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#111890 - 11/10/00 08:26 PM Panelboard in the Shower?  
Admin  Offline

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,439
<p align="center"><img border="0" src="">

This was reported to me by an electrician who was in
the process of a complete rewire of this house. He has since relocated the
panel to an outside wall. This location was in a shower/tub area, as seen
by the shower curtain. I have no idea how long this was in this location.
<p align="center">Photo Submitted by:  Mr. Rick Miell

Otero County Electrical Inspector  La Junta, Colorado 

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited 04-11-2003).]

Tools for Electricians:

#111891 - 11/13/00 02:47 PM Re: Panelboard in the Shower?  
ns  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 4
The house I moved in last year, had the shower stall located next to the electrical panel (the only separation was a sliding mirror doors), a similar situation like this.
Upon a closer inspection, the panel was NEW, and probably was replaced within 2 years. Some original hardware pieces left behind were rusted, to tell you about the state of the old panel after repeated exposure to humidity.
Needless to say, we opted to renovate the bathroom and separate the 2 'entities' by a solid wall.
The shower stall, which was defined by the renovation contractor as a Sunday job, had other electrical problems (like a light switch too close to the shower stall, etc).

#111892 - 11/13/00 08:15 PM Re: Panelboard in the Shower?  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878

I agree that switches and other Electrical devices do not belong where they can be reached from the shower or tub. I make every effort to keep them as far away as I can.

But ... according to the NEC as long as the switch is not located within the limits of the shower stall - there is no distance-from requirement. There is not even a GFCI protection rule for this switch. If it was a Hot Tub, Spa or pool it would be very different though (- it must not be closer than 5 feet). [Linked Image] [Linked Image]

#111893 - 12/20/00 07:36 PM Re: Panelboard in the Shower?  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,306
Rick, you've got me pawing thru the books here....I see 240-24-e was new in '93, so does that mean if a proper NEMA rated panel were installed in a shower before that code cycle it would have been compliant?

#111894 - 12/20/00 09:05 PM Re: Panelboard in the Shower?  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878
I was kinda thinking along the same lines, but I was wondering what if it wasn't a Bathroom? Is a room with a Tub or shower automatically a Bathroom? According to the Definition there must also be a Sink (Basin)

#111895 - 12/20/00 10:40 PM Re: Panelboard in the Shower?  
Scott35  Offline

Broom Pusher and
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,707
Anaheim, CA. USA
That was in a shower?!! And people actually got in there and BATHED ?!! Turning on water and splashing it all about??!! HOLY CATS!!!
You would have to point a missile with a Nuke war head at me to get me in that shower!!

This must have been the most intense thrill-seekers/stunt persons' house in the history of man kind!! [Linked Image]

I thought I saw a lot of crazy stuff, but man! some of the photos you guys get have me cringing! shocked [Linked Image]

I couldn't even begin to imagine the stuff you Inspectors and Electricians that are involved in Residential Remodels must see!!... Scarry!

With all that aside, what would you say is a fair percentage of jobs that you feel are done above standard, or impressively done to you? [Inspectors and Electricians both].
Jobs where the EC has done neat work, if any correction is written or needed, it would be a small thing only.


Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

#111896 - 12/21/00 06:24 PM Re: Panelboard in the Shower?  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,306 have a point, this could be somewhat of a loophole here, by definition it would seem that an appropriately rated/ listed panel could theoretically be in a shower stall. They do exist in worst environments....myself I really would appreciate a panel-free shower at the day's end.
Scott, in my experience, there are "neat" jobs that look really good, and there are "compliant" jobs in which the installer meets , or exceeds code. Most sparky's like to energize the combination of the two and sleep good.

#111897 - 12/29/00 07:09 AM Re: Panelboard in the Shower?  
LNP&S  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 9
Colebrook, NH
It's a little hard to tell from the photo if the panel is actually located inside the shower of if the picture was taken from inside the tub/shower looking out. The caption does say tub/shower area. Neither would be my choice of location but it would seem a little saner (assuming the panel is properly installed and grounded)if it is actually outside the tub/shower unit. Still a big issue with moisture.

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited 12-29-2000).]

#111898 - 12/29/00 09:48 PM Re: Panelboard in the Shower?  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878

(I had the picture taken out of your post to quicken load time)
Rick said that the panel was indeed in the shower!

#111899 - 01/11/01 03:50 PM Re: Panelboard in the Shower?  
Steinke  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 2
Reno,Nv., USA
I have had much experience in industry with similar locations. Here are a few tips: -NEMA doesn't rate for condensation. A NEMA-1 box is preferable to an undrained NEMA-3 or -4(hosetight) box, as the condensation WILL accumulate. I've seen boxes with over an inch of condensate in them. -Water will also enter conduit and condense, and settle, in low spots. THHN is not suitable for these wet locations. -Corrosion of terminals and connections can be prevented with NOALOX. Commercial anti-seize is often used, but is not technically listed for this use; Noalox is. Apply the Noalox also to conduit fittings, etc., to prevent their rusting-up as well. -Finally, this application is not as scary as it looks. Not only does water have a place to drain, but it is typical in Europe for the 220V water heater to be hung within the shower enclosure. While I wouldn't have a panel inside a shower, I also know that panels are often placed in industrial areas that are even wetter, and more subject to condensation and corrosion!

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