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Author Information Topic:   Circuit Breaker Box Safety
Member

   
Name: Clay Mcfarland
Email: claymcfarls@yahoo.com
Location: California
Title: Realtor
In Trade Since: 2000
Registered: Dec 2002
Total Posts: 3

posted December 20, 2002 at 12:13 PM       Edit/Delete Message
I am a realtor and recently had an inspection done on a townhome.

There is a circuit breaker box installed in a half bath. (toilet and sink)

The inspector stated that the box cannot be in a "bathroom".

Does this apply to room without shower or bathtup ?

By the way this is in the city of los angeles.

IP: 65.184.188.73

Member

   
Name: S Hamblin
Email: shamblin@att.net
Location: Virginia
Title: Homeowner/engineer
In Trade Since: 1983
Registered: Apr 2002
Total Posts: 14

posted December 20, 2002 at 12:52 PM       Edit/Delete Message
A bathroom is any room (or area) which has a sink basin with any (one or more) of the following: toilet, tub, or shower. Since the 1996 code, the definition of bathroom is located in Article 100.

By definition even a 'half-bath' is still a bathroom.

IP: 148.177.1.213

Member

   
Name: David Lange
Email: kvilleengineer@mchsi.com
Location: Indiana
Title: Inspector
In Trade Since: 1989
Registered: Dec 2002
Total Posts: 9

posted December 20, 2002 at 03:32 PM       Edit/Delete Message
I refused an existing panel located in a bathroom when a meter socket was upgraded. The electrician installed a new panel between the meter and the existing load center and used the existing as a junction box. The box had adequate area for box fill and all wires were properly secured. Had trouble refusing it because it did not qualify as service disconnecting means.

IP: 12.218.213.93

Member

   
Name: Paul W.
Email: hogtyed3@hotmail.com
Location: Washington
Title: Electrician
In Trade Since: 1991
Registered: Dec 2002
Total Posts: 59

posted December 20, 2002 at 03:39 PM       Edit/Delete Message
When was the house built and wired? Was it before the date that the code was put in place? While I'm not crazy about the idea, it's possible that the house could be grandfathered in.

IP: 4.65.3.71

Member

   
Name: Clay Mcfarland
Email: claymcfarls@yahoo.com
Location: California
Title: Realtor
In Trade Since: 2000
Registered: Dec 2002
Total Posts: 3

posted December 20, 2002 at 03:50 PM       Edit/Delete Message
quote:
Originally posted by hogtyed3@hotmail.com:
When was the house built and wired? Was it before the date that the code was put in place? While I'm not crazy about the idea, it's possible that the house could be grandfathered in.

The building was built in 1990

IP: 65.184.188.73

Member

   
Name: Paul W.
Email: hogtyed3@hotmail.com
Location: Washington
Title: Electrician
In Trade Since: 1991
Registered: Dec 2002
Total Posts: 59

posted December 20, 2002 at 03:54 PM       Edit/Delete Message
Okay, well grandfathering is definately out of the question. Hmmm, I wonder what the AHJ was smoking, along with the electrician who wired it, that day.

IP: 4.65.3.71

Member

   
Name: Bob Patterson
Email: bob@doublez.net
Location: Washington
Title: Electrician
In Trade Since: 1989
Registered: Sep 2002
Total Posts: 48

posted December 21, 2002 at 12:23 AM       Edit/Delete Message
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the requirement quoted above wasn't against the NEC until 1993. If the home was built in 1990, then the NEC 1987(?)or 1990 would have been in effect and I don't think it was prohibited in that code. I'm going from memory (which isn't to good these days), but if somebody has those codes laying around, they would probably be able to verify my memories.
Bob

[This message has been edited by bob@doublez.net (edited December 21, 2002).]

IP: 65.101.152.155

Member

   
Name: Paul W.
Email: hogtyed3@hotmail.com
Location: Washington
Title: Electrician
In Trade Since: 1991
Registered: Dec 2002
Total Posts: 59

posted December 21, 2002 at 12:44 AM       Edit/Delete Message
Bob,

You may very well be correct. Truthfully, I don't know when it became a code requirement. Can anyone shed some light on this?

IP: 4.65.3.71

Member

   
Name: Randal Odenbaugh
Email: rodenbaugh@psgiweb.com
Location: Maryland
Title: Contractor
In Trade Since: 1983
Registered: Sep 2002
Total Posts: 76

posted December 21, 2002 at 12:49 AM       Edit/Delete Message
please site the code ref...

IP: 141.156.139.198

Member

   
Name: Scott Stevens
Email: stevelec@charter.net
Location: Massachusetts
Title: Electrician
In Trade Since: 1988
Registered: Apr 2002
Total Posts: 420

posted December 21, 2002 at 07:46 AM       Edit/Delete Message
Which came first the bathroom or the panel?

IP: 66.189.51.110

Member

   
Name: Bob Patterson
Email: bob@doublez.net
Location: Washington
Title: Electrician
In Trade Since: 1989
Registered: Sep 2002
Total Posts: 48

posted December 21, 2002 at 10:21 AM       Edit/Delete Message
Scott,
Wouldn't matter which came first. Wasn't prohibited by code at the time of construction.
Bob

IP: 65.101.152.155

Member

   
Name: Todd Yetter
Email: skinskin@att.net
Location: Delaware
Title: Electrician
In Trade Since: 1988
Registered: Nov 2002
Total Posts: 92

posted December 21, 2002 at 10:30 AM       Edit/Delete Message
For curiosity sake, was it a home inspector or an Electrical Inspector?

