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IP Ratings and Bathroom Zones explained

February 22, 2017 Katie

A bathroom can be a confusing place in your home to heat, with many radiators being unsuitable for installation - an electric towel rail seems the obvious choice. An electric towel rail offers somewhere to warm your towels and hang them whilst providing the same warmth as an ordinary heater would. Heated towel rails have an IP Rating suitable for zone 2, whereas most electric heaters do not carry this rating.

Fitting an electric radiator in your bathroom must comply with IP (Ingress Protection|) ratings within bathroom zones.

At Heater Shop we have a wide selection of energy efficient electric towel rails for all styles and and configurations with an IPX4 rating or above ensuring total confidence and protection.

Zone 0 - Inside the bath or shower. IP rating must protect against immersion/total immersion in water (IPX7/IP67).

Zone 1 - Above the bath or shower to a height of 2.25m. IP rating must protect against water spray from all directions (IPX4/IP44).

Zone 2 - This is the area stretching to 0.6m outside of the bath or shower. IP rating must protect against water spray from all directions (IPX4/IP44).

Outside Zones - (Previously Zone 3, which was removed under the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations BS7671) No IP Rating required.

(See diagram for bathroom zonal areas)

The numbers that follow an IP rating each have a specific meaning:

IP rating - Ingress Protection rating is the international standard used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies including dirt and moisture.

The first number indicates the degree of protection for dirt, dust and intrusion protection, with the second number defines the level of protection against moisture.

IP Rating for first digitIP Rating for second digit
X - Protection rating has no significance to the productX - Protection rating has no significance to the product
1 - Protection from a large part of the body such as hand (but no protection from deliberate access) from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter1 -Protection against condensation
2 - Protection against fingers or other object not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter2 -Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
3 - Protection from entry tools, wires etc. with a diameter of 2.5mm or more3 - Protection against spray up to 60° from vertical
4 - Protection against solid bodies larger than 1mm (e.g. fine tools)4 - Protection against water spray from all directions
5 - Protected against dust that may harm equipment5 - Protection against low pressure water jets from all directions
6 - Totally dust tight6 - Protection against string water jets and waves
7 - Protection against temporary immersion
8 - Protection against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure

The larger the value of each digit, the greater the protection. As an example, a product rated IP65 would be better protected against environmental factors than another similar product rated as IP42. E.g IPX4 the dust and intrusion protection is not relevant although the moisture rating is rated at 4 which is applicable to the product.