light in shower

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by gfe76, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. gfe76

    gfe76 New Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Florida
    Roughing in standing shower. thinking about putting a shower ceiling light in with switch right outside shower threshold. Anything special about putting a light in ceiling of shower? (I plan on having a 16" square access panel in shower ceiling to get accesss to shut off valves.)
    Thanks
  2. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    2,736
    Location:
    Central Florida
    2005 NEC 410.4(D) says your lighting fixture must be listed for the location. I would also put it on a GFCI-protected circuit, assuming the switch is close by.
  3. gfe76

    gfe76 New Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Florida
    thanks mikey...that's what I thought (although I didn't know the code section). Can these lights be purchased at big box store as long as it says suitable for showers (wet conditions)? thanks
  4. rdtompki

    rdtompki New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    Iowa
    Whe you say "light" I assume you mean a recessed fixture. You just need to make sure that the fixture has a trim option that is approved for damp conditions. I believe most do. There is certainly a limitation as to how close you can place an outlet to a tub. I don't know that this applies to switches and showers, but I wouldn't necessarily put the switch within arms reach of the shower.

    Rick
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2007
  5. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    1,006
    Location:
    NY State, USA
  6. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
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    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Also, no GFI protection is required for recessed lights over a tub or shower.
    You can if you want, but it is NOT required.
  7. 480sparky

    480sparky In the Trades

    Messages:
    149

    Some AHJs require GFI protection, so it's a good idea to ask.

    FWIW, here's the Code section:

    [​IMG]
  8. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    Location:
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    Actually it is a good idea for them to provide a code reference if they "require" it.
    I had this happen with one guy who wanted GFI for switches within reach of a shower. He could not provide a written code reference so it was not done.
    It was a silly request any way.
  9. 480sparky

    480sparky In the Trades

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    149
    All they need to do is amend the NEC at a public meeting.
  10. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    Exactly. They can't simply pull it out of their ass and say they want it.
    It MUST be in legal writing.
  11. prashster

    prashster New Member

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    941
    I'm no pro, but I wouldn't put a switch near a shower if I didn't have to.
  12. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

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    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT

    And I am a pro, and I wouldn't worry to much about it... :D
  13. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    1,006
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    OK. Why? Just because?
  14. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689

    He has probably been shocked from a switch cover plate screw before. I know I have.

    There is aways something creepy about touching a switch when you are wet and naked standing on a tile floor. impure water WILL conduct.
  15. 480sparky

    480sparky In the Trades

    Messages:
    149
    Not to gross anyone out, but that is exactly what the human body is made of.
  16. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    I'm sure there's a safe way to do this, but it's a needless risk (IMHO). There's just no reason to have it within arms reach of the shower. I'd put it near the main light switch at the entrance of the bathroom. I have 2 kids that use the master shower occasionally and find lots of reasons to reach out while inside.

    Of course, if the b-room is small enough, the point's moot anyway, since the switch'd HAVE to be within arms reach of the shower.
  17. 480sparky

    480sparky In the Trades

    Messages:
    149
    When installed properly, there's no reason to fear the close proximity of electricity and water.

    After all, just look at a water pump, your garbage disposal, boilers, dishwashers, electric water heaters, clothes washers, electric presure washers, swimming pools.....
  18. gfe76

    gfe76 New Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Florida
    hey guys....thanks so so much....appreciate all the input....great site!
    the light will be recessed and the bath is small, but I will try to put switch on wall other than right outside shower. thanks again.
  19. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Picture your wife all nekkid and ready to hop in the shower, and ask yourself if she's going to be happy about having to walk across the room to turn on the shower light. The switches for our shower light and fan are right by the door, and that's why the circuit is GFCI-protected.
  20. gfe76

    gfe76 New Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Florida
    thanks mikey...makes sense....
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