GFI in Medicine Cabinet - Ok for code?


Two bathroom questions:
1) Is it ok from a code perspective to have a GFCI outlet INSIDE a medicine cabinet? The cabinet is NOT recessed, and Ive removed the back. So basically we are placing the cabinet, opened at the back, over the finished (drywalled) wall/GFCI. All other outlets (well the only other one) in the bathroom are downstream from this GFCI.
2) We have an old house. The entire upstairs (2 bedrooms, 1 bath) was on a single, ungrounded circuit (with this ugly cotten (i think) sheathing, which is basically falling off the wire - ug) We are ONLY redoing the washroom (at this point). The plan is run a cable up through the wall from the main panel downstairs and add a small subpanel (2 breaker) with a kill-switch (or whatever you call it) in the bathroom. This sub-panel will be located in a small closet. The expectation is that if/when we re-do the bedrooms, we now have an avalible circuit for them easily. My guess would be this panel can't be in a closet. I'll check this with the code book, but thought I'd ask here to get peoples opinions. Any other major gotchas you see with doing this?
Thanks!
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You can get a small flush mounted panel, then hang a picture over it

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Instead of installing a subpanel in the closet you can install a junction box. Bring one or two (Or three) circuits up and terminate them in a junction box in the closet where you can access them later. You could get some deep metal switch boxes and gang them together and recess it into the wall to make your junction box flush. Another thought is to just bring some spare circuits up into the attic to be used in the future. Leave plenty of slack on the wire so you won't need to install junction boxes up there.
FYI GE makes a white flush mount panel for mounting in hallways and such. You can buy them at Lowes.
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| It's fine to install the outlet in the cabinet, although I'm sure it would | meet the bathroom outlet requirement, which is to say, to meet code, you may | need an outlet outside the cabinet as well.
Speaking of outlets in medicine cabinets...
My house (like many of its age) has bathroom outlets integrated into the medicine cabinet/light or over-cabinet light assemblies. It seemed to me that it should be easy to find replacement lighting fixtures with integrated GFCI outlets, but after poking around the big box stores and doing a lot of Googling I didn't see any. At first I thought that outlets in bathroom lighting fixtures were simply no longer allowed and/or that you are expected to install a normal GFCI in the wall if you are replacing the cabinet, but then I found some bathroom lighting fixtures with *non*-GFCI outlets. (Unfortunately, the non-GFCI outlets aren't Decora so swapping in a GFCI would require some metal work and would probably void the UL listing...)
Eventually my Google search came across a patent on (I think) the concept of GFCI outlets in bathroom lighting fixtures. Please tell me this isn't the reason for the scarcity of such products. :(
                Dan Lanciani                 ddl@danlan.*com
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On 21 Mar 2007 03:41:11 GMT, ddl@danlan.*com (Dan Lanciani) wrote:

I have no idea, but you can find the circuit breaker for your light fixture with outlet, and replace that breaker with a GFI breaker. That fulfills the code and will work with any outlet, in a fixture or not.

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snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com (mm) writes: | On 21 Mar 2007 03:41:11 GMT, ddl@danlan.*com (Dan Lanciani) wrote: |
| > | >| It's fine to install the outlet in the cabinet, although I'm sure it would | >| meet the bathroom outlet requirement, which is to say, to meet code, you may | >| need an outlet outside the cabinet as well. | > | >Speaking of outlets in medicine cabinets... | > | >My house (like many of its age) has bathroom outlets integrated into the | >medicine cabinet/light or over-cabinet light assemblies. It seemed to me | >that it should be easy to find replacement lighting fixtures with integrated | >GFCI outlets, but after poking around the big box stores and doing a lot of | >Googling I didn't see any. At first I thought that outlets in bathroom | >lighting fixtures were simply no longer allowed and/or that you are expected | >to install a normal GFCI in the wall if you are replacing the cabinet, but | >then I found some bathroom lighting fixtures with *non*-GFCI outlets. | >(Unfortunately, the non-GFCI outlets aren't Decora so swapping in a GFCI | >would require some metal work and would probably void the UL listing...) | > | >Eventually my Google search came across a patent on (I think) the concept | >of GFCI outlets in bathroom lighting fixtures. Please tell me this isn't | >the reason for the scarcity of such products. :( | | I have no idea, but you can find the circuit breaker for your light | fixture with outlet, and replace that breaker with a GFI breaker.
Actually I can't, because there is no circuit breaker.
I could of course intercept the circuit in the basement and install a GFCI outlet inline, but I'm still curious about the existence of fixtures with GFCI outlets built in.
            Dan Lanciani             ddl@danlan.*com
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I've never seen one. It probably isn't practical to make one. There was a time when outlets weren't installed in bathrooms, then later when they were being installed, a fixture mounted outlet was a cheap solution. Once GFCI protection was required, you had to install a new outlet or protect the bathroom feed upstream

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It's not that it can't be done. I just think that if manufacturers thought there was a market for it, they'd be making them

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On 21 Mar 2007 20:20:16 GMT, ddl@danlan.*com (Dan Lanciani) wrote:

You have seen bathroom lights with a built-in duplext outlet? I've only seen single outlets.
That's the reason I would think it wouldn't be made, because they'd have to really compress things to get a gfi in the same space as a single outlet, and even if they made the space bigger, they'd have to design a whole new outlet.
Did someone say it was about patent royalties, or why do you think of that? Why would the royalties be any different from loads other situations?

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On 22 Mar 2007 20:16:25 GMT, ddl@danlan.*com (Dan Lanciani) wrote:

Thanks for answering my questions.

I don'tknow how they negotiate prices for using patents.
I would think a guy would lower his asking price if it wasn't selling. And come to think of it, it the standard gfi would slip right in to the same space, I don't know why any patent negotiation would be necessary.
Also, I hate to be picky, esp. since it's not essential to this discussion, but I don't think you can patent a concept. It has to be a thing**, with a prototype that's been built and works.
**Or a computer program, or a design (although I don't actually know what a design patent is.) And maybe some other exceptionsal stuff I don't know about, but still not just a concept.

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On 21 Mar 2007 06:53:25 GMT, ddl@danlan.*com (Dan Lanciani) wrote:

Darn. I hate it when people assume that others have new things, and now I've done it myself.
I hate it even more when people act like only new things are worth having, but I haven't gotten to that point yet.

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