Discuss light switches in bathrooms - in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at ElectriciansForums.net

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salisbury spark

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17th says that a lightswitch can be 0.6M from the bath/shower edge as long as it is suitable for its position. - Have any of you heard of anyone getting a shock from a light switch with wet hands?? The Switch is existing and obviously best to fit a pull switch ,- but customer knows not to touch with wet hands and switch not near any moisture and not accessible from bath then maybe it is suitable for its position?? appreciate your comments. thanks..
 
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slocm3105

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Arms
I would still try to advise the customer that a pullcord is far safer :). Doesnt make anymore mess either, just filling in hole for old switch.:)
 
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SEC-Tom

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  • #3
I'v never heard of this id have thought it would have been against the Regs to have a switch inside a bathroom. We normally go on the outside or go for the pull cord as the safer option. Learn something new everyday :D
 
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Tiger

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  • #4
you can have selv switches in zone 1 and 2. you can have anything you want 3m outside zone 1 providing it's protected to reg 415. 30ma rcd
 
tiger is right, but i would stick to a pull cord anyway cos you never know it maybe 2 80 year olds frollicking in the dark then reaching from the bath to put the gas lamp back on :) u never know so be safe
 
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Tiger

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  • #6
tiger is right, but i would stick to a pull cord anyway cos you never know it maybe 2 80 year olds frollicking in the dark then reaching from the bath to put the gas lamp back on :) u never know so be safe
Yep, personally think having a socket 3m from a bath is mad. My missus has a hairdryer with a 3m flex. (i put it on:D only joking)
 
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salisbury spark

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  • #7
The 'Electricians guide to the Building regs 17th ed.' States -"plate switches are allowed outside the zones of a bathroom. A switch should be at least 0.6m from edge of bath/shower and be suitable for the location. The cords of cord-operated switches are allowed in zone1/2 and are recommended for bathrooms and shower rooms". Im uncomfortable with it but its allowed if 'suitable'. -Theres not much choice with plates so its an ambiguous statement (other than an ugly outdoor IPrated plate switch). Thanks for your prompt comments- Gonna fit a pull cord anyway but interested in your comments. - knackered now having to think how to spell ambiguous......Cheers
 
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Spudnik

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  • #8
Have any of you heard of anyone getting a shock from a light switch with wet hands??
Never, but the reg is there to reduce the risk.

Maybe if there were more plate switches in bathrooms then we may hear more about it.
 
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ninjadeathstalk

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  • #10
Don't forget mentally retarded people as well.
 
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Chappers

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  • #11
I've known someone to receive shocks from a switched fused spur plate. It was foolishly (in my opinion) placed in a swimming pool changing room, which is constantly very humid. When I went there after being told someone had been shocked, my neon screwdriver was lighting brightly when touching the top of the switch. I removed it and took it apart and found a nice black track running from the permanent live side contact to the top of the switch which I believe was caused by moisture and muck from fingers slowly creating a path for a small arc to cross, eventually creating a dark black path etched into the plastic. The switch was beaded with water when I got there, and I was amazed they'd used FCUs for the hairdryers there designed to be operated by the swimmers. I blanked off the FCU box, no way was I going to put another into service. My worry is the same condensation build up will occur repeatedly in bathrooms from hot baths and showers, and eventually create the same kind of tracking.

In Spain it's normal to have light switches and sockets anywhere in bathrooms (my parents' combined switch and socket is right next to the sink), however the switches over there are huge, the entire 2 & 1/2 inch square rocker switch front would need some tracking before voltage found its way to fingers - maybe that's their intention? In all the years I lived there, I never encountered small rocker switches like ours in the UK. Never knew of anyone getting a shock from one either, and being next to the sink, it's common for damp hands to knock the light off before leaving.
 
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TPES

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  • #12
An FCU in a bathroom well outside zone 2, but less than 3m from Z1, Up high against ceiling, to isolate a bathroom fan heater.. 30ma Protection to circuit

Would any of you give this a coding?

im getting mixed views
 

Des 56

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Arms
Esteemed
No
Its high up out of zones and presents lno danger to persons

I would however say that the wall switch which is being regularly used,compared to this fcu, should be suitable for the environment(suitable Ip rated)

Bathrooms and wall switches have never been, and never wil,l go hand in hand as far as my own installs go
 
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Davey101

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  • #14
I'd never put a wall switch in a bathroom either- except my own. I have a cupboard next to the shower, which has a 3 gang, and a one gang switch inside. I'll be buggered if I'm going to have 4 pull switches.

Anyone got any views on this?
 
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TPES

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  • #15
I would however say that the wall switch which is being regularly used,compared to this fcu, should be suitable for the environment(suitable Ip rated)

Its a fan heater with a pullcord.

I see the obvious reasons for not having switches in bathrooms, that are within the prescribed zones, Anyone would be stupid to put a light switch or any other isolator wall plate switch near to where sprays or jets of water could be possible.

But i dont see too much of a problem with a switch up high well beyond zone 2, as its unlikely to be intouch with any water. and the regs back this up right?

So no reason a triple pole fan isolator cant be mounted in a bathroom right if well out of zone 2 and up high out the way,its Just common sense i suppose
 
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Smugley

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  • #17
They dont seem to get electricuted in the rest of the world with switches in bathrooms
I was going to say the same - back in Australia we not only had wall switches but sockets aswell. Maybe it's the steamy British bathrooms...
 

Paul P

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Arms
I was going to say the same - back in Australia we not only had wall switches but sockets aswell. Maybe it's the steamy British bathrooms...
Nice to see some one else talking sense, I cant see the problem with switches and sockets in bathrooms.
 
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devonguy02

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  • #19
Just come accross a new job, part p elec has fitted standard plateswitch and 2 fused spurs in a bathroom that gets very steamy with a tiled floor, having spent 26 years in the industry, on re wires/new wiring, im not as yet part p, i was appaled, I would have fitted pull cord, or all switches outdide bathroom door, where its wood flooring, dry and carpeted, they call it progeress?
 
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Engineer54

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  • #20
The Americans have twin socket outlets in all there bathrooms, but they are 115 volt and are always the integral protected type with a 6 mA RCD. They tend to use normal wall switches too (not IP rated in any way), like most other countries throughout the world. That's not to say that the higher UK standard for bathrooms should be lowered to match other countries standards, quite the opposite!! Mind you, i do find the 17th BS7671 regulations go a little OTT. Earlier regulations were more than sufficient, as proved by 30 odd years they were in use...
 

telectrix

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and adolph hitler was not a megalomaniac, power mad dictator. he was a misunderstood and humanitarianly disadvantaged.
 
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