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  1. #1
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    Default Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Good morning everyone,

    On a recent inspection I observed two lights that the homeowner added around a bathroom sink. The lights were added to the bathroom light circuit above the sink. The wiring is exposed running from the light above the sink to each light. The lights have a switch in which they can be turned on manually or can come on when the light above the sink is turned on. They are not sealed in any way to prevent water entry. My original thought is that they should be removed due to the possibility of electrical shock should a wet hand try and turn the light on or if water from the sink is accidentally splashed onto the bottom light. Any thoughts?

    Brian

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Brian

    I agree with your assessment. Recommend removal and upgrade the outlet at sink to GFCI protection if not already protected.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Those are plug-in undercabinet fixtures & should be easy to remove & they should be removed IMHO.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    The lights and outlets should be protected with a GFI.

    However, I don't see a lot of difference between the added outlets and lights and the wall mounted switch and outlet. Using the wet hands splash guide-lines they could see water as well.


  5. #5
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Other than the wiring method being an issue what other code is violated by these lights? If they were properly installed is there a code problem based on their location?


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    If they are permanently wired and were installed by the current owner there should have been a permit taken out. Since this is rarely the case the buyer could request the seller to remove it or have it inspect by the local building inspector or AHJ.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    I probably would not make much of an issue with the lights.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Harwood View Post
    On a recent inspection I observed two lights that the homeowner added around a bathroom sink.
    That is not a problem as there is no distance separation requirement between the lights and the sink.

    The lights were added to the bathroom light circuit above the sink.
    The lights should not have been added to that circuit unless there is one circuit to each bathroom and that circuit only supplies one bathroom.

    The wiring is exposed running from the light above the sink to each light.
    That is, of course, not good.

    They are not sealed in any way to prevent water entry. My original thought is that they should be removed due to the possibility of electrical shock should a wet hand try and turn the light on or if water from the sink is accidentally splashed onto the bottom light.
    No requirement for that as that is not a wet location, that is not even considered a damp location.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Cord connected luminaires (portable, fixed, dropped, flush, or otherwise, lights, lamps, etc.) nor any part thereof are prohibited anywhere within three feet horizontally and 8' above the rim of a tub when a combination tub/shower is in the "bathroom".

    The tub/shower "zone" is minimally considered a damp location.

    The space between the flood rim/spill over point of the pictured outside wall of the tub rim and the vanity appears less than 36" horizontally. The luminaire mounted vertically upon the wall extends beyond the vanity top and towards the tub/shower.

    The portable (whether afixed or not) fluorescent lamps are defaulted as dry location only, unless marked otherwise and appear to be in an incorrect orientation presuming same were to be damp location listed; even following conversion, if listed for same and/or having used a specifically listed or classified conversion kit would be in an incorrect orientation for damp location relative to the integral switch and wireway/ballast and the ability to drain condensation to other than the pins and starter contact for the tube. Neither appears to be Listed for a wall mount, at least not in the orientations pictured.

    Most such lamps have a minimum 1/2" space between optic (lamp cover allowing light out) and any other surface, many have far more than a a 1/2" minimum (reflective heat).

    Lamp cord is not an approved concealed wiring method (disapears in drop panel light box on the ceiling above the vanity containing other fluorescent ballasted tube/lamp luminaire/light fixture).

    Old UL 1570, Present UL 1598, UL 153, etc.

    NEC 110.3,
    NEC 410.10(D) (tub/shower 'zone')

    410.10(D) defines a 'bathrub and shower zone' that extends 3 ft (0.9 m) horizontally beyond the tub rim or shower receptor and 8 ft (2.4 m) vertically from the top of the bathtub rim (flood rim of the tub) or shower stall threshold. Prohibited within this 'zone' are:
    Hanging or pendant luminaires
    Lighting track
    Paddle (ceiling) fans
    Cord-connected luminaires.

    UL White Book
    Product Category Codes
    Portable Lightiing Products (QOTU)
    Portable Cabinet Luminaires (QOVJ)
    Luminaires, Portable (QOWZ)
    Portable Luminaire Acessoreis, Kits and subassemblies (QPAU)
    Incandescent or fluorescent luminaires intended for installation in permanently installed cabinets, where the wiring is concealed or passed through openings in the structure, (know of none which were or are 'suitable for damp locations') are covered under Incandescent Surface-mounted Luminaires (IEZR) or Fluorescent Surface-mounted Luminaires (IEUZ) for surface mounting, or Incandescent Recessed Luminaires (IEZX) or Fluorescent Recessed Luminaires (IEVV) for recessed mounting.