IP: 12.90.24.168

Member

   
Name: Clay Mcfarland
Email: claymcfarls@yahoo.com
Location: California
Title: Realtor
In Trade Since: 2000
Registered: Dec 2002
Total Posts: 3

posted December 21, 2002 at 10:54 AM       Edit/Delete Message
The inspection was done by a Home Inspector. I have obtained opinions from another Home Inspector and he agrees with the concensus of the posts that are here. He said he would note that the panel is not to code, but that it was to code at time of construction.

Unfortunatly the inspector my client hired was one that enjoys taking a negative approach, and find as much as he can for his report, and failed to inform the client that the code is fairly new.

My client is now ok with the situation.

Thanks to all of you for your information.

IP: 65.184.188.73

Member

   
Name: Greg Anderson
Email: pilot@wans.net
Location: Illinois
Title: Inspector
In Trade Since: 1959
Registered: Aug 2002
Total Posts: 13

posted December 21, 2002 at 11:48 AM       Edit/Delete Message
The 2002 Nec does allow a circuit breaker panel in a bathroom. What it does not allow is a service disconnect in the bathroom. see the below reference from 2002 nec.
230.70 General.
Means shall be provided to disconnect all conductors in a building or other structure from the service-entrance conductors.
(A) Location. The service disconnecting means shall be installed in accordance with 230.70(A)(1), (2), and (3).
(1) Readily Accessible Location. The service disconnecting means shall be installed at a readily accessible location either outside of a building or structure or inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors.
(2) Bathrooms. Service disconnecting means shall not be installed in bathrooms.
(3) Remote Control. Where a remote control device(s) is used to actuate the service disconnecting means, the service disconnecting means shall be located in accordance with 230.70(A)(1).

IP: 66.2.167.109

Member

   
Name: Mike Parks
Email: mike@yourhomesok.com
Location: Columbus Ohio
Title: ESI Electrician Plumber HI
In Trade Since: 1993
Registered: Oct 2002
Total Posts: 174

posted December 21, 2002 at 12:40 PM       Edit/Delete Message
Bob
I disagree. If it was made a bathroom after the fact without a permit, it might not have passed per the AHJ.

Clay
I think the inspector should have pointed out the placement of the panel but not commented as to it being or not being to code.

Mike P.

IP: 209.51.206.61

Member

   
Name: Bob Patterson
Email: bob@doublez.net
Location: Washington
Title: Electrician
In Trade Since: 1989
Registered: Sep 2002
Total Posts: 48

posted December 21, 2002 at 01:24 PM       Edit/Delete Message
Mike,
My apologies to Scott, I wasn't thinking about an "After Market" upgrade, in that case it could be a violation.

As for the home inspector citing code. No home inspector should cite code, they are "generalists" and are only supposed to point out problems or potential problems that require the investigation of a professional tradesman. This is a good example. He should not have commented on it at all unless there was a problem with the panel. However, he should list the location of the panel.

claymcfarls,
Realize that home inspectors are not allowed to CITE codes unless they are trained and certified to do so. I am an electrician, general contractor and a home inspector and certified by the State of Washington to WORK within NEC and local electrical codes and certified in building codes by the ICC. I am not a code official and don't personally know of any HI's who are. I will not cite any codes in my inspection reports, I point out that there may be a problem, state why I feel this way and recommend a professional tradesman of the appropriate industry to investigate (except in the case of electrical, which I am licensed for). There are many HI Associations out there, for what it is worth, COMPLETELY IGNORE a HI's association and hire one based on the ability to provide a clear, honest, complete, common sense and thorough inspection and report. Get references and ask to see copies of reports that have been done. Hire a HI just like you would a contractor, carefully.

IP: 65.101.152.155

Member

   
Name: Harold Endean
Email: hendean@optonline.net
Location: New Jersey
Title: Inspector
In Trade Since: 1975
Registered: Oct 2001
Total Posts: 59

posted December 21, 2002 at 02:33 PM       Edit/Delete Message
For the record, in the 1993 NEC it states that 240-24 (e) Overcurrent protection shall not be located in bathrooms. The 1990 NEc makes no mention of the section of the code. It was a new article in the 1993 NEC.

Harold

IP: 67.83.41.43

Member

   
Name: Harold Endean
Email: hendean@optonline.net
Location: New Jersey
Title: Inspector
In Trade Since: 1975
Registered: Oct 2001
Total Posts: 59

posted December 21, 2002 at 02:35 PM       Edit/Delete Message
By the way, if a panel was installed as per the NEC when the house was built, and has since become an illegal spot after a code change, then the panel can stay where it is. If however someone wants to change the service, then it has to meet the newest NEC rules. This is the way it gets handles here in NJ.

Harold

IP: 67.83.41.43

Member

   
Name: Glenn Zieseniss
Email: gwz@aiagrp.net
Location: Indiana
Title: Inspector
In Trade Since: 1947
Registered: Aug 2001
Total Posts: 399

posted December 21, 2002 at 09:10 PM       Edit/Delete Message
My 1965 NEC 240-16 LOCATION IN PREMISES. has (a), (b), (c).

" (a) Readily accessible , except as provided in in Sections 230-91 and 230-92 for service equipment and Section 364-11 for busways. "

230-92 in part states " Where the service equipment overcurrent devices are locked or sealed, or otherwise not readily accessable, - - -. ".

Maybe this was the lead-in for not having OC devices in bathroom(s) which could be locked from with-in when bathroom is "in-use".

IP: 65.43.71.103

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