI breaker or run through the GFCI on the wall?

Yes, they do, was his reply. I then asked, How about a ceiling heater/exhaust fan combo units like they have in some condos? Yes was his answer again.

Help me out here, this is correct?

thanks for the help.
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  #2  
Old 9/19/07, 1:54 AM
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cbuell cbuell is offline
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Default Re: GFCI light fixtures?

This is from the 2003 IRC---only seems to talk about receptacles:

E3802.1 Bathroom receptacles.
All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in bathrooms shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel
.
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  #3  
Old 9/19/07, 3:47 AM
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Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Default Re: GFCI light fixtures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbook
I need some clarification on what I heard at a home site where I was doing a new build phase inspection. The city electrical inspector was talking with the building supervisor about the need for GFCIs in the four bathrooms. While the receptacles were standard GFCI units, he said the IRC code required that any appliances and luminaries in the bathrooms had to be GFCI protected.

Being a questioning kind of guy, I jumped in and asked, You mean the light fixtures above the sink, and the stand along exhaust fan in the ceiling have to be protected by either a GFCI breaker or run through the GFCI on the wall?

Yes, they do, was his reply. I then asked, How about a ceiling heater/exhaust fan combo units like they have in some condos? Yes was his answer again.

Help me out here, this is correct?

thanks for the help.
I see some done this way and when I dump them in the test mode
I am suddenly in the dark .
Not good at night some people could panic.
.......... Cookie



If you do not search for more ,
......You will never find it.

............. Roycooke@hotmail.com
...................705-999-1030
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  #4  
Old 9/19/07, 7:32 AM
Speedy Petey Speedy Petey is offline
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Default Re: GFCI light fixtures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbook
Yes, they do, was his reply. I then asked, How about a ceiling heater/exhaust fan combo units like they have in some condos? Yes was his answer again.
A text book case of another inspector on a power trip. Or one who does not even know the codes he is enforcing.
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  #5  
Old 9/19/07, 9:31 AM
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Paul W. Abernathy, CMI Paul W. Abernathy, CMI is offline
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Default Re: GFCI light fixtures?

Sigh......This is the problem I have with municpal inspectors. While take VA for example...Electricians are required to have continued education and training, said to say many municipal inspectors do not get the same training and depending on the local government may not really even be qualified to be doing inspections to begin with.

Now.....we are not all spoiled like my area where we have a man named Wayne Lilly who is a VERY knowledgeable electrical inspector and a nice guy I might add.....but around the country we have many WANNA BE PLAYA's that as speedy said so well...a power trip going on.

I like to fight these guys.....not because of an ego trip but because if I know they are wrong...they need to be called out as we all can be wrong.

One of my biggest pet peeves is municipal inspectors who "CREATE" code on the job....any code cited should be backed with a reference....period !

Alas.....the problem seems to stem from someone higher up sometimes in the building official process who hears one thing from someone...then thinks they are right and then passes it on and next thing you know...the myths begin !

Maybe he just does not understand the GFCI requirements for a bathroom...sure sounds like he has !



Paul W. Abernathy
Manager, Electrical Codes & Standards
Encore Wire Corporation

“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” -RIP Dad, Love You!.10/10/2014

Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum are of my own personal opinion and in no way represent the opinions of Encore Wire, or other associations, organizations or affiliations.

Last edited by pabernathy; 9/19/07 at 9:34 AM..
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  #6  
Old 9/19/07, 9:39 AM
Speedy Petey Speedy Petey is offline
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Default Re: GFCI light fixtures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pabernathy
One of my biggest pet peeves is municipal inspectors who "CREATE" code on the job....any code cited should be backed with a reference....period !
Damn straight!
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  #7  
Old 9/19/07, 3:27 PM
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bkelly2 bkelly2 is offline
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Default Re: GFCI light fixtures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbook
I need some clarification on what I heard at a home site where I was doing a new build phase inspection. The city electrical inspector was talking with the building supervisor about the need for GFCIs in the four bathrooms. While the receptacles were standard GFCI units, he said the IRC code required that any appliances and luminaries in the bathrooms had to be GFCI protected.

Being a questioning kind of guy, I jumped in and asked, You mean the light fixtures above the sink, and the stand along exhaust fan in the ceiling have to be protected by either a GFCI breaker or run through the GFCI on the wall?

Yes, they do, was his reply. I then asked, How about a ceiling heater/exhaust fan combo units like they have in some condos? Yes was his answer again.

Help me out here, this is correct?

thanks for the help.
Where is this Doug, Buckeye? Lot of new City Inspectors out there.
PS
Just saw that wierd plumbing thing you posted last week.
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  #8  
Old 9/20/07, 11:23 AM
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Mark Sylvester Mark Sylvester is offline
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Default Re: GFCI light fixtures?

I have seen this in my area as well and have had the same response by both the local officials and even a few of the new electricians out here.

Both times I have been told that one could have wet hands and touch the switches therefore possibly being shocked. When I asked about the garage light switches not being protected ,because of the same issue, no one had a reply.

Just doesn't make sense.

