Residential Sauna - heater GFCI protected

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician ,contractor
Hello ,
I was wondering if there is code requirement to have a residential Sauna heater protected by GFCI. I cannot seem to find it in either NEC or the manufacturer.
2017 NEC or 2019 CEC California.
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
If it's not required under any equipment specific code and it is not in a location (210.8(A) or(B)) that it is required then NEC is not requiring it.
I'm assuming the sauna you are referring to is a manufactured self contained steam room, the only ones I've had contact with had internally provided GFCI but not sure which components were being protected or if the heating element was also protected. One was a cord/plug connection and slightly more portable the other required direct wire perminant installation.
 

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician ,contractor
I have never seen any 240v Sauna heater that is internally GFCI protected nor have I seen any that the instructions call for GFCI protection
.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
Saunas don't require gfci unless the manufacturer is requiring it however it depends on what code cycle you are under as it may be required under 210.8
 

mikeames

Senior Member
Location
Germantown MD
Occupation
Teacher - Master Electrician - 2017 NEC
So the NEC requires GFCI on a dryer that DRYS clothes where its likely used in a normal environment with a fully clothed and dry person, BUT...... If you sit naked sweaty wet in a sauna next to a metal appliance with the same voltage and power as a DRYER..... that's OK, no GFCI needed there. They leave that up to the manufacture. Although would it might be considered to be under (indoor damp or wet locations) 210.8(A)(11)

I am not advocating it I am just venting.
 

retirede

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
So the NEC requires GFCI on a dryer that DRYS clothes where its likely used in a normal environment with a fully clothed and dry person, BUT...... If you sit naked sweaty wet in a sauna next to a metal appliance with the same voltage and power as a DRYER..... that's OK, no GFCI needed there. They leave that up to the manufacture. Although would it might be considered to be under (indoor damp or wet locations) 210.8(A)(11)

I am not advocating it I am just venting.

A regular sauna would not be damp or wet. The only moisture would come from the user’s perspiration.
A steam sauna, on the other hand, I think would be.
 
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