Circuit protection for ceiling heat in bath

I am adding a shower to an exisiting half bath. Part of the project is to add a combination heater/ventilator/light near the shower. The heater portion of the combi unit draws 1500 watts. The present circuit is #12 TW, about a 10 foot run from the breaker, which is 15 amps. It presently feeds the light over the bathroom sink, two in-ceiling lights and a porch light (all of which are now the screw-in fluorescent "bulbs"). My questions are:
1. Should I provide a separate breaker for the combi unit? (The reason that I haven't just DONE IT rather than composing and posting this long question is that the panel is maxxed out - all breaker positions taken - and is so old that I'm not sure I can get a half-width breaker to substitute for one of the full width ones. The brand is Federal, from the 60's. Also, while the wiring run is just the 10 feet noted, it goes around several corners and thru at least one box (the one with the light over the sink) before it gets to the location where the switches for the combi unit will be.)
2. Or, should I just go the easy way and replace the existing breaker with a 20?
3. Last question. I want to put a wind-up time switch on the wire feeding the 1500 watt heater. Will an Intermatic FD/FF series time switch (rated for 20 A) last a long time, or will the heavy load eat the contacts?
Thanks,
Henry
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You need a dedicated 20 amp 12 gauge circuit for the combi heater, and if the unit is to be located over the shower or tub it will have to be listed for that application and protected by GFCI

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Thanks for the advice. I will pull in another circuit.
There's no tub, and the combi unit will be about 2 feet laterally away from shower.
Henry
RBM wrote:

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Electrical code has various things to say about electrical devices near a shower or bathtub.
Eg: you can't have switches/outlets within 4 feet of a shower or bathtub according to our code. You can have heaters within that much if and only if they don't have any controls on them (separate thermostat).
There seems to be considerable variation in this from locale to locale, so you should ask your local inspector. My comments above are based on Canadian Code. US Code is similar but not the same.
They may not care about a ceiling heater outside a shower. Because you can't reach it. But it's worth asking.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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Jim wrote:

federal arc alot panels went out of buisness for a reason their panels are junk and cause fires.
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sym wrote:

I saw the website devoted to problems with Federal breakers but it seemed to focus on double (220 volt circuit) breakers - and in accordance with that I am eliminating a double breaker in our Federal panel, by moving the load over to a breaker in the newer main panel (General Electric). Have there been problems with single Federal breakers?
Regards,
Henry
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There was a Canadian recall on single 15A federal breakers made by Schneider Canada (the company now owning rights to the Federal units) for breakers made in the late 90s. It's mentioned on the website you were on.
It's not clear whether these were ever sold in the US - the website doesn't seem to think they were.
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Jim wrote:

that alot of them do not work
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