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Discuss Washing Machine In Bathroom Issues in the Electrical Appliances Forum area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. flyingsparc
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    flyingsparc Active EF Member

    During a PIR last week I found that the flat has its washing machine in an alcove/old airing cupboard with no door, in the bathroom. (I am going to try and include a diagram of the bathroom with this post).
    FLAT 505 BATHROOM.jpg

     
    It is currently supplied via a dedicated RCD protected /circuit and single socket outlet.

    After double checking the regs, it seems it might be possible for it to remain in the cupboard if the following improvements are made.-
    1) A solid door with a keyed lock is fitted to alcove (then technically outside zone 2).
    2) The socket outlet changed to a switched fused connection unit.

    This mainly leaves only the ‘equipment must be suitable for the environment’ reg.
    To completely cover myself I am very much leaning towards saying to the owner that they need to re site the washing machine out side the bathroom, and disconnect the circuit. That’s easy to say in writing, and not impossible, but it is a small flat and it would require remodelling the fairly new looking kitchen.

    I was at a trade fair last week (Elex2011) and put the question to both NICEIC and ELECSA.
    One agreed with my suggestions of improvement above and said it would be ok, but document as such in report, and also said it would be a bit harsh to record as unsatisfactory for one non compliance/code1.

    The other said its not permitted due to the fact that the washing machine has been deemed not suitable for that environment (I confirmed this with manufacturer). Saying that although it would be technically outside the zone, condensation would/could form internally etc etc.

    Thanks for reading this, and I welcome all views, I need to conclude this asap, and sorry if this has been covered many time before, or posted in the wrong bit.
     
  2. trev
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    trev Regular EF Member

    I was once asked to install a washing machine in a cupboard in a bathroom and because of the ambiguity I said flat out no.
     
  3. mogga
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    mogga Just me Electrician's Arms

    this issue usually occurs from small one,2beds like my old grans where bathrooms have been added
    Personaly Id go for fitting a door to the alcove puting it outwith zones it is hard telling someone that the appliance they have had there for years and been using for years is deemed unsafe
     
  4. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    IMO, the only thing tat should concern you re. a PIR is the position of the socket outlet. if it's within 3m of the bath, then it's a code 2. the washing machine itself is irrelevant.
     
  5. DurhamSparky
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    DurhamSparky Guest

    agreed with TEL
     
  6. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    thanks for that steve. when i saw you had posted, i thought i was going to get a torp. up the jacksie. lol.
     
  7. DurhamSparky
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    DurhamSparky Guest

    im just getting my post count up...!!

    but if the washing machine was pushed right back and it was fitted with an IP outlet i might turn a blind eye and make it a 4
     
  8. yellowvanman
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    yellowvanman Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Dorset
    As the washing machine is in zone 2 it needs to be splash proof (IPx4), if the manufacturer says its not then it shouldn't be there. Socket is the bathroom is a no no when less than 3m from bath.

    Not sure what is meant by
    ' bit harsh to record as unsatisfactory for one non compliance/code1.'
    a) the washing machine in zone 2 isn't a code 1
    b) the socket within 3m of bath is a code 1 in my view

    code 1 is a code 1 and presents an immediate danger no ifs or buts so unsatisfactory, not harsh in my view. Change to a SFS (i assume outside zone 2) and if manufacturer says washing machine is splash proof then all OK.
     
  9. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    i would still give it a code 2 as IMO it is not a real and immediate danger ( unless someone does something stupid like using a hair dryer in the bath. )
     
  10. yellowvanman
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    yellowvanman Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Dorset
    Its a close call and its this sort of process that produces inconsistencies between different people, not that I'm saying your wrong!

    I hope the new Condition Report is able to provide a bit more consistency.
     
  11. flyingsparc
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    flyingsparc Active EF Member

    Thanks to all of you who have replied so far, if a door with a lock requiring a key to open it was fitted, could it be considered as not in zone 2? Ok so then they put a washing load in, set it off, cupboard door is still propped open with the laundry basket and they jump in the shower, very possible i think.
     
