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Switches spur in bathroom question.

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Motman, 17 Feb 2019.

  1. Motman

    Motman

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    We've just spent an overnight in a hotel. In the bathroom it had an electric (oil filled I assume) heated towel rail/radiator. This was powered via a switched, fused spur with a flex outlet that was positioned approximately 6” off the floor and about 3” away from the bath panel at the opposite end to the taps. This spur was also controlled from one switch in a twin light switch outside the bathroom (the other switch controlled the bathroom lights). Seemed strange to me - was that legal?
     
  2. seasickstevie

    seasickstevie

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    Highly unlikely.

    Did you take a photo?
     
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  3. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Nothing to do with the law.

    The regulations do not allow switches within 600mm. of the bath or similar. Unswitched FCU would be alright.
     
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  4. Motman

    Motman

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    Thanks. No, I didn’t take a photo. I thought it didn’t seem right. I think I’ll let the hotel know.
     
  5. seasickstevie

    seasickstevie

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    Fair point. Perhaps 'would that be compliant?' should be the question.

    But as it's a hotel, a failure in electrical 'compliance' might just bring into question other legal requirements regarding the health and safety of their 'customers'.
     
    Last edited: 17 Feb 2019
  6. Motman

    Motman

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    I’ve just emailed them. I’ll post up any reply that I get.
     
  7. Motman

    Motman

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    This is what I got back:

    Thank you for your email.

    We organised for our nominated qualified electrical company to visit the hotel to look at the switch in room 34 to which you refer. It was found to be compliant, RCD protected.

    Our guest enjoyment and safety is always a priority to us. We do appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

    Assuring you of our best intention at all times


    Oh well, didn’t seem right to me, a switched spur fitted a couple of inches from the bath but what the F do I know?
     
  8. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Switches within 600mm. of the edge of a bath are not compliant with BS7671 The Wiring Regulations.

    701.512.3 Erection of switchgear, controlgear and accessories according to external
    influences
    The following requirements do not apply to switches and controls which are incorporated in fixed current-using
    equipment suitable for use in that zone or to insulating pull cords of cord operated switches.
    In zone 0:
    switchgear or accessories shall not be installed.
    In zone 1:
    only switches of SELV circuits supplied at a nominal voltage not exceeding 12 V AC rms or 30 V ripple-free
    DC shall be installed, the safety source being installed outside zones 0, 1 and 2.
    In zone 2:
    switchgear, accessories incorporating switches or socket-outlets shall not be installed with the exception of:
    (i) switches and socket-outlets of SELV circuits, the safety source being installed outside zones 0, 1 and 2,
    and
    (ii) shaver supply units complying with BS EN 61558-2-5.
    Except for SELV socket-outlets complying with Section 414 and shaver supply units complying with
    BS EN 61558-2-5, socket-outlets are prohibited within a distance of 3 m horizontally from the boundary of zone 1.


    The RCD is irrelevant.
     
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  9. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    More than them, and more than their "qualified electrical company", it would seem.

    This is an image of the relevant page in the current version of the Wiring Regulations:

    upload_2019-2-25_21-19-39.png

    And here are diagrams showing the boundaries of the Zones:

    upload_2019-2-25_21-22-5.png

    upload_2019-2-25_21-22-56.png

    That FCU is in Zone 2, and that hasn't been allowed for as long as anybody here can remember.

    You should pursue this, ideally. Not because it's dangerous - in reality it probably isn't, but because this is outrageous:

    Thank you for your email.

    We organised for our nominated qualified electrical company to visit the hotel to look at the switch in room 34 to which you refer. It was found to be compliant, RCD protected.

    Our guest enjoyment and safety is always a priority to us. We do appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

    Assuring you of our best intention at all times

    That's either a lie, or their "qualified electrical company" isn't, and needs a severe kicking.

    You can understand the hotel being reluctant to have it found to be non-compliant - they may have at least 33 other rooms like it which they'd have to fix.

    If you do decide to pursue it, also write to the local authority, as they are responsible for H&S enforcement (would do no harm to cc the HSE), and if it's a chain, also head office. Always write the letters so that each recipient knows full well who it's been copied to - the manager there is probably more likely to sit up and take notice if he knows that the council, the HSE and his head office have also been made aware of the problem.
     
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  10. Motman

    Motman

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    I think I’m wasting my time. I sent them the info you both gave on here and this is the reply I’ve just received, pukka grammar too!

    Thank you for all the information you have send to us regarding the towel rail in room 34 where you stayed.

    We are currently dealing with this issue and can assure you that all British Safety Regulations are followed in our hotels. We only use certified electrical companies to do our Hard wire tests, PAT and any other electrical work in the hotels.

    As Health and Safety Coordinator, I want to insure you that we take Health and Safety serious and that we are doing everything we can to ensure our guests is safe.

    If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact me on this email address and I will assist you as much as I can.

    Kind Regards
    Anja Shaw

    Health and Safety Coordinator
    The Hotel Folk
     
  11. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    They are going to insure you then.
     
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  12. Motman

    Motman

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    Yes, and they always make sure their guests is safe.....
     
  13. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    They are probably busy replacing them while not admitting anything.
     
  14. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    They are currently dealing with the issue... of course they are, so can you expect a further reply??

    Nah.

    I reckon we need a written report from the electrical contractor who has been investigating the issue.
     
  15. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Did you cc the local council, the HSE, and head office?
     
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