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  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Is an outlet required near the sink/vanity in a powder room. House was built in 07.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Yes, of course, change "powder room" to "bathroom". IRC 3801.6

    Dom.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    yes one is required - I am quoting the 2008 NEC as My past editionjs of the NEC are back in my office, I will verify them and post accordingly when I get to the office

    2008 NEC article 210.52(D) Bathrooms
    In dwelling units at leats one receptacle outlet shall be installed in bathrooms within 3 feet of the outside edge or each basin. The receptacle outlet shall be located on a wall or partition that is adjacent to the basin or basin countertop, or installed on the side or face of the basin cabinet not more then 12 inches below the counter top.

    2008 NEC article 100 ( definitions)
    Bathroom-An area including a basin with one or more of the following: a toilet,a tub, or a shower.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    This is from 1996 (and it goes back even further than that):

    (d) Bathrooms. In dwelling units, at least one wall receptacle outlet shall be installed in bathrooms adjacent to each basin location. Bathroom receptacle outlets shall be supplied by at least one 20-ampere branch circuit. Such circuits shall have no other outlets. See Section 210-8(a)(1).
    Receptacle outlets shall not be installed in a face-up position in the work surfaces or countertops in a bathroom basin location.

    And a "bathroom" is:

    Bathroom:
    An area including a basin with one or more of the following: a toilet, a tub, or a shower.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    From the 1978 NEC - Article 210-25(b) -
    At least one wall receptacle outlet shall be installed in the bathroom adjacent to the basin location.

    This is also when the requirement for GFCI protection in bathrooms was introduced.

    210-8(a)(1) All 120 volt,single-phase,15 and 20 ampere receptacles installed in bathrooms and garages of dwelling units shall have ground-fault circuit interrupter protection for personnel.

    This is also where the definition of a bathroom is introduced.

    210-8(a)(2)
    Bathroom: A bathroom is an area including a basin with one or more of the following: a toilet, a tub, or a shower.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Mat,

    I'm going to take a guess that one of those Decora style switches is operating an exhaust fan for the "powder room"....

    Fan controls/motor switches need to be "indicating" Decora style aren't.

    Looks like that rim height/distance clearance is mighty close to those switches.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    From the 1978 NEC - Article 210-25(b) -
    At least one wall receptacle outlet shall be installed in the bathroom adjacent to the basin location.

    This is also when the requirement for GFCI protection in bathrooms was introduced.

    Correct - almost ... you mean the 1975 NEC.

    The NEC did not require receptacle outlets in bathrooms until there was a 'safe' way to put a receptacle in a bathroom, the GFCI protection is what allowed the receptacle outlet in a bathroom to be 'safe' and that is when the requirement to install a receptacle outlet in a bathroom came in. Makes complete sense when you think of it in those terms - the NEC did not require something which was 'not safe' (at least to the minimum standards used for the NEC and other codes).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    I'm dodging some flack for the use of "powder room" You dont use that terminolgy?


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    I'm dodging some flack for the use of "powder room" You dont use that terminolgy?
    Powder room as a modifer for a "bathroom" or 1/2-bath sure. As long as you realize it is still a "bathroom" as far as the codes and safety issues are concerned.

    Not sure who you feel is shooting up flack for the use of the phrase "powder room", I think it was just pointed out to you that it is a (technically speaking) "bathroom area".

    Notice you didn't respond on the function of the decora switches and if one or the other was operating an exhaust fan.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    H.G you are correct, one is for the vanity light the other for the exhuast fan. The entire bathroom was on a GFCI so I didn't say anything about the location of the switches. Something was not correct with the wiring as well.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Didnt see the rest of your post. What does indicating style mean?


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    HG, could you post the article that requires an indicating disconnect for the exhaust fan?

    Unplugging other items satisfys for a disconnect elsewhere.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    The switch control used as a (default) intermediate disconnect and as a control for the fixed exhaust fan (motor control) must meet NEC requirements for same.

    The "Indicating" can be short-version-answered 2008 NEC citation 404.7 "Indicating" and 404.15(B) "Off Indication".

    You'll find quoted below in the first two "QUOTE BOXES".

    It must be properly rated, in so far as the "interruption rating" (for this purpose - motor load and/or combination load, per hP, wattage, voltage and current for the inductive or combination load) the fan assembly must not exceed 50 percent of the shared circuit's rating, and the control must be of the "indicating" type. Generally such fixed exhaust fans are lower hP rated and most residential ("mushy" and/or quiet snap these are not a "clean" snap often intermediate arcing) switches are allowed to be installed in residences to controll at 80% of their rating (watts or VA as converted to hP) of the device on the switch leg, commercial/industrial (loud snap, quick snap clean snap, no intermediate arcing) for motor controls or combination loads at 50 percent of their rating in watts or VAs for conversion to hp. IOW the motor "control" switch must be properly "identified" (glossary term in Chapter one pertaining to equipment) for this use (as per listing and its ratings, etc.). This switch and loop must further be groundED/bonded (ECG). If this is a combination light/luminaire and exhaust fan the lighting portion is demand or continuous and has to be calculated at 125 percent when considering load, wattage/hp percentages on the switch, switch loop, and circuit rules (50 percent, 80 percent, etc.).

    Indicating switches/"controls"/AND disconnects must be permanent on the switch units themselves (not the plate) as manufactured. This rules out decora style switches ("indicating" does not include a light etc. on the switch) AND three-way/four-way switches. Since the switch is acting as the "controll" this indicating requirement exists even if the intermediate "disconnect" is a cord and plug cap/integral receptacle for the "fan motor" in the exahust fan housing and/or if the circuit breaker elsewhere is of the lockout type, etc. - it is a rule for the "control" of the operation to be "indicating".

