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  1. #1

    Question Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Did a 1973 townhouse last week that had two bathrooms: a powder room on the first floor and a full bath on the second. Neither had a receptacle, which I thought was odd. Are receptacles required in bathrooms? The electrical panel was maxed out, so pulling a new circuit is going to be problematic.

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Receptacles were not required in bathrooms until there was a way to protect the people using the receptacles, i.e., until GFCI protection came into the code.

    Bathroom receptacles were required to be GFCI protected in 1975 and, that same edition of the NEC also required bathroom receptacles to be installed.

    Go here: Construction and Litigation Consultants and you can download a GCFI page and an AFCI page which indicates which receptacles were required to have GFCI or AFCI protection at which edition of the NEC.

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    '71 NEC -- "At least one wall receptacle shall be installed in the bathroom adjacent to the basin location."

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Maybe they remodeled and removed the light fixture or medicine cabinet with built in receptacles.


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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Thanks for the clarification. There were no convenience outlets on the light fixtures in either bathroom. And I was wrong on the date: the unit was built in 1971. So there could have been a period where the new code wasn't applied.

    Welmoed Sisson
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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Miller View Post
    '71 NEC -- "At least one wall receptacle shall be installed in the bathroom adjacent to the basin location."
    I stand corrected - I went back and looked and, sure enough, that sentence was added in the 1971 NEC, and I went back and looked and it was not in the 1968 NEC.

    As I say, I've been wrong before and I'll be wrong again ... Dom, thanks for correcting me and posting the correct information.

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    .... Dom, thanks for correcting me and posting the correct information.
    Wasn't it Roland who corrected you?

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Wasn't it Roland who corrected you?
    You are correct, not sure where I got Dom's name from??

    Criminey, another mistake already!

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    That's OK, JP. We can accept one humble apology today, but don't let it happen again.

    So if we agree that there is no code requirement for the 1971 TH because of typical delays in adopting new versions of the codes, we can still recommend an upgrade, which is something I will do regardless of the date of the build.

    Re: the maxed out breaker panel, In Canada all they need is a nearby branch circuit that is not maxed out, so any lighting circuit with a reasonable number of fixtures and receptacles on it can be added to for a GFCI receptacle in the bathroom.

    In Canada, the max number of outlets is 12 for 15 amp and 16 for 20 amp. I am not aware of any such restriction in the US.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 03-31-2013 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Canadians have different GFCI rules
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    Smile Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    I am sure there was circuit that still had room to add an other outlet to,it may not have been necessary back then,but is know,on an older home ,I recommend one be installed.


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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    .

    Re: the maxed out breaker panel, all they need is a nearby branch circuit that is not maxed out, so any lighting circuit with a reasonable number of fixtures and receptacles on it can be added to for a GFCI receptacle in the bathroom.
    As the install would be new the circuit would need to be 20 amps and dedicated only to bathroom receptacles under the NEC.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    It was my understanding that there were two ways to wire a GFCI in a bathroom. The first was to have the entire bathroom (lights, receptacles, vent) on one circuit, with nothing else on that circuit. The second was that multiple bathrooms could have their GFCI receptacles on one circuit, but only the GFCIs could be on the circuit. Is this not the case?

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welmoed Sisson View Post
    It was my understanding that there were two ways to wire a GFCI in a bathroom. The first was to have the entire bathroom (lights, receptacles, vent) on one circuit, with nothing else on that circuit. The second was that multiple bathrooms could have their GFCI receptacles on one circuit, but only the GFCIs could be on the circuit. Is this not the case?
    I'm sorry, Welmoed, I was giving you the Canadian work around for GFCI's.

    Even so, could the lighting circuit for the bathroom not be used to supply a new outlet? Would the 1971 circuit be unacceptable to an American AHJ, even if it is 20 amp?

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    John, that would work IF the bathrooms were not on the same circuit for the lights. It looked like they were, based on the labels in the panel.

