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Chandeliers Above Bath Tubs

By In Bathroom Lights On April 2, 2012


Chandeliers above bath tubs are apparently all the rage today.  A few weeks ago I somehow ended up inspecting three houses in a row that had chandeliers installed above the bath tubs – one in Chaska, one in Saint Paul, and one in Victoria.  They all look great, don’t they?

Chandelier over bath tub in Chaska

Chandelier over bath tub in Saint Paul

Chandelier over bath tub in Victoria

Shortly after I posted these photos on the Structure Tech Facebook Page, Debbie Nelson said she’s been seeing this trend for the last five years or so.  She even gave me a couple links to web sites promoting this look – houzz from almost a year ago, and HGTV from about five years ago.

I think this is a great look, but as a home inspector I’m going to be a wet rag and say these are all improper installations.  The diagram below comes from Code Check Electrical 6th Edition.  This book is based on the 2011 National Electric Code (NEC), which prohibits any part of a chandelier from being within the shaded region shown below.  This comes from section 410.10(D) of the NEC.  The idea is that you’re not supposed to be able to stand in a wet tub and change a light bulb at the same time.

Bathroom Luminaire Diagram

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t install a chandelier above your bath tub… but you’re supposed to have a very tall ceiling to do it, and even then, the light should be rated for a wet or damp location.  The image below shows a chandelier rated for a damp location – you’ll notice that the bulbs are completely enclosed.

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections – Email – Minnesota Home Inspector

        


About the Author

Reuben

Reuben is a second generation home inspector with a passion for his work. He grew up remodeling homes and learning about carpentry since he was old enough to hold a hammer. Reuben has worked for Structure Tech since it was purchased by Neil in 1997, and is now co-owner of the company. Reuben’s favorite customers are the ones who have a lot of questions; he grew up thinking he was going to be a school teacher because he enjoyed teaching others so much. In a sense, that’s a lot of what home inspections are about, so Reuben truly does what he loves. Reuben has an A.A. degree in liberal arts and has attended most of the Building Inspection Technology classes at North Hennepin Community College. Reuben and his wife are the proud parents of two young childen, Cy Alexander and Lucy Nicole, and have a German Shepherd named Stanley. With two young children Reuben doesn’t have much free time, but he still tries to play disc golf as often as possible during the summer. Reuben lives in Maple Grove, MN. Professional Qualifications / Memberships: *ASHI Certified Inspector *President, ASHI Heartland Chapter *Member, Minnesota Society of Housing Inspectors (MSHI) *Licensed Minneapolis Truth-in-Sale of Housing Evaluator *Licensed Saint Paul Truth-in-Sale of Housing Evaluator *Licensed Maplewood Truth-in-Sale of Housing Evaluator *Licensed Hopkins Truth-in-Housing Evaluator *Licensed Robbinsdale Point of Sale Evaluator *Affiliate Member, Southern Twin Cities Association of Realtors

2 Comments

  • Bill 3 YEARS AGO

    Interesting diagram. The receptacle withing 3 feet of sink edge prohibition would be a major issue in older bathrooms. My townhome was built in the early 70s and I assume that this is not retroactive (other than adding a GFI is a really good idea) That would require it to be about 6' from the floor, or within a foot of the tub/shower (not a good idea but it doesn't look prohibited, maybe on another diagram), or on the "back" wall (other side and behind the door).