    This is covered in chapter 4 for the NEC and in Chapter 1 under definitions (see glossary under switch, general use; switch, motor-control, switch, general use-snap, etc.). I'll have to look the citations up for you, but IIRC in chapter 4 it should be under both switches in 404 (404.7 and 404.15(B) for example ) and in 422 and 430, 430.103, especially 430.104 ("To Be Indicating") so, and is further covered in 430.108, 430.109(B), (C) and (F), and 430.110.

    Indicating in this case requires a permanent molded/engraved off, not a pilot light, "nightlight" on the switch plate or handle, etc. the OFF position must be one that completely OPENS all ungrounded conductors. The closed or ON position must be distincly identifyably clear that it is other than OFF. When Snap switches are used for this purpose (control of motor) and mounted in a vertical orientation - OFF must be down, ON is UP (IOW gravity/default must be open or off).

    This is covered by compiling the associated sections/articles which pertain to the permanently installed exhaust fan unit. Rather than cut/paste over 40 different cited paragraphs....I'll give you now the shorter (still long) version.

    404.7:
    Quote Originally Posted by 2008 NEC
    Article 404
    Switches
    404.1 Scope. The provisions of this article shall apply to all switches, switching devices, and circuit breakers where used as switches.

    404.7 Indicating. General-use and motor-circuit switches, circuit breakers, and molded case switches, where mounted in an enclosure as described in 404.3, shall clearly indicate whether they are in the open (off) position or closed (on) position.

    Where these switch or circuit breaker handles are operated vertically rather than rotationally or horizontally, the UP position of the handle shall be the (on) position.

    Exception No. 1: Vertically operated double-throw switches shall be permitted to be in the closed (on) position with the handle in either the up or down position.

    Exception No. 2: On busway installations, tap switches employing a center-pivoting handle shall be permitted to be open or closed with either end of the handle in the up or down position. The switch position shall be clearly indicating and shall be visible fromt he floor or fromt he usual point of operation.
    404.9 covers the requirement for the switch and loop to be grounded and for there to be a "tail" in the box to ground the switch plate, should it ever be replaced with a conductive one (metal).

    404.14 Covers General Use Snap Switches.
    You'll find interruption rating information there (hint "motor loads" are inductive loads).

    The regular "residental" AC only ("mushy" or quiet snap) snap switches are covered in (A), the "commercial/industrial" (AC/DC rated) ("clean" or loud snap) snap switches are covered in (B).

    As this is not a rotational fan/motor control switch, need not cover that area.

    "Dimmer" switches and other variable speed switches are covered elsewhere. General use "dimmer" switches are not allowed for other than permanently installed incandescent luminaires 404.14(E) unless specifically listed and labeled for such specific use.

    Construction markings for switches are covered under 404.15, ratings for same under 404.15(A).
    Pertanent to discussion is also 404.15(B) regarding OFF "Indication" markings:

    Quote Originally Posted by 2008 NEC

    404.15(B) Off Indication. Where in the off position, a switching device with a marked OFF position shall completely disconnect all ungrounded conductors to the load it controls.
    Motor controll requires a separate motor disconnect in sight from the motor location. It is required to be indicating. Although 430.104 references the disconnecting means shall plainly indicate whether it is in the open (off) or closed (on) position - many times folks will debate that that section does not plaintly indicate that it must SAY off or on, but ..
    we are talking about the means to CONTROL the operation/activation of the motor containing exhaust fan device/assembly/listed equipment/appliance/appartuance, i.e. the switch; and in the section for the article on SWITCHES as well as the definitions for switches in article 100, as well as the requirements for all forms of disconnect outlined in - this is plainly covered in 430.108. However ALL motor disconnects, including any intermediary ones from first power originaltion to the motor itself are universally required to meet 430.108, even those that function as a combination motor control (e.g. switch) and motor disconnect, not just the final or lockable, or local disconnect.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2008 NEC


    430.103 Operation. The disconnecting means shall open all ungrounded supply conductors and shall be designed so that no pole can be operated independently. The disconnecting means shall be permitted in the same enclosure with the controller. The disconnecting means shall be designed so that it cannot be closed automatically.

    430.104 To Be Indicating. The disconnecting means shall plainly indicate whether it is in the open (off) or closed (on) position.

    430.108 Every Disconnecting Means. Every disconnecting means in the motor circuit between the point of attachment to the feeder or branch circuit and the point of connection to the motor shall comply with the requirements of 430.109 and 430.110

    {H.G.'s note, see specifically 430.109(B), (C) & (F); and 430.110 (A) and (C)}.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2008 NEC

    430.109 (B) Stationary Motors of 1/8 Horsepower or Less. For stationary motors of 1/8 hp or less, the branch-circuit over-current device shall be permitted to serve as the disconnecting means.
    this must be a lock-out breaker to qualify, since same (overcurrent protection other than supplimentary) would not be allowed to be "within sight" rules and local to the exhaust fan in a residential BATHROOM,

    Quote Originally Posted by 2008 NEC





    430.109 (C) Stationary Motors of 2 Horsepower or Less. For stationary motors rated at 2 hp or less and 300 volts or less the disconnecting means shall be permitted to be one of the devices specified in (1), (2), or (3):
    (1) A general-use switch having an ampere rating not less than twice the full-load current rating of the motor. (not to exceed 50% of the rating of the switch).


