Light switch near a shower

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Old 05-14-11, 11:58 PM
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Light switch near a shower

I'm installing a shower and trying to decide on a size, but am wondering about space requirements between the shower and the the light switch.

The shower would have a plastic surround that attaches to glass at the corner with a metal runner. If my light switch was outside the shower but within a 2-4" of the outer glass of the shower, would I be violating code? Is this generally unsafe?

With regard to safety, the shower wouldn't be spraying water directly onto the switch, so if the switch was 2 inches away or 2 feet away, I can't see what difference this would make.

Also, the way the door opens the switch would not be accessible by a person standing inside the shower.

Thoughts?

Thanks.
 
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Old 05-15-11, 12:23 AM
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The only code requirement is that the switch be outside the shower.
 
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Old 05-15-11, 08:40 AM
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I dont know Furd. I was not able to put my light switch on the wall by the shower. When I submitted my elctrical the inspector failed it. He said you cannot be able to reach the light switch while standing in the shower. I had to move the switch to the opposite wall.

I had a Union NYC electrician friend do the work, and he confirmed this. I dont know what the actuall code states but its a PITA to walk in this bath, open the door and the switches are on the right, which is almost behind the door. So you need to walk in the bathroom some to turn on the lights.

I should have designed the bathroom different, and put the shower towards the back wall.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 05-15-11, 09:05 AM
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As far as the NEC is concerned, Furd is correct. But as you can see from Lawrosa's post different inspectors/areas may require a different set of rules. The door swing might also come into play with the local AHJ. Best thing would be to call the inspections dept and get their take on it.
 
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Old 05-15-11, 09:59 AM
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All national codes, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, building etc. are only suggestions until they are enacted into law by a governmental body. That body may be a city or county council, regional governmental body or a state legislature. Often there will be overlapping areas of jurisdiction with the smallest taking precedence such as a state that has state-wide codes and then individual counties within the state having their codes and then cities or towns in the various counties having their codes. The governmental bodies that enact the model (national) codes into law have the power to add to, delete from or otherwise modify the model codes as they see fit.

This is why some things may be completely code-legal in one part of the country yet absolutely prohibited in a different part of the country. LOCAL code is the ONLY one that matters.
 
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Old 05-15-11, 02:26 PM
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Thanks.

So possible code issues aside, do you guys foresee a safety issue with what I proposed? Again, a person in the shower would be unable to reach the switch due to the way the shower door opens.

The only thing that comes to mind is moisture from the shower, but like I said whether its 2 inches or 2 feet, I doubt it would necessarily receive more moisture.
 
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Old 05-15-11, 03:04 PM
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IMO your placement is fine. I have pretty much the same setup and have no issues.
 
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Old 05-17-11, 03:23 PM
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It wouldn't hurt to do a quick drawing and stop by your local city/county inspector's office and ask them. To the point that you're trying to follow code AND work with them, I'd be surprised if they wouldn't give you a straight answer.

Dan
 
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