Paddle Fan installation on Patio near pool

J R

Member
I am working on a 30 year old home. I will be changing out 2 existing ceiling light outlets on patio near pool to paddle fan approved boxes. Looking at 2011 NEC 680.22 B (4) it is confusing for me to read especially when is says GFCI protection required between 5 ft and 10 ft horizontally from inside walls of pool unless installed not less than 5 ft above max water level. Paddle fan less then 5 ft?
Looking at Exhibit 680.5 on outdoor pools I am clearly in block E about 9 ft high and blades more then 6 ft horizontal. I do not think i need GFCI protection. Am I correct in assuming so. I don't thing I could if I wanted to. Besides I think they are on a multi wire branch circuit. I think they should clarify Exhibit 680.5 block E to include Paddle Fans.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Same section but from 2014 (don't think it changed though):
Luminaires, lighting outlets, and ceiling-suspended (paddle) fans installed in the area extending between 1.5 m (5 ft) and 3.0 m (10 ft) horizontally from the inside walls of a pool shall be protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter unless installed not less than 1.5 m (5 ft) above the maximum water level and rigidly attached to the structure adjacent to or enclosing the pool.
The way I read it is if it is rigidly attached to the structure and is at least 5 ft above max water level GFCI is not required. A paddle fan is likely required elsewhere to be mounted higher, but this section covers more then just paddle fans. Keep in mind this section also covers items between 5 and 10 feet horizontally from the inside wall of the pool.

Exhibits you mention must be from handbook? I can't comment at this time on what may be in there, other than it is the author's opinion and not an official NFPA interpretation of the code content.
 

J R

Member
Thanks JFletcher after looking over the code again I'm ok not putting on GFCI and it is legal. Sometimes I over think jobs and the owner will have the handy man/painter hang them from existing plastic boxes and their happy and i'm broke.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
I am working on a 30 year old home. I will be changing out 2 existing ceiling light outlets on patio near pool to paddle fan approved boxes.
Why do I get the feeling that there is no AHJ in this story?

In this area you don't need a permit to install a fan ( you don't even have to be an electrician). The wiring is pre-existing.

If you do install it then it's better if installed to code.
 

FionaZuppa

Senior Member
Location
AZ
wouldnt the jbox's near pool already need to be compliant? i get its a swap from light to fans, but when we say "do it to code regardless", the "code" is what the AHJ says, not what NEC says, etc.

I will be changing out 2 existing ceiling light outlets on patio near pool
not sure if this means dual/single outlet receptacle or just a jbox for a light to mount to, but my guess, should already be GFI'd if "near" a pool (per code), etc ??

fans would also need to be "wet" rated.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
the "code" is what the AHJ says, not what NEC says, etc.
Where did you get that info from? The authority having jurisdiction has to go by the code. Where the section is arguable then he has the write to interpret it his way and we have the right to argue our way---The authority having jurisdiction cannot just disregard the code because he doesn't like the rule.
 

FionaZuppa

Senior Member
Location
AZ
Where did you get that info from? The authority having jurisdiction has to go by the code. Where the section is arguable then he has the write to interpret it his way and we have the right to argue our way---The authority having jurisdiction cannot just disregard the code because he doesn't like the rule.
no, we go by whatever that AHJ has adopted as their code. most times it is NEC (US) and CEC (Canada), and many times the AHJ has modifications on the books.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
no, they have to go by whatever that AHJ has adopted as their code. most times it is NEC, and many times the AHJ has modifications on the books.
The authority having jurisdiction cannot adopt their own code unless they have an amendment. They can modify their book all they want but if they accepted the NEC without amendments then they must go by the NEC.
 

FionaZuppa

Senior Member
Location
AZ
The authority having jurisdiction cannot adopt their own code unless they have an amendment. They can modify their book all they want but if they accepted the NEC without amendments then they must go by the NEC.
sure, ok, agreed, my local AHJ has amendments on their books. so my point is, reading the NEC book is not the the full story, the AHJ has final say. if the AHJ doesnt like fans as close as the NEC allows and AHJ has amendment for that, then AHJ rule takes precedence.

this is why i always advocate knowing what the AHJ has on their books.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
sure, ok, agreed, my local AHJ has amendments on their books. so my point is, reading the NEC book is not the the full story, the AHJ has final say. if the AHJ doesnt like fans as close as the NEC allows and AHJ has amendment for that, then AHJ rule takes precedence.

this is why i always advocate knowing what the AHJ has on their books.