    (2) On ac circuits, a general-use snap switch suitable only for use on ac (not general-use ac-dc snap switches) where the motor full-load current rating is not more than 80 percent of the ampere rating of the switch.
    (3) a listed manual motor controller having a horsepower rating not less than the rating of the motor and marked "Suitable as Motor Disconnect".
    For those fan units with integral cord and plug to the motor unit itself within the installed housing:

    Quote Originally Posted by 2008 NEC
    430.109(F) Cord-and-Plug-Connected Motors.
    For a cord-and-plug-connected motor, a horsepower-rated attachment plug and receptacle having ratings no less than the motor ratings shall be permitted to serve as the disconnecting means. a horsepower-rated attachment plug and receptacle shall not be required for a cord-and-plug connected appliance in accordance with 422.33, a room air conditioner in accordance with 440.63, or a portable motor rated 1/3 hp or less.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2008 NEC




    430.110 ampere Rating and Interrupting Capacity.
    (A) General. The disconnecting means for motor circuits rated 600 volts, nominal, or less shall have an ampere rating not less than 115 percent of the full-locad current rating of the motor.


    Exception: A listed unfused motor-circuit switch having a horsepower rating not less than the motor horsepower shall be permitted to have an ampere rating less than 115 percent of the full-load current rating of the motor. ....
    (C) For Combination Loads. When two or more motors are used together or where one or more motors are used in combination with other loads, such as resistance heaters, and where the combined load may be simultaneous on a single disconnecting means, the ampere and horsepower ratings of the combined load shall be determined as follows....
    Refer to the NEC for the remainder of 404, 422 and 430 as well as to review article 100 (Interrupt Rating, and Switches,... (all references), etc..

    Bottom line - snap switches must be indicating (say OFF) when used to control the operation of a motor load, inductive load or combination load, or appartuance or appliance containing same. When a snap switch is used to control the operation of same, and is mounted in a vertical orientation OFF (open) must be down. Whatever type switch or controller witch is used (even variable speed control) it MUST have an OFF indication (which opens the ungrounded conductor) and be rated, listed and labeled for purpose, three-way/fourway switches are NOT EVER allowed (multiple loop multi-positions multiple locations) for a residential exhaust fan, and a lighted/lamp on the switch is not a valid, legal, listable, standard-meeting, NEC complaint "off" (open) "indication" (some thought it was for a time, but it isn't - and esp. confusion as to those which remain lit, lite only when off/nightlight features, combination devices (not merely switches), etc.

    Sensors, timers, etc. are another area I chose not to cover at the moment. I've already timed out multiple times and had to retype this more than once (ugh!).

    Hope that Helps you understand, the "Indicating" requirement and meaning - and why that DECORA style Switch for the bathroom exhaust fan is NOT ALLOWED under any circumstances to control the operation of the bathroom exhaust fan.




    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-14-2010 at 11:13 AM.

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    Exclamation Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    As you may notice several posts were deleted.

    If you are not sticking to the topic and answering the question please don't post. Take your personal differences elsewhere.

    I've got a finger on the "Member Delete" button.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Hi Mathew,
    Could the mirror be installed over the outlet? Wouldn't be the first time........


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    H.G.,

    Where does the "indicator" requirement leave residential and commercial bathroom exhaust fans controlled by occupancy sensors - I do not believe I've ever seen one with any "indicator" other that a pilot light...

    Michael Thomas
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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    This is from 1996 (and it goes back even further than that):

    (d) Bathrooms. In dwelling units, at least one wall receptacle outlet shall be installed in bathrooms adjacent to each basin location. Bathroom receptacle outlets shall be supplied by at least one 20-ampere branch circuit. Such circuits shall have no other outlets. See Section 210-8(a)(1).
    Receptacle outlets shall not be installed in a face-up position in the work surfaces or countertops in a bathroom basin location.

    And a "bathroom" is:

    Bathroom:
    An area including a basin with one or more of the following: a toilet, a tub, or a shower.
    Don't you just love the NEC folks. So, where to put a receptacle when the edge of the countertop is 6-12 inches from a tub? GFCI does not make it safe. Safer, yes, but not 100% safe. I run into this all the time mostly in new houses. A nice big soak tub with a ceramic tile surround just big enough for little ones to walk and play on. Right there, on the wall, in line with the edge of the tub, but not over it, is a wall outlet. And yes, I have found GFCIs that fail to trip on test. Not a lot but even one failure is enough (rules of logic).

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    Don't you just love the NEC folks. So, where to put a receptacle when the edge of the countertop is 6-12 inches from a tub? GFCI does not make it safe. Safer, yes, but not 100% safe. I run into this all the time mostly in new houses. A nice big soak tub with a ceramic tile surround just big enough for little ones to walk and play on. Right there, on the wall, in line with the edge of the tub, but not over it, is a wall outlet. And yes, I have found GFCIs that fail to trip on test. Not a lot but even one failure is enough (rules of logic).
    Somewhere beyond the opposite side of the basin "rim" - away from the vertical delineators of the tub/shower zone prohibited from containing such devices or outlets - and with the basin fixture intervening/breaking the horizontal line between the tub/shower zone and the receptacle.

    However, we've been warned to stay on topic, and there wouldn't be a tub or shower in the subject bathroom area "powder room".

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-15-2010 at 09:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    H.G.,

    Where does the "indicator" requirement leave residential and commercial bathroom exhaust fans controlled by occupancy sensors - I do not believe I've ever seen one with any "indicator" other that a pilot light...
    I specifically mentioned I was avoiding going into detail on your subject question in an effort to remain on topic (and we've been subsequently warned to stay on topic) however would be glad to explore on a specific topical thread you create M.T.