    Robert, we see bathrooms with one shared GFCI circuit all the time. And it can be a real pain... one recent house had five bathrooms, including one in the basement, and the GFCI in the basement bathroom protected all the rest of the bathrooms downstream. So, if you were on the second floor and the circuit blew, you'd have to go all the way to the basement to reset it.

    Welmoed Sisson
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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welmoed Sisson View Post
    Robert, we see bathrooms with one shared GFCI circuit all the time. And it can be a real pain... one recent house had five bathrooms, including one in the basement, and the GFCI in the basement bathroom protected all the rest of the bathrooms downstream. So, if you were on the second floor and the circuit blew, you'd have to go all the way to the basement to reset it.
    It's the same way around here too.


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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    In jurisdictions that have included the PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE as part of their code adoption, there is a retroactive requirement for at least one receptacle in a bathroom.

    PMC SECTION 605 ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

    605.1 Installation. All electrical equipment, wiring and appliances shall be properly installed and maintained in a safe and approved manner.

    605.2 Receptacles. Every habitable space in a dwelling shall contain at least two separate and remote receptacle outlets. Every laundry area shall contain at least one grounded-type receptacle or a receptacle with a ground fault circuit interrupter. Every bathroom shall contain at least one receptacle. Any new bathroom receptacle outlet shall have ground fault circuit interrupter protection.

    605.3 Lighting fixtures. Every public hall, interior stairway, toilet room, kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, boiler room and furnace room shall contain at least one electric lighting fixture.


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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    I personally don't care what the code was then or now I just write up what I see. I would mention that no GFCI protected electrical outlet was noted in the bathroom and be done with it and let them figure it out.


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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Starkey View Post
    I personally don't care what the code was then or now I just write up what I see. I would mention that no GFCI protected electrical outlet was noted in the bathroom and be done with it and let them figure it out.
    Ditto.

    The lack of an outlet means some girl is going to run an extension cord from another room to dry her hair...without GFCI protection.

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welmoed Sisson View Post
    It was my understanding that there were two ways to wire a GFCI in a bathroom. The first was to have the entire bathroom (lights, receptacles, vent) on one circuit, with nothing else on that circuit. The second was that multiple bathrooms could have their GFCI receptacles on one circuit, but only the GFCIs could be on the circuit. Is this not the case?
    were : That is the case now, but not THEN (were/was). There was no requirement in the 1971 NEC nor for several cycles thereafter that required nor recommended (shall/should) dedicated bathroom circuit or dedicated to just receptacles in bathrooms circuits were necessary. For many years replacing non-grounded receptacles with grounding-type receptacles with a "bootleg ground" was specifically allowed! For many years as replacing non-grounding type receptacles with individual combination gfci-receptacles in non-grounded installations - they had to be installed so as to NOT wire-through (no load side other than the face of the individual combination GFCI-receptacle device. This changed in the mid 80s through 90s through a series of complicated, convuluted, often-confusing "corrections" to various articles & parts of "the code". Your state's adoptions are furthermore confusing as several cities and counties are independant as to state adoptions (independant home-rule, otherwise exempt). Federally funded projects such as HUD/FHA financed developments, multi-family housing development/construction lending, etc. furthermore oftentimes had more recent mandated (more restrictive) requirements than the local jurisdiction's adoptions.

    The shaver outlets and incorporated to cabinetry or fixtures (lighting fixtures) convenience outlets were neither grounding type, at that time, nor were they meeting the newly required "wall outlets" nor the newly defined "receptacle outlets", most fixture-supplied outlets were not rated at even close to 15a regarding wiring/load/rating. 20-ampere supply circuits were not required for bathroom receptacle outlets in 1971 NEC nor for many years forward.

    GFCI receptacles / the GFCIs : GFCI-protected (bathroom area) (convenience) receptacles, the receptacles themselves do not have to be combination GFCI-receptacles nor load-side of same - they may now be protected via line side a single GFCI-circuit breaker.

