New House : Two Electrical Questions

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Hello everyone!
New to this group and thought I would give it a try.
We are looking at a new house and I wanted to get an opinion on two things:
In one bathroom, the light switch is near the show. Is this dangerous? What can we do to correct this?
The house has a detached garage which has 110 and 220. The power is governed by one switch in the house. Is that safe? Again, what can we do to correct it?
Thanks a bunch, have a great day! Ryan
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Ryan wrote:

By "new house" I take it you mean new to you, not brand new construction.
See if there's a GFCI breaker feeding that switch. If there isn't, you probably should get one installed, but you may then run into that GFCI annoying you by tripping off if the area around the switch gets splashed with water.

If you would please describe that "switch" to us, we'd be in a better position to comment.

Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
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Thanks for answering so quickly!
The switch looks like a regular light switch. It seems to cut all power to the attached garage. Not sure about the 220 though, we didn't test that.
Thanks again! Ryan
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Near the shower is fine, in the shower is probably not the best location, and may be advisable to have it relocated to the opposite side of the wall from it's current location. (probably outside the bathroom)

Probably better to have an annoying ground fault tripping, then a potentially live switchplate with someone standing in the shower

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On Wed, 16 Jul 2008 16:16:53 -0400, Jeff Wisnia

Only if someone in the shower while the shower is running tries to turn the light on or off. Would anyone do that?

I don't understand. I thougtht a GFCI tripped if there was no ground like there should be.
How would a GFI trip any more than a any breaker just because it got wet?

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wrote:

A GFCI trips if the current on one leg is not equal to the current on the other leg. This happens when current goes to ground thru another path, like your body. A GFCI doesn't need an "electrical source ground" to work.
They are often installed because there is not a grounding wire at the device.
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wrote:

Then there's the strange myth that a GFCI itself PROVIDES a grounding connection. It doesn't.
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I've never heard that myth, and if it exists, it's wrong
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[snip]

I never heard it until I started reading this newsgroup (possibly it's confusion relating to the use of a GFCI for safety where there is no ground wire).
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wrote:

Thanks. I get it.

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Common misunderstanding about 'grounds' and GFCIs. The so called GFCI shoul be better named! GFCIs operate (to disconnect and protect the circuit) when there is an unbalance in the current flowing in the live and neutral wires through the GFCI outlet. Such an unbalnce MAY be due to something grounding through, say a human body, etc. hence the requirment they be used in damp locations, such as the garden, bathrooms etc. BTW this thread doesn't seem to nbe too clear. Apparently it is not a NEW house??????? There is a switch in the bathroom near the shower? Either move it to the opposite side of the wall (hopefully just outside the bathroom door etc. and/or intercept the circuit somewhere BEFORE the switch and insert a GFCI in that wiring (or change the circuit breaker for that circuit to a GFCI type). There is some sort of switch controlling everything in the garage?????? Or everything that is 110 volts in the garage? he reference to 220 volts is unclear. Is that a 220 volt cocvket for say a dryer, or maybe a home welder owned by a previuos owner? It's all very vague.
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On Fri, 18 Jul 2008 12:45:59 -0700 (PDT), terry

There is nothing wrong with the location of the light switch. There is no reason to lose a minute sleep over it.
There is not enough information to say, for sure, if the breaker for the garage is a problem. Nothing in the post would make me suspicious of the wiring.
I am sure we could make a long list of things that could be wrong, but I'm not.
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have you had a home inspector check out the entire place.
its cheap insurance to avoid nasty surprises, can be used to negoiate lower price, and a person on location will have a better idea of whats up.
home inspectors are sellers worse nightmare, and buyer best friend
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Yes, but most home inspectors I've encountered are less than knowledgeable. They have opinions, not knowledge,
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having been a seller, they were my biggest nightmare. find one who is acxcredited, and insured.
as a buyer they will sve you money
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Yes, but they save you money through their opinions, not knowledge. It is akin to extortion. If the various states were to require that these inspectors be licensed engineers I'd have a bit more faith in their proclamations.
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oh i agree, but for this buyer a inspection cant hurt and may uncover other issues.
like reversed neutrals and hots in electric outlets. everything works fine, till one day you plug in a old radio and get shocked bad.
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On Fri, 18 Jul 2008 14:02:04 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

The problem is home inspectors run the gamut from very competent inspectors to hacks who don't really have a clue. Fancy ads and cards are no indication. The groups like NACHI are really trying to build some level of skill but the industry is suffering from growing pains.
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WOW, thanks everyone for the answers and comments!
The house was built in 1951. The home inspector has been through and suggested these two items may be an issue. I've noticed home inspectors tend to be a little more paranoid than necessary, which comes with the job I'm sure.
The bathroom light switch seems to be up for debate, some say it's safe or at least not an issue, others say to move it . . . interesting.
The garage thing was a bad description and I don't know enough to be very accurate. There is 110 and 220 going out to the garage. All the lights, garage door, outlets, etc (110) are controlled by a (visibly) normal light switch in the house. I can't tell if the 220 is controlled by the same switch. The inspector said this could be a problem. I don't want to pile this on our list if there isn't anything wrong with this setup. In fact it may be convenient if I forget to shut off the lights or something :)
Sorry my post was a little vague. I know almost nothing about electrical systems. Just so you know the depth of my knowledge, the inspector is the one who told me there was 220 going out to the garage, i hadn't noticed.
Anyway, I appreciate all of your comments. Have a great day!
Ryan
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wrote:

If the inspector said it could be an issue, then obviously he is correct.
Most slight switches are installed inside the room on the latch side of the door. If this is not located inside the shower, I can't see, from here, how it could be an issue.
I guess if someone decided they wanted to take a bath/shower in the dark, and to use the switch from inside the shower........then maybe. :)
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