    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 04-08-2012 at 04:23 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Cord connected luminaires (portable, fixed, dropped, flush, or otherwise, lights, lamps, etc.) nor any part thereof are prohibited anywhere within three feet horizontally and 8' above the rim of a tub when a combination tub/shower is in the "bathroom".

    The tub/shower "zone" is minimally considered a damp location.
    Watson,

    Do you get a kick out of posting information not related to the question as though the information you are posting is correct, or is correcting someone, when your information does not apply to the question being discussed?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  11. #11
    Phil Brody's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    I think Watson's point is a good one. We instantly look at the sink as the moisture origination point but the tub/shower is in close proximity. Certainly if the shower curtain isn't fully closed the light would be exposed to a damp condition at a minimum.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Rather interesting given that inspectors often comment on safety issues in a home.
    I personally don't see this set up as any different, it is a safety concern.


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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Watson,

    Do you get a kick out of posting information not related to the question as though the information you are posting is correct, or is correcting someone, when your information does not apply to the question being discussed?
    It isn't always ALL ABOUT YOU PECK. Yours was not the only "question" raised, and certainly not the ONLY participation on this thread discussion before I responded. I suggest you actually try reading the thread in its entirety, in chronological order. But, yes, your post also has questionable non-qualified, unreferenced assertions. Your most recent participation (the quoted above) is uncalled for, unprofessional, and displays a glaring lack of knowledge of the ANSI/UL Standards for Safety, the product categories being displayed, asked about and discussed, as well as the actual language of the "code" (yet another ANSI Standard) refered to, as well as JUST WHAT THE SAFETY ISSUES REALLY ARE in the photographed residential bathroom. And displays yet more short-sightedness blinded perhaps by your own ego. The deterioration evidenced in the photo due to improper installation, clearances and orientation of the devices, is obvious as well.

    Your selective snip ignores the entirety of the seven key points which followed, five of which apply EVEN if the installation is beyond three feet horizontally of the outside rim of the tub!

    Are you inferring that Article 410, as well as Article 100 Definitions, and Section 110.3 do not apply to this installation?!? The first few chapters of the NEC apply to ALL electrical installations.


    Quote Originally Posted by 2008 NEC
    Article 410 Luminaires, Lampholders, and Lamps

    I. General

    410.1 Scope. This article covers luminaires, portable luminaires, lampholders, pendants, incandescent filament lamps, arc lamps, electric-discharge lamps, decorative lighting products, lighting accessories for temporary seasonal and holiday use, portable flexible lighting products, and the wiring and equipment forming part of such products and lighting installations.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2008 NEC

    410.62 Cord-Connected Lampholders and Luminaires





    (C) Electric-Discharge Luminaires.
    (1) Cord-connected Installation. A luminaire or a listed assembly shall be permitted to be cord-connected if the following conditions apply:
    (1) The luminaire is located directly below the outlet or busway.


    (2) The flexible cord meets all of the following:
    a. Is visible for its entire length outside the luminaire.


    b. Is not subject to strain or physical damage.
    c. Is terminated in a grounding-type attachment plug cap or busway plug, or is a part of a listed assembly incorporating a manufactured wiring system connector in accordance with 604.6(C), or has a luminaire assembly with a strain relief and canopy having a maximum 152 mm (6 in.) long section of raceway for attachment to an outlet box above a suspended ceiling.
    If you blow up the photo you can see the CORDS and where it disappears behind the suspended light box trim!








    In so far as the "zone" I said:
    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr.

    The space between the flood rim/spill over point of the pictured outside wall of the tub rim and the vanity appears less than 36" horizontally. The luminaire mounted vertically upon the wall extends beyond the vanity top and towards the tub/shower.
    I then referred to NEC 410.10 {see (A) and (D) quoted later below}.

    We have some scale references - the 4x4 tiles on the wall employed as a backsplash to the vanity/basin, and "the usual and customary" width of an average, slightly dated toilet/water closet fixture, residential, as well as "the usual and customary" size of the average, dated, toilet paper holder brackets, and of course the PICTURED bathroom group which includes a TUB with a curtain. This of course is why I said "appears".



    Quote Originally Posted by 2008 NEC
    410.10 Luminaires in Specific Locations.



    (A) Wet and Damp Locations. Luminaires installed in wet or damp locations shall be installed such that water cannot enter or accumulate in wiring compartments, lampholders, or other electrical parts. All luminaires installed in wet locations shall be marked, "Suitable for Wet locations." All luminaires installed in damp locations shall be marked "Suitable for Wet Locations" or "Suitable for Damp Locations."


