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Thread: Wash your hands

  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Wash your hands

    Jimmy go wash your hands and while you are at it, arc weld new buttons on my jeans

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  2. #2
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Bad design, maybe .... but where's the code violation?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    I don't think it has to be a code violation to be a safety hazard.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Some really stupid stuff may not be covered in a code book.

    JS, does your comment mean you would not call that out for repair?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  5. #5
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    I could care less about the code violation. Dump a cup of water on that thing then ask yourself if the lack of a code violation matters


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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    I could care less about the code violation. Dump a cup of water on that thing then ask yourself if the lack of a code violation matters
    Then I guess every switch or receptacle in the house should be called out. Someone could dump a glass of water on those also.


  7. #7
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    I would put in a FYI note about a possible safety hazard in the report but not make it a repair item.


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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I would put in a FYI note about a possible safety hazard in the report but not make it a repair item.
    James and Jim, let me ask a question. If this was your house, or your son or daughter's house, would you change the location of the dryer outlet?
    I would hire an electrician to do it in my place, so I would call for the same for my client.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    John....you and any HI should do what they think is best for their client. To me since there is no way to backup the opinion that the receptacle should be moved I will stick with FYI comment about a possible safety issue and leave it at that. It will not make it into the summary. It's like saying a washing machine on the second floor has to have a backup drain pan. Your or my opinion may be that it should have one but there is no code available to back it up so I put a FYI in the body of the report but it does not make it into the summary as a repair item. If I get a call about an item in the summary of a report I want to have a better reason for it being there than "because I say so". I want a code or something that verifies what I am saying.

    To me the receptacle in the picture is less of a hazard than a garbage disposer hanging on the bottom of a SS sink and you have your hands in the water doing dishes. Do you suggest that the garbage disposers be put on a GFCI receptacle?

    And if it was my house....I would not move the receptacle but I may switch out the metal cover to a plastic one with plastic screws. Would I make this recommendation in my report....no way!


  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Well, there has to be a GFCI on the receptacle at the bath sink.


    But you folks would not write the dryer receptacle as in need of moving/repair/what ever.

    I would write it up as a safety hazard and suggest it be rmoved to another location.....like not right over the sink.

    We cannot tell anyone it has to be removed but it is a safety hazard and for the safety of the family it should be removed.

    I would like the nay sayers to wash up their hands and then place those, water running off them, hands on that receptacle and see how long it takes for you to go to never land.

    Of course it has to be removed. Write it up a suggest that a licensed COMPETENT electrician make the repair for the safety of the family. And not the electrician that that it was alright to put it there because there was no code against it. This is all pretty fruitless....it's just wrong and the electrician or whomever that put it there should be hung up by the little brain and then electrodes hooked to his little friends.

    To suggest that any receptacle could have a glass of water dumped on it and they all should be written up is absurd.

    Just my opinion.


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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Receptacle is upside down and can't be put in proper direction at that location.
    Either the sink or the outlet need to be moved.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    Receptacle is upside down and can't be put in proper direction at that location.

    What exactly does this mean? Why do think the receptacle(s) is upside down?


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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post
    What exactly does this mean? Why do think the receptacle(s) is upside down?
    Chris the plug is designed to go in only one direction.
    That upside down install puts stress on the conductors and can cause issues the same way a crimped conductor in a panel should be called out.


  14. #14
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    From the Hubble web site......


    Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems:Knowledgebase


    Does UL or NEC specify the ground up or ground down on straight blade receptacles?



    The answer is no. The position is a matter of choice or local code enforcement. If the receptacle is mounted vertically, a growing number of users prefer to locate the ground up, and if mounted horizontally, the ground slot is oriented to the left. The rationale is that a metallic object falling on a partially inserted plug will be more likely to contact the ground blade of a 3-wire plug rather than the hot blade. If mounted horizontally, the falling object would contact either the neutral and/or ground


  15. #15
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    That upside down install puts stress on the conductors and can cause issues the same way a crimped conductor in a panel should be called out.
    I agree for this scenario.

    Last edited by chris mcintyre; 08-15-2010 at 01:50 PM. Reason: took out the part JD has answered

  16. #16
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post
    I agree for this scenario.
    A 3/4" 1-hole strap would take the pressure off of the receptacle but is not really needed to meet code. Did you read in the Hubble info that the industry is moving to the standard of ground holes up? Almost all molded cords have the ground nearest the cord so they would all be plugged in with the cord up using that standard.


  17. #17
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Did you read in the Hubble info that the industry is moving to the standard of ground holes up?
    Years ago in my area there were 4 electrical contractors doing 90% of the new construction, one them always put ground up on receptacles and ran switch loops to every light. When we go into a 20-30 year old house that has the ground up I have a pretty good idea who done the wiring.

    I remember asking why he was putting the receptacles upside down, he said that is the way it was suppose to be and it wouldn't be long before everybody was doing it that way (that's the filtered version of what he said ). Mr. McCall didn't see the change in his lifetime, and I don't believe I will either.

