Add a Plug on an Electric Towel Warmer?

Postby ianirlam » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:34 pm

Hi, I have bought an electric towel warmer and was planning on running the cable through the wall to a plug socket outside the bathroom.
The information leaflet says it should be wired into a seperate box.
Would it be ok to fit a plug if it is outside the bathroom?


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Postby ericmark » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:56 pm

At first thought I was going to say yes no problem just plug it in outside of the bathroom but then I started to do a mental risk assessment. So question is what is the difference between using a fused connection unit (FCU) and a plug and socket. Answer is the earth pin. When a plug is used as designed the plug is removed and inserted which will in turn clean the earth pin. But if left plugged in 27/7 the earth pin could become tarnished and the earth connection could be lost.

So what about other things well all the safety items all together and if we look at a towel rail fitted to current regulations we have earth bonding, fuse/MCB and RCD giving a three way protection and as such if one should fail then very unlikely anyone would be injured as first there needs to be a fault and then both protective devices have to fail before anyone gets a shock.

So doing a risk assessment I would say as long as the socket is RCD protected then yes fitting a plug is not really a problem assuming towel rail designed for bathroom use. Clearly cable needs protecting going through the wall so can't be damaged but all you need to do is consider the risks in the same way as I have done and make you choice based on the risks.
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