National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Tuesday, January 24, 2023


Hello CQD. Regarding the answer to the January 9th code question. Your answer to the question about a bidet receptacle you did not mention exception #2 to 406.9(C). This does allow for the receptacle to be installed closer than 3 feet to the shower. Regards, Bryan Berg

January 9th Question:

Hello, we are renovating a bathroom, where we will have a shower base and a toilet with a bidet that needs power. The electrical inspector said that the outlet for the bidet needs to be 3' from the fixed shower door. Would this also apply if I had a shower curtain instead of the shower door? Thanks, Sharman Lappin.

January 9th Answer:

Hi Sharman, NEC® Section 406.9(C) provides guidance on this topic:

“Receptacles shall not be installed within a zone measured 3ft horizontally and 8ft vertically from the top of the bathtub rim or shower stall threshold”.

This Code Section requirement applies the same to showers with curtains or doors.


Hi Bryan, thanks for the additional information. The original question was inquiring as to whether the 3-foot distance was applicable when a shower curtain or shower door was used.

 The question did not have enough information to apply either of the exceptions to Section 406.9(C), as both have additional criteria in order to apply the exception. Here summaries of the exceptions to Section 406.9(C):

 Exception No. 1 – permits a receptacle to be installed closer than 3-feet, if the bathroom is not large enough to achieve the 3-foot distance. The receptacle is required to be installed opposite the bathtub rim/shower stall threshold, on the farthest wall within the bathroom.

 Exception No. 2 – In a dwelling unit, a receptacle for an electronic toilet or personal hygiene device like an electronic bidet, can be installed closer than the 3-foot distance if it complies with all of the following:

-        A single receptacle

-        It is installed on the wall behind the toilet, but not behind the tank.

Installed on the opposite side of the toilet from the bathtub or shower.

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