Electrical Panels in wet locations

Discussion in 'Plumbing Code Questions' started by puddi, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. puddi

    puddi New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2021
    Location:
    caifornia
    Since an electrical panel cannot be in a bathroom because it is considered a wet location, why is it OK to place the electrical panel on the exterior wall of a house?
     
  2. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2019
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    I think your premise here is not correct. OCPD are prohibited from dwelling unit bathrooms, and the reason that is in the NEC is not clear to me. Could be as simple as the code panel saying "well, dwelling unit bathrooms are typically single user and monopolized by one person; so we don't want anyone else in the household having to deal with a breaker tripping while the bathroom is in use." That's complete speculation, I have no idea.

    Cheers, Wayne
     
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  4. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Papakea Resort (condo's) in Maui, my parents owned two of them but have been sold, the electrical panel was in the bathroom behind the door. It was about six feet from the shower, 3 feet from the counter to the panel. Nearly impossible for the panel to get wet from the shower. Four story buildings built in 1977. All commercial grade wiring. that is 20 amp, 12 gauge. Bathrooms are classed as damp locations.

    https://www.hew.com/specifications/70555.pdf
    Screen Shot 2021-07-20 at 12.08.18 PM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
  5. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2019
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    I checked the 1971 NEC and 1987 NEC, neither one had the prohibition on OCPD in dwelling unit bathrooms now found in 240.24(E). So the requirement is newer than 1987, I'd keep checking but the interface for old NECs at nfpa.org is a bit tedious.

    Bathrooms are generally not considered as damp locations, NEC-wise. Note the absence of bathrooms in the examples listed in the pdf you posted. And if a bathroom were considered a damp location, you'd need to have a weatherproof cover on the receptacle required by the sink (although not an in use cover), 406.9(A).

    Now if you built your bathroom as one big shower, so you could wash down the walls with a handheld showerhead whenever you felt like it, that would be a damp location, and the weatherproof cover would be an important requirement for the receptacle.

    Cheers, Wayne
     
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