    Dedicated (not individual) as to purpose and location-restricted branch-circuit supply was not required until long-after the introduction of the first requirement for an adjacent basin wall receptacle outlet in residential bathrooms (1971) for same to be of the grounding-type and wall-mounted (1971) , and the first requirement for same to have a means to have provided same with GFCI protection for personnel (1975 NEC, specifically at 1975 NEC 210-24(b).was the first to require all bathroom receptacles in residential type occupancies other than hotel and motel rooms, transient type occupancies, to have GFCI protection. Local authorities which adopt the model codes often do so with ammendments/revisions to the language, including having stricken some of the requirements. IIRC this very requirement was often stricken in your area when same finally "got around" to adopting a more current model code, and rarely, if ever, was one adopted without SOME significant deletions, additions, or other noteworthy ammendments.


    Remember the "bootleg" ground (ECG) was specifically allowed in 1971 NEC see ( * ) below.

    Snippets from 1971 NEC (** denotes new language for the 1971 edition)





    210-7. Grounding-Type Receptacles and Protection. Receptacles and cord connectors equipped with grounding contacts shall have those contacts effectively grounded. The branch circuit or branch-circuit raceway shall include or provide grounding conductor to which the grounding contaacts of the receptacle or cord connector shall be connected. Acceptable grounding means are outlined in Section 250-91(b).

    Exception: For extensions only in existing installtions which do not have a grounding conductor in the branch circuit, *the grounding conductor of a grounding-type receptcle outlet may be grounded to grounded cold water pipe near the equipment.

    **All 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets on single-phase circuits for construction sites shall have approved ground-fault circuit protection for personnel. This requirement shall become effective on January 1, 1974.



    210-21(b) Receptacles. Receptacles installed on 15-ampere and 20-mpere branch circuits shall be of the grounding type and they shall be installed in accordnce with Section 210-7. Grounding-type receptacles which are of a type that rejects nongrounding-type attachment plugs or which are of the locking-type my be used for specific purposes or in special locations.

    A single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit shall have a rating of not less than the rating of the branch circuit. ** Grounding-type receptacles shall be used s replacements for existing nongrounding types and shall be connected to a grounding conductor installed in accordnce with Section 250-57.

    **Exception: If it is impractical to reach a source of ground, a non-grounding-=type receptacle shall be used.

    **The installation of grounding-type receptcles shall not be used as requirement that all portable equipment be of the grounded type. See Article 250 for requirements for the grounding of portables.


    ** Receptacles required in Sections 517-61(d) and 517-62(e) are considered as meeting the requirements of this section.


    210-22. Receptacle Outlets Required. Receptacle outlets shall be installed as follows:

    (a) General. Where portable cords are used, except where the attachment of cords by other means is specifically permitted.
    A cord connector that is supported by a permanently connected cord pendant is considered a receptacle outlet.

    (b) Dwelling-Type Occupancies.
    In every kitchen, family room, dinning room, breakfast room, living room, parlor, library, den, sun room, recreation room and bedroom, receptacle outlets shall be installed so that at no point along the floor line in any wall space is more than 6 feet, measured horizontally, from an outlet in that space, including any wall **space 2 feet wide or greater and the wall space occupied by sliding panels in exterior walls. The wall space afforded by fixed room dividers, such as free-standing bar-type counters, shall be included in the 6-foot measurement.

    ** In kitchen and dining areas a receptacle outlet shall be installed at each counter space wider than 12 inches. Counter top spaces separated by range tops, refrigertors or sinks shall be considered as separate counter top spaces. Receptacles rendered inaccessible by the installation of stationary appliances will not be considered as these required outlets.

    Receptcle outlets shall, insofar as practicable, be spaced equal distances apart. Receptacle outlets in floors shall not be counted as part of the required number of receptacle outlets unless located close to the **wall. At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed for the laundry. At least one wall receptacle outlet shall be installed in the bathroom adjacent to the basin location.