    I am curious if this was the original set up or if it was remodeled to stack the washer/dryer and add the sink.


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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I would like the nay sayers to wash up their hands and then place those, water running off them, hands on that receptacle and see how long it takes for you to go to never land.
    How about if you pay me for every minute I hold on? I will die a rich old man. Do you really think that the cordcap is sitting there just waiting to shock someone? Have you never unplugged an extension cord left out in the rain?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Do you really think that the cordcap is sitting there just waiting to shock someone?
    Come on, we're not stupid. We know the cordcap is insulated, yes. So is the cord on a blow dryer.

    People with wet hands and bare feet are more vulnerable to getting shocked. I'm sure you know this, ten milliamps through your heart can cause death.

    Why did we need razor plugs in our bathrooms, those big chrome plates with the isolation transformers, way back in the 40's or 50's? The authorities saw a hazard, and people were getting zapped.

    What if the people unplug that dryer? Think there'd be a shock hazard then, like if kids were playing with bobby pins in there?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  20. #20
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    How about if you pay me for every minute I hold on? I will die a rich old man. Do you really think that the cordcap is sitting there just waiting to shock someone? Have you never unplugged an extension cord left out in the rain?

    Point is Jim....It is just a rediculous thing to do. Why on earth would anyone put a dryer receptacle a few inches up from a bath sink. What exactly is your logic. Look above that dryer receptacle and tell me what you see and what the logic is behind it.

    Why would anyone want to say something like "How about if you pay me for every minute I hold on"

    There are safety measures put in place for the what if and just what if it saves a life. For the life of me I know not why an electrician would have any argument what so ever about this particular placement of any type of receptacle.

    Have I pulled a plug out in the rain yes. Did I get electrocuted, no. Have I leaned against a light post outside and gotten a pretty good shock, yes.

    Can there be any reason what so ever for the dryer receptacle to go bad for any reason or have had a poor wiring job that results in electricity to the cover plate or any other reasons what it is a dumb idea. Cord gets yanked countless times or cut somehow. To many logical reason that this location is a dumb idea and should never have been put there in the first place and there is certainly no reason what so ever that an electrician would not think this is a dumb idea and should be corrected.

    One can argue until they are blue in the face about no code against it. But why???????

    Or argue about not being electrocuted because they once pulled a plug in the rain. Why???


  21. #21
    Mike Inspector's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Of course it has to be removed. Write it up a suggest that a licensed COMPETENT electrician make the repair for the safety of the family. And not the electrician that that it was alright to put it there because there was no code against it. This is all pretty fruitless....it's just wrong and the electrician or whomever that put it there should be hung up by the little brain and then electrodes hooked to his little friends.

    I'll put money on the fact that the sink was put in AFTER the receptacles were. Kinda like I bet a sink would go good.....here.

    Mike


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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I don't think it has to be a code violation to be a safety hazard.
    I would agree...Home inspectors are not code inspectors, although many of the things we see are covered in different codes and we need to be up on them. If you start referring to (a) code in your reports you better be sure you can back it up...and not make a mistake that would kill a sale, or give the impression that the 1940's house needs GFI upgrades before the sale or makes the home uninhabitable. Would it be reasonable for the buyer to expect the seller to bring electrical up to code? or drop $10K of the price???

    Siting codes on homes we inspect can be a can of worms because which code are you going to go by when inspecting an older home. Example: Knob and tube wiring is not a code violation in and of its' self.

    I would point out that this is a potential hazardous situation and Why and recommend it be evaluated further. (period) This may very well be a code violation...and since I don't know or claim to know the entire book. I stay away from pointing to Code.


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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    At the risk of exposing my ignorance....can someone please explain to me how exactly is the code language not sufficient justification for Home Inspectors to call the location of the pictured clothes dryer receptacle a safety issue requiring correction?

    Not that I require the code to substantiate all my calls, but that seems to be the point of separation in some of the opinions expressed above and I'm curious to learn what criteria inspectors are using to decide whether an item is a concern or not.


    E3902.7 Laundry, utility, and bar sink receptacles. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles that are located within 6 feet (1829 mm) of the outside edge of a laundry, utility or wet bar sink shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel. Receptacle outlets shall not be installed in a face-up position in the work surfaces or countertops.

    Last edited by Robert Foster; 08-16-2010 at 09:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Morrison View Post
    I would point out that this is a potential hazardous situation and Why and recommend it be evaluated further. (period) This may very well be a code violation...and since I don't know or claim to know the entire book. I stay away from pointing to Code.
    May I ask why you would state in the same comment it's a potential hazardous situation and then call for it to be evaluated further ?

    If your confident enough to put in writing that it's not safe why not call for it to be corrected? IMHO from the clients perspective, the two comments seem to be at cross purposes to one another.


