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Topic Title: switch gear in zone 2 bathroom
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Created On: 21 March 2015 05:56 PM
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 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - 12boreblue - 21 March 2015 05:56 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - OMS - 21 March 2015 06:23 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - stateit - 21 March 2015 07:35 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - mapj1 - 21 March 2015 09:04 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - tomgunn - 22 March 2015 10:39 AM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - geov - 22 March 2015 05:45 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - daveparry1 - 22 March 2015 05:59 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - John Peckham - 22 March 2015 06:06 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - geov - 22 March 2015 06:46 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - Jaymac - 22 March 2015 06:26 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - phantom9 - 22 March 2015 07:06 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - daveparry1 - 22 March 2015 07:18 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - geov - 22 March 2015 08:04 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - John Peckham - 22 March 2015 07:50 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - daveparry1 - 22 March 2015 08:14 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - mapj1 - 22 March 2015 08:49 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - dickllewellyn - 22 March 2015 09:11 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - 12boreblue - 22 March 2015 10:22 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - weirdbeard - 23 March 2015 05:05 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - Zoomup - 23 March 2015 07:58 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - John Peckham - 23 March 2015 09:11 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - Jaymac - 23 March 2015 11:30 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - Zoomup - 23 March 2015 05:10 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - OMS - 23 March 2015 05:45 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - geoffsd - 23 March 2015 06:50 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - Zoomup - 23 March 2015 07:23 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - Jaymac - 22 March 2015 10:44 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - aligarjon - 23 March 2015 07:52 AM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - 12boreblue - 24 March 2015 09:13 AM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - phantom9 - 23 March 2015 08:06 AM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - OMS - 23 March 2015 10:05 AM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - AJJewsbury - 23 March 2015 10:25 AM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - OMS - 23 March 2015 10:48 AM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - mapj1 - 23 March 2015 02:17 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - Zoomup - 23 March 2015 07:26 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - Zoomup - 24 March 2015 07:21 AM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - mapj1 - 24 March 2015 09:32 AM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - mapj1 - 24 March 2015 10:01 AM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - OMS - 24 March 2015 10:32 AM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - Zoomup - 24 March 2015 01:52 PM  
 switch gear in zone 2 bathroom   - mapj1 - 24 March 2015 05:26 PM  
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 21 March 2015 05:56 PM
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12boreblue

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In a bit of a dilema, have moved into new accomodation, owner has just had a new bathroom fitted by large water company...and it was not cheap!! Now ceiling is below 2.25mtrs room has been totally refurbished including new shower and bath. New downlights have been fitted and are 12v, all fine. Electrical contractor for big water company have put new pullcord in zone 2 replacing the original one. I have advised both water and electrical company that this switch gear should be outside of zone, to wit I have been told that it can go in zone 2. It is 240v switch and a standard pullcord switch, so again I stated it could not go in zone 2, contacted elecsa (contractor's organisation) who confirm I am correct. Now do I dob this company in, and ask elecsa to visit, or go through the water company to resolve it. It has been notified, but I also question whether the circuit should have been upgraded to include rcd protection as this is a refurbishment.
Advise greatly appreciated as with the new shower head and low ceiling I feel this is a risk as switch at end of bath

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 21 March 2015 06:23 PM
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OMS

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Get a grip - it's a pull cord - switchgear requirements for zones exclude pull cords last time I dusted off a copy of the bumper fun book

Regards

OMS

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Let the wind blow you, across a big floor.
 21 March 2015 07:35 PM
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stateit

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It's up to the owner to do any 'requesting' isn't it?

