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Thread: Wall sconces over tub

  1. #1
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    Wall sconces over tub

    Today I started to rough wire a new home. The interior decorator wants to install two wall sconces over the tub. The tub is a hydromassage tub, set into a platform. She says she does it all the time. Article 410.4(D) states cord connected,hanging, track lighting and paddle fans, nothing about wall lights. It seems to me that they are allowed. Any comments appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Re: Wall sconces over tub

    This topic has been covered before on this forum, you may want to perform a search for it.

    The code does appear to not limit the installation of a surface mounted fixture, be it on a wall or ceiling from being in a bathtub or shower area.

    I personaly think there is real hazard potential, and would prefer not to install any type of electrical equipment within the zone specified in 410.4(D).

    The homeowner/designer should be made aware of the dangers involved, and GFCI protection should at least be figured into the circuit.
    Bryan P. Holland, MCP

  3. #3
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    Re: Wall sconces over tub

    Wall sconces are permitted in the tub area, as long as they don't become a grab rail.

    Where is the danger? Even changing a lamp while standing in the tub filled with water. We all know about wall switches.

  4. #4
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    Re: Wall sconces over tub

    As a contractor today you really have to protect yourself. People do really stupid things that we cannot prevent. There is a picture of a maintenance man changing a bulb, with his ladder (aluminum) in the pool. JEEZ!!!


    Pierre

  5. #5
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    Re: Wall sconces over tub

    George,

    It would be interesting to hear what the decorator has to say if you asked them to sign something stating it was their design and that you had advised against it.

    I agree with Bryan that the Homeowner should be made aware that it's not the best idea, and that a GFCI should be used if the sconces are installed.

    Bill

  6. #6
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    Re: Wall sconces over tub

    Please tell me what is so dangerous about a light fixture being over a tub?

  7. #7
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    Re: Wall sconces over tub

    Bennie,

    If you disagree please explain why a light fixture over a Bath Tub cannot be dangerous.

    [ July 01, 2003, 03:23 AM: Message edited by: bill addiss ]

  8. #8
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    Re: Wall sconces over tub

    I disagree with the fact of being over the tub increases the hazard.

    Examine a properly wired fixture...If the enclosure is metal, it will be grounded. If the enclosure is non-conductive, no danger.

    The only place in the fixture that is active is the center tab on the lamp holder. To make contact, you would have to remove the lamp and stick your finger in. A person doing that will stop very soon.

    A flush light over a tub is dangerous due to the ladder position necessary for relamp.

    The tub proximity does not increase the hazard level, in most cases.

    To receive a shock, a person has to be inline with a potential voltage, between two conductors.

    I have no grounded conductive material in my bath room, to provide the necessary conductor for the other half of the circuit.

    Should there be any statistics to prove a wall sconce is dangerous, above a tub, I am sure there would be action by the CPA.

  9. #9
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    Re: Wall sconces over tub

    What bothers me is that the code does appear to consider a bathtub/shower area to be an 'electric free' zone.

    240.24(E) - No OCD in dwelling unit bathrooms.

    406.8(C) - receptacles shall not within a bathtub or shower space.

    410.4(D) - no hanging lights within the zone.

    Plus, the code is very restrictive for lighting and other electrical equipment installed near or around pools and like. Article 680.

    So, in my opinion, if I can't put my OCD panelboard in the bathroom, and I can't put any receptacles in the tub area, and I can't put any hanging fixtures in the tub area, than I probably shouldn't put any other readily accesible electrical devices or equipment in the area even though the code does not specificaly prohibit this.

    I don't mind recessed fixtures with shower trims, and if you can meet the requirements of 410.4(D) when installing sconces or surface mounted fixtures, then I feel you are providing a better service to the customer.
    Bryan P. Holland, MCP

  10. #10
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    Re: Wall sconces over tub

    When an interior decorator is involved, believe me; the wall sconces will go in.

    Hanging fixtures must be out of reach to prevent them from becoming grab rails. Switches, and receptacles, are prohibited, due to requiring physical contact to operate.

    Anyone making contact with a wall sconce, while bathing, has a real problem. The height should eliminate any contact by a child.

    This is only an imagined hazard.

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