    I've sent you a P.M., M.T., with some general information.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hannigan View Post
    If you are not sticking to the topic and answering the question please don't post. Take your personal differences elsewhere.

    Brian,

    Would you please expand on and define "sticking to the topic"?

    Are the rules so tight that H. G. is confined to what he stated in his posts above, or is that latitude to wander as long as the posts stay 'topic oriented' or even 'somewhat resembling the topic'?

    I suspect you were referring to the sometimes wildly wondering posts which are not related in any way to the topic and only expressing personal differences.

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Brian,

    Would you please expand on and define "sticking to the topic"?

    Are the rules so tight that H. G. is confined to what he stated in his posts above, or is that latitude to wander as long as the posts stay 'topic oriented' or even 'somewhat resembling the topic'?

    I suspect you were referring to the sometimes wildly wondering posts which are not related in any way to the topic and only expressing personal differences.
    No I think he is referring to the deleted post by HG in which he insulted Jim Port for questioning him.

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Several posts were removed, I was not the only author, John Kogel. I believe our host can speak for himself, quite well, in fact.

    You might not realize this J.K., being from Canada and all (NEC references), but I didn't state that an indicated disconnect was required to Mat, but that if a SWITCH to operate the fan was present, the SWITCH must be an "indicating" one (404) and that if present (a switch intermediate to the circuit/tap and the fan) it (the switch) must also be a properly rated and indicating motor disconnect (430). Distinctions with certain differences.

    I wrote to Mat's switch presence and the fact of its presence (likely the reason the receptacle was "missing" when the original single switch loop was split up to have light control separate from the fan control) what the requirements were for said (fan) switch, when Mat confirmed its purpose. In no way did I indicate a requirement for a switch to be present in this location, only that due to its presence in this installation (exhaust fan control) the switch has requirements that are not met in this installation.

    Which was confirmed to be on topic to Mat's topic powder room photo and circumstance.

    Hope that clears up your confusion regarding the topical discussion of the OP's subject powder room electrical defects - (receptacles & switches) and of course the wiring/electrical problems Mat last illuded to.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-15-2010 at 09:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Hi (ALL) &

    So - Getting back to the original question - I'm left wondering if this was a "DIY" (the way I so often find the added bathrooms done & also without a heat source, etc.), or was the Powder Room buillt /finished that way ?

    It just makes more sense to have a proper outlet there, but as we all know it's not a 'perfect' world out there, yet & so good for us & keeps us working...


    CHEERS !

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Duxbury View Post
    Hi (ALL) &

    So - Getting back to the original question - I'm left wondering if this was a "DIY" (the way I so often find the added bathrooms done & also without a heat source, etc.), or was the Powder Room buillt /finished that way ?

    It just makes more sense to have a proper outlet there, but as we all know it's not a 'perfect' world out there, yet & so good for us & keeps us working...


    CHEERS !
    The switches are on a GFCI, I assume back at the panel. HG may be correct, the original outlet could have been removed to make room for a fan switch.

    Note to client: The Decora switch in the bathroom does not have 'off' indication which is reported to be a code violation and needs to be changed.
    Is there a shock hazard? No, the switch appears to be installed correctly so that off is down. Does Leviton make a Decora switch with 'off' written on it anywhere? No. (Correction - apparently they do, but Ive never seen one. See JP's post #27). Do the authorities call these switches out as violations? No, apparently not. Maybe they think the breaker switch covers the requirement.
    Are you a code enforcer? No, I am a home inspector. Why are you telling me this? I don't know. It helps to pass the time, I guess.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 10-21-2010 at 10:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Note to client: The Decora switch in the bathroom does not have 'off' indication which is reported to be a code violation and needs to be changed.
    Is there a shock hazard? No, the switch appears to be installed correctly so that off is down. Does Leviton make a Decora switch with 'off' written on it anywhere? No. Do the authorities call these switches out as violations? No, apparently not. Maybe they think the breaker switch covers the requirement.
    Are you a code enforcer? No, I am a home inspector. Why are you telling me this? I don't know. It helps to pass the time, I guess.
    Not so fast ... there *IS* an "indicating" disconnect for the fan - it is called a "circuit breaker".

    Thus the Decora switch *IS* allowed to be used to turn the fan on and off, but *it must also have* another disconnect which meets the requirements of "indicating" - and there is the breaker for that ... however, the breaker shall have a lockout device installed on it.

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    John Kogel,

    Yes the AHJs would be calling out both the decora type non-indicating switch present for the bathroom exhaust fan rating greater than 1/8 hp or equal., and the missing required bathroom sink rim proximity/area receptacle.

    Yes it is an issue code-wise then and now in Utah. The switch must be indicating and in the correct orientation, it is required in the "switch" section of the 2008 NEC, at 404.and before that the 2005 NEC same section. It doesn't mater if there is a qualifying disconnect elsewhere. It must be indicating as a switch for the bathroom exhaust fan.

    You are also assuming down is off as to its installed function/orientation.

    And no, and it should be obvious, neither the configuration of what is in the box, the cover-side splash orientation, the vanity/furniture cabinet, nor its sink top & vanity top configuration are original to the construction approval of the newer residence. This is a post first approved occupancy decorating/make over.

    Big clues besides the configuration at the box, mat's renition of other electrical issues, the repair/finish above the countertop and side splash, is the white unpainted area between the door trim casing and the face of the jambed up vanity type furniture cabinet - very white.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    I realize that a certain someone here knows all, but ...