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http://www.sg-electrical.com
 21 March 2015 09:04 PM
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mapj1

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701.512.3 Erection of switchgear, control gear and accessories according to external influences The following requirements do not apply to switches and controls which are incorporated in fixed current-using equipment suitable for use in that zone or to insulating pull cords of cord operated switches.
In zone 0: switchgear or accessories shall not be installed. In zone 1: only switches of SELV circuits supplied at a nominal voltage not exceeding 12 V a.c. rms or 30 V ripplefree d.c. shall be installed, the safety source being installed outside zones 0, 1 and 2.
In zone 2: switchgear, accessories incorporating switches or socket-outlets shall not be installed with the exception of: (i) switches and socket-outlets of SELV circuits, the safety source being installed outside zones 0, 1 and 2, and (ii) shaver supply units complying with BS EN 61558-2-5. Except for SELV socket-outlets complying with Section 414 and shaver supply units complying with BS EN 61558-25, socket-outlets are prohibited within a distance of 3 m horizontally from the boundary of zone 1.


Note the bold bit., Working to BS7671 - the stringy cord is allowed in zone. But the box at the top with the switch in, arguably only if its its part of equipment designed for the location
Hmmm. check carefully. Or its non compliant with BS7671 - which is perfectly OK, so long as everyone is happy with what that implies.

-------------------------
regards Mike


Edited: 21 March 2015 at 09:13 PM by mapj1
 22 March 2015 10:39 AM
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tomgunn

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mmmmm? Jobsworth perhaps?

Tom

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 22 March 2015 05:45 PM
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geov

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Originally posted by: tomgunn

mmmmm? Jobsworth perhaps?



Tom


Why Tom? Leaving aside reporting, who might report etc, the basic question is " is a standard 45 amp pull switch allowed in Zone 2?", and we appear to have two different views expressed already!
 22 March 2015 05:59 PM
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daveparry1

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I think i'd say no it isn't Geov, after all we don't put switched fcu's within zones do we. Slightly different I suppose because an fcu would be touched but the pull switch wouldn't need to be touched would it.
 22 March 2015 06:06 PM
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John Peckham

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You can't have the pull cord switch in Zone 2 but you can have the insulated pull cord. BS 7671 Regulation 701.512.3 says you can't have "switchgear, accessories incorporating switches or socket outlets unless they are SELV or a shaver unit to BS EN 6155-2-5."

So the job does not comply with BS7671.

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John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 22 March 2015 06:46 PM
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geov

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Originally posted by: John Peckham

You can't have the pull cord switch in Zone 2 but you can have the insulated pull cord. BS 7671 Regulation 701.512.3 says you can't have "switchgear, accessories incorporating switches or socket outlets unless they are SELV or a shaver unit to BS EN 6155-2-5."



So the job does not comply with BS7671.


Yep, that's my view too!
 22 March 2015 06:26 PM
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Jaymac

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If in doubt "err on the side of caution." In view of the fact that the ceiling is low (below 2.25 M) and the switch is close to the bath, I would suggest that it be moved even if it is a pull cord.
 22 March 2015 07:06 PM
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phantom9

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For goodness sake, chaps, can you not see this is compliant? The switch is fixed to the ceiling. It has string from it, that has a little pull-cord toggle on the end. There is no danger from electric shock is there! OMS and Mike answered the question correctly. Insulating string from the switch. Why are there so many disagreements over such obviously safe practice. If it was in zone 1 then I would agree it shouldn't be, but zone 2 it is perfectly safe. 12boreblue is wrong to pick this up and he is likely to get problems if he pursues the situation because there is nothing wrong with it.
 22 March 2015 07:18 PM
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daveparry1

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Hi Phantom, I agree there is absolutely no danger there at all but the question is, is it compliant? I suppose it could be said that it isn't because the 230 volt part is within the zone. I agree totally that there is no danger involved, those of us working in the "real world" realise this but some pen-pushing desk bound regs. muppet probably wouldn't see it this way!
 22 March 2015 08:04 PM
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geov

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Originally posted by: daveparry1

Hi Phantom, I agree there is absolutely no danger there at all but the question is, is it compliant? I suppose it could be said that it isn't because the 230 volt part is within the zone. I agree totally that there is no danger involved, those of us working in the "real world" realise this but some pen-pushing desk bound regs. muppet probably wouldn't see it this way!


