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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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 23 March 2015 08:06 AM
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phantom9

Posts: 1757
Joined: 16 December 2002

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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Joined: 23 March 2004

I think the lunatics are about to take over the asylum

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
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

-------------------------
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.

-------------------------
regards Mike
 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?

-------------------------
:beer)
 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

-------------------------
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.
 23 March 2015 07:26 PM
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Zoomup

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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.

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

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.
 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 09:13 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.

-------------------------
To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail!
 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
IET » Wiring and the regulations » switch gear in zone 2 bathroom

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