Wiring behind shower shell?

Installing fiberglass shower shell in bathroom. Need to run romex around -- and behind -- the shower shell. This will cross the area where the copper pipe goes up to the shower head.
1. Does the NEC code permit such proximity of plumbing and electric? How about the inspector? :-)
2. Can I staple the romex cable to the sheet rock behind the shower shell (over the studs, of course) -- there is sufficient space (about 1.5 inches) between the shell and the sheet rock. I'd rather not open up the wall, drill the studs, and run the romex there.
The only other place to hide the wiring is in the ceiling, which I'd rather avoid.
Any constructive comments would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
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Dave,
Make sure there are no hidden junction boxes or splices behind the shower stall. All splices need to be in junction boxes and they need to be accessible by code. I believe that you can staple the wires to the studs if there wil not be any further access to the studs that could cause damage to the wires. If the fiberglass does not touch the wires, that is.
Stretch
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i doubt if it would be ok. there are only a few specific cases where cable can be attached to the surface. if it's not allowed, perhaps you could just go get a couple 8 foot conduits.
with the proximity to water, you should be VERY sure you're doing it correctly. not just to code or skirting the intention of the code. ....thehick
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On Sun, 17 Apr 2005 11:30:37 -0700, stretch wrote

No, no boxes, splices. Just continuous romex run.
If I run the romex close to the sheet rock, it will not touch the shower shell.
So, if there are no breaks in the cable (splices, etc.) or in the insulation, there is no problem running it around the plumbing?
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On Sun, 17 Apr 2005 11:50:53 -0700, AlanBown wrote

I meant: run the romex over the sheet rock, and at the stud location (16-inch centers) staple through the sheet rock into the studs.
Is this acceptable practice?
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I doubt this would be acceptable...
The staples wouldn't provide any support unless they reach into the studs, and I've never seen staples long enough to reach through 1/2" sheetrock.
In addition, romex cables are supposed to be 1-1/2" from the face of the stud, or covered with nailing plates so drywall screws will not damage the cable.
My preference would be to cut the sheetrock back and drill holes through the centers of the studs. You don't have to tear out the whole wall, just cut a 8-12 inch band across the wall and remove the sheetrock in that area. basically just enough room to be able to slip the drill into the wall for drilling. It's gonna be covered with the fiberglass shower surround anyway, so it doesn't really matter what it looks like.
Second choice would be to cut a 1" or so wide band across the wall and staple the cable directly to the studs. Then attach 2x nailers across the surface of the sheetrock (fastened into the studs). Be careful not to nail or screw through the cables you run. This will provide the 1-1/2" depth required by code, but will bump your wall out another 1-1/2" as well. This could lead to additional sheetrock work above the shower surround if it doesn't reach all the way to the ceiling.
Third choice would be to find a different route for the wiring. Up into the attic, over, and back down. Or, down into the crawlspace, over, and back up. If you have living spaces above and below, you could drill a couple of access holes in the floor beneath the tub and fish the wire through the floor joist cavity.
From my perspective, cutting back the sheetrock and drilling the holes seems like the simplest approach...
Oh, and as long as the cable has adequate depth from the surface, there should be no issues with it being a "shower" wall. Our guest bath shares a wall with our master bedroom, and we've got multiple wires and outlet boxes on that master bedroom wall. No problems... I put up a vapor barrier before tiling the guest shower just as an extra measure of protection.
Anthony
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On Sun, 17 Apr 2005 14:22:45 -0700, frank-in-toronto wrote

Yes, of course.
Even with a flood, water running down the walls, the orientation of the ROMEX would be such that the h2o would never contact bare conductors or connections.
I'd just like to get an idea of whether this would pass "muster" when inspected.
Re. your suggestion to use 2 length of conduit: so just attach this to the sheet rock and run the ROMEX inside? If you are suggesting individual wires in the conduit, how do you transition those to the switch boxes inside the wall? Using conduit, it seems to me, means complete, box-to-box connection with the conduit. This is prohibitively complex, considering the relationship of the two boxes, the shower shell, etc. Can be done, but almost preferable to do the "drill-the-studs" route (which, also, ain't gonna be easy).
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Dave,

It's difficult, but certainly possible. I routed a romex cable in an exterior corner wall that had a 6x6 post and 2x6 trimmers on each side (total thickness about 7" thick each way). Just drill in from each side, meeting in the middle.