I enjoy reading and occasionally contributing to this Forum as typically, posters do not resort to childish name- calling when they do not agree with the view(s) of others. Instead they offer reasoned argument and often quote a specific regulation.
As it happens, I agree that the situation outlined by the OP has a very low risk and is unlikely to be dangerous, but it ain't compliant.
 22 March 2015 07:50 PM
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John Peckham

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P9

When you say there is nothing wrong with it are you saying a pull cord switch mechanism in Zone 2 of a bathroom complies with BS 7671?

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 22 March 2015 08:14 PM
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daveparry1

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Agreed Geov.
 22 March 2015 08:49 PM
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mapj1

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Oddly I thought I'd said it was only BS7671 compliant if the mechanism was part of a piece of equipment designed for use in the zone - which is not quite what OMS said.
I fully agree in reality it is a low risk non-compliance and all that, but regs-wise its exactly the same as if the cord switch was on a non IP rated wall light at sink height. Which just goes to show that some thought is needed when applying the regs.

I presume when referring to the in zone stuff with built in switches, they were thinking more of mirror lamps or fans with a cord switch built in, rather than a separate string switch.

Some bathrooms are just scary
A shower wiring installation to reach parts others don't. Yes it's 220V, but not in the UK. Not one I did!! .

-------------------------
regards Mike


Edited: 22 March 2015 at 09:01 PM by mapj1
 22 March 2015 09:11 PM
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dickllewellyn

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Whilst it may not be compliant, I think I would go with it. The alternative presumable being a wall switch outside the room. It may be outside, but that doesn't mean the user will have dried their hands before using it!

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Regards
Richard (Dick)

"Insert words of wisdom and/or witty pun here"
 22 March 2015 10:22 PM
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12boreblue

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Thank you all for the response, with regard to the jobsworth comment, you bet I am! To the it's not a risk opinion, I disagree, the switch position is 1700mm from the shower head and at the same height as the switch. If one of my kids was to take the shower head and point it up for any reason, it would soak the switch, and possibly electrically charge the water spray. I for one am not taking that risk. I and all other electricians have a duty of care and an obligation to install to the regulations, and as far as I am aware a standard 240v pullcord switchgear cannot go in Zone 2. Someone please tell me if I am wrong? And if you want to personally put your family at risk then that's ok, I am not and not prepared to let others breach the regs and put mine at risk.
Thank you all but I will call Elecsa and get them to adjudicate.

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To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail!
 23 March 2015 05:05 PM
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weirdbeard

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Originally posted by: 12boreblue

If one of my kids was to take the shower head and point it up for any reason, it would soak the switch, and possibly electrically charge the water spray. I for one am not taking that risk. I and all other electricians have a duty of care and an obligation to install to the regulations, and as far as I am aware a standard 240v pullcord switchgear cannot go in Zone 2.


Hi 12bb, wouldn't a half decent shower also be able to squirt a pull switch even if it were mounted just outside Z2..... how about fitting a fixed shower head to remove that risk to the kids whilst your electrical issues are dealt with?

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 23 March 2015 07:58 PM
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Zoomup

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Originally posted by: weirdbeard

Originally posted by: 12boreblue



If one of my kids was to take the shower head and point it up for any reason, it would soak the switch, and possibly electrically charge the water spray. I for one am not taking that risk. I and all other electricians have a duty of care and an obligation to install to the regulations, and as far as I am aware a standard 240v pullcord switchgear cannot go in Zone 2.




Hi 12bb, wouldn't a half decent shower also be able to squirt a pull switch even if it were mounted just outside Z2..... how about fitting a fixed shower head to remove that risk to the kids whilst your electrical issues are dealt with?