Don't like being left in the dark



Mark Sylvester
P.I. Home Inspection Services
www.pihomeinspection.com
mark@pihomeinspection.com
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  #9  
Old 9/20/07, 11:46 AM
Jim Port Jim Port is online now
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Default Re: GFCI light fixtures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by msylvester
I have seen this in my area as well and have had the same response by both the local officials and even a few of the new electricians out here.

Both times I have been told that one could have wet hands and touch the switches therefore possibly being shocked. When I asked about the garage light switches not being protected ,because of the same issue, no one had a reply.

Just doesn't make sense.

Don't like being left in the dark
Not to say that all switches are grounded, but if the switch body was energized the ground wire should should carry the current, not the person. There is a requirement for plastic faceplates when no ground exists in the box. Also when a person uses the switches they are not touching a conductive material.
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Old 9/20/07, 1:12 PM
Marc Benz Marc Benz is offline
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Default Re: GFCI light fixtures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbook

Being a questioning kind of guy, I jumped in and asked, You mean the light fixtures above the sink, and the stand along exhaust fan in the ceiling have to be protected by either a GFCI breaker or run through the GFCI on the wall?

Yes, they do, was his reply. I then asked, How about a ceiling heater/exhaust fan combo units like they have in some condos? Yes was his answer again.

Help me out here, this is correct?

thanks for the help.
Let me join in here for a min i know you guys been debating about useing the GFCI device.

The ceiling heater/exhaust fan combo have pretty instering fine line to cross over if need gfci or not is specifed [sp] by the manufacter instruction and also you have to keep in the mind the distance from shower/bathtub stall area.
I know this simuair issuse been discussed in one of the other forum not too long ago but unforetally i dont have some kind of photo to describe what this situation called for.

unless there is other type of codes like IRC or IBC will trump it then have to use it.

Merci, Marc
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  #11  
Old 9/20/07, 1:48 PM
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David A. Andersen David A. Andersen is offline
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Default Re: GFCI light fixtures?

Paul,

I have a related issue that I came across yesterday and reported on.
The shower light circuit was GFCI protected, but it was protected after the light switch. So in essence, the GFCI device is on the load side of the circuit rather than the line in perspective to the switch.

My biggest concern was that I was trying to test the GFCI with the light switch off, stating that it was inoperable. I turned on the light switch and the GFCI worked. All this in front of the client during final walk through!

I simply told the client and his father-in-law that this is nonstandard in my experience and if it is a concern , they have more enforcement power at the close of escrow than the AHJ.

This is new construction of about 200 condominiums, and I'm likely to encounter this wiring situation again!
Could you briefly comment on your opinion here?
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Old 9/20/07, 3:20 PM
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Mark Sylvester Mark Sylvester is offline
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Default Re: GFCI light fixtures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port
Not to say that all switches are grounded, but if the switch body was energized the ground wire should should carry the current, not the person. There is a requirement for plastic faceplates when no ground exists in the box. Also when a person uses the switches they are not touching a conductive material.
Exactly!



Mark Sylvester
P.I. Home Inspection Services
www.pihomeinspection.com
mark@pihomeinspection.com
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  #13  
Old 9/21/07, 3:01 AM
Douglas W. Book Douglas W. Book is offline
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Smile Re: GFCI light fixtures?

Hey, Guys,
Thank you so much for all the feed back. I have learned not to fight battles I can't win. And that would be one of them, if I have to face it in the field again. thanks again.
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  #14  
Old 9/21/07, 9:28 AM
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI's Avatar
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI Paul W. Abernathy, CMI is offline
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Default Re: GFCI light fixtures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandersen
Paul,

I have a related issue that I came across yesterday and reported on.
The shower light circuit was GFCI protected, but it was protected after the light switch. So in essence, the GFCI device is on the load side of the circuit rather than the line in perspective to the switch.

My biggest concern was that I was trying to test the GFCI with the light switch off, stating that it was inoperable. I turned on the light switch and the GFCI worked. All this in front of the client during final walk through!

I simply told the client and his father-in-law that this is nonstandard in my experience and if it is a concern , they have more enforcement power at the close of escrow than the AHJ.

This is new construction of about 200 condominiums, and I'm likely to encounter this wiring situation again!
Could you briefly comment on your opinion here?
David,

If the light in the shower was listed to be GFCI protected and the GFCI device is ahead of the actual light itself then it is fine. Not the best method but fine.

The switch is rather moot in that it is simply a pass thru device in itself, Now I would make sure that circuit only serves THAT specific bathroom and does not leave and pick any other bathrooms up in the dwelling or for that fact any other receptacle period....

Here is the test...turn on the light...then trip the GFCI..if the light shuts off then be fine with it....remember not all lights in showers or bathrooms period need to be on GFCI....it boils down to the manufacturers listing and some other factors.

Remember in regards to a GFCI...we are concerned with whats down stream of it....nothing more really......

Gotta run....Physical Therapy today and my trainer is HOT...



Paul W. Abernathy
Manager, Electrical Codes & Standards
Encore Wire Corporation

“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” -RIP Dad, Love You!.10/10/2014

Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum are of my own personal opinion and in no way represent the opinions of Encore Wire, or other associations, organizations or affiliations.
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