When installing a recess can over the shower does it need to be placed on a (gfci) ground fault circuit interrupter circuit?


2 Answers 2


When you state recess can , the fixture would need to be listed for a wet location in a shower where it may get some spray. If less than 8' above the restricted zone, 410.10.b Per nec 210.8.a.1 all the receptacles in a bathroom are required to be GFCI protected but not the lighting.

  • 1
    Just for clarity, the bottom of the fixture must be a minimum 8' from the shower threshold and marked "Suitable for wet locations". 2017 NEC Article 410.10 (A) & (D). In the NEC Handbook it states intent is to keep the fixture out of reach while the shower is in use and if it is subject to shower spray it must be a wet location fixture. Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 19:06
  • Good clarifications, I forget we know what the restricted zones are and the threshold or tub rim +
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 19:51

The short answer is no, it is not required. Your question implies that this is a new fixture being added. Therefore, you will not have to pull a wire all the way from the panel to the bathroom. The lighting is permitted to be on the same 20-amp branch circuit as the required branch circuit for the bathroom. Just make sure the GFCI branch circuit isn't connected to another bathroom or GFCI location. Otherwise, you will overload the circuit. Do not connect the new wire to the "load" side of a GFCI outlet either. If the outlet trips, you will be in the dark. Connect the wiring to the "line" side of an outlet or to a junction box in the ceiling.

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