Cord switch, electricity and dripping water reminds me of a statement made in a book by James Thurber, "My Life and Hard Times":

"Her own mother lived the latter years of her life in the horrible suspicion that electricity was dripping invisibly all over the house".

Z.
 23 March 2015 09:11 PM
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John Peckham

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Zoomup

Sadly not a myth.

Double fatality.

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http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 23 March 2015 11:30 PM
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Jaymac

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Hear hear John Peckham. Fit RCDs and make sure the switches are well away from those using the shower/bath etc whether they are kids or adults.
 23 March 2015 05:10 PM
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Zoomup

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Originally posted by: 12boreblue

Thank you all for the response, with regard to the jobsworth comment, you bet I am! To the it's not a risk opinion, I disagree, the switch position is 1700mm from the shower head and at the same height as the switch. If one of my kids was to take the shower head and point it up for any reason, it would soak the switch, and possibly electrically charge the water spray. I for one am not taking that risk. I and all other electricians have a duty of care and an obligation to install to the regulations, and as far as I am aware a standard 240v pullcord switchgear cannot go in Zone 2. Someone please tell me if I am wrong? And if you want to personally put your family at risk then that's ok, I am not and not prepared to let others breach the regs and put mine at risk.

Thank you all but I will call Elecsa and get them to adjudicate.


Hello 12boreblue,
some years ago NuSwift the fire extinguisher maker advertised that its water fire extinguishers could be used on electrical fires safely, as the user could not receive a shock. The user was only mentioned in the ads. The reason given for this situation was that the water droplets coming out of the fire extinguisher hose nozzle were actually too far apart for electricity to track back to the user of the extinguisher.

Presuming that the shower is R.C.D. protected, and the switch is of insulating material, I can see no immediate danger of water ingress and shock risk, in the situation described, even if the shower cord switch is spayed with water.

EDIT add question. Is the cord operated switch a light switch or shower switch? I am not clear on that.

Bye,

Z.

Edited: 23 March 2015 at 05:19 PM by Zoomup
 23 March 2015 05:45 PM
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OMS

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. If one of my kids was to take the shower head and point it up for any reason, it would soak the switch, and possibly electrically charge the water spray. I for one am not taking that risk.


and therein lies the problem with the nu-labour thinking that we must protect all of the people, all of the time and responsibility of the individual plays no part.

Just tell the little sods not to detach the shower head and pretend they are fireman Sam - or else there will be trouble. The threat of a wallop off my mams wooden spoon kept me out of all sorts of mischief (or at least I was careful not to get caught)

Do you have table lamps at home - do the kids have bunk beds = bothh of which sound to be a far bigger risk than a pull cord in a bathroom

Regards

OMS

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Let the wind blow you, across a big floor.
 23 March 2015 06:50 PM
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geoffsd

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Whilst this is getting a bit silly I should like to add - for the OP - that:

The prohibition of switches in zones (other than those in equipment, e.g. showers - where are they fitted?) is not because they may be splashed or hosed.
A pull switch may actually be IPX5.
(The manufacturer never states this because it is never relevant.)

It is not even that they may be touched with wet hands.
It is to prevent them being touched while a person is standing in water.
 23 March 2015 07:23 PM
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Zoomup

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Originally posted by: geoffsd

Whilst this is getting a bit silly I should like to add - for the OP - that:



The prohibition of switches in zones (other than those in equipment, e.g. showers - where are they fitted?) is not because they may be splashed or hosed.

A pull switch may actually be IPX5.

(The manufacturer never states this because it is never relevant.)



It is not even that they may be touched with wet hands.

It is to prevent them being touched while a person is standing in water.


I would not worry about standing in water and touching an electrical cord switch as my shower tray is made of non conducting G.R.P. and the waste pipe is plastic as well, so is electrically isolated from earth.

Z.
 22 March 2015 10:44 PM
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Jaymac

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I tend to agree with you "12boreblue". To say there is absolutely no risk is a mistake.