    (d) Ground-Fault Circuit Protection. For residential occupancies all 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets installed outdoors shall have approved ground-fault circuit protection for personnel. The effective date of this requirement shall be January 1, 1973.

    Such ground-fault circuit protection may be provided for other circuits, locations and occupancies, and where used will provide additional protection aginst line-to-ground shock hazard.

    HTH.


    P.S. "receptacle outlet" is a defined term new to the 1971 NEC. Note the term was further modified with "wall" as in "wall receptacle outlet" as to the "new" bathroom requirement and that the location within must be "adjacent to the basin location". However, this "unaltered" model code lqnguge for the 1971 NEC may or may not have ever been adopted as the "code" for the prticular Maryland jurisdiction at anytime in the 70s decade!

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 04-24-2013 at 10:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Remember the "bootleg" ground (ECG) was specifically allowed in 1971 NEC see ( * ) below.

    Snippets from 1971 NEC (** denotes new language for the 1971 edition)





    210-7. Grounding-Type Receptacles and Protection. Receptacles and cord connectors equipped with grounding contacts shall have those contacts effectively grounded. The branch circuit or branch-circuit raceway shall include or provide grounding conductor to which the grounding contaacts of the receptacle or cord connector shall be connected. Acceptable grounding means are outlined in Section 250-91(b).

    Exception: For extensions only in existing installtions which do not have a grounding conductor in the branch circuit, *the grounding conductor of a grounding-type receptcle outlet may be grounded to grounded cold water pipe near the equipment.

    What was allowed is not a bootleg ground. A bootleg ground tied the neutral to the grounding screw.

    BTW, a version of this is still acceptable under even the most recent NEC. Only the location of the connection has changed.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Receptacles were not required in bathrooms until there was a way to protect the people using the receptacles, i.e., until GFCI protection came into the code.

    Bathroom receptacles were required to be GFCI protected in 1975 and, that same edition of the NEC also required bathroom receptacles to be installed.

    Go here: Construction and Litigation Consultants and you can download a GCFI page and an AFCI page which indicates which receptacles were required to have GFCI or AFCI protection at which edition of the NEC.

    Hey Jerry,

    Thanks for sharing this info. I also watched the HWH video, all I can say is HOLY CRAP!!


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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Corcoran View Post
    Thanks for sharing this info. I also watched the HWH video, all I can say is HOLY CRAP!!
    Although that shows testing done a long, long, long time ago, what it shows is just as applicable today as it was back then.

    That was showing why temperature and pressure relief valves on water heaters 'should' be required by the code - the codes now require temperature and pressure relief valves, and have for decades, just not back when that film was made.

    Even though water heater now require t&P relief valves, there are a lot of water installations in very old homes which do not have *ANY* type of T&P relief, and there are even more old installations which have the old lead seal which melts and releases type of T&P relief valves. That is why water heaters are still exploding today, many per year, all across the country, and destroying homes when they do explode. An exploding water heater is like two things: 1) a bomb going off; 2) on top of the bomb is a rocket and the rocket is launched when the bomb goes off. The explosions are still leveling houses, and the water heaters are still going 400-500 feet up and landing on other nearby yards 400-500 feet away. Same basic principle that causes a pressure cooker to explode today ... or a week and a half ago ...

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That is why water heaters are still exploding today, many per year, all across the country, and destroying homes when they do explode.
    I did a little research into this last year and found, somewhere, a report by some insurance company (as I recall) that only a handful actually explode a year. They are so rare that they make the news whenever they blow up. Investigators found that every single exploding water heater in the study, had been tampered with in some fashion. Someone had removed, altered, disabled, or just screwed around with the TPR valve.

    Yeah, I know.....everyone wants to know what study is this and rightly so, but since I was just perusing information at the time, I just read it and moved on.

