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Do you need a bathroom fan Isolator Switch

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by frank999, 9 Jun 2021.

  1. frank999

    frank999

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    New flat conversion.

    Nice quiet Humidistat Xpelair Fans in onsuite bathrooms, with no windows, so fans important to remove the steam and humidity.

    New tenants have disabled the fans by switching them off at the DP Isolator switch, I was told they were needed to comply with Regs.

    Are they a requirement ??
    All Circuits in property are RCBO protected, fans run off lighting cicruit.

    Could the switches be removed ?
     
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  3. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    There is no regulatory requirement for fan isolators.

    The manufacturer's instructions for some fans say that they should be connected via an isolator. However, the regulations now merely say that such instructions should "be taken into account" (the regs used to require compliance with manufacturer's instructions, but not now).

    So, I suppose the short answer is that there is no 'requirement'. One can, however, argue that they may be 'useful' to facilitate maintenance.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  4. 333rocky333

    333rocky333

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    I believe Guidance and Manufacturers suggest them, mainly for Isolation and maintenance reasons, but I do n0t recall any actual regulation demanding them, there may be a few unrelated regs that could be twisted a bit to suggest they are needed.
     
  5. Swwils

    Swwils

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    You can also get a fan isolator in a single grid module now. So that might be an option to have one for maintenance but also deter user switching because it needs a tool/key.
     
  6. frank999

    frank999

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    I can see why having an Isolator is a good idea, and that is why it was most likely suggested, but in a rental property, if the tenant doesn't want the fan whirring away they can disable it, which sort of defeats the purpose.

    You can also get a fan isolator in a single grid module now


    Thats a good idea. In my experience though tenants just buy what ever keys they need off ebay, to defeat what ever type of lock you put before them. Is there a more secure way to have it switched, but one that would allow you to lock it in an on position ?
     
  7. conny

    conny

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    The problem YOU face with them being able to switch the fans off is damage to the property through damp.
    Warn them that if they continue to leave the fan turned off they will be liable for any rectification works.
     
  8. 333rocky333

    333rocky333

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    MK k4858 or 4857 are made for there MK ones, though I am not sure if you can use it to lock ON, though there not perfect, would look ugly and keys i believe are all the same

    [​IMG]
     
  9. sparkymarka

    sparkymarka

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  11. Swwils

    Swwils

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    If the user is isolating the fan because they are running for too long then there is something to be said about the performance of the system.

    Perhaps there is not enough airflow into the room, so the small fan is having to fight against making the whole room pressure change in order to expel moisture.

    It could also be that the ducting is undersized or too long.

    What were the results of the testing for the system?
     
  12. flameport

    flameport

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    The isolators could be removed, but if the problem is tenants switching the fans off, they will just find some other way to disable them.
     
  13. BS3036

    BS3036

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    I know from personal experience that some people cannot stand any noise that they consider unnecessary, and will disable such fans however much you explain the reason to them. It goes beyond logic.
     
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  14. frank999

    frank999

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    Can it be double confirmed there is then NO regulatory requirement for the Isolator Switch.

    Its a new property - so some tweaking maybe need to be done, they are Humidistat fans, so can work independant of the light switch, good point that they maybe running too long.
    They can be adjusted, but I know in winter a back draft can turn them on when the wet air gets blown back in (why the fans do not have back draft dampers on I dont know, the really cheap Toolstation fans have them).

    If they disable them then yes, theres the possibility that mould will form, and the contract is very clear:

    2.11
    Take all reasonable precautions to prevent condensation and or mould growth by keeping the Property
    adequately ventilated and heated.


    And deposit deductions would be made if damage had occured.

    It goes beyond logic.


    If its disturbing them at night, then maybe a compromise - a Smart switch could be installed that disabled power say between 11pm and 7am (or hours to suit tenant) - so at least the fan could be left to run during the day. I presume the smart switch could also tell you if the connection to the fan had been tampered with, are they Smart enough to detect when currect gets drawn ?

    What were the results of the testing for the system?
    The flaps of the outlet plate flap quite healthly, so presume that was good enough, is there then a BS that bathroom fans should be tested too.
     
  15. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Yes it can.

    The regulations do not require local isolators for any appliances; not even the ubiquitous cooker or shower switches.
     
  16. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Also, from lots of experience, tenants rarely understand condensation and think it and mould are left by the landlord.

    I used to explain that they do not complain about dust - it's how the world works - and willingly sweep/clean it up but get them to wipe away condensation or clean mould - nope, landlord fault.
     
  17. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    EFLI has 'single confirmed' that, so I'll add my 'Yes' to make it 'double confirmed' :)

    Kind Regards, John
     
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