Regards Jaymac.
 23 March 2015 07:52 AM
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aligarjon

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There should not be any debate here. It does not comply, it's that simple. we can't pick and choose which regs we want to work to whether we agree with them or not.

Gary

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 24 March 2015 09:13 AM
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12boreblue

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Originally posted by: aligarjon

There should not be any debate here. It does not comply, it's that simple. we can't pick and choose which regs we want to work to whether we agree with them or not.



Gary


I agree totally, wish I could use the same arguments as 'it's not really a high risk' if I get pulled up for speeding, or mabe call the officer a jobsworth and hope he let's me off! And I am stunned that there are those out there today believing they can circumvent the regs because of their opinion. It is so simple, it is a yes or a no! I don't agree with all of them and sometimes I just want to look the other way, but one day it would come back to haunt me.

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 23 March 2015 08:06 AM
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phantom9

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12bore. Where is the switch in relation to the vertical plane of zone 1, then? If its 1700mm away from the shower head it must be pretty close to being out of zone 2. Zone 2 only extends 600mm beyond the edge of zone 1. Or is it that because the ceiling is less than 2.25m high then all the room outside zone 1 is zone 2 by virtue of the ceiling height? What is the actual ceiling height?

Edited: 23 March 2015 at 08:26 AM by phantom9
 23 March 2015 10:05 AM
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OMS

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I think the lunatics are about to take over the asylum

Regards

OMS

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Let the wind blow you, across a big floor.
 23 March 2015 10:25 AM
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AJJewsbury

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I think the lunatics are about to take over the asylum

I thought that happened years ago.

I bet if you were representing a professional client who had taken exception to the body of a pull switch being in zones, the poor contractor wouldn't have stood a chance
- Andy.
 23 March 2015 10:48 AM
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OMS

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Maybe Andy - although I like to think the professional advice I give is based on engineering judgement - not slavish adherance to the words

ie what does a regulation mean, not just what it appears to say

Remeber that old saying about reguations being for the guidance of wise men and for blind adherance by fools

Regards

OMS

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Let the wind blow you, across a big floor.
 23 March 2015 02:17 PM
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mapj1

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we can't pick and choose which regs we want to work to whether we agree with them or not.


I take a slightly different tack.
We can do anything we like, so long as we are happy with the consequences of our action.

This may allow me to decide if it is
a small technical non-compliance (its 10cm lower than the limit but in a place unlikely to get splashed)

Or
a serious risk to health. (the switch is in a location likely to get wet and will probably be touched with bare flesh.)

There are loads of non-complaint set-ups out there around the place, and (luckily) very few dead bodies as a consequence.

We need to distinguish the adequate from the toe curlingly dangerous. 'professional judgement' and all that.

We don't know how low the ceiling is or if there is a shower screen or similar that might be taken into consideration.

We know the UK regs, and yes, it sounds like it doesn't meet the letter of those.

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regards Mike
 23 March 2015 07:26 PM
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Zoomup

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 24 March 2015 07:21 AM
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Zoomup

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Hello John,
I agree, using a portable heater on the edge of a bath is irresponsible and stupid. I also think that the "no sockets in bath or shower room" regulation was a good one, R.C.D. or no R.C.D. 3m from the bath edge can easily be defeated by a £5.00 extension lead. R.C.D.s are not 100 per cent reliable.

Bye,

Z.
 24 March 2015 09:32 AM
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mapj1

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At the time the prohibition on bathroom sockets was introduced, I'm not sure that encouraging people to use extension leads to get heat into bathrooms was the brightest idea actually- it might have been better to have had a more splash proof kind of socket and a compulsory high sensitivity earth trip of some kind, perhaps 10mA, as this would have been quite practical for a single socket, but not for a large meandering circuit.
It is interesting to look at the Germans for contrast, where Schucko sockets have been RCD protected in bathrooms long before being encouraged for the rest of the building. The UK does not have any better accident figures when looked at per head of population, but it does seem, based on rather scant data admittedly, to have more of its hairdryer fires in bedrooms.

