NEC question regarding proximity to shower

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  #1  
Old 09-25-01, 04:25 AM
HomeownerJ
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We are building an addition, which includes a bathroom. When specifying our electrical needs, we indicated that we wanted controls for the fan/light/heater near the shower area. They would be on the wall opposite the shower stall, about three feet away from the shower doors. The builder says that the controls must be at least 5 ft. from the shower.

I called our city's building codes dept. and was told that the five foot rule applies to tubs, jacuzzis, whirlpools, but that the NEC does not address the distance from showers.

My builder is skeptical. I would like to confirm this since the city employee that I spoke with reviews plans but does not do the inspections. The builder is concerned that we may put it in based on the reviewer's input only to have it rejected during inspection.

Can anyone confirm/deny this information or help me find the code that addresses this?

We could accept putting these controls near the entry door but it would be much more convenient to have them near the shower.

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 09-25-01, 11:32 AM
Wgoodrich
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Hot tubs

installed indoors require that all switches be located a minimum of 5' from the hot tub but is not required to be GFI protected. Receptacles must be a minimum of 5' from the hot tub, and any receptacle located between 5' and 10' of the hot tub must be GFI protected. 680-41-A and C.


Whirlpool tubs

having any associated controls or equipment must be GFI protected. This means controls or equipment directly related to the control or supply of power to the whirlpool tub. Any receptacle located within 5' of the whirlpool tub must be GFI protected. No GFI protection is required concerning switches not controlling the whirlpool tub. Receptacles may be installed directly adjascent to the whirlpool tub if GFI protected. If a receptacle is located beyond 5' then this receptacle would not require GFI protection due to the fact that the whirlpool tub is there. However the receptacle would be required to be GFI protected if located in the bathroom because this receptacle is located in the bathroom only. Switches installed within 5' of the whirlpool tub that directly controls the whirlpool tub must be GFI protected. Switches not controlling the whirlpool tub may be installed directly adjascent to the whirlpool tub without GFI protection and without any distance requirement being considered. 680-70

Normal bathtubs or showers

in relation to receptacles or switches have no distance requirement nor GFI requirements concerning that bath tub or shower unless this bathtub or shower and those switches or receptacles are located in a bathroom. The definition of a bathroom is an area including a basin with one or more of the following: a toilet, a tub, or a shower. An area with a shower and a toilet does not make a bathroom. An area with a bathtub and toilet does not make a bathroom. A bathroom must be a combination of a lavatory and any other bathroom fixture. Article 100 definitions.

A switch or receptacle may be installed directly adjascent to a normal tub or shower whether in a bathroom or not. No GFI protection is required considering the switch no matter how close to the normal bath tub or shower or whether that switch is located in a bathroom or not. A receptacle does not require GFI protection no matter how close to a normal bath tub or shower unless this receptacle is located in a bathroom meeting the definition above of a bathroom only then is a GFI protection device required concerning that receptacle. 210-8 CODE MUTE ON THE SUBJECT NO RULE IS APPLIED THEREFORE NO ARTICLE NUMBER APPLIES OR EXISTS.

Special note a bathroom area is an entire area whether separated by a door or not if that combination of that area meets the definition of a bathroom as per NEC Handbook reference 210-8-A-1.

One more point of interest is that if you install an exhaust fan over the shower area [within that area inside the face of the tub or shower] then the manufacturer's recommendation must approve that exhaust fan for that use and be GFI protected as per those manufacturer's recomendations and those manufacturer's recommendation is enforced by the NEC in 110-3-B.

In a short answer if you only have a normal shower or bath tub whether in a bathroom or not you are allowed to install a switch directly adjascent to that normal bathtub or shower and without GFI protection.

Hope this helps

Wg

 
  #3  
Old 09-25-01, 01:14 PM
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a while back i installed a steamer in a shower, the manufacturer's instrcutions had me place the 24V controller IN the shower stall....i had to read it 3 times to convince myself to do it.

Code Mute.....i like that WG!
 
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