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?
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
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
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
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
On the TLC site, it seems to indicate under the basin as zone 3 anyway...
So I may be OK?
My thinking was: IP rating if on the wall, not applicable if in the
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
You also get a 0v tapping from the transformer, so you can connect between
this and the +115v to get just 115v
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
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.
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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