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    I did a little research into this last year and found, somewhere, a report by some insurance company (as I recall) that only a handful actually explode a year. They are so rare that they make the news whenever they blow up. Investigators found that every single exploding water heater in the study, had been tampered with in some fashion. Someone had removed, altered, disabled, or just screwed around with the TPR valve.

    Yeah, I know.....everyone wants to know what study is this and rightly so, but since I was just perusing information at the time, I just read it and moved on.
    A number of years ago I researched it too and found that the "handful" of explosions was actually an average on one per week (the number was 50 per year, which is approximately one per week).

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    A number of years ago I researched it too and found that the "handful" of explosions was actually an average on one per week (the number was 50 per year, which is approximately one per week).
    When I slow down, I'll look into it again. Even 50 a year is a miniscule number for the millions of heaters out there, but the number I remember was closer to a dozen.

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    When I slow down, I'll look into it again. Even 50 a year is a miniscule number for the millions of heaters out there, but the number I remember was closer to a dozen.
    Just want to get this straight here ... 50 bombs going off each year is "a miniscule number" for the number of bombs being made? Tell that to the people of Boston ... and they only had two bombs - YIKES!

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    That's correct but I'm not sure why anyone would want to do the latter.
    That's the only way it's done here and it's been that way here as long as GFCI's have been required in baths.

    Mike O'Handley
    Kenmore, Washington


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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    When I slow down, I'll look into it again. Even 50 a year is a miniscule number for the millions of heaters out there, but the number I remember was closer to a dozen.
    Yeah,

    That's what the appliance manufacturer's association rep told me on the phone years ago when I asked why they'd opposed replacing all of the foil and plastic slinky-type dryer connectors with hard metal smooth-walled connectors when lint clogging those slinky type connectors caused over 15,000 fires a year in the U.S.

    I said, "Minor statistic? Why don't you tell that to those 15,000 families who experienced those fires. By the way, what's on the back of your dryer?"

    He hung up without answering.

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Just want to get this straight here ... 50 bombs going off each year is "a miniscule number" for the number of bombs being made? Tell that to the people of Boston ... and they only had two bombs - YIKES!
    C'mon Jerry, that's a pretty clumsy attempt at righteous indignation and I know that you have better math skills than this. And comparing water heaters to what happened in Boston is nutty for even a late-night-after-nightcaps commentary.

    Of course, in fact, HELL YES! Fifty is an absurdly miniscule number for the number of water heater out there. If we use your number, then roughly .00025% of all water heater are exploding and then when we factor in that almost all of those that exploded were tampered with in, then we find that water heaters are arguably the safest major household appliance.

    [QUOTE=Michael P. O'Handley;225442]I said, "Minor statistic? Why don't you tell that to those 15,000 families who experienced those fires. By the way, what's on the back of your dryer?" /QUOTE]

    Holy Cow! Last night must have been exaggeration night and I missed the whole thing.
    Between 2008-2010, fire departments responded to 2900 fires caused by dryer vents. Of course, you didn't say 15,000 fires a year, but at barely a 1000 fires a year, we need 15 years to get to your number.
    Of course, like water heater explosions, on an individual basis, each incident can be tragic. Approximately, 5 people a year die from dryer vent fires.

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    C'mon Jerry, that's a pretty clumsy attempt at righteous indignation and I know that you have better math skills than this. And comparing water heaters to what happened in Boston is nutty for even a late-night-after-nightcaps commentary.

