GFCI for light circuit in wet location

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by ShadowAviator, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. ShadowAviator

    ShadowAviator Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2020
    Location:
    Middle of Nowhere, Kansas
    Currently putting the lighting circuit in for my bathroom. (15 amp, separated from bathroom outlet circuit, lighting circuit is dedicated to bathroom)

    I was thinking of having a light over the shower (8ft ceiling). The light I would go with is one of those Lithonia wafer LEDs (WF4). The fixture is wet rated.

    My question is whether I need my lighting circuit to be on a GFCI breaker. (no specific Code requirement in my area, but I am personally wanting to use current NEC)

    I read some fixtures are only considered wet rated if they are also GFCI protected. (Although, I can't find anything on this in the install literature that came with my specific light) I also read many exhaust fans have the same requirement if mounted in the wet zone. I plan to have a exhaust fan that may end up in the shower zone.

    Perhaps to easiest solution is to just use a GFCI breaker, but I was worried about nuisance trips especially since having the lights go off in the bathroom is a not good thing.

    Is this really a concern with new GFCI breakers or is this an outdated concern?

    Extra question that goes along with this: I was going to put the same lights in under my outdoor porch. Are outdoor lights required to be GFCI protected (assuming they are wet rated)?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Stuff

    Stuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    No NEC requirement for GFCI lighting over the shower or outdoors. The individual fixtures might state that requirement but mostly it is fan/light combos that state that.
     
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Nuisance trips may still occur, but are much less of an issue with today's products. Generally, if it trips, it is actually indicating a real problem that you may not observe for some reason.

    An LED device may not have a replaceable bulb, so there'd be no good reason to take it apart until it failed (may not happen in your lifetime), and generally, you'd have shut down power to it prior to doing that.

    Depending on where you live, though, the code calls for GFCI and AFCI on most everything.
     
  5. ShadowAviator

    ShadowAviator Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2020
    Location:
    Middle of Nowhere, Kansas
    Sounds like I can go ahead and just install according to manufacturer then. If it calls for GFCI protection, I will just go with a GFCI breaker.

    jadnashua, I agree, its not like there is a bulb or anything for someone to mess with. The led puck can be disconnected from the box where the connections are made, but most people don't know that.

    No code for our area on the farm (I keep double checking with electricians and they all say thats correct). Works great for me, since I like to follow current building codes. Not so great when you go to buy an old house out here.

    Thanks for the info, guys.
     
  6. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    As Jim stated, just about everything needs to be GCFI and ARC Fault. I think it was the 2017 NEC code updated this requirement but I've read from an NEC article that many local jurisdictions have not adapted the updates. I do recall reading many years ago a GFCI is required if the light fixture can be touched while standing in the tub or shower. Many old homes only have ceilings less than 8'. Some are only 7' or the tub is enclosed with a dropped ceiling.
     
  7. ShadowAviator

    ShadowAviator Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2020
    Location:
    Middle of Nowhere, Kansas
    I plan to use GFCI where needed. I am not sure what to think about AFCI. I know alot of electricians don't like them. They seem to argue about it alot over on the mikeholt forums.
     
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Some devices, like motors with brushes, tend to make arcs internally that could give an AFCI grief. The logic in them is better today than when they first came out. I don't have any personal experience with them. I don't know how many of the reports are based on current results, or historical experience from when they first came out. They've been required now for a few years, and were available and started to be used awhile before that.

    FWIW, it's my understanding that a fixture 8' and higher above the floor is not considered in a wet area unless it's something like a steam room.
     
  9. Onokai

    Onokai Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    Location:
    Arcata,Ca
    Arc fault and GFI combo breaker-thats all you need to do this
     
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