  25. #25
    Steve E Zabarylo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    The elecrical safety code does allow for the installation of a washer and dryer in a bathroom. The proviso is that both outlets be installed in such a fashion as to be normally inaccessable except by moving the washer and dryer and at a certain height above the floor to ensure they are indeed inaccessable. I'll provide that reference tonight when I have a chance to review my notes.

    Then again, is that a bathroom sink or just a very small laundry tub;=)

    Last edited by Steve E Zabarylo; 08-16-2010 at 09:10 AM. Reason: seeking clarification

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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    At the risk of exposing my ignorance....can someone please explain to me how exactly is the code language not sufficient justification for Home Inspectors to call the pictured concern a defect requiring correction?

    Not that I require the code to substantiate all my calls, but that seems to be the point of separation in some of the opinions expressed above and I'm curious to learn what criteria inspectors are using to decide whether an item is a concern or not.


    E3902.7 Laundry, utility, and bar sink receptacles. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles that are located within 6 feet (1829 mm) of the outside edge of a laundry, utility or wet bar sink shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel. Receptacle outlets shall not be installed in a face-up position in the work surfaces or countertops.
    Ummm, Roger F....

    The 125V 15 or 20-ampere receptacle pictured is a combination GFCI/duplex receptacle.

    The Laundry Center/Dryer receptacle/plug are neither 125V nor 15-20Amp.

    Pictured is a lavatory, not a laundry, utility or wet bar sink.

    What was your point again?



    Yes the metallic cover plate should be bonded.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 08-16-2010 at 09:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    At the risk of exposing my ignorance....can someone please explain to me how exactly is the code language not sufficient justification for Home Inspectors to call the pictured concern a defect requiring correction?

    Not that I require the code to substantiate all my calls, but that seems to be the point of separation in some of the opinions expressed above and I'm curious to learn what criteria inspectors are using to decide whether an item is a concern or not.


    E3902.7 Laundry, utility, and bar sink receptacles. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles that are located within 6 feet (1829 mm) of the outside edge of a laundry, utility or wet bar sink shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel. Receptacle outlets shall not be installed in a face-up position in the work surfaces or countertops.
    That code section you posted does not apply to the 240 volt receptacle that the stacked W/D is plugged into. We cannot see behind the unit to see if GFI protection is installed there. Also the requirement for the GFI protection for the 120V receptacles within 6' of the laundry tub only occurred in the last two code cycles.


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    Post Re: Wash your hands

    As for the 240V outlet, if for no other reason, it should reported as "unsafe" for liability reasons. It is, after all, unsafe. Regarding 120V three-prong outlets, and whether they should be installed "ground-up" or "ground-down", I believe that the "ground-up" reasoning is flawed. If a cord plug is not plugged in fully, allowing something metallic to bridge connectors, I would WANT it to contact the energized conductor so that the circuit breaker would trip. That alerts the home owner to a problem, and kills the circuit to allow safe removal of the foreign object.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    May I ask why you would state in the same comment it's a potential hazardous situation and then call for it to be evaluated further ?

    If your confident enough to put in writing that it's not safe why not call for it to be corrected? IMHO from the clients perspective, the two comments seem to be at cross purposes to one another.
    I see your point: I have already "evaluated" it as unsafe. The next step would be to call for it to be corrected. The "futher evaluation" would be for "others" to (evaluate) the best solution to correct the problem..ie.. move the sink or the dryer plug.

    Last edited by Larry Morrison; 08-16-2010 at 09:37 AM. Reason: (sp)

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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    H.G. ...I was only referring to the clothes dryer receptacle...but thanks for pointed out my lack of clarity.

    ...initial post edited for further, hopefully unambiguous, clarity

    Last edited by Robert Foster; 08-16-2010 at 09:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    M.S.,

    Is the stand pipe/indirect drain for the washer in the laundry box with the shut offs (overflow flood rim above the horizontal plane of the 250V receptacle and plug and adjacent to it)?

    Is this in fact a "bathroom area" (is there a toilet, shower or bathtub in proximity) which contains a laundry center? And if so, where is the separate "laundry circuit" supplied receptacle, or is there yet another laundry area elsewhere?


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Not a code violation but certainly not the best location. Your not going to be reaching to unplug that dryer very often vs how many times you may be plugging a cord and plug appliance into the 125 volt receptacle (GFCI) which could be dropped into a sink full of water.

    I don't see what harm it is to bring it to the homeowners attention maybe they will take out the sink .... but I doubt they will relocate the the dryer branch circuit as it may be more involved than meets the eye.


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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    H.G. ...I was only referring to the clothes dryer receptacle...but thanks for pointed out my lack of clarity.

    ...initial post edited for further, hopefully unambiguous, clarity

    Your latest edit still missing the point!

    Your code citation does not apply to the dryer/laundry center receptacle/plug, it is 250V.

    The electric clothes dryer/laundry center receptacle/plug is not 125V nor 15- or 20-Ampere.


