Light Switch Near Shower

(Jim Port) #21

Frank,

I now see how you derived your definition of the wet zone. However, you cannot use the zone defined for lighting fixtures and apply it to switches. There is no Code support for your opinion.

Someone, Marcel, I think said he doesn't feel safe if you can touch something while standing in the tub or shower. Heck some bathrooms would need to have everything installed outside if that were the case.

If I were to try and discern a reason for the difference it would be because the fixtures have the potential to expose you to live parts whereas a switch would not.

(Michael Larson, WI Lic. # 1672-106) #22

Frank,
where is this from?

What about Mike Hot’s take on this issue?

Q&A with Mike Holt

Q25. Do switches for bathroom/shower lights have to be GFCI protected? **Is there any distance that the switch must be from the bathtub or shower space? **

A25. No. The NEC only requires that a switch not be installed within the wet location of a tub or shower spaces, unless the switch is part of a listed tub or shower assembly

See this diagram from Mike Holt.

switch.jpg

(Marcel Gratton, CMI) #23

[quote="Jim_Port, post:21, topic:39428"]

Someone, Marcel, I think said he doesn't feel safe if you can touch something while standing in the tub or shower. Heck some bathrooms would need to have everything installed outside if that were the case.
[/quote]

I've seen light switch installed outside the bathroom exactly for that reason and a GFI receptacle beside the sink...

(Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI) #24

[quote="Jim_Port, post:15, topic:39428"]

I also scanned the code sections posted by you and did not see any mention of the 3' distance regarding switches.
[/quote]
Cuz it ain't there ;)

(Marcel Gratton, CMI) #25

Ontario, Canada Only

Rule 30-322(3) says the light switch must not be located within reach of a person in a shower or bathtub. Appendix B for Rule 30-322(3), page 470 in the Code, defines out of reach as 39.4in. (1m). This means that switches controlling these loads may be inside the bathroom provided they are at least 39.4in from the bathtub or shower stall.

(Michael Larson, WI Lic. # 1672-106) #26

[quote="mgratton, post:25, topic:39428"]

Ontario, Canada Only

Rule 30-322(3) says the light switch must not be located within reach of a person in a shower or bathtub. Appendix B for Rule 30-322(3), page 470 in the Code, defines out of reach as 39.4in. (1m). This means that switches controlling these loads may be inside the bathroom provided they are at least 39.4in from the bathtub or shower stall.
[/quote]
That's great but Vince doesn't live in Canada.

Maybe Frank will come back and explain how he came to his conclusion which now appears to be unfounded.

(Marcel Gratton, CMI) #27

[quote="mlarson, post:26, topic:39428"]

That's great but Vince doesn't live in Canada.
[/quote]

Michael and all,

Common sense should always prevail regardless of where you live me think...

Safely yours,

(Michael Larson, WI Lic. # 1672-106) #28

[quote="mgratton, post:27, topic:39428"]

Michael and all,

Common sense should always prevail regardless of where you live me think...

Safely yours,
[/quote]
Report it however you would like but there is no code support for it in the U.S. and I prefer my face without egg. ;-)

(Marcel Gratton, CMI) #29

[quote="mlarson, post:28, topic:39428"]

Report it however you would like but there is no code support for it in the U.S. and I prefer my face without egg. ;-)
[/quote]

Michael,

To the best of my knowledge a home inspection is not a code inspection, so no code support is required. With that said, knowledge and safey should always prevail.

I sleep well at night, do you...

Cheers,

(Michael Larson, WI Lic. # 1672-106) #30

[quote="mgratton, post:29, topic:39428"]

Michael,

To the best of my knowledge a home inspection is not a code inspection, so no code support is required. With that said, knowledge and safey should always prevail.

I sleep well at night, do you...

Cheers,
[/quote]
I sleep fine and there is no reason to get into a p****ing match.

To say we are not "code" inspectors is true but I think you will admit that we all rely on code on a regular basis even if we don't cite chapter and verse.

The codes are about safety and I hope we all know that.

You don't need my permission to report it how ever you wish but if you are challenged, be ready to pay the unnecessary expense of the rework.