    Of course, in fact, HELL YES! Fifty is an absurdly miniscule number for the number of water heater out there. If we use your number, then roughly .00025% of all water heater are exploding and then when we factor in that almost all of those that exploded were tampered with in, then we find that water heaters are arguably the safest major household appliance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael P. O'Handley View Post
    I said, "Minor statistic? Why don't you tell that to those 15,000 families who experienced those fires. By the way, what's on the back of your dryer?"
    Here's statistics for you, Jerry and Lon. It takes approx. 350 psi to blow the bottom off of a water heater.
    Hopefully, that 350 psi will blow a water pipe connection first, or blow the scale out of a rusty TPRV, maybe. I find a 50 year old copper tank once in a while and they will have a pressure relief valve on them as a rule, haven't found one yet that has no pressure relief on the plumbing above the tank. TPRV obstructed? You bet I find them all the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post

    Holy Cow! Last night must have been exaggeration night and I missed the whole thing.
    Between 2008-2010, fire departments responded to 2900 fires caused by dryer vents. Of course, you didn't say 15,000 fires a year, but at barely a 1000 fires a year, we need 15 years to get to your number.
    Approximately, 5 people a year die from dryer vent fires.
    We can prevent 5 deaths by telling people their dryer pipes are garbage.
    I'm preparing a folder of dryer pipe connection pics, 100 pics of lint balls and pretzels.

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

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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    [QUOTE=Lon Henderson;225450]C'mon Jerry, that's a pretty clumsy attempt at righteous indignation and I know that you have better math skills than this. And comparing water heaters to what happened in Boston is nutty for even a late-night-after-nightcaps commentary.

    Of course, in fact, HELL YES! Fifty is an absurdly miniscule number for the number of water heater out there. If we use your number, then roughly .00025% of all water heater are exploding and then when we factor in that almost all of those that exploded were tampered with in, then we find that water heaters are arguably the safest major household appliance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael P. O'Handley View Post
    I said, "Minor statistic? Why don't you tell that to those 15,000 families who experienced those fires. By the way, what's on the back of your dryer?" /QUOTE]

    Holy Cow! Last night must have been exaggeration night and I missed the whole thing.
    Between 2008-2010, fire departments responded to 2900 fires caused by dryer vents. Of course, you didn't say 15,000 fires a year, but at barely a 1000 fires a year, we need 15 years to get to your number.
    Of course, like water heater explosions, on an individual basis, each incident can be tragic. Approximately, 5 people a year die from dryer vent fires.
    Nope,

    The number bandied around by the CPSC in 1998 was "in excess of 17,000 a year." When the dryer manufacturers had a hissy fit and screamed at congress, the CPSC withdrew their document, removed comments about flexible corrugated foil and plastic and re-published using the 15,000 a year number. Don't shoot the messenger - even Farmers Insurance picked up on that number in one of their insurance U commercials where they talked about dryer lint.

    By the way, I'm curious; accuracy of statistics aside, what is an acceptable number of exploding water heaters or dryer vent fires or electrocutions per year?

    Mike O'Handley
    Kenmore, Washington


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Here's statistics for you, Jerry and Lon. It takes approx. 350 psi to blow the bottom off of a water heater.
    Hopefully, that 350 psi will blow a water pipe connection first, or blow the scale out of a rusty TPRV, maybe. I find a 50 year old copper tank once in a while and they will have a pressure relief valve on them as a rule, haven't found one yet that has no pressure relief on the plumbing above the tank.
    The tank will go before the pipe is blown out of the tank and before the valve is blown out of the tank - did you ever watch the Watts film, now video?

    In case you haven't, you can see the copper lines whipping through the air with the water heaters here:
    http://constructionlitigationconsult...nger_Lurks.wmv

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael P. O'Handley View Post

    Nope,

    The number bandied around by the CPSC in 1998 was "in excess of 17,000 a year." When the dryer manufacturers had a hissy fit and screamed at congress, the CPSC withdrew their document, removed comments about flexible corrugated foil and plastic and re-published using the 15,000 a year number. Don't shoot the messenger - even Farmers Insurance picked up on that number in one of their insurance U commercials where they talked about dryer lint.
    Here's my source:
    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/p...tics/v13i7.pdf

    What's yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael P. O'Handley View Post
    By the way, I'm curious; accuracy of statistics aside, what is an acceptable number of exploding water heaters or dryer vent fires or electrocutions per year?

