Switch Placement Advice for Bath Refurb

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by cakins, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. cakins

    cakins New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Doing my first home remodel, working on the bath room right now. I've changed the floorplan from rectangle to L-shaped and would like some input on the switch placement for the various lights and fan that will be part of the updated room.

    You can see a (not-to-scale) quick sketch of the room here:

    http://www.extraordinaryimage.com/images/bathSwitches.jpg

    My thoughts were to put a 2-gang box just inside the door with a single switch for the overhead light/wall lavatory lights and the receptacle. Then, near the "L" wall direction change, I could put the 2 switches for the tub/shower light and fan timer switch.

    To me, that makes a bit more sense than putting them all ganged together in one box.

    But, as this is my first project, I'd like to hear input on the pros/cons of this idea.

    Also - I had toyed with separating the wall lights from the overhead light, using separate switches. But I'm not sure that makes sense on such a small bathroom. The overall size is about 50 sq. ft. or less.

    I was also toying with putting some under the cabinet type lighting in the mix with some shelving I'll be buidling in over the toilet. If I do that, does it make sense to have a separate switch for that? Near the shelves or over by the door.

    The vanity area is only going to be 36" wide max. Is one receptacle sufficient, or should I put one on each side?
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky In the Trades

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    149
    The only suggestions I can make is to be sure the can light over the tub is listed for wet locations. There is a 'shower trim' available. The fan must be kept 3' horizontally from the edge of the tub unless it is also rated for wet locations, which it probably isn't.

    Just a suggestion.... why not combine the can light with the fan and install a fan/light combo?
  3. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    2,563
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Why? .
  4. 480sparky

    480sparky In the Trades

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    149
    410.4(D). "...Luminaires (lighting fixtures) located in this zone [3 feet horizontally from the top of the bathtub rim or shower stall threshold] shall be listed for damp locations, or listed for wet locations where subject to shower spray."
  5. cakins

    cakins New Member

    Messages:
    12
    First, thanks for the tips - I definitely want to find out the right way to do each of the things mentioned. I reply below. But my primary question in the original post - which I also want to find out - is regarding the placement of the switch locations themselves. Does anyone have feedback regarding that issue?

    I do have a shower trim kit for the shower light, which is listed for wet locations. Initially, I toyed with a light/fan combo, but didn't really find one I liked aesthetically. Also, I wanted a better fan than most builders put in homes. I went with a Panasonic that's very quiet. I hadn't heard the 3' rule for fans though. In fact, I've read the opposite in at least one book. It says to put the fan as close to the shower area without actually being in the shower.

    Does the luminary rule really apply to fans if there isn't a light involved? Which electrical code is that based on? My city uses the International Residential Code.

    Wow, I actually don't know how I could have the fan 3' away from the edge of the tub due to other things in the way - the other can light, a plumbing vent that runs in the attic, diagonally across the whole bathroom ceiling.

    I'll have to look into that some more.
  6. 480sparky

    480sparky In the Trades

    Messages:
    149
    Technically, the 3' rule (from the National Electric Code, BTW) doesn't apply to fans, but I'd still try to keep it away from water. I'm not familiar with the IRC.

    As for the switch placement, it looks fine.
  7. cakins

    cakins New Member

    Messages:
    12
    I double checked the fan today, and it's approved for use in wet areas. So all is well with the fan.

    Thanks for the heads up though. I must say, I love this Panasonic Whisper Ceiling fan already, and I've not used it yet. I temporarily hooked it to electricity a couple weeks ago just to see it work. It's SOOO quiet. So much nicer than the little el cheapo's I see in brand new houses - even houses in the $1/2 million range.
  8. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Panasonic is the shiz-nit!!

    Sorry, I had to. :p
  9. cakins

    cakins New Member

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    12
    I'll plead ignorance - I don't understand that term. Does this mean you, too, like Panasonic. Or you don't? :)
  10. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Bad attempt at urban slang humor.

    Panasonic makes just about the bast bath fan going. :cool:
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