Probably more use would be a campaign of scary public information films, rather like the ones they used to run in the old days..., as I'm sure the collective practical knowledge of society is falling over time.

-------------------------
regards Mike
 24 March 2015 10:01 AM
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mapj1

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Except, only if you wish to drive on the UK roads, then traffic law applies.
If its your own land, it doesn't. If its not in the UK it doesn't
If you are contracted to wire a building to BS7671, then contractual law applies.
If you are just getting the power on in your own house, then its the occupier's liability act, the ESQR, and similar.
I can use HD384 to show that the wiring practices of any other European member state are to be considered in English law as equivalent to our own, and I can discharge my legal duty by wiring to VDE100, or to the national French regs or whatever.
BS7671 is not compulsory. Which is good, as its not appropriate in some odd cases. Even the reg writes acknowledge it, as there is a line on the form for noting non-compliant stuff.
However, in the case of the bathroom switch, this may or may not be relevant.

-------------------------
regards Mike
 24 March 2015 10:32 AM
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OMS

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And I am stunned that there are those out there today believing they can circumvent the regs because of their opinion. It is so simple, it is a yes or a no!


A simple "yes" or "no" ? - don't be so silly.

In your case can you show that a pull switch on the ceiling at 2251mm AFFL is, in all circumstances, safe and one at 2249mm AFFL is, in all circumstances, unsafe.

The 2250mm figure in entirely arbitary - it just suggests that electrical services at or around that height are not likley to pose a problem during the normal use of a bathroom. Significantly lower might be a problem.

Given that you have enough headroom to walk around in the bathroom, then the ceiling mounted pull cord isn't a problem in relation to the shower outlet the other end of the bath.

Or put it another way - if you think the kids are going to spray the pull swich with the shower head, then moving it to above 2250mm won't help will it

You'd be better off considering the installation of an RCD (and ideally a bit of bonding) rather than worrying about the wrong thing

wish I could use the same arguments as 'it's not really a high risk' if I get pulled up for speeding, or mabe call the officer a jobsworth and hope he let's me off!


It happens every day - the police make assessments all the time - I was pulled for doing eighty(ish) down the M6 last year - summer evening, new car, me in a shirt and tie, clearly looking alert - low traffic volume - 4 hours to get home - it was a warning to ease up on the gas and a suggestion to get coffee somewhere south of Stoke

So, it really wasn't high risk - but on a wet december evening in heavy M6 traffic, in a rough looking car, with me hoofing it after a really long week away, then clearly it would be much higher risk


Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Let the wind blow you, across a big floor.

Edited: 24 March 2015 at 11:31 AM by OMS
 24 March 2015 01:52 PM
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Zoomup

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Mike,
we have a ceiling mounted Sunhouse infrared combined heat and light unit in our 70s house bathroom. A nice silica enclosed heating element behind a protective guard. This unit has a lamp holder in the centre. It can be switched to light only, heat and light or heat only. It still works perfectly. Also I can stand in the bath and touch the metal parts if I wish. Not that I recommend that. It has a short insulating pull cord for safety. And talking about bathroom heaters, the good old Dimplex infra red wall mounted units were very effective. They also had an inbuilt cord switch. I have seen some of them situated very close to the bath in a small bathroom. Sockets are not always required in bathrooms.

Perhaps a 12 Volt gel type battery carted into the bathroom on a wheeled shopping basket device to power up 12 volt hair driers would be safer. Now there's a thought!

Bye,

Z.

EDIT all fingers and thumbs typing errors
 24 March 2015 05:26 PM
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mapj1

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It happens every day - the police make assessments all the time -



Clearly my car is too old.... no such leniency for me last year sadly. Still, some nice chaps on the course with me and it could have been worse - no points after all.

I am however sort of happy with the consequences of my action!!

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regards Mike
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