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Outlet next to bathtub


Marc
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The outlet can be next to, but not directly above a bathtub or shower. It looks like this outlet is directly above the tub's "footprint" so I would write it up as a safety hazard. Given the age that the fixtures appear to be, this pre-dates current codes but the hazard is there nonetheless.

I believe it's code 406.8©. I don't have my codecheck book handy...just google which I hesitate to quote, especially in a report.

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Aside from common sense, isn't there a provision in the NEC that prohibits a general purpose, GFCI protected electrical outlet from being installed so close to the bathtub?

Nope.

Grant's citation is correct.

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

Remarkably, this prohibition didn't appear until 1996. Before that, you could put a receptacle right over a tub or shower as long as it was a "weatherproof type."

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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  • 3 weeks later...

I right them up as a safety hazard. Especially in new construction where a GFCI receptacle is installed at the end of a vanity top but within easy reach of a toddler paying around a tub. There is NO guarantee that the GFCI will never fail. Only an idiot would design the layout to put one there or go ahead and install it just because the plans show it.

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I right them up as a safety hazard. Especially in new construction where a GFCI receptacle is installed at the end of a vanity top but within easy reach of a toddler paying around a tub. There is NO guarantee that the GFCI will never fail. Only an idiot would design the layout to put one there or go ahead and install it just because the plans show it.

What do you consider to be a safe distance between the receptacle and the tub or shower?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Water is a poor conductor of electricity in it's pure form but certain impurities commonly found in municipal and well water disassociate into positively and negatively charged ions and render the water quite conductive.

Marc

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Is it conductive enough to carry significant current all the way back to the reservoir? Around here all the service piping is HDPE.

To be truthful... the question was just a point to ponder.

Understood. 'Ponder' might as well be my middle name.

It will conduct as far as the water goes until it finds the earth, either at the reservoir, the nearest metallic pipe fitting or at the nearest miniscule leak in the piping, and that conduction should easily be enough to shock someone. 1/1000 of one ampere, perhaps less, is uncomfortable to humans.

Marc

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Is it conductive enough to carry significant current all the way back to the reservoir? Around here all the service piping is HDPE.

To be truthful... the question was just a point to ponder.

Understood. 'Ponder' might as well be my middle name.

It will conduct as far as the water goes until it finds the earth, either at the reservoir, the nearest metallic pipe fitting or at the nearest miniscule leak in the piping, and that conduction should easily be enough to shock someone. 1/1000 of one ampere, perhaps less, is uncomfortable to humans.

Marc

Where I live, I can't get a measurable amount of current to flow through a glass of tap water.

Can you?

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif Tapwater as Conductor Current.JPG

42.78 KB

Please note: I am not saying it's safe to mix water & electricity. My only point is that, at least in my area, tap water doesn't contain enough ions to conduct measurable current. Add a little salt - such as is present on most peoples' skin - and the conductivity goes way up.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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would the water conductivity change if the water went through a water softener first? thats a big bag of salt....interesting...lots of folks have them around here...

Is it conductive enough to carry significant current all the way back to the reservoir? Around here all the service piping is HDPE.

To be truthful... the question was just a point to ponder.

Understood. 'Ponder' might as well be my middle name.

It will conduct as far as the water goes until it finds the earth, either at the reservoir, the nearest metallic pipe fitting or at the nearest miniscule leak in the piping, and that conduction should easily be enough to shock someone. 1/1000 of one ampere, perhaps less, is uncomfortable to humans.

Marc

Where I live, I can't get a measurable amount of current to flow through a glass of tap water.

Can you?

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif Tapwater as Conductor Current.JPG

42.78 KB

Please note: I am not saying it's safe to mix water & electricity. My only point is that, at least in my area, tap water doesn't contain enough ions to conduct measurable current. Add a little salt - such as is present on most peoples' skin - and the conductivity goes way up.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Where I live, I can't get a measurable amount of current to flow through a glass of tap water.

Can you?

Please note: I am not saying it's safe to mix water & electricity. My only point is that, at least in my area, tap water doesn't contain enough ions to conduct measurable current. Add a little salt - such as is present on most peoples' skin - and the conductivity goes way up.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

The battery voltage in a common multimeter evidently won't move enough current through the water to deflect the meter, but try the experiment again with the voltage available from an electrical outlet. I did this a few decades ago. Connect a light bulb on a socket to an outlet plug and interrupt the closed circuit by cutting the wire open at one point. Place the two cut ends in your glass of water and see what happens. If you don't get illumination, check the amperage with your multimeter. Let us know. Maybe you'll prove your point.

Marc

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would the water conductivity change if the water went through a water softener first? thats a big bag of salt....interesting...lots of folks have them around here...

A water softener will not render the water perfectly pure. Distilled water is the closest to pure water that I can think of.

Marc

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I was thinkling the other way, that the saline would still be suspended within the water and then, maybe, creating a better conductor. I dont have one of those systems, but will give it a try next chance I have.

steve

would the water conductivity change if the water went through a water softener first? thats a big bag of salt....interesting...lots of folks have them around here...

A water softener will not render the water perfectly pure. Distilled water is the closest to pure water that I can think of.

Marc

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Where I live, I can't get a measurable amount of current to flow through a glass of tap water.

Can you?

Please note: I am not saying it's safe to mix water & electricity. My only point is that, at least in my area, tap water doesn't contain enough ions to conduct measurable current. Add a little salt - such as is present on most peoples' skin - and the conductivity goes way up.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

The battery voltage in a common multimeter evidently won't move enough current through the water to deflect the meter, but try the experiment again with the voltage available from an electrical outlet. I did this a few decades ago. Connect a light bulb on a socket to an outlet plug and interrupt the closed circuit by cutting the wire open at one point. Place the two cut ends in your glass of water and see what happens. If you don't get illumination, check the amperage with your multimeter. Let us know. Maybe you'll prove your point.

Marc

Look at the picture again, Marc. It shows the two leads from a circuit breaker immersed in water. The multi-meter is clamped around one of the leads. It shows no flow of current at its lowest setting.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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would the water conductivity change if the water went through a water softener first? thats a big bag of salt....interesting...lots of folks have them around here...

As I understand it, a water softener removes calcium & magnesium ions from the water and replaces them with sodium ions. I don't know if sodium ions will cause water to conduct electricity better than calcium & magnesium ions. I suspect that, with regard to conducting, any old ion will do and that hard water will be more conductive both before and after it's been softened.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Where I live, I can't get a measurable amount of current to flow through a glass of tap water.

Can you?

Please note: I am not saying it's safe to mix water & electricity. My only point is that, at least in my area, tap water doesn't contain enough ions to conduct measurable current. Add a little salt - such as is present on most peoples' skin - and the conductivity goes way up.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Nope.

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But I lay claim to the prettier cuticle![;)]

Marc

Check this out.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't think you're going to find, a clamp-on ammeter than will accurately measure in a range of 5 milliamps. The picture above shows the meter is reading 200 milliamps with an open circuit. Not real accurate in the low range. That's 0.2A to 0.005A. Take a guess why GF interrupters are designed to trip in the range of 5-6mA?

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I don't think you're going to find, a clamp-on ammeter than will accurately measure in a range of 5 milliamps. The picture above shows the meter is reading 200 milliamps with an open circuit. Not real accurate in the low range. That's 0.2A to 0.005A. Take a guess why GF interrupters are designed to trip in the range of 5-6mA?

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tn_20108201554_Tapwater%20as%20conductor.jpg

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