Code help needed

Originally Posted By: dfrend
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OK, this first pick is the end of a steel beam in a basement. What is code on this? there is one steel supprot between this and other side with a 30 foot span.


![](upload://yG6Q1umRjVwypFclyBqXyZrZCOW.jpeg)

This next one is an outlet that appears WAY too close to the back end of a shower. It is GFCI protected, but.....

![](upload://rTqjL8a2y70m2hjztcuBJjVaNsU.jpeg)


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Daniel R Frend
www.nachifoundation.org
The Home Inspector Store
www.homeinspectorstore.com

Originally Posted By: Bob Badger
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I can not help with the beam question, but I can tell you as scary as it is that GFCI protected outlet is allowed by the NEC to be where it is. icon_eek.gif


Certainly not a best choice of location, perhaps you could just say something like:

"While the GFCI protected outlet meets NEC requirements, a location further from the tub may provide a higher level of safety"


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Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
Mike Holt Code Forum

Originally Posted By: gbeaumont
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Hi Dan,


it is not possible to tell from the photograph whether the beam is adequate or not, you would need to know the dimensions of the beam and also the size of the contract areas of it's supports.

Did measure the dimensions of the beam ??

Regards

Gerry


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Gerry Beaumont
NACHI Education Committee
e-mail : education@nachi.org
NACHI phone 484-429-5466

Inspection Depot Education
gbeaumont@inspectiondepot.com

"Education is a journey, not a destination"

Originally Posted By: Susan
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Daniel,


The beam.....depth and span would be an architect or engineer's call. As far as code, a steel beam should be bearing a minimum of 3 inches onto the wall (looks like it is in your picture). You'd also want to make sure that all nuts are tighted to the bolts at the column tops and that if there were more that one beam, no large gaps inbetween

The outlet....as Bob said meets NEC requirements but in my observation is at a greater risk of being unsafe than an outdoor GFCI with a cover!!(Hey there's an idea, have them cover it!!). Since the thing is opposite the showerhead it really is a hazard.

Hope this helps a little!!

Sue


Originally Posted By: ekartal
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The outlet should be at least 3’ from shower. Could of sworn this was code. IRC ?


Erol Kartal
ProInspect


Originally Posted By: Susan
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Erol,


The only code I know of (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is IRC E3801.6 Bathroom.

At least one wall receptacle outlet shall be installed in bathrooms and such outlet shall be located within 36 inches of the outside edge of each lavatory basin. The receptacle outlet shall be located on a wall that is adjacent to the lavatory basin location.

Receptacle outlets sahll not be installed in a face up position in the work surfaces or countertops in a bathroom basin location.

Respectfully,
Sue Cieslewicz


Originally Posted By: ekartal
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Thanks Sue. eusa_clap.gif


Erol Kartal
ProInspect


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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What about that hacked off looking end of the basement wall supporting the steel beam? Looks like someone took a chipping hammer to it and cut through it. Can’t be very good it that is the case.



Jerry Peck


South Florida

Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Bob B,


Isn't there a 30 inch rule somewhere in the NEC in relation to a shower stall?

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: Bob Badger
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Joe there are some restrictions for lighting fixtures.


Quote:
410.4(D) Bathtub and Shower Areas. No parts of cord-connected luminaires (fixtures), hanging luminaires (fixtures), 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 zone directly over the tub or shower stall.


And there is a rule for switches

Quote:
404.4 Wet Locations.
A switch or circuit breaker in a wet location or outside of a building shall be enclosed in a weatherproof enclosure or cabinet that shall comply with 312.2(A). Switches shall not be installed within wet locations in tub or shower spaces unless installed as part of a listed tub or shower assembly.


I can not find anything for receptacle outlets, I would hope people would use common sense in placing these, but.... ![icon_rolleyes.gif](upload://iqxt7ABYC2TEBomNkCmZARIrQr6.gif)

Bob


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Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
Mike Holt Code Forum

Originally Posted By: dfrend
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Now since it just passed a final county inspection should I call the county and ask to have them evaluate the outlet? It would not surprise me that they missed it. Just outside the door was a baluster spacing of 6 inches overhanging the foyer.



