Bathroom Zones & IP Rating
IP rating stands quite literally for 'Ingress Protection' and these help us determine what products can go in particular bathroom zones.
An IP (Ingress Protection) number is used here in the UK to specify the environmental protection of enclosures around electronic equipment. These ratings are determined by specific tests. The IP (Ingress Protection) number is composed of two numbers, the first referring to the protection against solid objects and the second against liquids. The higher the number the better the protection. For Example IP44.
The type of product that requires an IP rating in the bathroom does vary but generally it's anything that uses electricity. This could be any sort of lighting or for fans fitted on the all or within the ceilings.
Bathroom Zones Explained
Zone 0 is inside the bath or shower itself. Any fitting used in this zone must be low voltage, (max 12V) and be rated at least IP67 which is total immersion proof. (We do not currently have any fittings that are suitable for Zone 0)
Zone 1 is the area above the bath to a height of 2.25m from the floor. If the fitting is 240V a 3oma residual current device (RCD) must also be used to protect the circuit in this zone.
Zone 2 is an area stretching 0.6m outside the perimeter of the bath and to a height of 2.25m from the floor. In these bathroom zones an IP rating of at least IP44 is required. In addition it is good practice to consider the area around a wash basin, within a 60cm radius of any tap to be considered as zone 2.
Zone 3 is anywhere outside zones 0, 1, and 2 (subject to specific limits) and where no water jet is likely to be used. No IP rating is required. In addition to the above, if there is a liklihood of water jets being used for cleaning purposes in zones 1, 2 and 3, a fitting rated a minimum IP65 must be used.
For more information on bathroom zones then we would advise checking the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations by the IEE and IET.