BTL electric safety – Fan over bath?

by Readers Question

7:48 AM, 24th May 2018
About 7 months ago

BTL electric safety – Fan over bath?

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BTL electric safety – Fan over bath?

I’ve got a major worry at the moment regarding my electric work in my BTL. Essentially I’ve had work carried out in terms of having radiators installed (ex council house) and electrics sorted in terms of adding new plug sockets into the kitchen and installation of smoke alarms. In addition the installation of correct lightning has been used in the bathrooms. My contractor provided me with a gas safety certificate and electric certificate.

I had a contractor come over today and he told me the work for the electrics should not have been passed. There is an extractor fan with a pull cord just on top of the bath. He said that this is against regulations and I would need to take the fan out as it’s a health and safety issue due to it potentially being in contact with water.

This is the first time I’ve heard about this being an issue, nor did my original electric contractor advice or highlite this may be an issue.

I was wanting to install a tap with a shower mixer.

I may be worrying for no reason but I’m mot sure what to do.

Garry



Comments

Puzzler

12:59 PM, 24th May 2018
About 7 months ago

Get another opinion to be on the safe side, I have a light fitting over a bath and it is Zone 1 rated (go to B&Q or similar to have a look) which is shown on the packaging to be OK for above a shower or bath. I don't know about extractor fans unless it falls out of its place I can't see that it is likely to be a problem for a bath but a shower might be more of a concern as the water would flow very close to it

Chris Bunn

8:24 AM, 25th May 2018
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 24/05/2018 - 12:59
Hi
you are not supposed to fit a MAINS voltage fan in zone one of a bathroom. A low voltage one can be fitted ie 12 volts. If it is a low voltage one there will be a transformer placed out of zone one. I place them outside the bathroom above the door. It is a safety issue that way even if you are stood in a bath of water working on a live fan of 12 volts you can not kill yourself. Find out what type of fan you have.

Ian Morgan

8:29 AM, 25th May 2018
About 7 months ago

Hi the fan is fine as long as long as it's 2.25 m above the bath (just on top, does this mean ceiling??) If not it needs to be IPX4 rated (and low voltage SELV), but the pull cord shouldn't be above the bath area, should be in zone 2. It can be next to the bath. The bath is zone 0. The space above the bath vertically is zone 1 then 0.6m from edge of bath tub is zone 2. Hope that makes sense? I can email a pic from regs book if you send me your address....
If it is wrong and he has passed tell contractor you will contact his regulatory body to complain, should say on his installation cert who that is NICEIC, NAPIT etc etc

Graham Bowcock

10:21 AM, 25th May 2018
About 7 months ago

Dear Garry
I suggest that you go back to the original contractor who fitted the fan and raise your concerns. If he is reputable and has issued a safety certificate he ought to be amenable to discussing the matter and will hopefully set your mind at rest. If he has made a mistake (perhaps he is not up to date with the regulations) then you need to agree how to rectify it.
It can be easy for other contractors to be critical and for regulations to change; the first guy was not necessarily wrong.
It will be difficult to tell without a qualified contractor inspecting the actual situation. I have a similar situation with my own house where I have just had a check done and the contractor pulled up some bathroom fans; however, when the house was built (just 10 years ago) the arrangements were not wrong.

Graham

Richard Peeters

10:30 AM, 25th May 2018
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Morgan at 25/05/2018 - 08:29Hi Ian, "2.25m above the bath" is what many electricians will tell you and then insist on changing the fitting or moving it, BUT actually the regulations show that Zone 1 extends 2.25m above FFL (finished floor level), not from the top or bottom of the bathtub (or shower tray), but from the bathroom floor - try googling "bathroom zone 1 diagram" for examples. I have had regular run-ins with electricians on this, and they have had to confirm this from NICEIC etc. The advice of 2.25m above the bath (or shower) could be considered safer, but it's not strictly required. In any case, the RCD in the consumer unit should provide satisfactory protection, but you are of course allowed to go for belt-and-braces.

Ian Morgan

8:16 AM, 26th May 2018
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard Peeters at 25/05/2018 - 10:30
That's what I meant 2.25m above floor....oops. I have all BS7671 and associated guides. As a small investment, I'd recommend:
"The Electricians Guide to the Building Regulations"
Has all the info you need and is quite digestible, including diagrams of above discussion, not bad for £25.

Richard Peeters

11:02 AM, 31st May 2018
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Morgan at 26/05/2018 - 08:16
Thanks Ian. We had various electricians doing works or certificates in properties we bought NEW from 2004-2006), and they insisted that we need to change ALL the bathroom downlights and extractors to low voltage versions for compliance reasons. That's what they were taught, but they were misinformed, as were their instructors. I don't have the greatest faith in the big builders for their build quality, but they do know how to specify the fittings for cheapest possible compliance. It is amazing that electricians come along just a couple of years later and suggest that relatively new houses are SO non-compliant, that they require such wholesale "upgrades". I can't disagree that low voltage units should be "safer", but they are not needed for compliance in the circumstances described. And don't get me started on pull-switches! :-O


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