elec. code for heater in bathroom

The master bathroom in my house is freezing in winter. I'm thinking of installing a wall heater or portable heater that I could put on a timer to run just for a couple of hours in the morning. I have 2 options:
1) Install an electric wall heater. There's an outlet on the other side of the wall in where I'd install the heater, so I could run power to it easily. The heater would be 2ft from the toilet, 4-5ft from the shower and 6ft from the bath. It would be in a corner, almost under a window (the window's on the other wall formed by the corner).
2) Install an outlet, presumably a GFI, in the same location, and plug in a portable heater on a timer.
Any opinions? Are there any electrical code issues I should know about?
Thanks, Michael
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Code doesn't like electrical outlets or switches within 4' (or so, details vary from code-to-code) from a shower or bath. This would apply for a permanently installed heater too. I don't think they care about toilets.
While code doesn't rule on how close a portable heater can be to a shower or bath, it's best to follow it anyway. Make sure the cord ain't long enough for it to fall into the bath...
It must be on a GFCI regardless (tho a permanently installed heater may be code exempt if you want to be picky).
Under a window is best for efficiency.
I'd prefer a permanently installed one.
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(1) Shower or Bathtub Space. Receptacle outlets shall not be installed in or within reach [30 in. (762 mm)] of a shower or bathtub space.

May be exempt, and is if it's permanently installed. I searched the NEC and can't find anything that even remotely suggests you can't install a permanently - connected, permanently installed in-wall heater or electric baseboard heater right up against the bathtub...

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Is that all US codes? Our code used to say "within reach", and then it's been specified more exactly. And moved around a bit. This is why I hedged.


H'm. You'd probably find them covered under the switch rules if it has any user-accessible controls on them.
An ordinary portable heater would _likely_ be considered to be non-exempt from the GFCI rules. The exemption is primarily for large appliances that wouldn't move, like a dryer or clothes washer, which usually have excellent grounding anyway. Or builtins of course.
To be exempt by latest codes, a plug-connected heater also have to be on a single outlet receptacle.
Thus, a plug heater physically attached to something in the bathroom on a single outlet may be exempt.
Ie: a B&D plugin cube fan heater would need GFCI. A wall/ceiling mounted plugin IR unit probably wouldn't if it was on a single outlet.
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If you have wall space, and money, you might consider installing a towel heater. The quality ones can double as a radiator and warm a small bathroom. They can also be programmed to heat only at specified times. Since we got ours, I have closed off the heating vent in the bathroom, as the towel heater keeps the room warm.
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What about replacing your exhaust vent (if you have one) with a combonation exhaust vent and heater.
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Don't know about code, but I did this recently: bought an oil filled electric radiator for a somewhat large bathroom. I think it's a Kenwood. It has a timer and heats the room up to 80 for 2 hours every morning. Now my furnace only turns above "nighttime" temperatures for a few hours in the evening as I no longer reheat my house in the morning just to take a shower and dress.
I went with the portable as (a) it was a quick solution in the midst of winter, and (b) I figured there may be times when I want to use the heater in the basement or garage.
I *wish* I had radiant heat on a timer under the tile floor. And I'm going to look into the duct or towel heater option.
Matt
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Hi, How about heat lamp on the ceiling? Tony
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I have electric heaters in both the tub bath and the shower bath. It's a wonderful luxury to have a toasty warm shower or bath. In one room I have a wall mounted heater. In the other, it's in the cabinet "kick plate." The only problem with this is you really can't stand in front of it with bare feet ... it's way too warm. If I had to do this one over, I might put it to one side or just use another wall mounted unit, although wall space in this bath is at a real premium. I don't know specifically about codes, however, these units have fully grounded cases, so they should be no problem. Anyway, much, much better than a corded heater.
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