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Q.In a bathroom remodel, we plan to install a light fixture in a shower stall, with a switch near the shower door. Do the fixture and switch need to be GFCI-protected?

A.Master electrician Sean Kenney responds: The short answer is yes. Although the NEC does not require either the switch or the light fixture to be GFCI-protected, most lighting fixtures designed for use in a shower stall require GFCI protection to meet UL requirements. Providing GFCI protection for a switch within reach of a shower stall is a good safety practice, even when not required by code.

It’s worth consulting your local inspector before you locate a switch within reach of a shower stall. Even though the NEC allows such an installation, two inspectors have made me move switches so they were out of reach of the shower stall.