Frequently asked questions - Bathrooms

Extractor fans

Are 230 V extractor fans permitted in zones 1 and 2 of a room containing a bath or shower?
Yes, a suitable 230 V extractor fan may be installed both in zones 1 and 2, and outside the zones. If an extractor fan is installed in zone 1 or 2 it must be protected against the ingress of moisture to at least IPX4 and be suitable according to manufacturer’s instructions. Regulation 701.512.2 requires that equipment exposed to water jets (for example, for cleaning purposes), shall have a degree of protection of at least IPX5.
An extractor fan supplied from a lighting circuit for a bathroom without a window should have its own means of isolation, as otherwise replacement or maintenance of the fan would have to be carried out in the dark. An isolation switch for a fan with an overrun facility will need to be triple-pole (switch wire, line and neutral), and must be installed outside zones 0, 1 and 2.

Socket outlets

Are 230 V socket outlets permitted in a room containing a bath or shower?
Yes, 230 V 13 A socket outlets are allowed, but only if they are at least 3 m horizontally from the boundary of zone 1.

Plate switches

Are 230 V lighting switches (plate switches) permitted in a room containing a bath or shower?
Yes, a plate switch is allowed outside the zones of a bathroom. A switch should be at least 0.6 m from the edge of the bath or shower (outside the zones) and must be suitable for the location. The cords of cord-operated switches are allowed in zones 1 and 2 and are recommended for bathrooms and shower rooms to account for the humidity and condensation that could occur.

Luminaires (light fittings)

Are 230 V light fittings permitted above a shower or bath (zone 1) in a room containing a bath or shower?
Yes, 230 V fittings may be installed above a shower or bath but they must be at least IPX4, i.e. enclosed and water protected. If installed more than 0.6 m from the edge of a shower basin or bath (outside the zones) no special fitting is required but the luminaire must be of a suitable design for the conditions.

Equipment installed in the zones

Check that manufacturer’s instructions confirm that the equipment is suitable for use in the relevant zone before installation in addition to checking the IP rating.