I have a new heated towel rack that can be either hardwired or "soft
-wired," but there is a (rubber coated) switch on the unit that is of
concern. The rack is 2' wide, 40" tall, mounted to the wall. My
intuition, common sense, or I read this somewhere that "no electrical
switch nor outlet should be within reach of any tub/shower." Heated
towel racks are more common in Europe and I'm wondering how these are
typically installed (there or in America). I may decide to cut off
the switch box (destroying the warranty) and use Romex to feed the
wire inside the walls and over the ceiling to a wall mounted 24-hour
switch inside an adjacent closet which is inside the master bathroom.
Thanks for helpful thoughts.
If you are concerned about the proximity to the tub/shower, you can
put the warmer on a GFI. Your bathroom should have at least one outlet
on a GFI, or you can put a GFI breaker in that feeds your bathroom.
In regard to hardwiring it, you need to install an electrical box
exactly where it mounts on the wall ( your installation instructions
should say this). If you want to add a timer in a closet thats up to
you, but why cut off the switch? Just leave it the warmer switch on if
the timer will be controlling the power to it.
The ones I have seen in Europe are not electric; they are plumbed into
the hot water heating system, with a valve to turn them off. Mine is
Oil filled heated with electric (I don't have hot water heating), and is
plugged into a GFI protected outlet. Mine doesn't have an on/off
switch, but has an infra-red controller that can be programmed with on
and off times.
Most of those I have seen in the US are pretty flimsy; mine looks like
the radiator on a truck and puts out a lot of heat, but it takes a while
to heat up, so I have it programmed to go on half an hour before we get
up and off a couple of hours later, and on in the evening again for a
couple of hours. With a switch, it would be hard to do that. I don't
like to run it longer, nor in the summer, to save energy. It is a nice
feature, particularly in cold weather.
You can't reach the switch, only the rubber coating. Are you going to turn
it off and on while taking a shower? Just be sure it is on a ground fault
as the bathroom should be.
All the ones I've seen in Europe are tied into the central heating system
with steam or hot water. In some cases, that towel rack is the only heat in
the bathroom. They may have electric, but I've never seen them.
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