Bath Room Page

The National Electric Code describes a bathroom as: "An area including a basin with one or more of the following: a toilet, a tub, or a shower".

Move your mouse over the electrical item you wish to know more about and click on it when the hand appears.













Bath room vanity lighting

Bath room vanity lighting is critical. It is where makeup is applied, hair is styled, shaving takes place and dressing occurs. There are several lighting styles that are used in a bath room area:

  • recessed lighting

  • broadway lighting
  • swag lighting


    This lighting is popular because it allows the mirror to go from the vanity to the ceiling. There is no fixture on the wall. This is a great light on the vanity. However, when trying to shave, apply make-up, etc., you will experience shadows on your face. These will appear under your nose and chin. Also your eyes will look somewhat darker. pictures


    This lighting is the most popular. It gives the best lighting on your face. Because it is located on the wall, it is able to cast light on your face evenly. It will also give a better overall room light. This is due to the fact that the bulbs emits light in all directions, not just down as recessed will do. pictures


    This lighting gives a good light like broadway lighting. It gives light in all directions. However, this style of lighting is not used very much anymore. It was very popular in the 60's-70's.

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Recessed vanity lighting


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Broadway vanity lighting

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The bathroom fan page

Bath room fans are an essential part of a bath for 2 main reasons.

  1. Moisture can accumulate from a steamy shower, bath, or a sink.

  2. Odors (putting it mildly) can accumulate.

When selecting a bath fan, choose one that will vent the room adequately. Measure the room and find out the square footage. This should help you select a fan with the correct cfm size (cubic feet of air per minute). The higher the cfm number, the more air it will move.

Another factor in selecting a fan is the sones. The scone rating is the amount of noise a fan will make when it is running. This usually runs from 1.5 - 4.5. The higher the number, the more noise the fan will produce.
Note: If the fan is located in a central area of the home, it may be desirable to have a noisier fan. Hopefully the reason is obvious.





Fan only

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Bath room outlets

Bath room outlets have the potential to be the most dangerous outlets in your home. Because you come in contact with water ("ground") when you shower, bathe, wash your hands, etc., any electricity voltage you touch could be life threatening.
The National Electric Code has tried to minimize the risk of electrocution by making it mandatory that GFI (ground fault interrupter) protection be installed in all new, and remodeled bath room areas.

210-8. Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel
(a) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified below shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.
1. Bathrooms. .........

A GFI can be installed as a breaker or a receptacle. Both work on the same principles. If a person is grounded and touches a "live" wire that is GFI protected, the GFI will "trip". The person coming into contact with the GFI protected wire will still feel an electrical shock, but only for about a 1000th of a second. It has been determined that this should not affect the electrical rhythm of your heart.

Once a GFI device is installed and protecting you, it is very important to check the device for proper operation. This is a simple test. All GFI devices have a test button on them. Press the test button and the device should trip and thus causing the voltage to shut off.

Both the breaker and receptacle GFI's are capable of protecting other devices on the load side.

"210-11 C(3) - Bathroom Branch Circuits. In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at least one 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to supply the bathroom receptacle outlet(s). Such circuits shall have no other outlets."

Exception: Where the 20-ampere circuit supplies a single bathroom, outlets for other equipment within the same bathroom shall be permitted to be supplied in accordance with Section 210-23(a).

This is a good area to have a qualified electrician install and maintain the electrical GFI system.

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Bath room Hot Tubs

Hot tubs are becoming very popular in bathroom settings. They are designed to be drained after every use (opposed to the whirlpools and jacuzzis that will hold water for multiple visits).

All hot tubs need to be GFI protected. A big consideration is where to install the protection.

  • If your tub has an easily removable skirt, the protection can be located in the outlet, under the skirt, that supplies the tub.

  • If your tub has a skirt that is not removable or very difficult to remove, a GFI breaker can be used. This option is inconvenient for the user because in a tripped situation, a "trip" to the breaker panel would be required to reset the breaker.

  • A third option I like to suggest is to locate the GFI protection in a remote area of the bath. This can be in a bath closet, or even the stool area. It is very convenient if you need to reset the protection.

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