As far as electrical installations are concerned, bathrooms are considered to be a ‘special location’ due to the proximity of water which increases the risk of electric shock for users. Electrical products commonly found in bathrooms include lighting, showers, fans, heaters, shaver sockets and heated towel rails.
Electrical contractors therefore need to ensure that bathroom installations are as safe as possible by complying with wiring and building regulations, selecting certified equipment and exercising common sense.
Bathroom electrical and lighting zones
All fixed electrical installations in UK dwellings must legally comply with BS 7671 – ‘Requirements for Electrical Installations’. This Standard gives specific guidance on the design, installation, testing, verification and certification of such installations, with ‘Locations containing a bath or shower’ covered under Section 601.
Section 601 divides a bathroom into zones. These zones take into account doors, windows, walls, ceilings and partitions, and are based on the perceived level of risk to users.
BATHROOM ZONES Explained
Zone 0 represents the interior of the bath tub or shower basin.
Zone 1 is the area around the bath tub or shower basin up to a height of 2.25m above the floor and at a radius of 1.2m from the water outlet.
Zone 2 is limited by the vertical planes external to zone 1 and parallel vertical plane(s) 0.60m external to zone 1.
Zone 3 is limited to the vertical plane(s) external to zone 2 and the parallel vertical plane(s) 2.40m external to zone 2.
Each of these bathroom zones has specific requirements regarding the electrical equipment or lighting that can be sited within that zone.