    I contacted Leviton and asked about Decora switches satisfying the NEC requirement for being "indicating" or not - here is their reply:

    Hello Jerry,
    Standard Decora switches do not meet this requirement. However we do make special versions of 5601 15 amp single pole residential grade switch where we imprint “On” and “Off” on the rocker, which would meet these requirements.
    215-05601-X2A Almond
    216-05601-X2I Ivory
    217-05601-X2W White
    218-05601-X2E Black
    219-05601-X2T Light Almond


    Patrick Clapp
    Technical Service Supervisor

    T: 800-824-3005
    F: 631-812-6762
    pclapp@leviton.com
    Leviton Mfg. Co.
    201 North Service Road
    Melville, NY 11747
    It is useful to not that he superficially stated "Standard Decora switches do not meet this requirement. However ... "

    And to note that the "However ... " refers to Decora switches as well, just "special" ones.

    I suspect that one cannot tell from the photo that those Decora switches are not, or are, the "special" "indicating" Decora switches.

    Are they? *I* have no idea.

    Could they be? *Yes.*

    Mat would have had to have known what to look for and where to have even looked for it.

    The point is this: One should not automatically assume they know everything and automatically write off Decora switches as NOT being indicating and therefore NOT being allowed for that use.

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Mat,

    I'm going to take a guess that one of those Decora style switches is operating an exhaust fan for the "powder room"....

    Fan controls/motor switches need to be "indicating" Decora style aren't.

    Looks like that rim height/distance clearance is mighty close to those switches.
    The ensuing discussion was whether an indicating switch was required, which was the point, and it is (if switch present).

    Special Decora switches in the marketplace!!! Are they LISTED as motor controls? Moot question, Neither switch pictured is one.

    Ask a limited question, get a limited answer.

    No more PMs or emails quoting the prior post please, its irrelevant, and doesn't change the requirement for an indicating switch if present, to control the powder room exhaust fan.

    The smooth rocking switch face is not an indicating SPECIAL Decora switch.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-21-2010 at 09:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    No more PMs or emails quoting the prior post please, its irrelevant, and doesn't change the requirement for an indicating switch if present, to control the powder room exhaust fan.

    Not sure who you are referring to about PMs or emails as I do not correspond with with you, so you must be talking about your alter ego, or your imagination.

    I WILL email whomever I like for information, and if that is what you are referring to then you really do think you control it all.

    The smooth rocking switch face is not an indicating SPECIAL Decora switch.
    Guess you, yet again, do not know what you are looking at. Those SPECIAL Decora switch are smooth rocking switch face Decora type switches.

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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Just to stir the pot a bit .... are we certain there is no receptacle present?

    I'm referring to the once-common receptacles in the bases of the lights over the sink.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    I often wonder how what fits a code requirement is established, and by whom.

    A Decora style switch has "top" stamped into the yoke, indicating how the switch is to be mounted. Since the switch operates with the rocker pushed in as the mode indicater, one could reasonably say that the switch clearly indicates it is off or on by the position of the rocker.

    The operation of a rocker type switch is completely different than, say, a "push-on, push-off" type switch that looks the same no matter the mode it is in.

    At that point, since there is no code requirement that "on" or "off" be present, only that there be an indication, I say the decora switch meets the requirement for indicating and have never had an AHJ in the 40+ jurisdictions I work in disagree.


    2008 NEC, Chapter 4 "Equipment For General Use", article 404, Switches

    404.7 Indicating.
    General-use and motor-circuit switches,
    circuit breakers, and molded case switches, where mounted
    in an enclosure as described in 404.3 (in a box, basically), shall clearly indicate whether they are in the open (off) or closed (on) position. Where these switch or circuit breaker handles are operated vertically rather than rotationally or horizontally, the up position of the handle shall be the (on) position.


    IF we take 404.7 to mean that "on" and "off" must be imprinted on a general use switch, then Decora switches can't be used at all.

    430.104, concerning motors specifically, uses exactly the same language.

    430.104 To Be Indicating.
    The disconnecting means shall plainly indicate whether it is in the open (off) or closed (on) position.


    I'm looking for any code language that explains how Decora switches can be used at all if they don't clearly indicate, or how exactly the same wording means two different things when it concerns a bathroom fan motor - - regardless of what the manufacturer said.

    Now, if you mount a decora switch horizontally, contrary to the instruction on the yoke, you DO have, technically, have two violations.

    I'm not after anything but DEFINITIVE code language that resolves this issue, if there is in fact one.



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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    404.7 Indicating.
    General-use and motor-circuit switches,
    circuit breakers, and molded case switches, where mounted
    in an enclosure as described in 404.3 (in a box, basically), shall clearly indicate whether they are in the open (off) or closed (on) position. Where these switch or circuit breaker handles are operated vertically rather than rotationally or horizontally, the up position of the handle shall be the (on) position.


    IF we take 404.7 to mean that "on" and "off" must be imprinted on a general use switch, then Decora switches can't be used at all.
    Quite a conundrum there BK, UL lists the device and then the code clearly says you cannot use it for its intended purpose.

    A Decora for a light is a general use switch. One simply could not depend on the light as an indication, especially if the light canot be seen from the switch or the bulb is out.

    I wonder why I have only seen this come up in thirty some years as an issue, and that is in this post.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Jim P., U haven't heard of this issue i.e. decora/bath exh fan, in so many years, because 99 % of us AHJ's don't trivialize normal installation practices we deem safe.
    Does the decora switch have sufficient hp rating to interrupt the 1/32 - 1/8 hp shaded pole motor? yep. Is the switch off in the down position (installed correctly, and I do check on inspections)? yep. Is there a safe disconnecting means within the unit for changing out the fan,? yep.
    Is there a lockable means at the breaker? should be.