(Paul W. Abernathy) #31

It is not a wet location...period.

(Paul W. Abernathy) #32

2008 NEC -Definitions
**Location, Damp. **Locations protected from weather and
not subject to saturation with water or other liquids but
subject to moderate degrees of moisture. Examples of such
locations include partially protected locations under canopies,
marquees, roofed open porches, and like locations,
and interior locations subject to moderate degrees of moisture,
such as some basements, some barns, and some coldstorage
warehouses.

**Location, Dry.
**A location not normally subject to dampness
or wetness. A location classified as dry may be temporarily
subject to dampness or wetness, as in the case of a
building under construction.

**Location, Wet. **Installations underground or in concrete
slabs or masonry in direct contact with the earth; in locations
subject to saturation with water or other liquids, such
as vehicle washing areas; and in unprotected locations exposed
to weather.

Many try to twist the NEC into something it is not.....the NEC is clear on the application. Now, if an HI would like to call this out and wonder why they would get ribbing from an electrician then well....my message is not heard.

(Michael Larson, WI Lic. # 1672-106) #33

Thank you Paul.

(Peter W. Bennett, NJ Lic# 24G100037100) #34

canada yes.

(Donald T. Belmont) #35

I think the issue should be is the switch reachable by somebody standing in 3 inches of water in the shower. If you wanted something objective then a 36" from the tub edge would cover the vast majority of situations I would think. I generally use my own reach but that's about 38". But I can't reference that (at least in Code Check).

From what I know about electricity I wouldn't think handling switches while bathing would be a good idea. So unless the electric switch has been clearly designed and labeled to be located that close then I would comment on it as a potential safety issue.

(Paul W. Abernathy) #36

Lets see...the switch is non-conductive, the screws usually have a non-conductive coating on them....terminals are insulated within the device....hmmm...I guess I dont see the safety hazard...sorry.

Put it in a location with constant saturation then moisture gets into the switch itself, and to the termination points and electricity will conduct on water, poorly but will conduct and you then touch it...whamo......but if you have constant saturation on the space outside of the shower then while we are concerned with safety we need to teach them how to take a shower also and how to by a proper shower curtain.

Also we can't fix stupid, why on earth would someone ENTER the shower to turn on the light....would they not ( maybe it is just me ) turn on the light prior to entering the shower? and once out of the shower with no chance of device saturation just flip an insulated switch...would I be concerned...nope not me but then again maybe it is just me.

(Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI) #37

[quote="dbelmont, post:35, topic:39428"]

So unless the electric switch has been clearly designed and labeled to be located that close then I would comment on it as a potential safety issue.
[/quote]

So the National Electrical Code says it's ok, but if it isn't labeled by the manufacturer, you will say it's NOT ok. "Interesting" position and one that's becoming all too common recently.

(Doug Edwards) #38

Dammit! I hate it when people use logic and common sense.

(Doug Edwards) #39

[quote="pabernathy, post:36, topic:39428"]

Lets see...the switch is non-conductive, the screws usually have a non-conductive coating on them....terminals are insulated within the device....hmmm...I guess I dont see the safety hazard...sorry.

Put it in a location with constant saturation then moisture gets into the switch itself, and to the termination points and electricity will conduct on water, poorly but will conduct and you then touch it...whamo......but if you have constant saturation on the space outside of the shower then while we are concerned with safety we need to teach them how to take a shower also and how to by a proper shower curtain.

Also we can't fix stupid, why on earth would someone ENTER the shower to turn on the light....would they not ( maybe it is just me ) turn on the light prior to entering the shower? and once out of the shower with no chance of device saturation just flip an insulated switch...would I be concerned...nope not me but then again maybe it is just me.
[/quote]

Dammit! I hate it when people use logic and common sense.

(Doug Edwards) #40

[quote="jpope, post:37, topic:39428"]

So the National Electrical Code says it's ok, but if it isn't labled by the manufacturer, you will say it's NOT ok. "Interesting" position and one that's becoming all too common recently.
[/quote]

Brother! ain't that the truth!