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Installing Elec Towel Warmer within 39" of shower/tub

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Posted by: from Burlington
11/14/2016 at 9:55:08 AM

I have been told that installing an electric towel warmer within 39" of the shower entry or tub is not allowed because of our electric code. I find that hard to believe as towel warmers are obvisouly designed to be handy to the shower and tub.

Is this electrician misinformed? What part of the code will allow us to install it?

REPLIES (6)
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Matt from MLG Electric in Beaumont
Date/Time11/14/2016 at 1:29:15 PM

The code here in Alberta is the plug needs to be installed at 1.5 metres from a tub or a shower if it's any closer you have to use a gfi plug or be protected by a gfi receptacle or breaker.

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Marco from MCC Electric in Quispamsis
Date/Time11/14/2016 at 7:08:48 PM

The Canadian Electrical Code states that an outlet within 1.5 metres of a water source must be protected by a GFCI breaker or receptacle.

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Date/Time11/14/2016 at 7:37:11 PM

Is this Towel warmer hardwired or plug in as that may be why he is having an issue with it.

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Dave from Nemco in Cambridge
Date/Time11/14/2016 at 7:53:30 PM

Quoting from the Ontario electrical code,

27-710: (g) Receptacles installed in bathrooms shall, where practicable, be located at least 1m but in no case less than 500mm from the bathtub or shower stall, etc...

In short, you could have a standard receptacle 501mm from the bathtub, protected by a ground fault circuit. 1m is the closest you could install a GFCI receptacle to the inside edge of the opening of the tub or shower.

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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time11/14/2016 at 8:35:33 PM

Without seeing the layout, it could work both ways. If there is no way of installing a gfci protection in the line, then no you cannot have it within that range. If it is gfci protected and there is no receptacle within 500 mm of the tub or shower, there should be no problem, provided it is not above a tub or within the shower area. The warmer must be CSA approved for damp locations as well. I have seen some come with a switch that is not water proof, therefore cannot be used within the damp location. There should be manufacturers instructions within the box it came in. The wattage and voltage of the unit is also important and if over 500 watts, should require its own circuit. If there is a switch on the unit, the unit must be mounted more than 1m away from tub or shower, less than 1m is possible if it is GFCI protected.

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Andrew in Vancouver
Date/Time2/25/2017 at 11:14:09 PM

Robert,

Can you tell me where this information is located in the 2015 code book?

Thanks!

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