    Having said such, H.G. is technically correct I believe. However, I have not personally researched this issue and will not as long as there are so many more important issues that have real consequences, such as: a basin with no other item in the same room. Example would be homes where the basin, toilet, and bath are separated by walls and doors.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Quite a conundrum there BK, UL lists the device and then the code clearly says you cannot use it for its intended purpose.

    A Decora for a light is a general use switch. One simply could not depend on the light as an indication, especially if the light canot be seen from the switch or the bulb is out.

    I wonder why I have only seen this come up in thirty some years as an issue, and that is in this post.

    I'm not convinced that the code does say you can't use the Decora switches as general use switches. The UL listing bolsters this opinion a bit.

    As to why it is an issue here, in this thread? Well, if you didn't get in trouble for saying it was because of someone that was involved in the thread, that's what I'd imply. I'd even go so far as to say the manufacturer Jerry contacted is in error in their opinion since they still sell the switches as a general use device.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Construction markings in the next part of 404. See 404.15, especially 404.15(B).

    The molded raised "on" and "off" or impressed and filled, are part of the ANSI/UL construction/listing Standard specifications. labeling, silk screening, painting, is not sufficient for such switches - it is part of the ANSI/UL Standard for the category;of general use snap switches, both AC/DC and AC only; construction, marking, and what constitutes "indicating" and has to be at point of manufacture - under the UL program. Changes later with other covers after manufacture would have to be under a classified program.



    The "issue" and discussion has been on going and known for decades. It is frequently re-addressed in columns and articles in trade publications, often in Q&A columns, frequently re-asked in section meetings, etc. This is not new or news (the indicating requirement of a switch so installed). There are other non-indicating general use snap switches, AC only styles in the marketplace which also cannot be used. Similar reasoning why a 3-way/4-way switch installation may not be used.

    The "special" decora switch is only for residential and only for rated 15 amps. This defeats the usefulness in the majority of applications - 12 amps/limited hp at 80 percent for an inductive or combination load/appliance. A night-light or lit rocker switch (several in the Decora line) do not open all ungrounded even in the off position - may also not be used.

    The "indications" are molded raised to the face of the rocker not smooth.
    "stock" labeling includes a smooth screen label "fan", "disposal" and "oil switch". Special orders can be made to have them screen print just about anything on the face including logos or advertising.

    Strangely, the UL file listing doesn't include the 5601 Decora's with the X suffix. Both Leviton and UL have confirmed this to be the case as of late this morning and early this afternoon, respectively. According to the same party at Leviton previously contacted by another (who was responding to researching only section 404.7 in a limited manner), they (Leviton) are looking to get this (model number/catalog number designation - the "X" series or rather a 5601 with an "X" suffix) added to the UL file listing. I've heard this before many months ago - and it still was not done as of this afternoon.

    Yes, I caught the back peddle after claiming a circuit breaker was sufficient (only if 1/8 hp or less) and yes that is not true, IF there is a switch installed it must be indicating 0-2 hp. If greater than 1/8 hp a switch or motor disconnect must be installed. If a switch is installed - it must be indicating.

    No, the "special" switch rocker is not smooth faced.

    WMUZ.E7458 - Switches, Flush

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    I'm not convinced that the code does say you can't use the Decora switches as general use switches. The UL listing bolsters this opinion a bit.
    That was my thinking, so I contacted the manufacturer for verification, only to find out that they said differently.

    To me, if it is UL listed as a General Use Switch, then it meets the requirements for General Use Switches.

    I have not knowing personally seen a "special" Decora switch, but I have not look to find out either.

    I have looked at various photos of standard Decora switches and compared them to special Decora switches and the differences are slight. If one was not looking for the differences I doubt one would notice the differences.

    And, after all ... the Decora switches are UL listed as general use switches ...

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Do not confuse a category code or a listing file as to being all encompasing as to the provisions for a particular product. Do not assume every item referencing a Standard for testing as to having every quality or maximum, covered in a scope.

    Nightlights and lighted switches in the "decora" line do not open all ungrounded conductors completely, for example.

    The manufacturer admits the "X" suffix is not identified in the listing file.

    Numerous "Decora" catalog numbers are limited in that Listing file, as to "incandenscent lighting only", limited by max watts for that lighting load, etc. They are categorized to a more universal all encompasing area for qualities, and are then further limited.

    One really needs to get a "handle" on the heirarchy of the categories.

    For example, switches, general use
    further limited to switches, general use, AC only,
    further limited, etc.

    Not all products are submitted for listing and/or testing to the other applicable Standards for safety testing or evaluation for specific applications covered under other standards such as qualifying motor disconnects, etc.

    And UL isn't the only game in town.

    A UL Listed mark does not mean the product has been Listed, or safety tested and to meet every Standard application or limit possibly addressed in the category code grouping or to every application possible suggested by a Standard's scope. Submittals for Listing can be further qualified/limited within a particular Standard. Many particular applications for a product have more than one qualifying Standard; there is no requirement by UL or the other certifying entities or NTLs to meet EVERY Standard applicable to a particular application.

    Shall we next engage discussion as to whether it would be appropriate to install a switch limited to 15 amps on a 20 amp circuit? I don't think so.

    As far as the direction of the discussion, it was initially led by Mat, who specifically asked what "indicating" meant. I addressed that. It was then disputed and questioned by others regarding the requirements, it was further addressed, correctly and accurately. Recent opines by others as to what one can assume regarding a Listing or Certification mark, or for that matter a Classified mark from UL, or what is and is not in a Listing File Number, are branching topics that may be best addressed on their own topic discussions.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Fifteen amp rated switches are safely installed every day on 20 amp circuits. Why would you need a 20 amp rated device to control a 100w load?