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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    That code section you posted does not apply to the 240 volt receptacle that the stacked W/D is plugged into. We cannot see behind the unit to see if GFI protection is installed there. Also the requirement for the GFI protection for the 120V receptacles within 6' of the laundry tub only occurred in the last two code cycles.
    I know the section doesn't actually say 240 volt, but cannot those home inspectors who require code substantiation, make the judgement call if 120 volts is dangerous then 240 volts is also dangerous.

    As a new inspector I'm perplexed by our professions relationship to building codes and still trying to figure out where I fall on this multifaceted issue.


  35. #35
    Thomas Morgan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    This would be cited as a Hazard in an insurance inspection report.


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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    We have no idea if the dryer/laundry center circuit is or is not "fed" via a combination GFCI/OCPD.

    As pictured the receptacle and plug are not protected from the spray of either the output of the faucet, activites at the sink, or the soap dispenser, and depending on either's orientation, subject to spray of water and deteriorating agents.

    The strain on the dryer/laundry center cord set and receptacle orientation potentially allows gravity to work against maintaining full contact with no exposed gaps between receptacle and the blades of the plug, thus a possibility of an arc between the blades.

    The bend radius of the cord set is questionable, this could damage the insulation or conductors within.The positioning of the cord in this orientation provides a path for accumulated condensation (from laundry activites...etc.) or splashed/deflected water droplets from "sink" usage activites to enter the receptacle (opposite of a drip loop).

    As the vanity top/lavatory still retains its decal on the integral backsplash it is reasonable to presume it (the lavatory) is a recent installation.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 08-16-2010 at 10:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Your latest edit still missing the point!

    Your code citation does not apply to the dryer/laundry center receptacle/plug, it is 250V.

    The electric clothes dryer/laundry center receptacle/plug is not 125V nor 15- or 20-Ampere.
    In all due respect H.G. your propensity for forum jousting is over the top sometimes.

    I know the clothes dryer plug is 220/240/250 volts.

    I did not post that section of code to suggest it was relevant to the clothes dryer receptacle. I posted that code section as a launching point for... if A is a safety concern than is not B also a safety concern worthy of mention in a home inspection report ?

    I thought that was obvious, but my writing skills are not the best and I do frequently make mistakes.


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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    In all due respect H.G. your propensity for forum jousting is over the top sometimes.

    I know the clothes dryer plug is 220/240/250 volts.

    I did not post that section of code to suggest it was relevant to the clothes dryer receptacle. I posted that code section as a launching point for... if A is a safety concern than is not B also a safety concern worthy of mention in a home inspection report ?

    I thought that was obvious, but my writing skills are not the best and I do frequently make mistakes.

    Really? Hmmmm.

    You originally posted:

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    At the risk of exposing my ignorance....can someone please explain to me how exactly is the code language not sufficient justification for Home Inspectors to call the pictured concern a defect requiring correction?

    Not that I require the code to substantiate all my calls, but that seems to be the point of separation in some of the opinions expressed above and I'm curious to learn what criteria inspectors are using to decide whether an item is a concern or not.

    E3902.7 Laundry, utility, and bar sink receptacles. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles that are located within 6 feet (1829 mm) of the outside edge of a laundry, utility or wet bar sink shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel. Receptacle outlets shall not be installed in a face-up position in the work surfaces or countertops.
    You asked for "it", you got "it". When I replied:

    Ummm, Roger F....
    The 125V 15 or 20-ampere receptacle pictured is a combination GFCI/duplex receptacle.

    The Laundry Center/Dryer receptacle/plug are neither 125V nor 15-20Amp.

    Pictured is a lavatory, not a laundry, utility or wet bar sink.

    What was your point again?
    Your four edits to that post and the two to the subsequent one that followed didn't change the "essence" of your post.

    I further followed up with questions to Mat on a post, then posted SAFETY and HAZARD explanations which were NOT CODE citations to address the later part of your post which I highlighted.

    Forum jousting, that's rich.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    We have no idea if the dryer/laundry center circuit is or is not "fed" via a combination GFCI/OCPD.

    As pictured the receptacle and plug are not protected from the spray of either the output of the faucet, activites at the sink, or the soap dispenser, and depending on either's orientation, subject to spray of water and deteriorating agents.

    The strain on the dryer/laundry center cord set and receptacle orientation potentially allows gravity to work against maintaining full contact with no exposed gaps between receptacle and the blades of the plug, thus a possibility of an arc between the blades.

    The bend radius of the cord set is questionable, this could damage the insulation or conductors within.The positioning of the cord in this orientation provides a path for accumulated condensation (from laundry activites...etc.) or splashed/deflected water droplets from "sink" usage activites to enter the receptacle (opposite of a drip loop).

    As the vanity top/lavatory still retains its decal on the integral backsplash it is reasonable to presume it (the lavatory) is a recent installation.
    HG

    I agree with what you say here from a professional evaluation point of view. But how would you enforce that evaluation to force the removal of the sink or relocation of the dryer receptacle or to provide gfci protection ?

