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Discuss Light Switches in Bathrooms in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. Richard Lambert
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    Richard Lambert New EF Member

    Location:
    Lancashire
    I want to fit a light switch on the wall in my new bathroom but I've tried 2 electricians and both will only install a pull cord.

    The location of the switch is outside of zone 2, the switch itself is a touch switch rated at IP25, and the circuit is RCD protected. I can't therefore see what the problem is?

    I ask them and they just tell me the regs say no switches in bathrooms, only pull cords.

    1. Is there something I'm missing in the regs that means I should give up?
    2. Being outside zone 2, can I legally fit the switch myself anyway?

    Any opinions would be welcomed. Thanks.
     
  2. telectrix
    Online

    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Respected Member

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    nothing to stop you fitting a switch yourself. only problem would be that if it went tits up, you only have yourself responsible. why not fit a switch outside the room?
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Strima
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    Strima Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    St Neots
    Condensation doesn't care about zones. The switch needs to have a suitable IP rating, IP25 would not be suitable IMHO for a bathroom location.

    Could you not put a switch on the outside of the bathroom?
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. Spoon
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    Spoon Forum Mentor

    Location:
    Lancashire
    I'll be the third people to ask. Why not up the switch outside the bathroom?
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  5. Andy78
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    Andy78 Respected Member

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    Out of interest, why not ? If IPX4 is suitable for mains voltage in zone 1 ?
     
  6. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    I don't like fitting light switches in bathrooms etc, even outside zones etc. Just doesn't seem right. Even though the light switch we have for our ensuite is outside the room, but you can turn it on from stood in the ensuite :rolleyes:
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Richard Lambert
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    Richard Lambert New EF Member

    Location:
    Lancashire
    Thanks for your responses. Yes I can either install a pull cord or a switch outside, but the point of my post is to challenge the general assumption that you can never have a switch in a bathroom.

    My response to the points raised:

    • I’m confused by the comment that IPx5 isn’t enough to protect against condensation even outside of zones. Even within zones 1 and 2 the legal minimum is IPx4. What’s the minimum you’d recommend for any other accessories in a bathroom then? IPx6? IPx7?
    • The regs state that you can have a normal 240v plug socket can be installed 3m from the boundary of zone 1. My switch would be more than 3m from zone 1, so if condensation is a problem then why can I legally install a regular socket?
    I appreciate I’m in the lions’ den here but just wanted to get your views on it
     
  8. Andy78
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    Andy78 Respected Member

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    You are technically right, and at 3m from zone 1 I wouldn't expect any issues with condensation, especially if decent extraction and airflow is present.
    Pull switches are a traditional convention and you'll not persuade many electricians so stray from that.

    Also staying to being technically right, if you choose to do this wiring alteration yourself, it should be tested for safety and compliance with the wiring regs and the results recorded on a minor works certificate.
     
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  9. Richard Lambert
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    Richard Lambert New EF Member

    Location:
    Lancashire
    Thanks for that response. Yes any work I've ever done myself has been tested and certified by a qualified electrician afterwards, and I'll need an electrician anyway to do work within the zones so they will probably do it all.

    Overall it sounds like the regs allow it, but it has become a 'belt and braces' convention to exceed the regs and not allow switches. Which I can understand, because of the obvious issues of people who've just stepped out the shower switching a switch. I just think you need to re-visit this convention when modern technology presents an IPx5 switch operated by touch and no mechanical parts.

    The condensation argument I can understand less, because if you shouldn't allow IPx5 switches for that reason then surely you also shouldn't allow IPx5 shaver sockets, lights, etc?
     
  10. Strima
    Offline

    Strima Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    St Neots
    IPX4 only protects against splashes, there's still a risk of condensation ingress. I'm not just thinking about the touch aspect but also what effect moisture would have on the switch itself, not everything is manufactured using quality materials, some Chinese items might rot away in a couple of years.
     
  11. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Whilst there are some of us fortunate enough to have large bathrooms that would accommodate reg 701.512.3 and the socket outlet, I think some should reflect on the usage of such rooms, and the human beings inalienable right to be stupid.

    The majority of times when using these rooms, the human being is at its most vulnerable, generally naked, certainly the feet and usually wet or stood in water. Now its probable the flooring is insulating the human being from Earth, I for one wouldn't want to chance it. You don't see many sockets & light switches in swimming pool confines. But you did hear of youngsters taking TV's, iPods etc into bathrooms. I wouldn't want to be turning on a light switch, stood in water.

    Apparently the Europeans, seem to take a different standpoint; another good reason for Brexit, IMO.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  12. telectrix
    Online

    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Respected Member

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    think this might be relevant:
    [​IMG]
     
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    • Dumb Dumb x 2
  13. Devonchris
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    Devonchris Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Devon
    Business Name:
    O
    The Regs don't talk about "bathrooms" anymore. It's now a room containing a bath or shower. What about a bath or shower in a large bedroom? See quite a few these days. Are you suggesting you wouldn't fit a socket or light switch in there?

    Why are so many electricians stuck in the past? Poor grasp of the regs, then try to justify it because it's "traditional". If the regs allow it then give the customer what they want. Satisfied customer = repeat business = recommendation? It's called professionalism, unfortunately lacking in many professions today.

    Just a general comment not directed anywhere particular. I'm ready for the flak .
     
    • Like Like x 5
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Des 56
    Offline

    Des 56 Forum Mentor

    Location:
    Gliese 581C
    Yes there seems to be a automatic hands in the air amazement that such things are considered
    I personally have never heard of anyone getting a shock from tracking on a wall switch in a special location

    Would a fan isolator type switch (where the front cover clips on) be enough to placate the fears I wonder :)
     
  15. telectrix
    Online

    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Respected Member

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    has to be a metal faceplate , un-earthed , for when m-i-l comes round for a shower. :p
     
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