    The exception would only be if the lighting load was actually 20 amps.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Shall we next engage discussion ... ? I don't think so.

    As far as the direction of the discussion,.. are branching topics that may be best addressed on their own topic discussions.
    We had taken a turn for switched appliances and appartuances, i.e. other than purely resisitive incandescent lighting loads being switched (inductive or combination loads)...as this topic developed relative to Mat's (OP) pictured inspected installation and the "issues" thereof (alterations in powder room, present lack of receptacle, split switching of exhaust fan, non-indicating switch, and the other electrical "problems" Mat referenced.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-24-2010 at 10:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Shall we next engage discussion ... ? I don't think so.

    As far as the direction of the discussion,.. are branching topics that may be best addressed on their own topic discussions.
    Let's see ...

    You want to reply to any post you want to reply to, but ...

    You do not want others to reply to or expand on things you do not want them to reply to or expand on????

    Fortunately ... quite fortunately .... this is not your kingdom.

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Fortunately ... quite fortunately ... this is not your kingdom
    No it is not, it is Mr. Hannigan's! Who has posted on this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Let's see ...
    You want to reply to any post you want to reply to, but ...
    You do not want others to reply to or expand on things you do not want them to reply to or expand on????
    The OP (Mat) asked what was indicating as to switch, applicable to his inspection photographed installation and responses to his (OP's) OT Powder Room discussion.

    I simply suggested that (regards to ME/my participation) it was a discussion for another topic thread discussion, especially mindful of Mr. Hannigan's post and actions relative to this topic thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hannigan View Post
    As you may notice several posts were deleted.

    If you are not sticking to the topic and answering the question please don't post. Take your personal differences elsewhere.

    I've got a finger on the "Member Delete" button.


    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-24-2010 at 11:28 AM.

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    No it is not, it is Mr. Hannigan's.

    That is correct.

    And as long as BRIAN does not mind some wondering of the topic as it leads to other and more information ... THEN IT IS BRIAN's control which we abide by ... NOT YOUR REPETITIVE posting of what you dislike and therefore, because you dislike it, we should not post it.

    Brian's post was, as far as I know, to keep us on track to the educational stuff, not to wander off into the personal stuff, and not to limit the posts such that expanded topics should not be discussed wherever the information leads the discussion.

    After all, before you joined the board, the topics had a wonderful topic drift and much information which was not asked for was given and appreciated. Your attempts to take over and control the board to how you see fit fail, and apparently you do not like that.

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That is correct.

    And as long as BRIAN does not mind some wondering of the topic as it leads to other and more information ... THEN IT IS BRIAN's control which we abide by ... NOT YOUR REPETITIVE posting of what you dislike and therefore, because you dislike it, we should not post it.

    Brian's post was, as far as I know, to keep us on track to the educational stuff, not to wander off into the personal stuff, and not to limit the posts such that expanded topics should not be discussed wherever the information leads the discussion.

    After all, before you joined the board, the topics had a wonderful topic drift and much information which was not asked for was given and appreciated. Your attempts to take over and control the board to how you see fit fail, and apparently you do not like that.
    I believe

    If you are not sticking to the topic and answering the question please don't post. Take your personal differences elsewhere.
    Speaks for itself.

    Have a wonderful week.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Not so fast ... there *IS* an "indicating" disconnect for the fan - it is called a "circuit breaker".

    Thus the Decora switch *IS* allowed to be used to turn the fan on and off, but *it must also have* another disconnect which meets the requirements of "indicating" - and there is the breaker for that ... however, the breaker shall have a lockout device installed on it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Guess you, yet again, do not know what you are looking at. Those SPECIAL Decora switch are smooth rocking switch face Decora type switches.

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    The "indications" are molded raised to the face of the rocker not smooth.
    ...

    Yes, I caught the back peddle after claiming a circuit breaker was sufficient (only if 1/8 hp or less) and yes that is not true, IF there is a switch installed it must be indicating 0-2 hp. If greater than 1/8 hp a switch or motor disconnect must be installed. If a switch is installed - it must be indicating.

    No, the "special" switch rocker is not smooth faced.
    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I have not knowing personally seen a "special" Decora switch, but I have not look to find out either.

    I have looked at various photos of standard Decora switches and compared them to special Decora switches and the differences are slight. If one was not looking for the differences I doubt one would notice the differences.

    And, after all ... the Decora switches are UL listed as general use switches ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I realize that a certain someone here knows all, but ...

    I contacted Leviton and asked about Decora switches satisfying the NEC requirement for being "indicating" or not - here is their reply:



    It is useful to not that he superficially stated "Standard Decora switches do not meet this requirement. However ... "

    And to note that the "However ... " refers to Decora switches as well, just "special" ones.

    I suspect that one cannot tell from the photo that those Decora switches are not, or are, the "special" "indicating" Decora switches.

    Are they? *I* have no idea.

    Could they be? *Yes.*

    Mat would have had to have known what to look for and where to have even looked for it.

    The point is this: One should not automatically assume they know everything and automatically write off Decora switches as NOT being indicating and therefore NOT being allowed for that use.

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    No, the "special" switch rocker is not smooth faced.