  12. Engineer54
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    Engineer54 Guest

    Haha, ...This is an everyday common occurance in Cyprus, to have washing machines/tumble dryers in cupboards within bathrooms and upstairs landing cupboards. Never once heard of anyone getting belted or dying from the practice. Not particually what i would like in a bathroom or anywhere upstairs , but it's just normal over there. Were not talking about tiny apartments here either, think anything from 1 to 5 bed flats and villas/houses...
     
  13. spinlondon
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    spinlondon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Harlow Essex
    The cupboard doesn't require a lock and key, just a door for the cupboard to be outside of the location.
    The washing machine is very likely to be IPX4.
    Either replace door, or change socket-outlet to an FCU rated at IPX4.
     
  14. MarkieSparkie
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    MarkieSparkie Guest

    If the bathroom is force ventilated the condensation issue should be minimal. Whilst putting a door on the alcove to create a utility cupboard/room seems a good idea. My main worry and concern about doing so, is the unattended operation of a washing machine located in a cupboard, although this prevents direct access to the equipment, it could increase the fire risk by reducing the airflow in and around the machine and the possibility of poor venting, leading to increased operating temperatures. If the machine is a washer/drier the build up and trapping of cotton lint from the clothing leading to a combustible atmosphere would increase the fire risk. There are about 1400 washing machine and tumble drier related fires in domestic premises every year so this is a real and potential risk.
     
  15. TIGGERTOM13
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    TIGGERTOM13 Guest

    Even a code 2 could be un satisfactory, looking at your drawing I would suggest removal.
     
  16. davie spark
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    davie spark Guest

    If you can touch the washing machine and touch the taps (bath/basin) or touch the washing machine while in the bath, I doubt if it should be passed at all, even as a '4'. Check the zones in the new green book for compliance. (I am not beside a green book just now or I would check for you).
     
  17. flyingsparc
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    flyingsparc Active EF Member

    Hello Davie,

    Thanks for your reply, I haven’t got the new green book yet, although I doubt it has changed at all, Or maybe it has with if you have a chance to check it could you let me know?

    Spoken to the customer again today, and we have come up with a plan, which I feel is ok, but still keen to see what others think with the following additional info.

    Customer has checked the washing machine again and confirmed it is IPX4.

    I am going to change the socket outlet for an IP66 SFCU.

    Customer is going to make/fit a door with lock to the alcove, hinged on the bath side.

    The door will incorporate a small louvered type vent at near the bottom to aid air flow, but maintain a reasonable barrier, and theoretically the former alcove (soon to be cupboard) can be considered as outside zone 2.

    The bathroom is forced ventilated, so should deal with the condensation.

    It is only a washing machine and not a tumble dryer also, so heat build up should not be a problem, after all it will occupy a space which provides much more space around the appliance than most built-in or free standing under cabinet units.

    Any more views before I go with this.......or not!?
     
  18. spinlondon
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    spinlondon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Harlow Essex
    If you place a door on the cupboard, it will be outside of the location.
    As such the requirements for special locations will not apply.
    If there is no door on the cupboard, then it is zone 2, and all that is required is the use of an IPX4 FCU.
    An IP66 SFCU would not be acceptable in zone 2, as only SELV switches are allowed.
     
  19. dingledong
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    dingledong Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    near brentwood
    but whereis the socket if its behind the washing machine its not accesable to any one so its not in zone 2 as the machine is in the way
     
  20. dingledong
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    dingledong Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    near brentwood
    sorry also i can put a towel rail into zone 2 easily
     
  21. spinlondon
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    spinlondon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Harlow Essex
    To start with, BS7671 requires the socket-otlet to be accesible, unless it's some kind of WAGO socket marked with MF.
    The fact that at present there is a washing machine restricting access does not obviate the requirements of BS7671 that socket-outlets be further than 3m from the boundary of zone 1.
    Yes you can put a towel rail in zone 2 easily. You could even put it in zone 1 or zone 0 if you so desire.
    However if you wished to fix a low voltage electric towel rail in zone 2, the rail would have to have a minimum IP rating of IPX4 and you would also have to use an IPX4 FCU if the FCU were also to be within zone 2. Outside of the zones, an SFCU can be used.
     
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