It’s not surprising that special conditions apply to electrical installation in bathrooms and shower rooms, where there’s an abundance of water – an excellent conductor of electricity. Switches are potentially very dangerous if they’re splashed, or if they’re operated by wet hands. Naked bodies can slip on wet floors, rendering electric cables extremely hazardous.
Electrical Wiring in the Bathroom
Electrical installation in bathrooms is regulated by section 701 of the 18th Edition (2018) of BS 7671, along with Part P of the Building Regulations.
To reduce the risk of electric shock, legislation demands that an RCD (residual current device) is fitted to the consumer unit. An RCD is an electrical wiring device that disconnects a circuit when the electric current between the energized conductor and the return conductor is uneven. Because these two wires should be carrying matching currents, a difference indicates an electrical anomaly. However, the RCD provides no protection against overload or a short circuit when there’s no current leakage, and so a circuit breaker (fuse) is still necessary. Sometimes the fuse and the RCD are incorporated into a single product.
If you’re looking for shower lights – i.e. within the wet area – LCD Electrical Services can install IPX7-rated light fittings. IP (Ingress Protection) rating measures the degree of protection against solid objects (first digit) and water (second digit). So an electrical enclosure rated IPX7 indicates that it is not graded for dust resistance (X) and that it is watertight (7).
Zoning out in the bathroom
In electrical terms, bathrooms are divided into four zones. Zone 0 is the area inside the bath, where any electrical appliance will be submerged. In zone 0, a minimum rating of IPX7 is required. Zone 1 refers to the area up to 2.25m above the bath or shower, and zone 2 is the area stretching to 0.6m outside and 0.6m above the bath or shower. Installations in zones 1 and 2 must have a rating of at least IPX4. Zone 3 is anywhere else in the room, with the condition that it is not reached by jets of water.
The bathroom can be a luxurious space, designed for leisure, as well as practicality. The only danger will be that you might never want to come out!
Contact us to discuss safe, professional electrical installation in your bathroom.