    Mike O'Handley
    Kenmore, Washington
    When you try to ask a rhetorical question, make sure there isn't really an answer. On the other hand, you threw me a softball, so I should be grateful.

    First of all statistics do not go aside. Statistics are very useful tools and in this case, provide perspective. Of course, some statistics aren't as credible as others. If you can discredit my statistic then, I won't use it. Your "Nope" didn't get within a light year of discrediting my information.

    Next, there is no acceptable number because zero is not available, except in a fantasy world. There's no way that there can be an acceptable number without giving up these conveniences. For those of us in Realville, all we can do is try to balance acceptable risk with the costs of minimizing risk. It's absurd naivety to think that you can eliminate risk. If the consideration for the cost of minimizing risks offends your sense of right and wrong, oh well. Money doesn't grow on trees, even at the Fed.

    Life is full of inherent risk even before you put your first foot on the floor in the morning. Even staying in the fetal position all day, has inherent risk.
    What is your complaint about water heaters and dryers? Aside from the occasional factory defect, they are safe to use. In the case of both, the vast majority of problems are user induced problems or as we sometimes say, "operator error". If your complaint is that they aren't idiot proof, then you are going to live a very frustrated life, because idiot proofing everything in our lives isn't going to be and can never be, done.

    I hope that my little essay isn't new news to someone.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    The source for that number was here:

    http://www.cpsc.gov//PageFiles/108519/clothes.pdf

    I've looked and looked online for the 1998 document that listed over 17,000 fires a year but I couldn't locate it - only the later version that was amended to placate the appliance industry folks.

    Admittedly, it's been about a decade since I looked at that document and if you look at CPSC's later data in other documents they are showing other data that they've collected in the past five years, thaose documents say the number is now roughly 6,000 a year. That might be an improvement actually contributed to by those of us in the profession that have kept hammering that dryer connector issue since 1998. If enough folks tell enough other folks the same thing over and over again, and always recommend that the folks they tell pass that information along to their friends, eventually it makes a dent.

    The question wasn't intended to be rhetorical. I actually thought, based on that sort of haughty superior vibe your posts seem to have, that you'd have a number. Personally, I think one is too many but I don't see a future where we'll ever not see someone die because of these kinds of issues. As Ron White is so fond of saying, "You can't fix stupid."

    Mike O'Handley
    Kenmore, Washington


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    This may be what you are looking for:

    http://www.cpsc.gov//PageFiles/110001/fire8098.pdf

    I don't find (but didn't look hard) documentation about safety improvements in dryers but we definitely have seen them in water heaters. My unsubstantiated guess is that safety improvements have had more to do with the incident decline than education, but still education is all you and I can do.

    Concerning the report that you linked, I always raise my eyebrows when I see an estimated number of 15,500 but an actual hard number of 79. One might think that someone grossly over estimated the larger number for purposes beyond just trying to find the facts. No doubt there are unreported incidents. But even if there are three unreported incidents for every reported one, we are still far short of the estimated numbers.

    So, can we draw any conclusions of our own from the considerable leap from only 79 investigated incidents to an estimated 15,500 incidents? My suspicion of the larger number finds circumstantial support when the report fails to mention any confirmed incident number. A cynical thinker might wonder if they could only find 79 actual incidents to investigate. 79 is a rather odd number to investigate if there are thousands available.

    Based upon my distant past when I actually did scientific study and worked up statistical analysis of my studies, these reports have a hint of hidden agenda by folks invested in alarmist data. I once heard a professor point out that it's hard to get research money to investigate why bananas are healthy, but money will pour in to support research into if bananas cure baldness.

    As far my "haughty superior vibe".......yeah, I can be guilty of that, sometimes. But in this case, I answered in kind to your phony "By the way, I'm curious" question. Funny how people are called humble when admitting they were wrong and called arrogant when showing they are right.

