Wiring Question about Fitting 2kW Heater in Bathroom


Postby silver wolf » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:55 pm

Could someone please help with a UK wiring question?

I would like to fit a 2kw heater in my bathroom. I have an immersion heater point that has never been used since the house was built in the 1980's. I intended to replace the blanking plate with a 13amp socket. Behind the blanking plate are two unconnected wires. Given that this is wiring for an immersion heater I expected heavy wires. However, while one looks like the wire used for a ring main the other seems much thinner. It looks like something that should only be used in a lighting circuit. Can this be right?
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Postby ericmark » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:09 am

If not used why two cables? It is normal to supply an immersion heater from a 16A fuse and although supply to the fused connection unit (FCU) is normally 2.5mm a 1.5mm cable would take that load.

For bathroom use you will need RCD protection but a simple RCD FCU would do that for you if not already protected at the consumer unit.

Again the heater needs to be suitable for use in a bathroom and likely the work will require registering with local authority so not really a DIY job, simply too expensive to DIY because of local authority fees.

One must never assume. So you need to work out the size of the supply i.e. draw fuses or switch off MCB's until you find out which one controls that unit. Also need to test earth is good taking a chance in other rooms is one thing but in bathroom simply not worth it.

There may be issues with lighting. Seem to remember if only power in room is lights then there are lighter rules than if there are multi-supplies into the bathroom. Your electrician will advise. You may need a RCD on lights or loads of earth bonding when you add a second item.
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Postby silver wolf » Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:19 pm

Perhaps I should start again. The heater is a dedicated bathroom fan heater that will be positioned high on the wall and outside of the zone areas. The consumer unit in the house is less than six months old and incorporates two residual current devices.

I have the option of creating a spur from another room and connecting the heater to this with another RCD. This will mean a certain amount of drilling and channelling – which seems pointless as the immersion heater socket is doing nothing.

Going back to my original question, I can only think that the thin wire behind the blanking plate is intended to be connected to the neon light on a closed plug. However, I’ve never seen this before and I wondered if anyone else had.
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Postby ericmark » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:33 pm

If question is would I use the immersion supply then yes I would. Ask me if I would break the law and even if I would I would not admit it on an open forum.

To me to date that circuit has not existed in the bathroom so it's a new circuit if I was asked to do the work I would want to obtain a completion or compliance certificate and since I am not a scheme member I would sub-contract to a scheme member to get the compliance certificate.

After reading the Emma Shaw case and other similar cases in the work place I want insurance and one can't insure against an illegal act so I will not break the law.

At home OK slightly different first they have to catch you and there would not be much of a paper trail to follow. But I am sure the moderators would take a dim view if I was to say forget the law just carry on?

So if you want to break the law that's up to you. But don't ask anyone on an open forum to condone the action.
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