    (D) Bathtub and Shower Areas. No parts of cord-connected luminaires, chain-, cable, or cord-suspended luminaires, lighting track, pendants, or ceiling-suspended (paddle) fans shall be located within a zone measured 900 mm (3 ft) horizontally and 2.5 m (8 ft) vertically from the TOP of the bathtub rim or shower stall threshold. This zone is all encompassing and includes the space directly over the tub or shower stall. Luminaires located within the actual outside dimension of the bathtub or shower to a height of 2.5 m (8 ft) vertically from the top of the bathtub rim or shower threshold shall be marked for damp locations, or marked for wet locations where subject to shower spray.


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    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 04-09-2012 at 11:37 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Other than the wiring method being an issue what other code is violated by these lights? If they were properly installed is there a code problem based on their location?
    Although Peck thinks any participation on a thread discussion following his own participation is always ALL ABOUT HIM, I addressed your question in my first discussion participation in this thread, and further enhanced in my responsive post to Peck's ad hom. and unprofessional retort. However, the luminaires are not properly installed. The optics clearance are less than 1/2" from the protuding mirror trim amongst many other defects already highlighted.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    It isn't always ALL ABOUT YOU PECK.
    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Although Peck thinks any participation on a thread discussion following his own participation is always ALL ABOUT HIM,
    Quite incorrect, Watson.

    When you post you throw in so much non-applicable stuff that it makes it difficult sort through the garbage to find the applicable stuff.

    It isn't always ALL ABOUT YOU WATSON and what you think you know or how much you think you can impress us with.

    As it turns out in this case (which I thought the tub/sink/lights would be greater than 3 feet separation), but I suspect that you may be correct as to *the right side light only*.

    Your posts and information would be MUCH MORE HELPFUL if you did not fill them with so much bull and bravado ... reducing you posts to what you have been posting *recently* (versus *lately* again) ... your information would be much more helpful.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  16. #16
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Other than the wiring method being an issue what other code is violated by these lights? If they were properly installed is there a code problem based on their location?
    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Although Peck thinks any participation on a thread discussion following his own participation is always ALL ABOUT HIM, I addressed your question in my first discussion participation in this thread, and further enhanced in my responsive post to Peck's ad hom. and unprofessional retort. However, the luminaires are not properly installed. The optics clearance are less than 1/2" from the protuding mirror trim amongst many other defects already highlighted.
    Actually my original question said other than the wiring method being an issue meaning the cord. I'm not sure what the 1/2" clearance thing that you've mentioned.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    .
    Actually my original question said other than the wiring method being an issue meaning the cord. I'm not sure what the 1/2" clearance thing that you've mentioned.
    .
    Robert,

    It takes a while to Decode Mr Watson's comments.His Impression is the Shown Under Cabinet Lighting is Required by Manufacturers Installation Instructions
    to be Orientated in a Particular way and has a 1/2 inch Required Clearance from the Lens Cover to the wooden mirror trim.

    This Link http://www.jascoproducts.com/support...al-Eng-Spa.pdf clearly shows Neither to be the Case.
    .

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 04-09-2012 at 07:27 PM.
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    Robert,

    It takes a while to Decode Mr Watson's comments.His Impression is the Shown Under Cabinet Lighting is Required by Manufacturers Installation Instructions
    to be Orientated in a Particular way and has a 1/2 inch Required Clearance from the Lens Cover to the wooden mirror trim.

    This Link http://www.jascoproducts.com/support...al-Eng-Spa.pdf clearly shows Neither to be the Case.
    .
    A requirement of the default air space minimums of the Standards, past and present, already referenced; for such fluorescent luminaires/systems employing the type tubes within, for residential/household use. Not a "lens cover" it is an optic, and code-wise non-compliance with NEC 110.3 as already referenced.

    Every key point and reference I made was on-point and not in any way off-topic.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    A requirement of the default air space minimums of the Standards, past and present, already referenced; for such fluorescent luminaires/systems employing the type tubes within, for residential/household use. Not a "lens cover" it is an optic, and code-wise non-compliance with NEC 110.3 as already referenced.

    Every key point and reference I made was on-point and not in any way off-topic.
    .
    The Air Space is Already Built In ( see pdf link ) The Equipment is Not Jammed in Anywhere.

    If you order a optic as a Replacement Part what will they send you ?
    *Slowly now Cover , Light Cover, Lens Cover ( Breath ) Cover
    ** now you try.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Gentlemen,

    Thanks to everyone for their participation. And, as a new inspector, I appreciate all of the information provided.

    Brian


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    Brian H.,

    You're welcome.

    Robert M.,

    It is not a "wiring method" employed, but a Product (or equipment) TYPE. It is a cord-connected luminaire, in this case a cord-connected, cord-linked portable luminaire.

