Considering Electrical Zones –
With the increase of electrical items introduced into modern bathrooms, like LED mirrors or speakers, it’s essential to understand where these items should be placed in relation to your bath, shower or vanity unit. The zones surrounding these areas are called electrical zones and are vital when it comes to your bathroom plan. Objects like lighting, ventilation, radiators, illuminated mirrors, cabinets and speakers all need to be planned in relation to these zones. The three electrical zones are zone 0, 1 and 2.
Zone 0 is known to be any area within a bathroom that has the capacity to hold a body of water. So these are areas like your basin, bath, shower tray etc. If you’re planning to use an appliance or fitting in zone 0, it should be a maximum of 12 volts (SELV) and completely protected against total submission in water, and have a minimum rating of IPX7.
Zone 1 is often nicknamed ‘the splash zone’ and is known to be any area that may get wet but not necessarily submerged in water. Zone 1 is the area directly above zone 0 to the height of 2.25m from the bottom of the bath or shower. Any fitting or appliance within zone 1 should be IPX4 or ‘splash proof’. It should also be a maximum of 12 volts (SELV) as with zone 0, and the converter should be placed outside of zone 0, 1 and 2.
This zone is any area stretching to 600mm outside of the bath or shower. This area is least likely to get wet but still has the potential to get splashed here and there. Any fitting or appliance within this zone must be IPX4 or better, and as with zones 0 and 1, should be a maximum of 12 volts. Converters should be placed beyond zone 2; their reach should not be accessible in zone 0, 1 or 2. For example, if you’re installing a hairdryer, the cord should not reach into any of the zones.
What’s an IP Rating?
IP (Ingress Protection) numbers are a rating given to show the level of mechanical and moisture protection. The rating reads IPXY, with X being the level of mechanical protection and Y being the level of moisture protection. If an appliance or fitting does not have an IP number, it should not be used in zones 0, 1 or 2.