    If it was a deal killer to a buyer .. having someone of authority ie an inspector or possibly electrical contractor point out what you said as reason for correction .. might get the owner to agree.

    In general owners will make any correction that is reasonable. It likely will depend on the cost. In todays market I would suspect the owner would take the cheapest way out This of course depends on whether or not it is of priority to the buyer based on the HI's report.

    It is however important and likely required to have a qualified person change the electrical cause it may be more involved than meets the eye. All to often buyers are negligent (not always) in determining if a qualified person performed the work to relocate the receptacle. They just see it was done.

    As for moving or removing the laundry vanity/tub whatever I don't think they should be as concerned.

    I vote for a concern in the report however you would write that up. Most likely the owner will have a positive response assuming it isn't an .. as is sale .. for financial reasons.

    Last edited by Roger Frazee; 08-16-2010 at 11:23 AM.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    So far, only Mr. Watson has noted the glaring bit of missing info here:

    "We have no idea if the dryer/laundry center circuit is or is not "fed" via a combination GFCI/OCPD."

    A quick search for 240 GFCI leads to double pole breakers capable of protecting this outlet from ground faults.

    Would you all, or most of you, accept this as a fix, done by a licensed electrician of course? Seems to me probably only a couple hundred to be done this way, in a short period of time. Perhaps turn the outlet right side up or even sideways if possible at the same time, not a difficult fix either.

    Of course, we are not "enforcing" anything when we inspect, only reporting.

    Also, suggesting the fix either verbally or in writing is beyond the scope, shouldn't that be left to the contractor? I'm just curious if anyone would call out a 240v GFCI protected outlet at this location if it were properly oriented.


  41. #41
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    But how would you enforce that evaluation to force the removal of the sink or relocation of the dryer receptacle or to provide gfci protection ?

    I see another problem with things being missed ... i.e., home inspectors cannot "force the removal ... or relocation" of anything.

    All home inspectors can do is to decide, in their professional opinion (and hopefully that opinion is "professional") that something does not look safe for the occupant.

    Codes are used by many home inspectors to back up their professional opinions, other times the conditions actually meet code (remember, "code" is "minimum") and yet the installation gives off foul smelling odors and reeks of things done where someone just did not consider the entire scope of what was there. In those cases the home inspector is pointing out the conditions to their client.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  42. #42
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    So far, only Mr. Watson has noted the glaring bit of missing info here:
    "We have no idea if the dryer/laundry center circuit is or is not "fed" via a combination GFCI/OCPD."
    A quick search for 240 GFCI leads to double pole breakers capable of protecting this outlet from ground faults.
    It should be pointed out but it would be rare thing indeed.....

    Would you all, or most of you, accept this as a fix, done by a licensed electrician of course? Seems to me probably only a couple hundred to be done this way, in a short period of time. Perhaps turn the outlet right side up or even sideways if possible at the same time, not a difficult fix either.
    There is no fix required IMO and no I wouldn't except that due to the problems HG explained. It will improve human safety but won't solve the other problems to the hardware and wiring over time. Move it would be the best fix but .... how does the person tasked with that provide substantiation to move it?

    I don't see where cord orientation solves much.

    Of course, we are not "enforcing" anything when we inspect, only reporting.
    My point was along those lines though not as clearly stated as Jerry. But if it comes down to enforcing cause the buyer wants it corrected and the owner knows it is code compliant ... likely what he is going to find out eventually... how do you enforce it? ...not speaking about the HI writing the report.

    Also, suggesting the fix either verbally or in writing is beyond the scope, shouldn't that be left to the contractor? I'm just curious if anyone would call out a 240v GFCI protected outlet at this location if it were properly oriented.
    Isn't that sorta chasing your tail ...ie you write something up as wrong ..isn't that suggesting fixing it to the buyer?

    Last edited by Roger Frazee; 08-16-2010 at 12:49 PM.

  43. #43
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary DeWitt View Post
    So far, only Mr. Watson has noted the glaring bit of missing info here:

    "We have no idea if the dryer/laundry center circuit is or is not "fed" via a combination GFCI/OCPD."
    Possibly because there is no requirement for it to be GFCI protected?

    I'm just curious if anyone would call out a 240v GFCI protected outlet at this location if it were properly oriented.
    Define "properly oriented" as regards that 240 volt receptacle.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  44. #44
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Jimmy go wash your hands and while you are at it, arc weld new buttons on my jeans
    This is a lavatory sink and for the sake of argument let's assume this is a stacked washer dryer installed in a lavatory (includes a toilet and possibly other fixtures). The dryer outlet is a shock hazard(period)

    Current best practice does not place any electrical outlet "above" a lavatory sink. Current best practice provides GFCI protection to any outlet in a lavatory. Current best practice allows for dryer/washer outlets that are not GFCI protected provided that they are not easily accessable meaning that they are located behind and below the top of the appliances such that they are not easily reached without moving the appliances.

    Best practices keep our clients as safe as reasonably possible. Isn't that what we do, help our clients minimize their risk? Financial and health wise?