Daniel R Frend


www.nachifoundation.org


The Home Inspector Store


www.homeinspectorstore.com

Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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The outlet is safe and code compliant.


Yes you may call the county, but they will charge you to come out. The spacing is a safety concern.

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Mike P,


I would not venture to say that is a safe installation. I would not even venture to say it is code compliant, given the current set of standards that require GFCI protection at water sources. While we have been unable to find anything that would make it illegal, that does not make it safe in any sense of the word.

For instance, even since it complies by offering GFCI protection, it would be possible for a stream of water to enter the box and trip the receptacle and depending on how it was wired, still allow current to flow to the occupant of the shower/tub and cause them to become electrocuted. Most people make the mistake of thinking they can no longer be electrocuted by this electrical source once the receptacle trips. That is just not so, it really depends on how it was wired.

Regardless, I would not allow this and using my previous mentioned method of getting it in writing from someone would be a must.

A little common sense goes a long way, whether it is covered by the NEC or not.

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: Bob Badger
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Joe’s post made me remember another discussion of this on Holt’s forum, this subject comes up fairly regularly.


New for the 2002 NEC is this in ARTICLE 550 Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, and Mobile Home Parks.

Quote:
530.13(F) Receptacle Outlets Not Permitted. Receptacle outlets shall not be permitted in the following locations:

(1)Receptacle outlets shall not be installed in or within reach [750 mm (30 in.)] of a shower or bathtub space.


PLEASE NOTE this only applies to Mobile Homes & Manufactured Homes.

Now imagine an accident happens in a normal dwelling with an outlet installed like above photo.

The electrician gets hauled into court.

Electrician"It meets code"

Lawyer: "The code is the minimum and it considers this unsafe in a mobile home, why did you install one in this space."

Electrician: "The local inspector approved it."

Lawyer: "He/She had to, it is within code and that is all they can enforce, you had a choice."

I think I will continue to keep the outlets out of that space, and it would not surprise me if for 2005 this is expanded to cover all bathrooms.


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Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
Mike Holt Code Forum

Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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Joe


The NEC says that it is safe.

Start at article 90.

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: mstewart
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I guess the question is: Are inspectors code inspectors?


Is it wise to make definite determinations without being qualified & licensed or refer client to a qualified person to make an assessment and a final determination?

Mark Stewart
HouseMaster


Originally Posted By: dfrend
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After discussion with the client, they are going to have an electrician elliminate this outlet at their own expense after the house is finished.



Daniel R Frend


www.nachifoundation.org


The Home Inspector Store


www.homeinspectorstore.com

Originally Posted By: rpaul
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Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Mike Parks wrote:
Joe

The NEC says that it is safe.

Start at article 90.

Mike P.


I just caught this. The NEC doesn't say that is "safe", it just doesn't say that is "unsafe". Electrical systems, by their very nature, are 'not safe', and the NEC tries to establish minimum safety standards as agreed upon by a consensus method, meaning the end result is not the "safest" method, but the "safest method the majority could agree on".

Joe Tedesco, did I state that about right?


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: Bob Badger
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Mike Parks wrote:

The NEC says that it is safe.

Start at article 90.


Mike I do not think the NEC says that at all.

Going to article 90 as you suggested.

Quote:
90.1(B) Adequacy. This Code contains provisions that are considered necessary for safety. Compliance therewith and proper maintenance will result in an installation that is essentially free from hazard but not necessarily efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service or future expansion of electrical use.


I think they carefully, and correctly do not say any thing is "safe".

"essentially free from hazard" is a long way from "it is safe"

But lets say that the NEC claims this outlet is safe, then we would have to accept that an outlet in the same space of a mobile or manufactured home is not safe

If I, as an electrician install an outlet that close to the shower, it will be my butt on the line ![icon_evil.gif](upload://1gvq2wV2azLs27xp71nuhZOKiSI.gif) not the inspectors, code compliant or not I can still loose in a civil damages suit. ![icon_sad.gif](upload://nMBtKsE7kuDHGvTX96IWpBt1rTb.gif)


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Bob (AKA iwire)
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