There are two kinds of people - those smart enough to know they don’t know, and those dumb enough to insist they do.-----Margery Eagan
Open shop since 1988
I would think that if you filled the tub, any thing past the area that the water spilled out of the sides would be outside the tub space. I would also say that a receptacle installed above the tub on the ceiling in this footprint would be a violation. I also would like to ask if the receptacle box is the type that the recep is recessed into the box (arlington sells one for flat screen t.v.) could this ever be considered in the tub space ,unless located in the tub itself.
There is no mention of under or beside.2008 NEC
406.8 Receptacles in Damp or Wet Locations.
(C) Bathtub and Shower Space. Receptacles shall not be installed within or directly over a bathtub or shower stall.
(from the Handbook) Section 406.8(C) prohibits the installation of receptacles inside bathtub and shower spaces or above their footprint, even if the receptacles are installed in a weatherproof enclosure. Prohibiting such installation helps minimize the use of shavers, radios, hair dryers, and so on, in these areas.
The unprotected-line side of GFCI-protected receptacles installed in bathtub and shower spaces could possibly become wet and therefore create a shock hazard by energizing surrounding wet surfaces.
Under or beside are not included in "within a bathtub or shower stall" nor "directly over a bathtub or shower stall".
The choice of the word "footprint" in the explanatory text is unfortunate, as many associate it with the bottoms of their feet, or, the floor. . . I submit that it is the widest cross section extending from above the tub or shower stall.
I'm going to drop "shower stall" for the moment 'cause the really difficult part of this is dealing with tubs, and especially the absolutely perfect image that Bob has just introduced. That is:
If I mount a floor receptacle UNDER the claw foot tub, the receptacle is neither "within or directly over" . . . it's that simple. The "space" is the space "within or directly over" the tub, but not beside, or near, or under, or directly under the tub.
Another Al in Minnesota
With the wording of the NEC the only place that would directly violate code would be on the ceiling above the tub. In a wall above a tub is not over the tub. This is not opinion but using Charlie's rule.
Now try and get that past an inspector. I always tell the HO I cannot put one over a tub for a TV but I have no legitimate reason for that. In the picture I posted earlier, if the outlet were over the vanity it would be legal and still accessible from the tub.
The NEC does not state it cannot be accessible from the tub. If that's what they wanted then they should have worded it that way-- something like no outlet within 5 foot of a tub.