    And of course the suggestion that Mat may not have known to look for an indicating switch in the first place, or to question the SMOOTH FACED ROCKER DECORA STYLE SWITCH which MAY or MAY NOT have been a LIT FACE or a NIGHT-LIGHT model (does not fully open all ungrounded conductors) was OF COURSE the POINT of my question to HIM as to whether or not one of the pictured SMOOTH-FACED ROCKER DECORA STYLE SWITCHES was controlling the operation of a bathroom exhaust fan.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Speaks for itself.

    Well, H. G., you passed that test (my post was a test to see if you could determine the difference between thread drift which did not need to be avoided and thread drift which should be avoided), however, ....

    ... you are still trying to control the board.

    Thread drift IS ALLOWED.

    And, it is now apparent, you apparently know the difference in allowable thread drift.

    So, cut the crap on trying to control the board and trying to keep others from contributing to the thread with additional information just because you think you know it all and need to have the final say.

    Sheesh, what a piece of work that H. G. is.

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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Matt answered his own question

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Is an outlet required near the sink/vanity in a powder room. House was built in 07.
    In this post #10

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    H.G you are correct, one is for the vanity light the other for the exhuast fan. The entire bathroom was on a GFCI so I didn't say anything about the location of the switches. Something was not correct with the wiring as well.
    The light and fan are both outlets using the Article 100 definition of outlet.

    The correctly worded question should have been, "Is a receptacle required near the sink/vanity in a powder room?"


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    Just to stir the pot a bit .... are we certain there is no receptacle present?

    I'm referring to the once-common receptacles in the bases of the lights over the sink.
    John Steinke,

    It doesn't "stir the pot", they are extraneous and do not meet the requirements even if present. If you read the beginning of article 210.52 (Dwelling Unit receptacle outlets), it clearly outlines that the following subsections are for required 125-volt 15- and 20-Ampere receptacles in addition to those that may be integral or provided with lights, switched outlets, those enclosed in cabinets, etc.

    So those shaver receptacles in the bathroom don't count. Since the height requirement for those countertop receptacles is 20" above max (or up to 12 below for special accomodations) neither would that receptacle in the kitchen light over the sink (btw, usually not on a 20 amp SA circuit either).

    We don't necessarily have to be sure such extraneous receptacles are not present for the topic discussion, as they do not "count" regarding the required receptacles deliniated in the remainder of 210.52.


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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    So those shaver receptacles in the bathroom don't count. Since the height requirement for those countertop receptacles is 20" above max (or up to 12 below for special accomodations) neither would that receptacle in the kitchen light over the sink (btw, usually not on a 20 amp SA circuit either).

    We don't necessarily have to be sure such extraneous receptacles are not present for the topic discussion, as they do not "count" regarding the required receptacles deliniated in the remainder of 210.52.
    Sorry HG, those distances are for kitchen countertop receptacles. The correct distance for a bathroom basin receptacle is within 3'.




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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    I was responding to John S.

    HIS reference to light fixtures with receptacles over a SINK was a general reference, example; he made no mention of specifically over a BATHROOM AREA SINK. I guess you MISSED the period. Two sentances, the second one (different subject) was referring to light fixtures with receptacle over a KITCHEN sink, common paragraph, both light fixtures with receptacle! Since JOHN didn't specify which SINK said light fixture was near/over. I explained how same wouldn't meet the requirements for bathroom sink basin receptacles, and that light fixture with receptacle over/near kitchen sink countertop frequency/location was doubly not counted as complying with further requirements in 210.52.

    However, I note you completely ignored 210.52 which makes it quite clear the later required BATHROOM Receptacle(s) are IN ADDITION to any within light fixtures, etc.

    Which was the reference and example given as to WHY John S.'s stiring the pot didn't "stir". Such as John S.'s example question, do NOT meet the requirements of 210.52.

    BTW that's a really crappy copyright 2001 Mike Holt Enterprises diagram/figure, long since retracted/redacted.

    That is not correct, and has been retracted quite awhile ago. The receptacle may be mounted in/on the vanity cabinet as well, not just on a wall or partition.

    An HI would note the switch controlling operation of the ceiling exhaust fan, or is it a light fixture (2001) over the tub/shower was IN REACH OF THE TUB SHOWER.

    Not a good thing, especially in 2001, where there was no requirement to ground the switch, or GFCI the light fixture.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-26-2010 at 08:03 PM.

  50. #50
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    Default Re: Powder Room Vanity Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Sorry HG, those distances are for kitchen countertop receptacles. The correct distance for a bathroom basin receptacle is within 3'.
    Yep, that's why I used the word KITCHEN, which of course you quoted (only partially) but apparently MISSED, and the fact that we don't have "SA" circuit receptacles in a bathroom! My overall topic was directed to John Steinke's reference to extraneous receptacles, and that they were not to be counted when applying the requirements of 210.52, as directed by 210.52!

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G.Watson, Sr.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    Just to stir the pot a bit .... are we certain there is no receptacle present?
    I'm referring to the once-common receptacles in the bases of the lights over the sink.
    John Steinke,

    It doesn't "stir the pot", they are extraneous and do not meet the requirements even if present. If you read the beginning of article 210.52 (Dwelling Unit receptacle outlets), it clearly outlines that the following subsections are for required 125-volt 15- and 20-Ampere receptacles in addition to those that may be integral or provided with lights, switched outlets, those enclosed in cabinets, etc.

    So those shaver receptacles in the bathroom don't count. Since the height requirement for those countertop receptacles is 20" above max (or up to 12 below for special accomodations) neither would that receptacle in the kitchen light over the sink (btw, usually not on a 20 amp SA circuit either).

    We don't necessarily have to be sure such extraneous receptacles are not present for the topic discussion, as they do not "count" regarding the required receptacles deliniated in the remainder of 210.52.



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