DIY Doctor

Under floor heating & general rewiring of Bathroom

Postby saj238 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:40 am

Hi, I'm going to have my house rewired by a qualified/registered electrician but just wanted to double-check some things for my own peace of mind.

I'd like to have electric underfloor heating in my main bathroom and en-suite shower room. The electrician has told me that it is safe to have the thermostatic control and fused switch spur for the underfloor heating situated in the bathroom itself. Moreover, he says that the fused spur switch for my manrose extractor fan can be housed in the bathroom too!

I've always thought that apart from a pull cord for the ceiling light and shaver socket, all other electrical light switches and fused spurs in the bathroom were a definite 'No' and had to be located outside the room.

However, the electrician says that regulations have changed and you can now have controls/switches/spurs in the room - providing they are at least 60cm away from a shower cubicle/basin and further away from a bath.

Is this correct?

Thanks in advance for any advise offered.
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Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:44 pm

The bathroom rules have changed.
Two major things one is ALL electrical items now need RCD protection within the bathroom including the lights. The second is the special requirements for a bedroom with a shower fitted have been transferred to bathroom so now you are allowed a socket if over 3 meters from bath or shower.
As a result there are also some changes with respect to earthing and now there are only three zones (0,1 and 2) there is no longer a zone 3.
The 600mm is limit to zone 2.
However the items used anywhere must be suitable for the environment they are used in so when selecting items one does have to ensure the manufacturer says they can be used in a bathroom.
Under floor heating has to be a special type or covered with a earthed mat and my mothers was rather a disappointment and is no longer used. The temperature sender goes in a pocket (Long tube) which is buried in the floor with the heating cable plus a room stat and we installed it mainly to ensure a dry floor as my mother only has one leg. Although it does dry the floor it takes about 20 minutes by which time my mother has finished so does not help. As to the heating of the room it was not enough to keep room hot and if the floor temperature was any hotter one would not want to walk on it. She relies on the towel rail to heat the room.
Do realise hers is a wet room so floor tiles are cooled by shower water. Once shower is turned off the time for heat to travel through floor means the user of shower has no benefit after shower only before.
For your interest it says-

[quote="BS7671:2008"]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 a.c. rms or 30 V ripple-free d.c. 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.[/quote]
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