Access to Jetted Tub Electrical - Code Considerations

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by Curmudgeon10, Jan 26, 2013.

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  1. Jan 26, 2013 #1

    Curmudgeon10

    Curmudgeon10

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    Our jetted tub is plugged into a conventional outlet mounted on the floor next to the tub, which is behind tiled and drywall/stud walls. To meet code, the builder left an opening in the drywall/stud wall directly behind one end of the tub, and covered the opening with a grill normally used for return air ducts.

    In conjunction with other remodeling, I've moved the location of this opening, and made it somewhat smaller (but still ample room to work on the electrical if the need ever arose).

    My question is this: did the builder use the return grill merely as a matter of convenience, or is there a general code requirement that the cover be vented since there is an electrical device (pump) running, which generates heat?

    If heat buildup is not a consideration, and the code makes no requirement that the opening be vented, I'll install a solid cover, which will look better.
     
  2. Jan 27, 2013 #2

    Wuzzat?

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    You may want to exhaust excessive heat and humidity from that room.
     
  3. Jan 27, 2013 #3

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    From UNDER the tub??
     
  4. Jan 27, 2013 #4

    speedy petey

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    There is no requirement that the access panel be vented.
     
  5. Jan 27, 2013 #5

    Curmudgeon10

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    OK, thanks a lot.
     
  6. Jan 27, 2013 #6

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    If you prefer. :D
     
  7. Jan 28, 2013 #7

    nealtw

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    It shouldn't be a grill, you don't want bathroom moisture getting under there.
     
  8. Jan 28, 2013 #8

    Curmudgeon10

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    To end this, the opening is not in the bathroom, but in the wall separating the bedroom from the bathroom. One end of the tub buts up to this wall in the bathroom; the other side, in the bedroom, is simply plain wall.

    If need be, one could reach through this opening (after removing the grill) and remove the plug from the outlet that was installed to power the tub. It's difficult to envision anything else being accomplished because of the length of the reach and the inability to get both hands in the vicinity of the electrical stuff.
     
  9. Jan 29, 2013 #9

    BridgeMan

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    What say you, Petey, regarding the OP's hot tub pump being plugged into a floor outlet within water-traveling distance in the event of a leak or tub overflow? Doesn't exactly sound like it would be a very safe (or code-acceptable) situation. Similar to a State HSD inspection I did last year, where Joe Handyman wired up the bathroom fan/light switch so anyone could reach it while standing in the bathtub/shower (he moved it from across the room to less than a foot away from the shower valve, inside of the enclosure).

    Saving people from themselves is always a challenge.
     
  10. Jan 29, 2013 #10

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    I don't think it's an issue at all. If we wired and built for every unforeseen problem that could possibly happen then we'd never be able to build anything. Your scenario is just like folks having a problem with receptacle under sinks. What if there is a leak? Yeah, so what. IF that happens the receptacle is the least of your worries. Besides, receptacle don't spontaneously explode, catch fire or short out if they get wet.
    Besides, I doubt the receptacle in the OPs situation is actually face-up. Even if it were, how would it be ANY different than the pump motor itself getting flooded??


    I also don't have a problem with a properly wired switch within reach of a shower. WHY is this an assumed problem for you?
     
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  11. Jan 30, 2013 #11

    nealtw

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    Just for chuckles I have a couple questions.
    If the plug at the floor was flooded and the water was live, wouldn't that be a short that would kick the breaker?
    We worry about standing in the shower and hitting a switch. If you have pvc or abs drains and pex supply, is the water grounded?
     
  12. Jan 30, 2013 #12

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    NO, the water is not nearly conductive enough to carry that kind of current.

    I have seen literally submerged breaker panels, live and working just fine.
     
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  13. Jan 30, 2013 #13

    nealtw

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    I have seen literally submerged breaker panels, live and working just fine.

    It will take the easy route from hot leg to neutral or ground, and bybass the breakers, still working but loosing power?
     
  14. Jan 30, 2013 #14

    inspectorD

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    And the end...the original poster has gotten fed up, Wuzzat, please keep to posting answers to the questions relevant to the original question, And Petey we know you could care less what folks think about you, but thanks for at least answering the original question.

    And to add my 2 cents, there is no issue with an access panel being unvented under the tub. The only reason you may have needed a vent was for a steam system in the showers. Removable panels are allowed for electrical outlets with a dedicated cuircut.
     
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