Bath Fan in Shower

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by robhouston, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. robhouston

    robhouston New Member

    Messages:
    12
    I've got to install a bath fan in my kids' bathroom. Since they are now into taking very long, hot showers, and based on attic access, I'm planning to install the fan above the tub/shower. The fan is suitable for this when installed on a GFCI circuit.

    I'm thinking of using the same GFCI circuit which powers the outlet for the vanity across the bathroom, but I'd like to have the fan switch in the same box as the switch for the vanity light next to the bathroom door, which is on a separate (non-GFCI) circuit.

    Does having two separate switches powered by separate circuits conform to code? If not, I suppose I can install a separate box for the fan switch. Or, is there such a thing as a switch with integral GFCI protection, in other words, a switch and GFCI in one single-gang device?

    Thanks, in advance, for your knowledge.

    Rob Houston
    Chester, NJ
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    22,018
    Location:
    New England
    As long as you wire it right, you can have multiple circuits in one box. Especially when dealing with GFCI, you must be especially careful about the neutrals.
  3. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Yes

    Yes see one here
  4. kd

    kd New Member

    Messages:
    207
    My advice is to install a separate box for the fan switch. This is because you will probably want to put a spring wound timer or 15 minute timed toggle for the fan so if people take a shower and leave the house, the fan will not run all day long. Also, I usually install the fan in the middle of the bathroom or in between the mirror and the shower if possible. I think in the shower area is too moist. I try to avoid putting the fan on the GFCI to avoid nuisance tripping.
  5. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    This is a great idea. A timer should be installed on every lighting outlet throughout the house so no lights would be left on all day. This would help save the earth.

    I agree with this also. No matter where the fan is located it will remove the moisture if it is sized correctly. The most popular fan installations only have about 25 CFM and are to small. In my bath I have a 200 CFM fan in the middle of the room and it keeps the mirror clear even with the steam generator running.
    If this fan has a light and the light is needed for the shower then you don’t have much of a choice.

    I disagree with this statement as it is the job of the fan to remove the moisture no matter where it is installed. If it is installed correctly then the GFCI will not trip unless there is a problem.
  6. robhouston

    robhouston New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Thanks, folks, this is indeed helpful.

    The problem with installing the fan near the middle of the room is that there is a big skylight in the middle, so one way or the other, I'll have to install the fan (110 CFM model) on either side of the skylight.

    I'm still deciding how best to do the installation, but your replies have been very helpful.

    Thanks to all,

    Rob
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