electric shower local isolation

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by r.bartlett, 10 Aug 2014.

  1. r.bartlett

    r.bartlett

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    Chaps
    before the sparks come round in a week or so I am wondering where the local isolator can be sited. It seems it can be internally to the bathroom via a pull cord or externally I believe 'easily accessible'

    Now we'd like the switch to be in the airing cupboard on the back face which is round the landing (but backs onto the bathroom and where the shower is going) so a back to back install for the shower and switch. Plus directly above consumer unit under stairs.

    The a/c is pretty jammed most of the time as they tend to be so the switch won't be visible

    Is this permissible as I want to sort this out before he gets here otherwise it's going to add a good day or so to the install on the electrical side (plumber is doing the water)

    TIA

    Richard
     
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  3. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    When the shower unit is creating smoke and possibly dripping molten plastic do you really want to have to find a hidden switch while wearing nothing but a towel ?
     
  4. endecotp

    endecotp

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    Mine is in the airing cupboard, but at the front and immediately below a shelf; this makes it pretty much accessible however full the cupboard gets.

    In the event described above where molten plastic is dripping, personally I'd like to get as far from the danger as possible before thinking about switches. In your case, most likely I'd run down stairs and turn off everything at the CU.
     
  5. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Then you would have to find your towel in the dark
    [​IMG]
     
  6. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    As far as I am aware, there is not actually any requirement for a 'local isolator' at all. In any event, what is being talked about ('molten plastic' etc.) is really an 'emergency switch', rather than an isolator, but, although I don't think there is actually a requirement for that, either, it makes some sense (although, as endecotp has said, 'running' is a more reasonable course!) - in which case it also makes sense for it to be 'reasonably accessible' - otherwise there's no point in having it at all. I think it's really for you (and your electrician) to decide what constitutes 'reasonably accessible'!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  7. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    [SURVEY]How many people have ever experienced, or heard of, a shower catching fire and melting before tripping either the MCB or RCD?[/SURVEY]

    How many shower switches comply with the requirements for emergency switches?

    Are there any other devices which require emergency switches in case they should create smoke and molten plastic? Tumble driers? Kettles? Microwave ovens? Fan heaters?
     
  8. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Since you ask,

    The shower in a friend's flat in Dusseldorf ignited. ( 3 phase unit ) No trip until the item was destroyed

    A shower in a youth club in a near by village, Room filled with smoke and no trip. Unclear why thermal cut out did not operate. Suspect heat had melted insulation and bare wire had shorted the thermal cut out terminals.

    Charred remnants seen in a council tidy tip. ( could have been anything. careless plumbers blow torch ? :evil: }

    But seriously appliances do become faulty and the ability to remove power rapidly and safely can reduce the consequential damage the faulty appliance can cause.
     
  9. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    OK, and that's two more cases that I have personally heard of. However, as has already been said, is not the obvious thing to do in such circumstances to run away from the bathroom, and then presumably switch the shower off at the CU? Indeed, the only-two-common ceiling mounted switch in the bathroom might well not be safely/sensibly operable if the bathroom were full of smoke and/or flames!

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  11. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Certainly not me.
    I suspect not (m)any.
    In the minds of those who feel that 'emergency switches' (which they usually call 'isolators') are required for showers, I imagine that all the other things you require would, as well!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  12. endecotp

    endecotp

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    Not the shower itself, but you all like anecdotes:

    When I was a student in the 80s, smoke and a bad smell was noticed coming from the cupboard under the stairs. Some quick-thinking chap put one and one together and said "it's the new shower", which had been upgraded by the landlord over the summer without upgrading the CU. It was being used for the first time by someone's girlfriend, who got a nasty shock (no, not the electric sort) when told to get out ASAP. The front of the CU was badly melted, exposing live bus bars, and the insulation on much of the the wiring was damaged.

    Even less related: in the same house, the same girl was on the on the phone to her mother when the local "taxi wars" escalated to setting fire to rival companies' vehicles, in this case parked next to the telegraph pole supplying the house. All her mother heard was "<<BANG>> <<SCREAM>> Oh my god!!!" and the line went dead. It was a few days before the line was reconnected, during which time the poor mother was imagining what had happened to her daughter.
     
  13. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    ... and a lot of good a shower 'emergency switch' or 'isolator' would have done to prevent or affect that, either before or after 'the event' :)

    Kind Regards, John
     
  14. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Well - maybe my combination of gender and age make me less sensitive to things like that, but if I was using a shower which caught fire I'd far rather risk my bits being seen than I would risk hanging around in a room with something generating poisonous fumes.

    The original scenario described is an emergency, and most shower isolators do not qualify as emergency switches.

    Also, unless you delight in inconsistent and illogical "thinking", if you believe that a shower needs an emergency switch then you must also believe that so does a tumble drier, a microwave, a kettle, a fan heater....
     
  15. r.bartlett

    r.bartlett

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    does not the local means of isolation regs infer these should have an isolator (as any fixed appliance?)
     
  16. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I though the local isolator was only required for rotating equipment with a motor over a set size? So yes tumble drier, washing machine, food mixers may need a local isolator but not the shower.

    Isolators for my shower is under the bath although not for the electric only for the water. There is no electric supply to my shower.
     
  17. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    I see isolation as the means to enable work to be carried out on the appliance without the risk of electric shock.

    I see emergency cut off as a means to turn an appliance off when the normal on-off switch has failed or cannot be operated.

    I see no reason why one accessible switch cannot serve both functions.
     
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