Bathroom Zones

Just a quick question regarding bathroom zones here...
I am about to fit a new bathroom, and would like to put a shaver socket in the vanity/vanitry (Which is it by the way!( unit.
I am not sure if this is ok - looking on the web, it seems that "Basins are not covered, however they are usually considered to be zone 2"
Now, it appears it is not permitted to install a shaver socket in zone 2, unless it is IPx4 rated - but does it being in the cupboard count for anything, seeing as it can't get splashed under there?
Ta :-)
--

Sparks...



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I think zones only change when obstructed/covered in a way that requires a tool to remove.
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Sparks wrote:

It's Vanity. I just put one in today... mounted it on the wall about 2' above the basin, on the tiles. Having bought it from a reputable manufacturer, I assumed it was made for exactly that! With the drop down in voltage, via the built-in transformer, I can't see how it would be a problem. I have been to many hotels where they have a similar installation.
I also put a Vanity unit in my upstairs bathroom, which had a built-in shaver socket at the top, so, again, surely they'd make it to meet code if selling the things in the high street.
If you have bought one recently, then wouldn't it be suitably rated for such use?
d.
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I think you may be confusing bathroom cabinet with a vanity unit!
I am talking about one of these...
http://www.bathroomcity.co.uk/images/products/22-102.JPG
Sparks...
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Sparks wrote:

So I was! Is your reason for putting an outlet in there because you don't want anything on the walls? Otherwise, you could put a dedicated shaving socket plate on the wall above the basin.
If you still want to put it in the vanity unit, then you can do so, as long as it is lockable and the key is not in reach of someone in the bathroom. I think it's more to do with someone touching it with wet fingers, than it is to do with splashing!
If you use a suitably rated IP socket then wet fingers are no longer an issue.
deano.
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Yes, and also because my shaver and toothbrush have docking stations - I want to keep them in the cupboard to keep the tops clutter free :-)

That doesn't really follow - if the point was on the wall, it would be more likley to be touched than at the back of the cupboard!

I don't think you can get an IPx4 rated shaver socket - but I stand to be corrected!
I have just found this paragraph...
"Shaver power points are not IP rated, however, if they comply with BS EN 60742 Chapter 2, Section 1, they can be located in zone 2 (or beyond) providing they are unlikely be be the subject of direct spray from any shower."
On the TLC site, it seems to indicate under the basin as zone 3 anyway... http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Technical/DataSheets/Firstlight/Zones.htm
So I may be OK?
Sparks...
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Sparks wrote:

My thinking was: IP rating if on the wall, not applicable if in the cupboard.

like I said... many such sockets are available to buy on the high street, if they are ok for positioning on the tiled wall, above a basin, then they should be fine inside a vanity unit. The only problem I can foresee is if water runs down behind the basin and somehow gets into (and behind) the shaver socket, but I doubt this would happen if you mastic properly, and even then, the socket is likely designed so that all electrical connections are up-hill.
I think you'll be fine. If you want to be extra safe, then fit a fused switch/spur with a built-in RCD in the supply to the shaver sockets (obviously this has to be located somewhere outside the bathroom, or inside a locked cupboard yadda yadda yadda.
HTH,
deano.
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But assuming that the OP would use a shaver socket designed for bathroom use - with an isolating transformer wouldn't all that be a waste of time anyway?
--
Chris French


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chris French wrote:

Certainly wouldn't do any harm and if the OP is dubious, then it would add an extra assurance. It's good practice to have a remote fused switch for electrical devices located in a wet room, and one fitted with an RCD would only add a small cost.
Plus, there's also the chance that, by being low down, inside the vanity unit, kids could get to the socket and play around with it! That alone suggests there might be a minimum height at which a shaver socket should be installed.
deano.
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deano wrote:

But, as chris rightly pointed out, an RCD on the input side of an isolating transformer will achieve absolutely nothing.

A shaver socket inside the vanity unit!? How about putting it on the wall at somewhere near head height...
--
Andy

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I have a 30mA RCD on all the house sockets anyway...

Cos I want to hide all the associated crap in the cupboard (Shaver and toothbrush docking stations!)
Sparks...
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Normally they are wired into the lighting circuit in bathrooms, but they can be wired into the socket circuit if you want.

Fair enough, I had one mounted on the wall but inside a cupboard for a similar reason. I can't see kids fiddling is anything particular to worry about, most sockets in the house are at handy kid height.
--
Chris French


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chris French wrote:

Kids fiddling while wet! But let's not split hairs. I was commenting on how one could go to extremes and err on the side of caution. Code is there for the "minimum" safety precautions required by law. Many of us go above that, in the interests of building a reputation that sets us apart from the code-warriors :)
I also have regarcheable shavers and toothbrushes and can see why the OP wants unsightly sockets hidden away. What would be really handy would be a shaver and toothbrush that fitted into a wall cradle and got their charge through that, with the cradle plugged directly into the shaver socket(s). Likely there's some such on the market already. I would add though, that my Braun cordless/rechargeable shaver works much better when plugged into the socket. There's a distinct drop in the "buzz" when I unplug it.
deano.
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Yeah, but what you suggested - supplying the shaver socket outlet via an RCD wasn't erring on the side of caution - I've no problem with that. It is absolutely pointless, the outputs are isolated from the mains input and thus the RCD
--
Chris French


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chris French wrote:

I bow to your superior knowledge. I just fitted an underfloor heating element to my shower room, which required connection to a thermostat, timer (optional), switched fuse AND an RCD! That's where my reasoning began. Can you explain how the two differ? Not mocking, just curious.
I am not a qualified electrician. Thought I'd better make that clear.
rgds, deano.
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The shaver socket outlet contains an isolating transformer. There is no direct connection to the mains supply from the socket (hence isolating, though the transformer is also used to provide the 110V output as well)). The mains feeds one side of the transformer, the output to the socket comes from the otherside.
The extra safety of this is why these are the only socket you can easily fit in most bathrooms.
So for example, If you were to short out the output socket you wouldn't trip an RCD in the supply to the shaver socket unit. so no point in putting one in.
With your UFH example, the element is connected directly to the mains, hence the RCD
--
Chris French


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A "proper" shaver socket has an isolation transformer inside it, so you have live (230v) and neutral in, and then you get +115v and -115v out (So when connecting across both, you get 230v again), both totally isolated from earth, so if you touch just one of the outputs, you will not get electrocuted. You also get a 0v tapping from the transformer, so you can connect between this and the +115v to get just 115v
HTH
Sparks...
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Sparks wrote:

Chris and Sparks.
Thanks for clearing that up for me. Another lesson learned. Would it then follow that if positioned in a high splash zone, there is a chance that both outputs could be contacted by water and could result in a high risk of electrical shock?
If so, I would imagine then, that this is where codes would apply for the positioning of a shaver socket, to be well away from such high risk splash areas.
deano.
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Bugger all chance.

Apart from the zoning, which prevents installation inside the shower or bath, the device just has to be suitable for the position it is installed in. This is usually interpreted as being about 30cm from a basin or sink for a non-IP rated fitting, although this is far from a hard or fast rule.
Christian.
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On Tue, 12 Sep 2006 09:05:59 +0100, Andy Wade wrote:

It will protect against some faults due to water getting into the shaver socket itself. Without an RCD one could get a path from the live to the secondary, but this would be likely to involve a path to earth also which would cause an RCD to trip.
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