    Cord-connected luminaires are not a "wiring method" they are an equipment category/type utilization equipment. In this case they are both cord-linked and cord-connected (to power source). This product type, nor any portion thereof, (nor any cord-connected luminaire) is not permitted to be present anywhere within the all inclusive tub/shower zone.

    Billy, Billy, Billy...(sigh).

    Your example product is a direct wired permanent luminaire with a convenience receptacle. A completely different product category or type. However, it too has a required clearance. It is both marked and included in the instructions.

    YOUR example product requires 1/2" clearance both below and to the front in order to: remove the "lens cover" optic without breaking it (can't follow picture diagrams either?!?), and to remove and reinstall a replacement tube. It is designed in this manner (removal, replacement design) rather than a different method because it already is required to have a minimum 1/2" clearance in the Standards for Safety for its construction.

    By the way your example product is for DRY LOCATIONS ONLY, Not for use in Wet Locations, and "Not intended for use above stoves, cook tops, or sinks." (Can't read a WARNING! box?!?) and has additional code and safety restrictions regarding installation at the same locations pictured for the OPs installation such as conductive housing, conductive switch faceplate, etc. or a non-gfci protected receptacle within six feet of a sink especially a bathroom lavatory, fed by a wall switch (as the OP has indicated). It is not anything like the products the OP has pictured. YOUR item is further "Not intended for surface installation inside or on top of built-in furnishings such as kitchen cabinets, china cabinets, or trophy cases, UNLIKE the OP's pictured equipment. It is not a cord-connected luminaire, and yet you still fail to "prove" any "point" you were trying to make (otherthan the point on the end of the figurative dunce cap you might don. Furthermore your link isn't correctly formatted. I've attached the file your incorrectly formatted link was trying to direct to.

    I won't bother reiterating or expanding on the distinctions regarding discharge lighting, ballasts, replacement, maintenance, tube replacement, cleaning, sharp metallic edges, safety, and naked, wet, body parts.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 04-12-2012 at 01:33 PM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

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

    You're welcome.

    Robert M.,

    It is not a "wiring method" employed, but a Product (or equipment) TYPE. It is a cord-connected luminaire, in this case a cord-connected, cord-linked portable luminaire.

    Cord-connected luminaires are not a "wiring method" they are an equipment category/type utilization equipment. In this case they are both cord-linked and cord-connected (to power source). This product type, nor any portion thereof, (nor any cord-connected luminaire) is not permitted to be present anywhere within the all inclusive tub/shower zone.

    Billy, Billy, Billy...(sigh).

    Your example product is a direct wired permanent luminaire with a convenience receptacle. A completely different product category or type. However, it too has a required clearance. It is both marked and included in the instructions.

    YOUR example product requires 1/2" clearance both below and to the front in order to: remove the "lens cover" optic without breaking it (can't follow picture diagrams either?!?), and to remove and reinstall a replacement tube. It is designed in this manner (removal, replacement design) rather than a different method because it already is required to have a minimum 1/2" clearance in the Standards for Safety for its construction.

    By the way your example product is for DRY LOCATIONS ONLY, Not for use in Wet Locations, and "Not intended for use above stoves, cook tops, or sinks." (Can't read a WARNING! box?!?) and has additional code and safety restrictions regarding installation at the same locations pictured for the OPs installation such as conductive housing, conductive switch faceplate, etc. or a non-gfci protected receptacle within six feet of a sink especially a bathroom lavatory, fed by a wall switch (as the OP has indicated). It is not anything like the products the OP has pictured. YOUR item is further "Not intended for surface installation inside or on top of built-in furnishings such as kitchen cabinets, china cabinets, or trophy cases, UNLIKE the OP's pictured equipment. It is not a cord-connected luminaire, and yet you still fail to "prove" any "point" you were trying to make (otherthan the point on the end of the figurative dunce cap you might don. Furthermore your link isn't correctly formatted. I've attached the file your incorrectly formatted link was trying to direct to.

    I won't bother reiterating or expanding on the distinctions regarding discharge lighting, ballasts, replacement, maintenance, tube replacement, cleaning, sharp metallic edges, safety, and naked, wet, body parts.
    .
    Just Checking to see if your still taking your meds.

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 04-12-2012 at 03:40 PM.
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  23. #23
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homeowner added lights close to sink

    All the requisite code references are likely buried in the P & W battle posts. The surface wiring should be protected from physical damage, ( portable cord is not acceptable for that, it should carry a ground wire ), and the fixtures should be GFI protected because of their proximity to the sink/water/grounded conveyence systems.


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