Drill through the prior stud, attach an extension, and continue drilling into the corner.

If there's no living space above, it might be the easier solution.
Depending on the style of your tub, you may also be able to run it along the lower part of the wall behind the tub, protecting it with wood blocking or conduit. There's usually a fairly good area beneath the tub in the corner against the wall. Depending on the accessability, it may be a usable route? But, I'd only choose this option if there were no other alternatives.
Anthony
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On Sun, 17 Apr 2005 17:43:39 -0700, HerHusband wrote

Normally, I'd agree. But the corner the ROMEX has to traverse is -- how do I say this -- solid 2x4's. It is a load-bearing wall, and where the 2 walls meet, there must be 5 or 6, all packed in there. I suppose I could drill a 90-degree hole in there (so the ROMEX makes a turn in the middle of all those), but this seems improbable, if not impossible. Also, near the corner the bays are not 16" wide, making my right-angle Milwaukee with self-feed bit a bit large for the task.
The up-and-over solution seems to be rearing its head.
Thanks,
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I'm a carpenter, not an electrician so this hasn't been code-checked...Why not nail up a piece of scrap lumber to the drywall covered studs and staple the romex to that? Alternatively run armored cable (BX?) instead of the romex?
The question of how, or if the cable should be secured brings up another inspection question... Renovation jobs regularly involve old-work boxes and fished cable runs with no staples. I don't recall failing any inspections...what's the reg on that?
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Just reading the details, the "up and over" routine is inviting to me. I wouldn't even run it over the shower at all. You need a running board when trnasversing joists with NM cable. I'd use NM cable, like Romex. NM cable is not designed for conduit. If intending conduit, I'd use FMC rated for wet locations if insistent on running between the shower stall and bathroom wall. Lowes carries FMC..
Are you going to tie in at junction box, or directly into the service panel/subpanel? Can the load be absorbed by the current circuit breaker, or do you need a another?
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Simply adding a switch to the light circuit (replacing them with 3-way switches). No additional load.
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Go to Google and search for wiring+shower+stall+electricution+staples+water+flooring+drillbits
You will find your answer there.
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Well I Googled it and found this.
The master bath is part of a master suite. The shower surround is on the side of the bathroom that backs up to the bedroom, i.e., the shower surround shares a wall with one wall of the bedroom. The outlet we were required to add was on the *bedroom* side of that wall-- it was just that, because it was sharing the wall with the shower surround, the wiring had to be run along the supply pipes. Anyway, I wasn't crazy about the idea of having an outlet box and romex in the same wall as my shower surround, but the inspector required it, so there it is.
Looks like the inspector above thought it was ok,if I am reading it right.
The post is at http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.home.repair/browse_thread/thread/9f1a7c8f90e35ebb/2b46b4aa71f79924?q=romex ++(shower)&rnum&hl=en#2b46b4aa71f79924
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On Wed, 20 Apr 2005 23:24:13 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@American.Family.Insurance.Sucks.com wrote

That gives me this page:
<http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/academic/crafts/woodworking/faqs/allfaqs
All I could find with the word "shower" on that page is:

which seems to answer a question I didn't ask.
I want to know if I can run ROMEX near (crossing the same stud bay) that the shower head copper pipe runs.
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snipped-for-privacy@here.now ( snipped-for-privacy@here.now) said...

Thinking about it: inside that wall, there should be no differernce than any other situation where water supply pipes and Romex cable come in close proximity to one another. I can think of both our kitchen sink and our laundry tub where this is the case -- and GFCI protection isn't a counter argument as it is the outlets themselves near the sink that are protected, NOT the Romex cable supplying them.
If there is a reason to feel uneasy about being in a shower, the cable proximity is the least of your worries, since that space where the cable is is SUPPOSED to be dry!
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