Towel heater not plumbed in Electric only

10 Dec 2010
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United Kingdom

As topic say, I was looking to fit a Cheap central heated towel warmer in my bedroom, but not plumb it in... Can i use one of the heating elements in there without plumbing it in... ???

Does it need water in to work...?

I.E. does it need filling with water ? I was thinking on the same lines as the electric oil filled radiators. Or could i fill it with some sort of oil so that it stay warmer longer...

I know i can get Electric towel warmers, but to expensive for my application... and there is generally a better range of the plumbed in types...

Please Advise..

Thanks Al..
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You can fit electric elements to plumbed rails but electric only models need to be factory prepared for purpose. They probably just fill them with solution but there is a testing and approvals standard that applies.

thanks for the reply.. so what you are saying is if i want an electric only Towel Rad, I have to buy it already fitted with an element....?? Pre filled...??

Why are the elements available to buy nationally...

I am curious about this...

Please give me some more info on this...

are there electric only plumbed in models of the Rads available please point me in the right direction on this...

Thanks Al..
If you do go down the route of making your own out of one that's designed to be plumbed in and an electric element, use deionised water to fill the rail and don't fill it all the way, stop just before the top bar. This will give the water room for expansion when it heats up.
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thanks for that.. i did wonder what would happen about expansion of the water...

...and it may be OK until the thermostat fails, when it will go off like a bomb.

It's a small risk, but not one that's worth taking. Don't do it!
Why is that any different to buying one off the shelf as a prefab unit? The same thing could still happen...

be interesting to get some more views on people that have done this...

The location that it is going to be put in, is already very warm. and i just wanted the electric element as a standby if it gets cool...

so for 90% of the time it will be used mainly as a place to put towels to air...

The purpose-made ones are filled with oil, not water, so there is no risk of a steam explosion, and they are designed to be used as supplied. The water filled ones are designed to be connected to a heating system that is either open vented or fitted with an expansion vessel and pressure relief valve.

You should not give advice based on guesswork which puts other people in danger.
Why not just get an oil filled stand alone radiator, surely it would be a lot cheaper and safer
...and it may be OK until the thermostat fails, when it will go off like a bomb.

It's a small risk, but not one that's worth taking. Don't do it!
Nonsense - there'll be at least one (resetable), if not two (resetable+nonresetable), overheat stats fitted to mitigate that risk.

To the OP, as mentioned you should leave some room for expansion although you must also put some inhibitor in to prevent corrosion. Typical recommended fill ratios are 95% water, 4% inhibitor and 1% left for expansion.

Thanks Matthew, thats great info just what i need..

Its great to have such a helpful bunch of peoplies on this site...

Merry Xmas and a Happy and a warm new year to y'all


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