    And no mention of the "C" word is required.


  45. #45
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve E Zabarylo View Post
    This is a lavatory sink ...

    From the photo I would agree that is a "lavatory sink" but it is *not being used as such*, and it is the use of the sink, not the design of the sink, which regulates what is safe and "best practice" around it.

    It is "best practice" to not have any live wiring in a structure, but that is not "practical", and, for all "practical purposes" that is a "utility sink" shown in the photo (based on what is shown in the photo and based on the original poster not coming back and saying it was a bathroom - or did I miss that post?).

    Home inspectors ARE NOT looking at "best practices", if they were then all home inspector reports would be 1,000 pages long and the inspection would take one month per house, and that is not what home inspectors are doing, so the "best practices" thing you keep harping on does not even come into play.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  46. #46
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve E Zabarylo View Post
    This is a lavatory sink and for the sake of argument let's assume this is a stacked washer dryer installed in a lavatory (includes a toilet and possibly other fixtures). The dryer outlet is a shock hazard(period)

    Current best practice does not place any electrical outlet "above" a lavatory sink. Current best practice provides GFCI protection to any outlet in a lavatory. Current best practice allows for dryer/washer outlets that are not GFCI protected provided that they are not easily accessable meaning that they are located behind and below the top of the appliances such that they are not easily reached without moving the appliances.

    Best practices keep our clients as safe as reasonably possible. Isn't that what we do, help our clients minimize their risk? Financial and health wise?

    And no mention of the "C" word is required.

    Unless I have been reading something different we have established that this is not a "best practice" or better not where a professional would locate that receptacle . Point is it is "C" compliant ...


    Now for argument explain to us how you get it moved ....and assume the homeowner won't move it....because it is "C" compliant....

    Or do you tell the buyer that dryer receptacle is reason to walk ...


  47. #47
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    I'd like to ask something since we're on this subject..... some people here seem to think that 240 volt receptacle should be gfci protected (because it is presumed to be a shock hazard) when it is not required. But yet for this situation any 125 volt receptacle within 6 feet (2005 NEC) must be gfci. So why are the code guys not so concerned about a 240 volt receptacle in a laundry..? I have my thoughts (one mentioned earlier) but just asking for opinions and any substantiation would be great....


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    Unless I have been reading something different we have established that this is not a "best practice" or better not where a professional would locate that receptacle . Point is it is "C" compliant ...


    Now for argument explain to us how you get it moved ....and assume the homeowner won't move it....because it is "C" compliant....

    Or do you tell the buyer that dryer receptacle is reason to walk ...
    The red highlight.....You don't get it moved. You just inform your client on the ridiculous thought that was done putting the darn thing there and it IS not a very safe place to have put it to begin with.

    The blue highlight........You don't tell the buyer anything of the sort.

    It is our job to point out blatant non safe situations in the home. Can we tell them of every situation in the home that is a safety issue.....No. But when it is in your face you should be informing them that this is an unsafe point of the home and should be addressed.

    Whether anyone fixes it or not is none of my business.

    What is it that is your concern. Pissing off a Realtor.....So what. I would rather never get a referral again from a Realtor if they get pissed that I mentioned an unsafe dryer receptacle location. (That happens all the time)

    I am not sure where the 50% of the folks on here that have posted do not see this or would not write it up. Why would some of you folks not write this particular electric shock hazard up when you are doing your report.

    You inform your client that this is an electric shock hazard and in your opinion it should be moved (because it is). Whether the buyer asks for it to be relocated, the seller takes it upon himself to move it, the seller will not move it, the Realtor gets pissed, the listing agent gets pissed......Who cares. You just and I say you just POSSIBLY kept some little kid that is messing around at the sink from the possible electric shock and maybe the only electric shock this little kid will ever get....because he is dead.

    I do not understand. What is the matter with writing this situation up as in need of repair. The reason???? because not only is it a stupid place to put the dryer outlet or not moving the dryer outlet after the sink was put in but it MIGHT save your 6 year old sons life.

    What seems to be the problem

    Sorry Roger. It may look like this is directed at you but this is an IN GENERAL point of view and opinion to everyone.


  49. #49
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Could someone please tell me how far this receptacle would need to be from the sink before you felt it was safe?


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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Wow. Seem to have stepped in it here.

    Just to clarify my position, I was curious as to whether, REGARDLESS OF CODES, with a view to the SAFETY issue, anyone would see a GFCI protected outlet as OK in that spot. The fact that I asked should have been enough to indicate that the SAFETY of all concerned was more important to me than code.

    I got one answer, before the conversation moved on.

    In light of this comment: "Sorry Roger. It may look like this is directed at you but this is an IN GENERAL point of view and opinion to everyone." I would like to be excluded from "everyone".

    I don't advocate leaving this major safety issue off any report, verbal or written. It's not likely protected at the panel anyway.

