Heated towel rails


Postby ScoobyChris » Fri May 14, 2010 12:36 pm

Hi all,

New to this forum so hopefully this is in the correct place and my question hasn't been answered before - I did check the project pages but couldn't see anything.

I'm currently refitting my bathroom and I'm investigating the possibility of an electric towel rail. There is already an electric point wired in for this (with a fused spur outside the bathroom) about 30cm from the ceiling - a previous owner of the house had a wall mounted filament heater! - but it looks like this may fall into zone 2 when the new shower is fitted so it needs moving to be zone 3. I'm thinking relocating it by dropping the cable down the inside of the wall shouldn't be a problem and the walls are being skimmed anyway.

However, the regs seem to suggest that the towel rails I'm looking at must be mounted in zone 3, although it's unclear whether this means the whole towel rail or just the heating element and wiring side of it. If it's all of it, chances are it won't be an option as the bathroom is fairly small and there won't be 60cm clearance. Unless there are zone 2 approved towel rails?

Is anyone able to tell me if a) I can DIY moving the electric point or whether Part P means I need to get an electrician in and b) whether all of the towel rail needs to sit in zone 3 or just the electrics side of it?

Many thanks, Chris
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Postby kbrownie » Sun May 16, 2010 10:55 am

All electrical towel rails must be installed beyond zone two, zone three no longer applies.
Can you install a water rad instead.
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Postby ScoobyChris » Sun May 16, 2010 5:52 pm

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, the house has electric central heating and hot water supplied from a cylinder with immersion heater so I don't think it's easy/possible to plumb in a water towel rail?

Having another look at the bathroom, it looks like there may be a simple alternative available in that the electric towel rail can be mounted on another wall (with the fused spur on the other side of the wall - outside the bathroom) which will be in zone 3 It should keep the new wiring nice and simple too and then the old socket can be removed and the hole patched and skimmed over.

Presumably this counts as a new circuit and will require an electrician?

Thanks, Chris
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Postby kbrownie » Mon May 17, 2010 12:06 pm

I's work in a bathroom, so best use an electrician as it is notifiable work and it's not a new circuit but an extension of one, so even then it should have a minor wors cert. This circuit or the extension of it, should also have RCD protection.
BS7671:2008, now states that there is no zone 3, this area is know as outside of zone 2.
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Postby ericmark » Mon May 17, 2010 3:36 pm

In zone l, only the following fixed and permanently connected current-using equipment shall be installed, provided it is suitable for installation in zone I according to the manufacturer's instructions:

(i) Whirlpool units
(ii) Electric showers
(iii) Shower pumps
(iv) Equipment protected by SELV or PELV at a nominal voltage not exceeding 25 V a.c. rms or 60 V ripple-
free d.c., the safety source being installed outside zones 0, 1 and 2
(v) Ventilation equipment
(vi) Towel rails
(vii) Water heating appliances
(viii) Luminaires.

As you can see towel rails are on the list and the main point is "the manufacturer's instructions" and unless the manufacturer says they can be used then then you can't use it.

If one considers a job like fitting a towel rail it is not going to cost £100's and with the LABC wanting £100 plus vat it is unlikely to be an economic proposition do DIY. So in real terms just get a member of one of the schemes to do the job for you.
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