tubs and switches



Is this OK?

I don’t feel good about a light switch in reach of the tub. But can’t find anything against it in CodeCheck, Rex Cauldwell, or through a cursory search of this board.

Can a light switch be located within three feet of the tub?



It is fine with that set up unless local code say something else.

{ expect some debate with this one and I can’t quote which fourm but I know they did have good debate I think unless I goof up they did have simauir thread related to this sometime back }


Thanks, Marc. Looks like it’s ok after all.

Found more on this topic here

That good and you got a good answer here and the old topic fourm do come handy to refering the question what you are looking for.


When ever this comes up there is always a huge debate about it.

Fact is, in the US there is nothing prohibiting it, and installed properly there is nothing unsafe about it either.

They may be confusing the “no rule for switches” with the rule for receptacles in bathrooms:

in Canada- CEC 26-710(g)- “receptacles installed in bathrooms shall, where practicable, be located at least 1 meter (39.28”) but in no case less than 500mm from the bathtub or shower…"

Hello Everyone-

Here is a link to some information regarding this question for those friends up north. AS for the NEC, AS long as the receptacle does not break the plane of the shower stall or tubs threashold it is allowed and the same goes for the switch. Keep in mind a switch COULD be within the shower IF it was manufactured as part of the shower assembly and rated as such…

Canadian Info Link :http://www.iaei.org/subscriber/magazine/03_d/magazine_03d_canadiancode.htm

But in general it is allowed on a normal bathtub and shower location. But remember all receptacles in the bathroom must be on GFCI regardless.

For those Codies…here you go…

Receptacles - 406.8©

**© Bathtub and Shower Space.
**Receptacles shall not be
installed within or directly over a bathtub or shower stall.

Switches -404.4
**[FONT=Times-Bold][size=2]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.

NOW…as for the requirements of all receptacles in a bathroom be GFCI…here you go:

[FONT=Times-Bold][size=2]210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for
FPN: See 215.9 for ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection
for personnel on feeders.
**(A) Dwelling Units.

**All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and
20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in
(1) through (8]shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter
protection for personnel.
(1) Bathrooms

Now as HI’s…check for GFCI’s and call it as you see it…you guys save lives so go with your feelings but let the situation dictate it and keep the minimum safety standards of the evolving NEC in the back of your mind…

Here is some additional info you might like…on metal coverplate on the switches and you know the system is a non-grounded system be aware of this important info also…

FacePlates 404.9(B)
**[FONT=Times-Bold]size=2 Grounding.

**Snap switches, including dimmer and
similar control switches, shall be effectively grounded and
shall provide a means to ground metal faceplates, whether
or not a metal faceplate is installed. Snap switches shall be
[FONT=Times-Roman][size=2]considered effectively grounded if either of the following
conditions is met:
(1) The switch is mounted with metal screws to a metal
box or to a nonmetallic box with integral means for
grounding devices.
(2) An equipment grounding conductor or equipment
bonding jumper is connected to an equipment grounding
termination of the snap switch.

Exception to (B): Where no grounding means exists within
the snap-switch enclosure or where the wiring method does
not include or provide an equipment ground, a snap switch
without a grounding connection shall be permitted for replacement
purposes only. A snap switch wired under the
provisions of this exception and located within reach of
earth, grade, conducting floors,* or other conducting surfaces***
shall be provided with a faceplate of nonconducting,
noncombustible material or shall be protected by a groundfault
circuit interrupter.

Thanks, Paul, for adding this…I was assuming that people would know that the recepts in proximity of the tub or washbasin would be GFCI protected…but then it’s always better to state something like this!!


Not wanting to highjack a thread nor turn it into a code discussion but I feel that this needs to be address here for the HI

In the exception you have highlighted with bold where no EGC is present and a nonconductive plate is used, do you think that the metal 6/32 x ½ inch screws should be replaced with nylon screws holding the cover in place?

Are you asking for my opinion or code…lol…lets look at the statement:

A snap switch wired under the
provisions of this exception and located within reach of
earth, grade, conducting floors, or other conducting surfaces
shall be provided with a faceplate of nonconducting,
noncombustible material or shall be protected by a groundfault
circuit interrupter.

IN my view the latter is the best situation for the older home that HI’s see and since they are concerned alot of these locations it would not harm them to suggest it. Also I dont believe the NEC requires these nylon screws…just the nonconductive faceplate …But is it a good suggestion…quite possibly as some may feel differently about it.

HEY…DMV was closed, he called me as I was getting ready to leave…guess he drives the bike back without a tag on it…oh well…not mine anymore…lol

Anyway…also Mike I believe the normal switches with the normal nylon coverplates have a coating on the screws surface that make them well…not as conductive to the point I would be overly concerned about it.

Or, if the installer wanted to be as safe as possible (under the circumstances) he could use one of the “screwless” covers now available. However, at the low cost fo a GFCI, that would be my recommendation as well.