Tag Archives: bathroom sockets

Turn your bathroom into a safe sanctuary – bathroom electrical datasheet from NICEIC

The following tips (and the next article after this) are part of the NICEIC’s Householder FactSheets and tips for the bathrooms how to make sure your bathroom is safe from all points of view! The main topics are: turn your bathroom into a safe sanctuary, don’t mix water and electricity, good planning saves money, keep the bathroom light, and make sure the bathroom is safe!

How to turn your bathroom into a safe sanctuary

Bathrooms are no longer simply functional washrooms, they are now seen as a showcase for a home or a relaxing sanctuary from busy family life. They are getting bigger and better, with separate showers, oversized tubs, sauna rooms and even televisions. Remember that water and electricity are a dangerous mix, so it’s best to leave electrical work to the professionals. Being one of the leading electrical regulatory body, NICEIC offers below some practical advice to ensure your bathroom can be both gorgeous and safe(download these safety tips online here, or visit the entire list of Householder Factsheets).

Water and electricity don’t mix!

Homeowners should only carry out electrical work if competent to do so, and if they can inspect and test that it is safe for use. Rules for carrying out work in the bathroom were tightened in 2005 to prevent the number of accidents caused by faulty DIY electrical work. To comply with the law homeowners must now notify their local building control office before they begin any work and pay the appropriate fee to have it inspected. The simplest way to ensure any electrical work is carried out safely and to a high standard is to use a government-registered electrician. They will notify building control on your behalf and issue you with a building regulations compliance certificate, to prove it meets the required safety standards.

Remember: Good planning saves money

Good planning will make sure you make best use of space and also get jobs done in the right order. Start with the basics: Necessities include sink, toilet, bath and shower, and you’ll save money if you can use the existing plumbing. Bathrooms are not usually the largest rooms in the house, so think carefully about the amount of space you have when considering the ‘nice to haves’ such as multiple sinks with individual lighting, under floor heating or fitted furniture to increase storage space.

Keep the bathroom light!

The lighting in the bathroom needs to be functional, but can also be adaptable for mood setting.  For make-up application and shaving it’s best to have a bright light, but if relaxing for a soak in the tub you’ll want to be sure you can dim the lights. The Bathroom Wall Lights look better if they are hard wired into the wall with tiles laid over the top. If you’re not planning on changing the tiles you will have to enclose any cables in trunking.

Enclosed ceiling lights such as spotlights are preferable to pendant light fittings and all other wall lights must be out of reach, or enclosed to keep water out. If spotlights are being installed above a shower or bath then they must be enclosed, and all spotlights must be fitted properly with a fire hood or be flame safe for protection against heat and to prevent the spread of fire. They should be controlled by a ceiling mounted pull-cord switch, where the cord is made of insulating material, or a wall switch, which must be mounted outside the bathroom.

Keep the bathroom safe

Electrical sockets are now permitted in bathrooms or shower rooms as long as they are located more than 3m from the edge of the bath or shower. Specially designed shaver units are an exception to this rule and can be located slightly nearer, but still no closer than 600mm from the bath or shower. All circuits in a bathroom must be protected by an RCD (residual current device). [to be continued]

Bathroom safety – simple rules for avoiding electricity related dangers in the bathrooms

As we all know, water carries electricity very efficiently. When water(or wet surfaces/devices/beings) and electricity mix, the result is very dangerous. Because of this, from the electrical safety point of view, the bathroom is possibly the most dangerous room in the home.  The consequences of an electric shock are far more severe in a bathroom or shower room as our wet skin reduces our body’s resistance. There are special requirements for electrical installations in bathrooms, for example:

Installing Sockets in the Bathrooms

Sockets are not allowed to be installed in bathrooms or the shower rooms (apart from shaver-supply units), unless they can be fitted at least three metres from the bath(bathtub) or shower. Shaver-supply units must be a safe distance from the bath or shower to avoid splashes.

Installing Lights in the Bathrooms

Enclosed ceiling lights are preferable to the pendants (the ones that hang down from the ceiling) light fittings. All the light fittings that are not enclosed, should be out of reach of someone using, or still wet from using, the bath or shower.

The IP rating for the light fittings that are to be mounted in the bathroom has to be high enough for them to be fitted there – see the permissible IP ratings for the bathroom lights. A ceiling-mounted pull-cord switch with the cord made of insulating material is the safest option for a bathroom. Standard wall-mounted light switches are a possible danger because of dampness and wet hands.

Installing Heaters and towel rails in the Bathrooms

Central heating is the safest way of keeping a bathroom warm. But if you have an electric room heater, it must be fixed at a safe distance from the bath or shower – it has to be outside of the reach of the splashing of water.

The electric and gas water heaters in a bathroom must be fixed and permanently wired, unless they are powered by a socket fitted three metres from a bath or shower. Electric heaters should preferably be controlled by a pull cord or a switch outside the bathroom.

Safely Installing Showers

An electric shower must be supplied on its own circuit direct from the consumer unit.

Please Don’t bring any mains-powered portable appliances such as hairdryers, heaters or radios into a bathroom. You could be severely injured or die. You can get a fixed hairdryer with hot air delivered through a flexible plastic pipe installed in bathrooms.

These tips, along with other Electrical Safety Considerations for Home Appliances & Home usage – can be found on the Electrical Safety Council website. Remember: when you want to install the Bathroom Lights, the Bathroom Sockets or the Bathroom Heating Solutions / Hand Dryers, you have to keep in mind these simple rules and even better, consult an electrician.