Pendant light fixture near tub

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Old 07-09-13, 12:45 AM
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Pendant light fixture near tub

Hi all,

My wife and I are building a new home and intend on putting a 31" high clawfoot tub into our bathroom. We would like to accent it with a nice light fixture nearby, hanging from our 11 foot ceiling (not directly over).

We have researched this a bit and discovered that national code says that we cannot put any sort of corded fixture in an area 3 feet horizontally and 8 feet vertically from the top of the tub.

Our interpretation of the code has us thinking that if such a fixture is damp- or wet-rated (such as an outdoor light fixture), we might be able to place it inside of that zone.

We would very much appreciate it if some of you could clear this up for us so that we understand correctly.
 
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Old 07-09-13, 03:23 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Inside that zone you still need to protect it via GFCI, even if it were a recessed light fixture. Your pendant light must meet those criteria. Recessed or fixed lighting can be inside that area, damp rated and GFCI protected. Light travels at 178,000 miles per second, so if you need light, recessed lighting will work fine. If you need pretty, it has to stay outside the area.
 
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Old 07-09-13, 04:41 AM
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I am going to say the NEC does not require GFI protection for the lighting in that zone.

Even if GFI protected and damp or wet rated, your hanging fixture is prohibited from that area, unless it is more than 8' above the tub rim.

Here is the NEC article.

(D) Bathtub and Shower Areas. No parts of cord-connected
luminaires, chain-, cable-, or cord-suspended luminaires, lighting
track, pendants, or ceiling-suspended (paddle) fans shall
be located within a zone measured 900 mm (3 ft) horizontally
and 2.5 m (8 ft) vertically from the top of the bathtub rim or
shower stall threshold. This zone is all encompassing and includes
the space directly over the tub or shower stall. Luminaires
located within the actual outside dimension of the bathtub
or shower to a height of 2.5 m (8 ft) vertically from the top
of the bathtub rim or shower threshold shall be marked for
damp locations, or marked for wet locations where subject to
shower spray.
 
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Old 07-09-13, 05:29 PM
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I think you're right, Jim, except where the light/fan manufacturer requires it. But not NEC required. I'd just get a warm and fuzzy knowing I didn't cause a problem in a shower.
 
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Old 07-09-13, 05:49 PM
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You are correct, if the manufacturer says the fixture requires GFI protection it would be required. I have never seen one that did. Exhaust fans are a different story. All of them do require the GFI protection if over a tub or shower.
 
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Old 07-10-13, 03:07 AM
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That was my first reaction, as most of what we install are fan light combos since they remove most of the moisture at the point of infraction.
 
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Old 07-10-13, 08:38 PM
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By the sound of it, it seems like the answer is a resounding "no," which isn't surprising.

We also spoke with the electrician that we are hiring for the build and he said the same thing but "would check for us." We've yet to hear back from him but at this point, we've written it off.

Thanks for the responses.
 
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Old 07-10-13, 09:05 PM
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Low voltage LEDs powered by a remote power supply might be an exception but that is a guess.

Example: Pendants, Heads, Low-Voltage, Line-Voltage, Bath, Wall, Kitchen | Tech Lighting
 
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Old 07-10-13, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047
Low voltage LEDs powered by a remote power supply might be an exception but that is a guess.
We are doing a lot of LED / CFL lighting as-is, so that might be a good fit for us if we can find a Victorian fixture or two that match the tub elegantly.

If you can direct me to where it might explicitly be stated as an exception, we might run with that. I imagine we'd have to provide this information to the building inspector when the time comes as well, so having something to give him if there's any discrepancy would be useful.
 

Last edited by acctlc; 07-10-13 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 07-10-13, 11:23 PM
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In the NEC the term is not low voltage. It is: Lighting Systems Operating
at 30 Volts or Less
. Reading through article 411 of the 2008 NEC there seems to be no prohibition to using low voltage lights over a bathtub. However there is:
411.4(B) Pools, Spas, Fountains, and Similar Locations.
Lighting systems shall be installed not less than 3 m (10 ft)
horizontally from the nearest edge of the water, unless per-
mitted by Article 680.
You need to ask the local inspector if he considers a bathtub as included in that.
 
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