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Do You Know What a Bathroom IP Rating Is?

 Do You Know What a Bathroom IP Rating Is

The IP represents the Ingress protection of an item; effectively how much water it can be subjected to before it is likely to cause an electrical issue.  This is an essential consideration before installing any electric heater in your bathroom; the rating of the IP will control in which positions a heater can be positioned in your bathroom.

The First Digit

The IP rating will always appear as ‘IP’ followed by two numbers.  It will then tell you the zone it is approved to be used in.

The first digit provides you with information regarding the physical level of protection you, or anyone else, can expect.  The numbers start at zero which means there is no protection; your fingers can touch moving parts and items can end up in the electric heater as there are open parts.

At the other end of the scale there is a six; this indicates that not even dust can get into your electric heater; making it the safest possible type of heater.

Codes in between include:

1 – You cannot get anything bigger than 50mm in diameter into the heater; unless you try very hard.  This means your hand will not fit; by accident.  Anything is possible if you try hard enough.

2 – This drops the width to 12mm and the length of an inserted object can be no more than 80mm.  This should protect your fingers if you decide to put them in the heater.

3 – This is much more secure; anything over 2.5mm in diameter will not be able to find its way in.

4 – The size restriction is now down to 1mm; there is very little then can get into this type of heater.

5 – This level of protection ensures that dust cannot get into any of the important parts of the heater; thereby protecting it from accidental damage.

The Second IP Rating Digit

This is an important consideration regarding bathroom heaters.  It will tell you whether the heater can handle a little water or none at all.

Again, this is provided as a number, but this time there are eight to choose from:

               0 – The heater has no specific protection against water ingress.

               1 – It can handle being dripped on although not for an extended period of time

               3 – If you feel like it you can put this heater in the rain.  Equally, it will not be affected if a standard shower sprays it.

               4 – The electric heater can be splashed, meaning a large amount of water hits it in one go, and it should be fine.

               5 – This type of heater can be stood in front of a shower and will be finer, even if blasted by the shower’s water jets!

6 – This is much the same as five but adds the ability to withstand power jets.

7 – An electric heater with this rating can actually be submerged in water; whilst this may not be your intention, it is useful to know!

8 – The top rated setting is 8 and demonstrates the electric bathroom heater is completely pressure tight.  Water or dust cannot even get in there!

Know Your Zones

An additional factor which can tell you where your heater should be positioned is the zones:

  • Zone 0

The IP will be at least 67.  Combined with a low voltage a heater with this rating can actually be inserted inside your shower or bath cubicle!

  • Zone 1

For this you need an IP44 or higher.  It can still go within the region of a shower enclosure but must be 2.25 meters above the floor level.

  • Zone 2

These heaters should have a bathroom IP of 24 and can be placed over 2.25 meters from the floor providing they are at least 0.6 meters from the bath.

Other Zones in Your Bathroom

It is possible that you have areas which are not within any of these parameters.  This is generally the preserve of the larger bathroom.  This means that you could, technically, fit any heater.  Although it is generally best to be safe and fit a properly approved bathroom heater.

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