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Bathroom switches and Building Regulations Certificates

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Magrah, 11 Jul 2011.

  1. Magrah

    Magrah

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    Hi all

    A quick q on switches in the bathroom. A friend of mine has told me under the new regs you are not allowed to have any electrical swithcs in the bathroom on new build, conversions or installing a new bathroom.

    My current position is installing a new bathroom, near the door there is the light switch, timer fan switch and electric shower switch. Ther shower and fan are at the other end of the bathroom, so far away. What I have been told is all three need to be outside the bathroom door. Is that right? Sounds a bit strange to me, the idea being that you don't touch them with wet hands. But can't see the logic as you could do this even if they were just outside?!

    Any thought if this is twoddle or true?

    Thanks
     
  2. echoes

    echoes

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    As I understand it, switches must be outside the zones. Clearly mounting them outside the bathroom fulfills this. But inside the bathroom, outside of zone 2 (as would usually be the case with a pull-cord switch) is OK.

    The safety issue is not so much wet fingers, but someone in a bath or shower operating a switch when their whole body is wet; the skin resistance is much reduced and the danger of electrocution much increased.
     
  3. Magrah

    Magrah

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    Thanks Echoes

    Yes now I remeber (the Zones!). Zone 2 extends 60cm's around the bath the swithes are furthest away and closest they would be to zone 2 is 20cms (i.e. they are 80cms away from the bath). The shower is also in the bath so looks like i'm ok.

    Looks like i'm ok on the ensuite we are creating too as the nearest point is 70cms away from the shower enclosure.
     
  4. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Stop taking any notice of your friend on electrical matters - he talks twaddle.
     
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  5. Magrah

    Magrah

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    Just going on from this, just read on 'ultimatehandyman' that you can not fit a double pole 45a switch (for an electric shower) inside a bathroom unless ceiling pullcord type regardless of the size of the bathroom or the fact that its more than 60cms outside zone 2?

    This seems to contradict the regs as they just say all switchs must be at least 60cms outside zone 2 but says nothing about electric shower switch's unless pullcord have to be outside the bathroom?

    Any views?

    Thanks
     
  6. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    It does contradict it.

    Here's the plan:

    1) Register on that site.

    2) Post a question asking them to state on which regulation(s) (quoted verbatim if possible) they base their advice.

    3) See what happens.
     
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  7. holmslaw

    holmslaw

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    ..
     
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  8. Magrah

    Magrah

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    Thanks both. Done that BAS.

    Spoke to an electrician at the weekend, he said all switches (including my scenario, shower, fan and light) now have to be outside the bathroom unless they are pullcord.

    Just checking some other avenues will let you know when I get the definative answer.
     
  9. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    You've had the definitive answer here.

    And don't ever have that ignorant electrician you spoke to do any work for you.
     
  10. Magrah

    Magrah

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    Well yes and no.

    Called the NICEIC, they say that there is nothing in the regs to say that any switch cannot go in the bathroom as long as outside Zone 2.

    The problem is that electricians have picked up in the regs that the switch must be able to cope with the application (512 I think the chap said). So you need to call the manufacturer and get them to confirm that it can be put into a bathroom i.e. subject to some moisture.

    Rather than go through all that hassle they locate the switches outside or use pull cord. They also said that as a consequence I will struggle to find an electrician that will certify electrics with the switches inside the bathroom.

    Mystery solved but problem persists, rewire with light outside and fan / shower on pull cord or begin my quest for an electrician that will certify as is!!!
     
  11. riveralt

    riveralt

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    Which is absolutely correct.

    I bet NICEIC didn't tell you to contact the socket manufacturers to check that they can be used in kitchens. How many times have you seen a steaming electric kettle a few inches from a socket - yet there is no regulation against that.

    As I said in my view there is no problem with switches in bathrooms outside the zones - but if you want to have a switch then have a look at these expensive items
    http://www.taptilecontrols.com/?gclid=COzV_IyLi6oCFQEd4QodaGusyA

    A least you will be one up on the Jones' ;)
     
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  12. Magrah

    Magrah

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    You're absolutely right they did not say anything about the kitchen scenario, I have a kettle right near a plug in the kitchen, there is also the issue of water vapour when cooking!

    Those switches look good, but i'd want them all over the house, i'm though not on the Times Rich List so may have to give them a pass.

    Spoke to a mate who's a certified electrician last night, he basically said the same thing regarding outside the zones but would prefer outside the bathroom, but we agreed best approach is for him to come round and see the actual scenario. Then suggest alterations, if any, before he will sign off.
     
  13. Magrah

    Magrah

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    Just following on this, mate is struggling with workload. Is there any electrician that would / could certify this work? Could switch the shower switches to pullcord but moving the whole lot outside is a lot of work and will look unsightly! I'm in SE9, PM me.

    May be flogging a dead horse hear but not getting anywhere!
     
  14. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    My opinion about isolating switches for electrically heated showers is that they should be in the shower room and hence pull cord. Then in the event of a fault in the shower requiring it to be urgently turned off at the isolator there is no need to find a suitably large towel and then unlock the shower room door to get modestly covered to the switch.

    That said a switch outside is a usefull money saver when a teenager is using the shower.

    Isolator switches are not designed to be used frequently as the ON OFF control for the shower. And showers may require power after their OFF switch is pressed to allow the solenoid valve to remain open to allow water to flow until the heating chamber has been cooled.
     
  15. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Electricians may only certify their own work.
     
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