To get a local amendment to the NEC they would normally have to show a cause for the amendment and not just because they think it's better.

One reason for an amendment is weather conditions, some areas are more harsh than others so certain wiring methods may not work as well. Another reason is environment such as salt water and the corrosive effect.

I doubt that people are taller or more likely to get harmed by a light fixture or fan in one area as opposed to another.
 

FionaZuppa

Senior Member
Location
AZ
To get a local amendment to the NEC they would normally have to show a cause for the amendment and not just because they think it's better.

One reason for an amendment is weather conditions, some areas are more harsh than others so certain wiring methods may not work as well. Another reason is environment such as salt water and the corrosive effect.

I doubt that people are taller or more likely to get harmed by a light fixture or fan in one area as opposed to another.
this or that, hotter/colder, wet/dry........ whatever it is the AHJ has final say, thus always good idea to check the AHJ code, never assume.



if you swap a light for a fan then you have to meet the fan spec:

(B) Luminaires and Ceiling Fans.
(1) New Outdoor Installations. Luminaires and ceiling fans installed
above the water, or the area extending within 5 ft horizontally from the
inside walls of a permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, or outdoor
hot tub, must not be less than 12 ft above the maximum water level.
(3) Existing Installations. Existing luminaires located less than 5 ft
horizontally from the inside walls of a permanently installed pool,
outdoor spa, or outdoor hot tub must be not less than 5 ft above the
surface of the maximum water level, must be rigidly attached to the
existing structure, and must be GFCI protected.


if you swap light for fan then (B)(1) applies, if the existing was to-code (B)(3) and was GFI'd and you moved it to be (B)(1) compliant, then no GFI needed. if the fan is less than 12ft high and is within the 5ft from pool wall (under a patio cover that extends out close to pool wall horizontally), i would say GFI is needed although technically not to code due to height issue.

but i'll also say this, considering the wiring is near a pool and "live decks" have been known to happen by fault, why not GFI it? its one install, not 1,000.
 
Last edited:

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
i'll also say this, considering the wiring is near a pool and "live decks" have been known to happen by fault, why not GFI it?

I probably would GFCI protect the circuit and pat myself on the back for doing so but it's not required by the NEC.

The NEC is a set of "Minimum" safety standards and doesn't limit you as to how far you wish to go to be safe. I may want to put seat belts on the bar stools but they are not required.
 

FionaZuppa

Senior Member
Location
AZ
I probably would GFCI protect the circuit and pat myself on the back for doing so but it's not required by the NEC.

The NEC is a set of "Minimum" safety standards and doesn't limit you as to how far you wish to go to be safe. I may want to put seat belts on the bar stools but they are not required.
agreed.

however, if the existing mount is within that 5ft horizontal and fan is not 12ft min, i would say you must GFI it even though it still doesnt meet NEC spec for height.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
wouldnt the jbox's near pool already need to be compliant? i get its a swap from light to fans, but when we say "do it to code regardless", the "code" is what the AHJ says, not what NEC says, etc.


not sure if this means dual/single outlet receptacle or just a jbox for a light to mount to, but my guess, should already be GFI'd if "near" a pool (per code), etc ??

fans would also need to be "wet" rated.
I thinking he meant lighting outlets - they only need GFCI if within the zone discussed earlier that is between 5 and 10 feet from the pool and up to 5 feet above highest water level.

Receptacle outlets outside that area may still require GFCI - but because of other general rules not because of the pool.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Correct, now lets say the building wall in that image is within 10 feet of the pool, if there is a wall mounted light that is less then 5 feet above maximum water level it would need GFCI protection per 680.22(B)(4). Get further then 10 feet from the pool it is outside of 680 scope, receptacles outside that area would also be outside 680 scope - may still require GFCI per 210.8 though.

Add if the fan in the picture were less then 5 feet above maximum water level it would require GFCI, it is not likley a fan is permitted by it's instructions to be mounted that low, but the GFCI requirement in 680.22 doesn't address that issue, just that any fixture including a fan in the described zone must be GFCI protected.
 
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