    By the way, I don't feel building codes will ever be able to prevent some "creative" individuals from removing themselves and others from the gene pool. Not possible. All we can do is keep pointing out known dangerous issues as we go.


  51. #51
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Could someone please tell me how far this receptacle would need to be from the sink before you felt it was safe?
    Out of reach behind the appliance would do nicely.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  52. #52
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    I'd like to ask something since we're on this subject..... some people here seem to think that 240 volt receptacle should be gfci protected (because it is presumed to be a shock hazard) when it is not required. But yet for this situation any 125 volt receptacle within 6 feet (2005 NEC) must be gfci. So why are the code guys not so concerned about a 240 volt receptacle in a laundry..? I have my thoughts (one mentioned earlier) but just asking for opinions and any substantiation would be great....
    I'll take a stab at this:
    "Code Guys" are always playing catch-up. Codes written in the 80s try to prevent the problems discovered or reported in the 70s. Also codes will be written with a certain amount of credence to economics, especially residential building codes. If the residential code was the same as commercial code, you could add several thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home.
    Like it or not there would have to be an unacceptable # of deaths or serious injury caused by 220V circuits before a code would be deemed necessary (justified).


  53. #53
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Sorry Roger. It may look like this is directed at you but this is an IN GENERAL point of view and opinion to everyone.
    No problem Ted ...I voted to make it a concern ....


  54. #54
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Here is my problem with putting things in summary as a repair item when it is really an upgrade or an improvement.

    In NC when a offer to purchase is written it most often includes a repair contingency that will allow a buyer to get out of a deal if the repairs on the house cost more than the repair contingency amount. If the summary is filled with upgrades and improvements that the buyer decides they want because you said they were needed and the repairs exceed the repair contingency amount the seller has a good case against the HI if the deal falls through. NC allows the HI to include upgrades and improvements in the report but the only thing that can be in the summary is actual repair items. The criteria says that a "system has to be performing its intended function and not be in need of immediate repair taking into consideration normal wear". This installation meets that criteria...IMO.

    For the record I would include in my report that the location of the receptacle is a safety concern but meets code. It would be listed as a improvment and not be in the summary.

    I am not a lawyer or a RE agent so this is my opinion only.


  55. #55
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    I'd like to ask something since we're on this subject..... some people here seem to think that 240 volt receptacle should be gfci protected (because it is presumed to be a shock hazard) when it is not required. But yet for this situation any 125 volt receptacle within 6 feet (2005 NEC) must be gfci. So why are the code guys not so concerned about a 240 volt receptacle in a laundry..?
    This is because you could be standing there at a lavatory holding a 120 volt plug in electric shaver, hair dryer, etc., but that chances of you standing there at a lavatory holding a 240 volt electric shaver, hair dryer, etc., is going to be r-e-a-l slim.

    With the GFCI being there to protect the *user* of the appliance and in no way is it there to protect the *appliance* or even the receptacle itself, the GFCI protection is not there to protect "the receptacle" but rather "what is plugged into the receptacle".

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary DeWitt View Post
    Just to clarify my position, I was curious as to whether, REGARDLESS OF CODES, with a view to the SAFETY issue, anyone would see a GFCI protected outlet as OK in that spot. The fact that I asked should have been enough to indicate that the SAFETY of all concerned was more important to me than code.
    The real answer is no ... unless you also want to write up and point out that there is an electric light there, an exhaust fan, and ... see where that would go - that could go to include anything and everything electrical in that room?

    As John said:
    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel
    Out of reach behind the appliance would do nicely.
    I always like to see them behind the appliance even when there is no sink nearby - just "makes sense" to me.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  56. #56
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Jerry, thanks for your reply.
    Just FYI, the condo complex I live in (202 units, ca 1965, earliest example of condominiums in Los Angeles) has two receptacles 6" above and centered behind the washer & dryer. I wish they'd change the code for GFCI in laundry areas. I don't want to hear about someone trying to unplug one of those machines while stirring laundry in the washer full of water with the other hand!


  57. #57
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Here is my problem with putting things in summary as a repair item when it is really an upgrade or an improvement.

    In NC when a offer to purchase is written it most often includes a repair contingency that will allow a buyer to get out of a deal if the repairs on the house cost more than the repair contingency amount. If the summary is filled with upgrades and improvements that the buyer decides they want because you said they were needed and the repairs exceed the repair contingency amount the seller has a good case against the HI if the deal falls through. NC allows the HI to include upgrades and improvements in the report but the only thing that can be in the summary is actual repair items. The criteria says that a "system has to be performing its intended function and not be in need of immediate repair taking into consideration normal wear". This installation meets that criteria...IMO.

    For the record I would include in my report that the location of the receptacle is a safety concern but meets code. It would be listed as a improvement and not be in the summary.

    I am not a lawyer or a RE agent so this is my opinion only.
    So

    Not to argue by any means....... but if you agree that it is a safety concern then.......... ....... it needs to be written up for repair.

