According to the US Fire Administration, electrical malfunctions are among the top four leading causes of residential fires in the US between 2007 and 2016. With this in mind, safety precautions should always be observed when it comes to home electrical wiring, specially if it involves the bathroom.
Water and Electricity – A Dangerous Mix
It’s a known fact that water and electricity are a deadly combination. With the bathroom areas frequently subject to damp and moisture, one can only imagine the dangers in the bathroom, particularly when special electrical wiring systems concerns are ignored.
5 Crucial Precautions for Bathroom Electrical Wiring
To avoid the risks from electrical hazards and ensure safety in the bathroom, here are five essential safety precautions when it comes to bathroom electrical wiring:
- Use moisture-splash proof switches.
Moisture-splash proof switches are designed to prevent water from entering the switch and coming into contact with the wires inside.
- Ensure all receptacles are GFCI-protected.
GFCI outlets help reduce the risk of shock hazards in damp areas and have already saved thousands of lives. The National Electric Code currently mandates the installation of GFCI outlets in the bathrooms, crawl spaces, and kitchens among other areas in the house for protection.
- Position the outlets properly.
Outlets in the bathroom should be positioned appropriately and not just anywhere the homeowner wants. Your bathroom outlets must be at least 6 feet away from the edge of the shower or bathtub, and at least a foot away from sinks. The outlet can be placed behind or beside, but never across or over the sink.
- Install ventilation fans.
Exhaust fans are required to effectively avoid the accumulation of moisture and humidity inside the bathroom, which can pose a danger to the electrical wiring inside.
- Distribute different circuits in the bathroom properly.
To ensure that a trouble in one circuit won’t interfere with the operation of another circuit, it is important to distribute the different circuits in the bathroom and keep them isolated. For instance, bathroom lighting fixtures should have a dedicated circuit, and the same goes with the switches and vent fan.