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mgbinspect
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Greetings all,

One of my fellow home inspectors called me yesterday, as the "old guy" to see if I knew when installing an electrical service panel in a bathroom became verboten. He had actually been asked that question by a local county building inspection official, who is dealing with it in a renovated home. (Virginia is an unusual state in that only new work must meet new code requirements. Old work is deemed grandfathered.)

So, I in turn reached out to Bill Kibbel, who suggested that I post it here - being confident that Jim Katen might be the guy with the answer.

The questions: 1. Was it ever acceptable to install an electrical service panel in a bathroom.  2. When did it become no longer acceptable to do so?

Thanks in advance for reliable input!

Mike

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3 hours ago, Les said:

Guess I have been excluded yet again from playing the game.  That is ok - I didn't know off the top of my head anyway!

 

Aw, Les - How many times have you been the very first guy that I reach out to personally for input? But, you're right - I certainly should have asked you since you have come up with great info! I hang my head in shame... Bless you sir!

Edited by mgbinspect
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I have a narrative I wrote a while back, where I mention that electrical panels have not been allowed in bathrooms since 1993. I don't remember where I got that date, but it lines up with what Bill said so I assume I found it somewhere reputable. I really should reference things in my narratives. Anyways, if the house was built prior to 1993 then I recommend having an electrician examine the panel every few years for signs of corrosion. If it looks like new work or the house was built after 1993 I recommend moving the panel. 

I did a condominium inspection last week, building built in 1986, and the electrical panel was installed in the bathroom. Appeared to be the same for all 140 units or so. Inspector in Oregon.

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7 hours ago, Zach Cross said:

I have a narrative I wrote a while back, where I mention that electrical panels have not been allowed in bathrooms since 1993. I don't remember where I got that date, but it lines up with what Bill said so I assume I found it somewhere reputable. I really should reference things in my narratives. Anyways, if the house was built prior to 1993 then I recommend having an electrician examine the panel every few years for signs of corrosion. If it looks like new work or the house was built after 1993 I recommend moving the panel. 

I did a condominium inspection last week, building built in 1986, and the electrical panel was installed in the bathroom. Appeared to be the same for all 140 units or so. Inspector in Oregon.

Electricity doesn't care how old the house is. It'll shock folks and start fires just as easily in an older home as in a new one. Codes are often applied where they don't belong. They're overrated. Just my humble opinion.

Edited by Marc
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1 hour ago, Marc said:

Electricity doesn't care how old the house is. It'll shock folks and start fires just as easily in an older home as in a new one. Codes are often applied where they don't belong. They're overrated. Just my humble opinion.

Very true. However, I do feel it is important to differentiate between something that was once considered acceptable and something that was done wrong. And in the process, communicate why the rules were changed. 

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