When designing a bathroom or adding a new feature that will involve electricity in some way, it is important that you are aware of the legislation and regulations that govern wiring in the bathroom and that you adhere to appropriate safety measures.
There are specific pieces of legislation put in place to ensure that electrics are dealt with correctly when it comes to working in a bathroom. Extra caution needs to be taken in this case due to the higher risk of electrocution cause by the meeting of water and electricity. This type of electric shock is most likely to be lethal.
IEE wiring regulations are in place to ensure that certain provisions are made when using electrics in a bathroom space. For example, many modern bathrooms now have the main light switched located outside the room. The legislation in place refers to any area containing a shower or a bath as a “special location”. Special locations such as these are split into zones and there are specific guidelines for each zone.
The purpose of the zones is to regulate not only where electrics can or cannot be placed in a bathroom in order to maintain safety levels, but they also dictate the types of electrics that can be used and the level of moisture protection they must have.
Different zones are required to have minimum set levels of moisture and mechanical protection. These levels are called ingress protection or the IP number. The IP number is important as it is this that must be referred to when purchasing bathroom items such as extractor fans, heaters, lighting and electric showers. More information regarding zones and IP numbers can be found within the IEE Wiring Regulations (17th edition) and specifically BS EN 60742 chapter one.
Due to the complexities of the legislation in place regarding wiring in a bathroom or shower room setting, it is essential that a professional electrical engineer helps you plan your bathroom and undertakes the necessary wiring. The scope for injury or even death resulting in these guidelines not being followed is wider that you would imagine. An incorrectly wired bathroom can be a death trap.
It is clear that when undertaking any project which involves wiring in a bathroom or similar area, that a qualified electrician must be commissioned. Not only will an experienced electrician be familiar with up to date legislation they will also be able to advise you on the suitability of the fans, heaters or other appliances that you have chosen.
When it comes to dealing with something as fundamentally dangerous as electricity, an electrician is not only the qualified choice but the wise one. The peace of mind that conmes with knowing that both you and your family are enjoying a bathroom that is properly and safely wired is quite frankly priceless.
As well as peace of mind, having the work done by an electrician means that you will have access to guarantees, warranties and the paperwork which states that the work has been done to standard. This is important as not having this could affect your opportunities to sell the house on at a later date and may affect your insurance.
It is entirely possible to enjoy an array of mod cons that need electricity to work in a bathroom provided that they are fitted correctly by a professional electrician and according to legislation.