Breaker in Bathroom -grandfathered in????

8 Replies

I recently bought a foreclosure in Northeast Ohio that had a bathroom in the basement. It had a shower, sink, toilet and electrical  sub-panel, however no 4th wall or door. 

I applied for a permit to add a wall but am now being told I must must the subpanel out of the bathroom before they will consider the permit. Several people including my electrician have told me to really fight this because it should be grandfathered in since the house was in this condition when I bought it. 

Does anyone have experience with this? 

Currently, I'm writing a deal diary ( ) on my experience but am stuck on what to do regarding the city. It will be a rental so perhaps having a breaker box three feet from a showe isn't a good idea anyways. 

Any thoughts woukd be appreciated! 

Can you do a simple move to the other side of wall outside bath area? You may be able to  have your electrician move this  easily if he has enough  slack to re-rough the wires. Do a "what if" meeting with him. Just a thought. Best wishes for your project.

@Rex T. thanks for the response.  The area directly to the left is the only direction which would still be within the house. Unfortunately, that area is the empty space under the steps and wouldn't have enough clearance in all directions or have a an access separate from the bathroom.

@Carrie Giordano Another "wow" factor. I say drill the conduit out, that way the subpanel is outside also. This looks like a subpanel built by the home owner. Conduits and panel is exposed to moisture. Even if "grandfathered" it doesn't mean that it is safe. If you have the budget, just do it right. A water, moisture/vapor, air barrier is better to be in place, such as some kind of flashing, elastomeric products, or similar.

@Manolo D. @Account Closed the inspector suggested to turn this box into a junction box and add a subpanel at the main box or elsewhere. This box in the bathroom contains the furnace & air conditioning. The main box is on the opposite side of the basement so I'm wondering if it may be easier to add a sub panel outside the bathroom. I'm honestly not that knowledgeable of electric work so I am not sure what's best. 

@Carrie Giordano I can't really give out accurate advice based on one picture, but i would try to check with at least a state certified electrician to assess it, they usually have couple thousand hours as an electrician under their belt. They could give you better advice than an inspector, i am assuming that's only coming from a home inspector where you just take a general exam. cert electrician prices aren't that investor friendly but i see them pass all kinds of inspections, just give them a price you can afford and work your way through it.