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In Fairfax County Virginia, what is the minimum distance that an outlet must be from a shower in the bathroom? Does the minimum distance change if it is GFI outlet?

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3 Answers 3

It must be GFCI (2009 residential codes, chapter 29):

E3902.1 Bathroom receptacles. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in bathrooms shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

VA building codes are online: http://www.ecodes.biz/ecodes_support/Free_Resources/Virginia2009/09Residential/09Residential_main.html

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I can't say specifically for Fairfax County, VA (you could contact your local building department).

This website (http://www.ezdiyelectricity.com/?p=29) seems to indicate that as long as it is not in the "wet zone", basically inside the shower or tub space, it should be OK. They also say that a receptacle within 3 feet of a sink should be GFCI, it is not clear to me if that would apply to tubs/showers too (but it seems like it might be a good idea).

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If it's anywhere close to a wet zone, I'd go ahead and use GFCI for the added safety - it shouldn't cost too much extra over a regular outlet. –  Doresoom Apr 18 '11 at 18:00

I think NEC requires that any outlet in a bathroom should be GFCI protected in any case. But I don't think there's any rule regarding minimum distance.

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