Bathroom Heater Regulations

Written by charles pearson
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When getting out of the bathtub or out of a shower, the cool air can feel like it's freezing. Warming up the bathroom with a heater can help. However, these heaters must abide by regulations, many of which vary from state to state and from municipality to municipality. Issues that regulations often concern themselves with include carbon monoxide and electrical currents passing through electrical heaters that have been soaked by water.

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Local Regulations

When installing a bathroom heater, always check with the local municipality to see if there are any regulations or building codes regarding bathroom heaters. One way to avoid legal trouble is to hire an independent contractor to install the bathroom heater, who should be up-to-date with the current bathroom heater regulations.

Automatic Shut-off

Heaters must be built so they automatically shut off if they are knocked over to reduce the risk of a fire when the heater pushes against a flammable object and overheats it. Many heaters also have sensors that shut the heater off when an object is placed too close to the heater.


GFCI receptacles must be used with all electrical appliances. GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. Electrical currents that exceed 5 milliamps, the electricity to that outlet is immediately shut off to prevent electrical surges.


Bathrooms must be heated to at least 20 degrees C, according to Star Craft Custom Builders. Building codes recommend, but do not require, a supplemental heat source in the bathroom.


The venting system for the heater must be made of stainless steel. The ventilation must be sealed to prevent carbon monoxide from leaking, according to Green Home Guide. Double-walled material is required.


When a heater is installed, all bathrooms must have a window that can open. This window must provide at least 1.5 square feet of air flow so exhaust can be released if it leaks out of the heater, according to Check This House.


The air must be exhausted directly outside and cannot be allowed to build up anywhere. The exhaust cannot discharge in a crawl space or the attic, which can become a major health hazard, Check This House also says.


The fan that is used to circulate air in the bathroom must be specifically designed for bathrooms, meaning that it has a circuit that is able to withstand moisture, according to Check This House. The circuit must also be GFCI.

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