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Outlets near shower stalls


Bain
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Does anyone know when the rule about wet locations was written into the NEC? I busted a nine or ten year old house recently that had an outlet within a foot of a shower stall and the seller's claiming that there were no code prohibitions at the time of construction, and that the house passed the muni, etc.

I'm not trying to reinitiate the safe-is-safe dialogue. I'm just trying to--lazily--gather ammunition for a young couple that has a gazillion small children.

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I'm not so sure that the NEC has any requirements for the location of outlets outside of the shower/bathtub (as of 2005 anyway). I don't have a copy of the latest code. There cannot be an outlet or switch inside of the shower or bathtub surround. GFCI protection is very imnportant for that type of installation, but that should be there already.

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Originally posted by Bain

Does anyone know when the rule about wet locations was written into the NEC? I busted a nine or ten year old house recently that had an outlet within a foot of a shower stall and the seller's claiming that there were no code prohibitions at the time of construction, and that the house passed the muni, etc.

I'm not trying to reinitiate the safe-is-safe dialogue. I'm just trying to--lazily--gather ammunition for a young couple that has a gazillion small children.

What do you mean "within a foot of a shower stall"? Was it next to it or above it? Was it in an area that will be subject to saturation with water?

Receptacles are prohibited within or directly above shower stalls. There's no rule about placing one next to a shower stall.

A receptacle in a wet location merely needs a weather cover.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Is it GFCI protected?

If I still felt it was unsafe, I might recommend just removing the outlet and putting a blank cover on the receptacle box. Unless it is a really big bathroom it is unlikely that any outlets are required besides at the vanity anyway. After that it is up to them wether or not they can spare 1 or 2 of the gazillion.

Either upgrading to GFCI or a blank cover is relatively inexpensive for buyer or seller.

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Thanks, everyone. The outlet was, indeed, wired into a GFCI circuit, but it still didn't seem like it was completely safe.

The outlet wasn't actually within the shower stall, so no rules were broken. But I'm gonna tell my peeps to put a dummy cover over it or something similar.

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