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Bathroom Zoning

This guide to bathroom zoning in accordance with IET Wiring Regulations 18th Edition has been put together to provide guidance when installing an appliance such as an extractor fan in a location containing a bath or shower. All electrical works must be carried out by a fully qualified and registered professional electrician.

Bathrooms are defined as areas of increased electrical hazard. According to the IET 18th Edition Wiring Regulations (Section 701), it is necessary to install ventilation products that meet a minimum of IPX4 in Zones 1 and 2 of a bathroom. This means that when installed correctly the product should prevent ingress of water and remain safe for use without the potential to cause harm to the end user i.e electrical shocks or electrocution.

There are two main important considerations to take into account when installing an appliance in a location containing a bath or shower:

Classification Of Zones

Zone 0: The interior of the bath or shower tray.
Zone 1: The exterior of the bath or shower tray to a height of 2.25 metres above the finished floor level.
Zone 2: Extends to 0.60 metres beyond Zone 1 to a height of 2.25 metres above the finished floor level.

Bathroom Zoning

International Protection (Ingress Protection)

IP stands for International Protection, it is often referred to as Ingress Protection.

The IP rating normally has two digits:

  1. Protection from solid objects or materials
  2. Protection from liquids (water)

All bathroom extractor fans are given an IP rating, which relate to which zones they are suitable for. The first digit of an IP rating describes its protection against solid materials such as dust and debris, and the second digit relates to the extractor fans protection from water and moisture. The higher the number, the more protection it has. If the first digit is shows an X this means that the product has not been tested against solid materials, this is usually because the unit will not come into contact with many solid objects.

Bathroom Zone 0 - IPX7

The interior of the bath or shower tray itself. Any appliance installed in this zone must have a minimum rating of IPX7, which is total immersion proof. It is not recommended to install any ventilation product directly into this zone.

Bathroom Zone 1 - IPX4

The area above the bath or shower tray area to a height of 2.25m from the finished floor level. In this zone a minimum rating requirement is IPX4.

Recommended extractor fans which are rated to a minimum of IPX4 include:

Bathroom Zone 2 - IPX4

The area stretching 0.6m outside the perimeter of the bath to a height of 2.25m. As with Zone 1, the minimum rating for this zone is IPX4.

Recommended extractor fans which are rated to a minimum of IPX4 include:

Bathroom Zone 1 & 2 - IPX4

Applicable to both Zone 1 or 2, a SELV fans with a rating of IPX4 or above (IPX5) may also be installed in these areas. For utmost safety, the transformer or power supply pack should be installed outside the bathroom area.

Recommended extractor fans which are rated to a minimum of IPX4 include:

By knowing the right IP rating and the regulations around bathroom zoning when installing an extractor fan you can prevent issues going forwards. Always look for the product’s IP rating when making a purchase. By knowing the extractor fans IP rating and the relevant bathroom zones you can ensure that the ventilation product is protected against water when it is installed. All mains circuits within a bathroom must be installed and protected in line with the current wiring regulations.

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