    "but meets code" Is it required that you say that in your reports. Why are you quoting what is and is not code about some items but not all items in your report. If in fact you say anything about code then I believe it was you or someone from the state you are in said that everything had to have code quoted. I may be wrong on that.

    How could anyone attack you for writing up a safety concern in need of repair if it is for the safety sake of your client. Again...no one has to fix anything. Even if you did not write it up but your client did not like the idea of the placement and asked for it to be fixed it does not mean the seller has to fix it. I know for a fact that deal breakers happen all the time because buyers want some darn drapes in the living room.

    Telling your client that the receptacle can be a real safety concern about electric shock is not an exageration, a lie, or some made up half white lie, it is real and needs addressing in need of repair for the safety of your clients.


  58. #58
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    This is because you could be standing there at a lavatory holding a 120 volt plug in electric shaver, hair dryer, etc., but that chances of you standing there at a lavatory holding a 240 volt electric shaver, hair dryer, etc., is going to be r-e-a-l slim.
    Sorry Jerry .... somehow in my sleepy brain that reason was supposed to be included in my question. I was wondering if by chance there was additional reasons .... like the odds of someone sticking it over a sink was r-e-a-l slim......


  59. #59
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    So

    Not to argue by any means....... but if you agree that it is a safety concern then.......... ....... it needs to be written up for repair.

    "but meets code" Is it required that you say that in your reports. Why are you quoting what is and is not code about some items but not all items in your report. If in fact you say anything about code then I believe it was you or someone from the state you are in said that everything had to have code quoted. I may be wrong on that.

    How could anyone attack you for writing up a safety concern in need of repair if it is for the safety sake of your client. Again...no one has to fix anything. Even if you did not write it up but your client did not like the idea of the placement and asked for it to be fixed it does not mean the seller has to fix it. I know for a fact that deal breakers happen all the time because buyers want some darn drapes in the living room.

    Telling your client that the receptacle can be a real safety concern about electric shock is not an exageration, a lie, or some made up half white lie, it is real and needs addressing in need of repair for the safety of your clients.
    My point is you have to draw the line somewhere about what is a repair and what is an improvement. For a home inspection the house has to meet the code it was built under and is not required to be ungraded to meet the current standards. There is a seller suing a HI in NC right now for messing up a deal by an "enthusiastic" inspection so it is a real possibility that it can happen. NC has good rules to follow so I try to do so. I think it comes down to an opinion with documentation to back up the opinion versus an opinion with no data to back it up.


  60. #60
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Let's be a bit careful about 'inferring' things - for example, inferring that 240v is more dangerous than 120, or that proximity to water has some relation to hazard.

    After all, have you ever seen a 240v. water heater that had GFI protection? Just think, those things have the elements IN the water, and nice copper pipes straight to the iron bathtub.

    What, exactly, is the 'practical safeguarding of electricity?' Well, that's the definition of the NEC. Add to it as you will, but don't claim that you have any special form of 'common sense.'


  61. #61
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    Let's be a bit careful about 'inferring' things - for example, inferring that 240v is more dangerous than 120, or that proximity to water has some relation to hazard.

    After all, have you ever seen a 240v. water heater that had GFI protection? Just think, those things have the elements IN the water, and nice copper pipes straight to the iron bathtub.

    What, exactly, is the 'practical safeguarding of electricity?' Well, that's the definition of the NEC. Add to it as you will, but don't claim that you have any special form of 'common sense.'
    Please John

    It is common sense. It is unsafe. It is foolish.


  62. #62
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Please John

    It is common sense. It is unsafe. It is foolish.
    But it is allowed by the NEC and therefore moving it is an upgrade....not a repair.


  63. #63
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Just my opinion and I suppose it may be relevant but I don't think if you located that dryer outlet where it is and you were under inspection by permit, .. the inspector would not allow it.

    Just throwing in my 2 cents to approach the home owner as a buyer to see if a relocation would be agreeable. Other wise if it wasn't a deal breaker I'd remove the sink and relocate or have the receptacle relocated whatever that involved after taking possession.. my opinion is to possibly say in the report the receptacle meets minimum safety standards by code but in your professional opinion relocation is advisable.

    Last edited by Roger Frazee; 08-17-2010 at 01:24 PM.

  64. #64
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Roger, please quote the code article that this is violating.


  65. #65
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    Default Re: Wash your hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Roger, please quote the code article that this is violating.
    Hi Jim

    I can't because it is code complaint.

    What I am saying is I believe the inspector would use his authority to supercede code or whatever you want to call it to have the receptacle moved to a location behind the dryer where about 99% of them generally are placed.

    I do not view it as a glaring electrocution waiting to happen. That IMO is an over reaction.

    This is not a receptacle that your continually plugging something into like a drill or hair dryer or whatever and holding that appliance in your hands. I believe the proximity is so close to the sink that an inspector would be uncomfortable with that and have it moved.
    This for all the reasons HG mentioned in his evaluation.

    Second ... I think it looks cheesy ....


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