    Folks who just accept as fact anything said by some guy with a credential behind his name, will garner my condescension. But, I can eat crow when I have to. I try to make decisions based on actual facts. Somebody's impression or estimate may be accurate, but for me to accept that, I need to know more about where that person sits before he tells me where he stands. When facts contrary to my position are presented, then I'll modify my conclusions.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Hi,

    No, that's not the document I was looking for, although it might well be what that document was based on.

    It was somewhere around late '97 or '98 and CPSC issued one of their two page safety alerts. The first page warned folks that flexible dryer duct connectors tend to collect lint, clog and catch fires to the tune of over 17,000 a year. The alert explained that rought interior surfaces and many twists and turns caused air to tumble and slow down. Moisture collects on the interior of the connector due to cndensation, lint collects in the moisture, builds up and then catches fire. It also pointed out the possibility of CO poisoning when dealing with gas dryers. The report recommended replacing all flexible type connectors with non-flex smooth-walled box connectorss sealed at the joints with aluminum duct tape and advised cleaning the whole system once a year from dryer to terminus. The second page had a graphic showing the flex connector clogging versus a box connector not clogging.

    There were several blurbs in various magazines over the next few months quoting the alert - at least one with photos. I used to go back to their website look up that document and and print it out to be used as an enclosure in reports. One day it disappeared from their site and though I searched high and low I couldn't find it. What I did find was a long document prepared by the appliance manufacturers that disputed the CPSC data. I only scanned it briefly but I'm pretty sure there was an argument in that document that said by telling folks to discard flex ducts the CPSC had been irresponsible because installers would have a difficult time without the ability to use flex connectors and that would translate to additional cost for the consumer.

    The only document I could find at that point was a re-worded copy of the original document. Its estimates had been revised to 15,000, down from the 17,000, and it made no mention of the how and why flex duct was dangerous. I probably have a copy of the original document here somewhere. but I'd never saved it on my computer. I don't think I figured out how to save documents on my computer until somewhere around 2001 when I was recuperating from a fall and had a lot of extra time on my hands. Back before I went paperless I used to save hard copies of helpful articles and include copies with reports when the documents would help to explain or support an issue. I now save them digitally but have milk crates full of hard copies stacked six high and six wide out in the garage. None of it is cataloged and to find that document I'd have to go through every crate page by page. That ain't gonna happen - it's not that important to me.

    I'll accept that CPSC has an agenda and probably over-estimates their numbers. Government agencies have to spend every cent in their budget by the end of the fiscal year and when asking for more the following year tend to inflate their figures in order to justify the budget increases. When I was in the Army every leader from Generals down to Platoon Sergeants were required to put together annual budget requests and it was always aimed at getting more money for next year's mission.

    Curious though that in insurance company would feature such an obscure thing as dryer duct lint, and pronounce that lint causes more than 15,000 fires a year, in order to sell their product. I would think the insurance folks would have more accurate numbers than the CPSC. Obviously they came up with that figure someplace and it probably wasn't random - they could just as easily have said lint causes 6,000 fires a year and most folks would have only heard lint causes fire anyway.

    As for the rest, fair enough. Ever thought of using emoticons?

    Mike O'Handley
    Kenmore, Washington


  37. #37
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    Default Re: Are receptacles in bathrooms required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The tank will go before the pipe is blown out of the tank and before the valve is blown out of the tank - did you ever watch the Watts film, now video?

    In case you haven't, you can see the copper lines whipping through the air with the water heaters here:
    http://constructionlitigationconsult...nger_Lurks.wmv
    Thanks, Jerry, it was fun to watch again, and I played to audio thru an old radio for fun. Of course the Watts people knew whatt they were talking about, and the temp probe is super important. Thanks for clearing that up.
    I certainly call for the old systems to be updated with a new TPRV, with a long probe that lands in the tank. Old TPRVs should be replaced.

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

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