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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Ocala Florida
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    Default Electrical in sauna

    I came across a home made sauna constructed and attached to the home on the exterior (no permit) and have some electrical questions. The heater is 240v cord and plug and the outlet is inside the sauna below the heater and is only 4 inches above the floor. There is also a walled in shower in the sauna with shower dam and door. The heater is just outside the shower door. The light switch is on the inside of the sauna. No GFCI protection on heater or lights. Shouldn't the heater be hardwired from a GFCI breaker at the panel and the light switch on the exterior. And shouldn't the lights have GFCI protection. Thanks,

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Your correct but it's worse than that. Electrical cannot be on inside. Light fixture has to have seal to keep humidity and steam out.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Your correct but it's worse than that. Electrical cannot be on inside. Light fixture has to have seal to keep humidity and steam out.
    Lon, thanks for quick reply; I'm assuming when you say; "worst than that; Electrical cannot be on the inside" you mean that the heater should be hardwired like I stated. And yes; I knew the recessed lights were wrong as they are standard interior lights. Thanks again


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Massacusetts
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    149

    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Yes not only should the heater be hard wired but everything has to be for wet conditions this means that the conduit being uset to house the wire be for wet conditions (think submersable) - the light fixture same thing.

    Then everything has to have a ground fault protection - and in this case you mentioned it was added on to the building - no permit - so what else is wrong - is moiture building up in a structual area of the house too ? Proper ventalation ? this has red flags all over it



    Last edited by Dwight Doane; 12-26-2014 at 02:52 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,898

    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Typically lights and 240 volt circuits do not require gfi protection.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  6. #6
    john stone's Avatar
    john stone Guest

    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Typically lights and 240 volt circuits do not require gfi protection.
    Utter nonsense GFCIs since 2007


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, electrical only
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    116

    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Your correct but it's worse than that. Electrical cannot be on inside. Light fixture has to have seal to keep humidity and steam out.
    My first take on it is simpler:

    if it's homemade from a kit, if the kit is listed it absolutely has instructions. Where are the instructions? If not on the site, fine; I write down the manufacturer info and look them up.

    If it's not homemade from anything but "Lessee, how do I want to do this," I think it's less a job for a home inspector than for an outfit that is qualified to do field listing.

    Maybe all this is my ignorance showing. But while I can tell whether wiring is appropriately sized for overcurrent device and a listed heater, I wouldn't know, for instance, how to evaluate whether a sauna was safe even aside from electrical issues.

    Though I too would be concerned about any wiring not rated for a significantly elevated ambient, or a regular light or light switch inside an area which was not separated from a shower, or where even if not intended for steam, from what I remember about saunas people could be sloshing water shower or no shower. It's a matter of what we define as a bathing area.

    My midnight thoughts on the matter.


  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Quote Originally Posted by john stone View Post
    Utter nonsense GFCIs since 2007
    Care to cite the code article for this?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    California
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    3

    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Saunas as well as steam showers are all under the requirements of "WET CONSTRUCTION" would contact the city with jurisdiction and ascertain what their specialty codes/bulletins require regarding wet construction. NEC (national electrical code) is quiet clear on the subject. special rated wiring and fixtures,


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Care to cite the code article for this?
    IFF we were looking at 125 V 15 or 20 A receptacles, it would be 210.8.

    Since it ain't, 110.3 is the only one I can see calling for GFCI at a light. As in 410.10 requires use of a luminaire marked, "Suitable for Damp Locations" if the location is determined to be damp, and such a luminaire may very well demand GFCI etc.


  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    I have never seen a light that required gfi protection, even when installed in a damp area.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  12. #12
    john stone's Avatar
    john stone Guest

    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Care to cite the code article for this?
    Australian Electrical Code 2007 edition RCDS every circuit must have one grounding is TNCS TNS or direct like my house own transformer neutral grounded to ground mat under padmount transformer connection to water pipe 2 useless ground rods 5 wires 80mm in conduit underground to panel

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Care to cite the code article for this?
    Australian Electrical Code 2007 edition RCDS every circuit must have one grounding is TNCS TNS or direct like my house own transformer neutral grounded to ground mat under padmount transformer connection to water pipe 2 useless ground rods 5 wires 80mm in conduit underground to panel


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Quote Originally Posted by john stone View Post
    Australian Electrical Code 2007 edition RCDS every circuit must have one grounding is TNCS TNS or direct like my house own transformer neutral grounded to ground mat under padmount transformer connection to water pipe 2 useless ground rods 5 wires 80mm in conduit underground to panel

    - - - Updated - - -



    Australian Electrical Code 2007 edition RCDS every circuit must have one grounding is TNCS TNS or direct like my house own transformer neutral grounded to ground mat under padmount transformer connection to water pipe 2 useless ground rods 5 wires 80mm in conduit underground to panel
    It would have been much more helpful to post this the first time instead of calling my post "utter nonsense". None of the Australian requirements apply to a US installation.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Massacusetts
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    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    In addition to everything else, if we look at the photo of the socket for the 240 vac it is recessed so the plug does not fully engage leaving the blades of the plug exposed (live parts exposed in a wet location allowing moiture to create a potential electrical path to the moisture on the wood on the wall. So lets just add a naked sweaty person (a fine conductor of electricity, hint its the salt that makes the person more conductive). Now we have a human wire and nice path to ground.

    This plug is also that for a dryer and not rated for anything other than a dry location.

    Dont have the code book here but this falls into the same situaation as a pool.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I have never seen a light that required gfi protection, even when installed in a damp area.
    Th..th..that's what makes for horse races. I believe I have, in some luminaires for bathrooms.


  16. #16
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    Mar 2013
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    Md and or PA
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    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Doane View Post
    This plug is also that for a dryer and not rated for anything other than a dry location.

    .

    How can you tell that is a dryer cord and not just a 240 volt cord like what is seen on an air conditioner ?


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Quote Originally Posted by jack davenport View Post
    How can you tell that is a dryer cord and not just a 240 volt cord like what is seen on an air conditioner ?
    Four prongs?


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    Looks like a three conductor cord with angled prongs like a typical 3 wire dryer cord from my office computer.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Electrical in sauna

    If you look at the cord you will see 3 ribs, one for each conductor.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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