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Another breaker panel in bathroom question


Chris Bernhardt
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Bathroom is being installed in basement in same area as a new (2001) electrical panel. They got a permit for the plumbing but I guess the panel fell thru the cracks.

Hypothetical question (Probably a dumb one) does Article 240.22(E) apply to outdoor panels or panels rated for wet locations?

Hansen et. al. states that the reason for the rule is due to humidity and the consideration that the panel is not readily accessible so the answer is probably yes, it doesn't matter - no overcurrent devices are permitted in the bathroom.

Are there any exceptions or does the panel have to be relocated?

Chris, Oregon

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I would think the AHJ would have to make the call. If the bathroom is only going to be a sink and toilet (ie, a half bathroom), they may have a different interpretation than if the bathroom will also have a bathtub or shower. That's how I once saw it interpreted in my area... it was a matter of how much moisture may be present. Probably varies depending upon where you are. The local AHJ required the panel be moved or the bathroom plans changed to prevent the two from being together.

Let us know what happens..

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  • 1 month later...
Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

Bathroom is being installed in basement in same area as a new (2001) electrical panel. They got a permit for the plumbing but I guess the panel fell thru the cracks.

Hypothetical question (Probably a dumb one) does Article 240.22(E) apply to outdoor panels or panels rated for wet locations?

It doesn't matter because 240.24(E) doesn't apply to panels at all. It applies to breakers. You're not allowed to put breakers in residential bathrooms. A bathroom is defined in article 100 as: An area including a basin with one or more of the following: a toilet, a tub, or a shower.

. . . Are there any exceptions or does the panel have to be relocated?

Chris, Oregon

There are no exceptions other than the fact that older installations, before 240.24(E) was adopted, aren't required to comply.

As far as whether or not it *has to be* relocated, well, that's up to the AHJ.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

[quote

It doesn't matter because 240.24(E) doesn't apply to panels at all.id="green"> It applies to breakersid="green">. You're not allowed to put breakers in residential bathrooms. A bathroom is defined in article 100 as: An area including a basin with one or more of the following: a toilet, a tub, or a shower.

. . . Are there any exceptions or does the panel have to be relocated?

Chris, Oregon

There are no exceptions other than the fact that older installations, before 240.24(E) was adopted, aren't required to comply.

As far as whether or not it *has to be* relocated, well, that's up to the AHJ.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

240.24(E) Not Located in Bathrooms

In dwelling units and guest rooms or guest suites of hotels and motels, overcurrent devicesid="green">, other than supplementory overcurrent protection, shall not be located in bathrooms.

NEC Definition - DEVICE - A unit of an electrical systemid="green"> that carries or controls electric energy as its principal function.

The breaker is an overcurrent protection deviceid="green">. Breakers are part of on overall systemid="green"> and are installed in panels. Even though panels aren't mentioned in 240.24(E), by using the words "overcurrent protection" panels are inferred.

I agree that the AHJ will probably have the final say on what has to be moved.

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Originally posted by Sodapop

. . . The breaker is an overcurrent protection deviceid="green">. Breakers are part of on overall systemid="green"> and are installed in panels. Even though panels aren't mentioned in 240.24(E), by using the words "overcurrent protection" panels are inferred. . .

I disagree. You have to read the code in context. Article 240 is the article that deals with the requirements of overcurrent protection. The requirements that apply to panelboards are in article 408. Different articles, different subjects, different code making panels.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by Sodapop

. . . The breaker is an overcurrent protection deviceid="green">. Breakers are part of on overall systemid="green"> and are installed in panels. Even though panels aren't mentioned in 240.24(E), by using the words "overcurrent protection" panels are inferred. . .

I disagree. You have to read the code in context. Article 240 is the article that deals with the requirements of overcurrent protection. The requirements that apply to panelboards are in article 408. Different articles, different subjects, different code making panels.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Basically my point is this: How can you have breakers without having a panel?

If Art. 240 refers to breakers it should also automatically include a panel.

We seem to agree on a few issues and not on others. No harm done. We should learn on these forums as well. [^]

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Originally posted by Sodapop

Basically my point is this: How can you have breakers without having a panel?

Well, sure. You could have breakers as part of an electric heater or a motor controller. They aren't always in panelboards. Another intriguing question might be,"Can you have a panel without breakers?" and the answer is, yes. I understand your point. It's ironic that the NEC prohibits breakers in bathrooms while allowing panels. But that doesn't mean that we should blur our understanding of the requirments of the code by creating generalizations. That only leads to compounded mistakes later. For instance, in his original post, Chris mistakenly believed that panels were prohibited in bathrooms. From this incorrect start, he made the very reasonable assumption that perhaps panels rated for wet locations might be acceptable when, in fact, the prohibition has nothing to do with panels.

If Art. 240 refers to breakers it should also automatically include a panel.
Maybe it should or maybe is shouldn't, but it doesn't. And maybe that's not a bad idea. For instance, in my own house, I had an old bathroom with a sub panel (inlcuding breakers) in it. When I remodeled, I needed to add circuits. The AHJ told me (correctly) that I couldn't add breakers to the existing bathroom panel. I elected to install a new panel elsewhere. I left the old panel and its enclosure in place, removed all of the breakers and fed them through to the new panel. This was an economical and safe upgrade that's perfectly acceptable in the NEC.

We seem to agree on a few issues and not on others. No harm done. We should learn on these forums as well. [^]

I think that if you & I were to inspect 100 houses, we would agree on 99.9% of the things that we saw. The stuff we disagree on seems to be rather academic.

I'm sure you've seen Charlie's Rule from Charlie Beck in Seattle:

It doesn't say what you think it says, nor what you remember it to have said, nor what you were told that it says, and certainly not what you want it to say, and if by chance you are its author, it doesn't say what you intended it to say. Then what does it say? It says what it says. So if you want to remember what it says, stop trying to remember what it says, and don't ask anyone else. Go back and read it and pay attention as though you were reading it for the first time. If you don’t like what it says, then get involved and try to change it. In the process, you might find out that what it says is what it should be saying after all …

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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