Recessed lighting and vent fan in shower

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by fatalbie, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. fatalbie

    fatalbie New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    MA
    I have read a couple of threads I found through the search function and am still not clear on the requirements. Any clarification would be appreciated.

    I propose to install a couple of recessed light cans directly in the shower, in addition to a vent fan. The clarification I am looking for is:

    1. Do I understand correctly that the recessed cans can be run on the same lighting circuit as the recessed cans in the main part of the bathroom? This is a small bathroom with 4 cans total, 2 main, 2 shower. That circuit will most likely also run two sconces R&L of the mirror.

    Is this ok or do I need to gfci the recessed cans over the shower.

    2. Am I correct in understanding that the fixture needs a “damp rating†combined with the shower trim to be appropriate, or do I just need a shower trim?

    3. I am planning a separate 20 amp circuit to the fan. Run from panel to gfci receptacle, then timer switch, then fan. Is this correct.

    Thanks in advance for any help

    Jim
  2. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    The lights can be on the same lighting circuit as the room. No GFI protection is required unless the mfg requires it. VERY few do.

    Almost all recessed housings (cans) and trims are damp rated. You only need a wet location shower trim if the light is subject to shower spray. Most simply install these trims regardless.

    WHY would you run a dedicated 20A circuit to a bath fan???? Does it have a heater? If so then I bet the instructions call for not installing it over a tub or shower.
    Also, WHY install it over the shower to begin with? There is NO difference in the venting efficiency if it is in the room outside the shower, especially a small room like you have.
    Is the shower stall sealed off from the room?
  3. fatalbie

    fatalbie New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    MA
    Speedy,

    Thanks for the clarification on the cans.

    As for the fan, I was thinking of putting in a soffit to kind of separate the tub from the room a bit. I like the symetry of the recessed cans in the main part of the room and the vent fan kind of throws that off. If I mount it in the shower, I get the benefit of improved aesthetics, and draw the intake air through the damp shower, possibly removing the moisture more quickly.

    There is no heater in the fan.

    The 20 amp gfci is for the plug that will be in the bathroom. MFG spec indicates if the fan will be over the tub/shower it must connected to a gfci protected branch circuit. I wanted to confirm if running off the plug provided that protection.

    The unit I am installing is Fantech PB100 which will actually be mounted in the attic away from the shower. This is causing me the confusion as to gfci it or not.

    Jim
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
  4. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    I see. Your original post made it seem like the 20A circuit would be just for the fan.
    Your plan sounds fine.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,984
    Location:
    New England
    One thing to consider if the fan is in the shower area, the nice hot/humid air it sucks out will be replaced by the much colder room air...you'll be standing in a draft all the time. I don't think you'll like it.
  6. fatalbie

    fatalbie New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    MA
    Thanks for the input and the quick response; I appreciate it.

    Nashua- I thought about that. It will be a trade off I have to live with in exchange for the aesthetics. If it is a big negative after the install, I can make the change with some patch work. Unfortunately, the plastering end of it I am way too familiar with.

    Jim
  7. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    If the fan is on a separate switch - and it sounds like it will - you can just not run it during your shower, turn it on when you get out. S'what I do.
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