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Opinion on reporting electrical panel near shower


Mark P
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House built in 1966, as you can see the panel would be just inches outside of a shower curtain if one were installed. According to the seller the city inspector came out twice to look at it and passed it as being ok. The 1st time on the routine inspection, the 2nd time after a realtor questioned the set up. I can only guess the city passed it as okay because over-current devices have not been allowed in bathroom since 1993 and this was existing construction from 1966.

I’m going to put the following in the report and am interested any anyones opinion.

“The main electrical panel is directly in front of the basement shower, less then one foot from where a shower curtain would hang. This is a serious safety concern as water and electricity are a deadly combination. There are many unpleasant scenarios that could occur such as a malfunction / short circuit inside the panel box resulting in the box becoming electrically charged, someone getting out of the shower would be killed. A misdirected shower head could easily spry water onto and possible into the box. Humidity from a hot shower could overtime cause corrosion or rust inside the panel box which would lead to problems that could be costly to repair. While it is possible this is not technically a code violation, because it was allowed at the time of construction; and only since 1993 have over-current devices been prohibited from bathrooms– my recommendation is to separate the panel and the shower. One solution would be to build a wall across the current shower opening and add an opening from where the toilet is currently located.â€

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Although I don't disagree with anything you said, I'd say a lot less. No big deal, just different styles. I might say:

"The basement shower is in a poor location. The current design of the area is hazardous to occupants and will deteriorate the electrical service panel. Remove the shower."

Before shipping it out, give it another look for grammar/spelling errors. For example, use "over time" instead of "overtime."

Bare-bulb fixture in the shower, easily low enough to be swatted by a user washing one's pits. What are those shower walls made of? In the foreground, what's suspended from the floor joists?

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Originally posted by AHIS

House built in 1966, as you can see the panel would be just inches outside of a shower curtain if one were installed. According to the seller the city inspector came out twice to look at it and passed it as being ok. The 1st time on the routine inspection, the 2nd time after a realtor questioned the set up. I can only guess the city passed it as okay because over-current devices have not been allowed in bathroom since 1993 and this was existing construction from 1966.

Is it possible for the spray from that shower to hit that panel? If so than that's a wet location. Even in 1966 you couldn't put a panel there unless it was rated for a wet location.

1965 NEC: 240-17(b)Enclosures for overcurrent devices in damp or wet locations shall be of a type approved for such locations and shall be mounted so there is at least one-fourth inch air space between the enclosure and the wall or other supporting surface.

I’m going to put the following in the report and am interested any anyones opinion.

I agree that it's too long. Jesse & Mitchell's comments are good (depending on how sarcastic you feel). You should definitely include Richard's graphic.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Thanks guys, the walls are cement, the stuff overhead is just something stored in the joist. If the shower head were a different type, such as one with a hose attached, the spray could easly hit the panel, as it is now, maybe if no curtain was installed.

The picture is priceless Richard, I won't put it in the report but will send it along seperatly, maybe I'll send it to the city inspector.

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