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    • arciere
    • By arciere 6th Mar 18, 10:02 AM
    • 19Posts
    • 0Thanks
    arciere
    Washing machine in bathroom
    • #1
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:02 AM
    Washing machine in bathroom 6th Mar 18 at 10:02 AM
    First of all, excuse my lack of knowledge in the field, I work in IT so I am not 100% familiar with the electricity/regulations/safety aspects.

    Basically, we finally got the keys for our first home, it's a small flat but the previous owners had managed to find the room to keep the washing machine in the bathroom.
    The kitchen is also fairly small, but we are purchasing a dishwasher too, so there will be no space left for any washing machine there.
    Now, taking a look at the electrical side of things, the bathroom has 2 electrical sockets next to the bathtub (so I guess this is 'Zone 2'), which I know is a no-no.

    I spoke to an electrician, my plan is to remove both sockets, hard-wire the washing machine (IPX4) so no sockets, and replace the fuse box with a RCD one (apparently the one I have now is not RCD). Also, I would like to put a switch for the washing machine outside the bathroom, so that it is only switched on when nobody is taking a shower.

    Would this be fairly acceptable?
Page 1
    • Heedtheadvice
    • By Heedtheadvice 6th Mar 18, 11:16 AM
    • 836 Posts
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    Heedtheadvice
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 18, 11:16 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 18, 11:16 AM
    It might be possible but in practice it is unlikely that regs can be met depending on the particular circumstances. If not met then it cannot be considered safe.

    Full details at https://electrical.theiet.org/wiring-matters/53/section-701/index.cfm

    The particularly difficult areas to comply with could well be distance and the suitability of the machine for the damp atmosphere. That is: it is only acceptable if the manufacturer has designed the machine for such a location where there might be steam and condensing water vapour.
    I would start there as apart from the distance requirement all other aspects can probably be covered.

    For a small flat/bathroom I would suggest even the distance aspect though could be a non starter!
    Last edited by Heedtheadvice; 06-03-2018 at 11:18 AM. Reason: typo
    • arciere
    • By arciere 6th Mar 18, 11:34 AM
    • 19 Posts
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    arciere
    • #3
    • 6th Mar 18, 11:34 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Mar 18, 11:34 AM
    Thanks. I was looking at this document (page 5): http://www.amdea.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Appliances-in-bathrooms_July09.pdf

    Quote:
    There is no longer a restriction on the use of appliances in bathrooms though they
    need to be suitable for the purpose and meet the IPX4 or IPX5 requirements if sited
    in Zone 2
    It does say "consideration will need to taken of the humidity that the room might reach which may have a
    detrimental effect on the life of the appliance." which I am not too concerned about, it's a fairly cheap washing machine, so the idea of replacing it in a couple of years' time doesn't bother me too much.
    Last edited by arciere; 06-03-2018 at 11:37 AM.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 6th Mar 18, 12:06 PM
    • 2,867 Posts
    • 4,092 Thanks
    Silvertabby
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 18, 12:06 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 18, 12:06 PM
    Can't comment on electrical regs, but the Dutch keep washing machines in bathrooms as a matter of course. They think the Brit way of mixing dirty laundry and food is nothing short of filthy!
    • arciere
    • By arciere 6th Mar 18, 12:14 PM
    • 19 Posts
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    arciere
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 18, 12:14 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 18, 12:14 PM
    Well, I'm Italian, we also keep our washing machines in the bathroom, if it fits.
    The thing is, after many years here in the UK, I got used to the 'safety concerns', like electrical sockets, no light switches in the bathroom, etc.
    The old owners are Polish, and when the flat got refurbished (by themselves, they are constructors) around 10 years ago they probably decided to move the washing machine to the bathroom. I am quite happy with this, as it leaves space for the dishwasher that we want so badly, but at the same time the closeness to the bathtub got me thinking. Not that I am so stupid to use a hairdryer in the tub, but accidents can happen.
    • missile
    • By missile 6th Mar 18, 4:33 PM
    • 9,479 Posts
    • 4,715 Thanks
    missile
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 18, 4:33 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 18, 4:33 PM
    Washing machine in bathroom is common in Spain.
    With RCD the regs are IMHO a little too conservative.
    Put an isolation switch outside and keep the bathroom well ventilated.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • arciere
    • By arciere 6th Mar 18, 5:09 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    arciere
    • #7
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:09 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:09 PM
    We also have some wooden sheds outside, one of these used to host a dryer. Worst case, I can re-use the electrical connection for the washing machine, if it's not too difficult to get the water in there.
    This is probably what I will do in future as soon as my bank account regains consciousness, I like the idea of having a 'bidet' in the bathroom, horrific as it may sound to you.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 6th Mar 18, 5:43 PM
    • 14,154 Posts
    • 18,743 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    • #8
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:43 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:43 PM
    We also have some wooden sheds outside, one of these used to host a dryer. Worst case, I can re-use the electrical connection for the washing machine, if it's not too difficult to get the water in there.
    This is probably what I will do in future as soon as my bank account regains consciousness, I like the idea of having a 'bidet' in the bathroom, horrific as it may sound to you.
    Originally posted by arciere
    I considered that as a temporary measure while I redo our laundry room. The thing freezing solid in the winter has put me off.
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. - Mark Twain
    • Heedtheadvice
    • By Heedtheadvice 6th Mar 18, 5:45 PM
    • 836 Posts
    • 390 Thanks
    Heedtheadvice
    • #9
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:45 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:45 PM
    You are all correct that it is common practice to have a washing machine in a bathroom on the continent of Europe and I can very much see the sense from the point of view of hygiene!

