When designing outdoor spaces, incorporating a water fountain is a popular choice for many homeowners. Not only does it add an aesthetic appeal, but it also provides a soothing sound and attracts wildlife to your yard. However, when it comes to installing a water fountain, it’s important to consider its proximity to electrical devices, such as light switches. If you’re wondering how far a light switch needs to be away from a water fountain per the National Electrical Code, keep reading for a detailed answer.
According to the National Electrical Code (NEC), light switches need to be installed in a safe location where it won’t come into contact with water. The NEC defines safe distance as any distance further than 5 feet away from a pool, spa or any similar Type 1 fountain. For Type 2 and Type 3 fountains, the safe distance is defined as 10 feet and 15 feet, respectively.
Type 1 fountains are the smallest and most common type of water fountain, such as a small garden fountain or bird bath fountain. Type 2 fountains are mid-sized and include larger garden or pond fountains. Type 3 fountains are the largest and include commercial fountains, such as those found in a shopping mall or park.
In addition to the above requirements, light switches must be mounted in a weatherproof box, have a weatherproof cover, and be grounded properly. This means that the wiring must be connected to a grounded wire to protect against electrical shock.
It’s important to note that the distances mentioned above are the minimum safe distances and it’s always recommended to consult with a licensed electrician to determine the safest and most compliant installation location.
In summary, the National Electrical Code specifies safe distances for light switches based on the size and type of water fountain. For Type 1 fountains, the light switch must be at least 5 feet away, for Type 2 fountains, the safe distance is 10 feet, and for Type 3 fountains, the safe distance is 15 feet. It’s also important to remember that light switches must be installed in a weatherproof box with a weatherproof cover and properly grounded to reduce the risk of electrical shock. When in doubt, always consult with a licensed electrician for the best and safest installation location for your light switch near a water fountain.
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Last update 2023-12-05