    However the UK regs covering the IP rating requirements and machine design suitability are for electrical safety and need to be followed.

    There may be a consequential benefit to machine life if it is designed to resist moisture in it's environment (to the quoted IP rating) but the regs look to extending your life, not the machines life!

    Installation in a shed no doubt raises other concerns especially in weather like we have had recently......
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 6th Mar 18, 10:12 PM
    • 19,441 Posts
    • 45,104 Thanks
    peachyprice
    Can't comment on electrical regs, but the Dutch keep washing machines in bathrooms as a matter of course. They think the Brit way of mixing dirty laundry and food is nothing short of filthy!
    Originally posted by Silvertabby
    Pretty much the whole of Europe keep their washing machines in the bathroom!
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • troffasky
    • By troffasky 7th Mar 18, 9:50 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    troffasky
    I am looking to build a wet room downstairs and was hoping to include a plinth/cupboard to keep the washing machine in [a Bosch, IPX4]. I thought I was happy with the zones but it occurs to me that the zones refer to the thing that holds water. In this case, that's the whole floor. So is the whole room zone 1 [or worse, zone 0]?
    • Heedtheadvice
    • By Heedtheadvice 8th Mar 18, 11:03 AM
    • 836 Posts
    • 390 Thanks
    Heedtheadvice
    Now that is an excellent question, to which I don't not have a definitive answer!

    However considering zone zero is 'he interior of the bath or shower which can hold water. ' then the important aspect is the 'hold water' bit as that is where the risk is worst . The other zones do not 'hold water' or are not in touching distance.
    Now a wet room can hold water all over by design so logically it could be a zone 0 area. i.e. the whole floor can be the 'basin' or shower tray. However I have seen diagrams that would contradict that logic!

    Hopefully someone will post a definitive answer!
    • Plus
    • By Plus 19th May 18, 12:17 AM
    • 355 Posts
    • 279 Thanks
    Plus
    Bit late to this, but to answer the question... according to Section 701 of the IET regs:
    https://electrical.theiet.org/wiring-matters/issues/53/section-701-locations-containing-a-bath-or-shower/

    Zone 1 is limited by the vertical surface circumscribing the bath tub or shower basin.
    Zone 1 is extended for showers without a basin for a fixed water outlet to a distance of 1.20 m from the centre point of the water outlet.
    by IET 17th edition
    So if you have a wet room zone 1 is a cylinder diameter 1.2m around the fixed shower head. I don't know what happens if the shower is on a movable hose.

    I'm neither an electrician or a lawyer, but I suppose zone 0 would only exist if you could put a plug in the floor drain and fill up the room with water, like you fill up a bath. If you do that you'd probably have bigger problems than the wiring regs!

    In regards to washing machines, are there any models that are "permitted for such installation by the manufacturer."? I think that translates to IPX4 rated - I haven't been able to find any.
    • Ruski
    • By Ruski 19th May 18, 6:56 AM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 909 Thanks
    Ruski
    Bit late to this, but to answer the question... according to Section 701 of the IET regs:
    https://electrical.theiet.org/wiring-matters/issues/53/section-701-locations-containing-a-bath-or-shower/



    So if you have a wet room zone 1 is a cylinder diameter 1.2m around the fixed shower head. I don't know what happens if the shower is on a movable hose.
    Originally posted by Plus
    I'd read that as a RADIUS of 1200mm from the shower head just to be clear (and not pedantic or critical in any way )

    HTH

    Russ
    Perfection takes time: don't expect miracles in a day
    • Plus
    • By Plus 19th May 18, 9:06 PM
    • 355 Posts
    • 279 Thanks
    Plus
    Yes, you're right. There's a bit elsewhere which is 0.6m radius, I was getting them mixed up.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 20th May 18, 9:52 AM
    • 18,803 Posts
    • 12,983 Thanks
    molerat
    I used to have an ordinary socket outlet over the bathroom basin in Germany !
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 20th May 18, 11:46 AM
    • 3,847 Posts
    • 5,289 Thanks
    Nick_C
    UK electrical regulations are ridiculously over cautious.

    As long as you make the area compliant before you sell, I wouldn't worry about it.
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