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Thread: Socket outlet in bathroom

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    Socket outlet in bathroom

    I am in the process of adding an ensuite bathroom to my bedroom. I wanted to add a socket in the bathroom but seem to be getting conflicting information from people and documentation, unless I am interpreting the SANS documentation incorrectly.
    From SANS 10142-1-2009 section 7.1.4.3.3 it seems one can install a socket in zone 3 provided it is on earth leakage. Table 7.1 seems to confirm this. However several electricians (not sure if they were qualified) seemed to say that only a shaver plug is permissible in a bathroom.

    Can you guys shed some light?

    Another question? What is done to ensure existing qualified electricians are kept upto date with newer SANS regulation? Or is it just up to the electrician to be familiar with it?

    Thanks.

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    you are correct 7.1.4.3.3 a or b c...yes according to c you can fit a standard socket outlet in zone 3...also look at table 7.1 socket outlets zone 3 normal provisions of the code apply

    zone 1 ...no sockets
    zone 2 ...only sockets as mentioned in c2
    zone 3 ...as par normal standards

    as for your part 2 of you question....unfortunatly as mentioned in the sparks magazine the DOL chief inspector (THobile Lamati) is unable to carry out his duties for what ever reason and has had to palm the responsibilty onto private companies...The AIA (not saying its a bad thing...bcause any policing would be welcome at this point) is now responsible for the policing of the electrical industry...unfortunatly nothing is being done about monitoring qualified electricians or skilled persons at this point of time...there is no system in place to make sure that qualified persons keep up to date...how does the saying go tata ma chance for now.

    i would also like to hear how the AIA are controlled and what requirements are in place to make sure they keep up to date with the regulations...and it doesnt help only having a small group of AIAs with who dont have enough staff to manage the industry nation wide...they mention "however, the DOL does check on them and we also provide guidlines to the AIAs when necessary," says Malatse....with the way the DOL are handling the electrical industry i have to wonder who is offering the guidlines...who is checking up on them.

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    Thanks Murdock.. Another thing that I can not establish is zones around a basin. I basically want to put the socket underneath the basin so that it will be behind the cupboard supporting the basin. That way I can plug in a hairdryer/toothbrush and have it in a drawer out of sight.
    The SANS guidelines do not seem to mention zones around a basin, only the shower basin, which I assume is a shower tray and a bath. According to some other diagrams I have found on the net that area is in zone 3 but I am not sure if they apply to ZA.
    The edges of my bathtub and shower are over a meter away from were the socket will be.

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    Bathroom zones are defined around baths and showers only.

    If the socket is over a meter from the outer edge of the bath that is fine. What type of shower is it because showers are slightly more involved than baths. Earth leakage protection is obviously a must.

    Does the shower have glass doors and any walls or no doors?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlpotgieter View Post
    Thanks Murdock.. Another thing that I can not establish is zones around a basin. I basically want to put the socket underneath the basin so that it will be behind the cupboard supporting the basin. That way I can plug in a hairdryer/toothbrush and have it in a drawer out of sight.
    The SANS guidelines do not seem to mention zones around a basin, only the shower basin, which I assume is a shower tray and a bath. According to some other diagrams I have found on the net that area is in zone 3 but I am not sure if they apply to ZA.
    The edges of my bathtub and shower are over a meter away from were the socket will be.
    the registered electricain who installs the plug will have all the details and an understanding of how it works...i hope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Does the shower have glass doors and any walls or no doors?
    Shower is in the corner with a fixed panel on one side and a small fixed panel and door on the other side.

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    The space below the basin inside a cabinet is as with the same space below the bath not classified as within the bathroom.A socket outlet there with earth leakage protection is just as acceptable as in zone 3.

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    this is purely my opinion...has nothing to do with the regulations...even as an MIE with an understanding of the dangers and regual tions...wouldnt install a socket outlet in a bathroom or a room with a shower...for any reason other than if i were planning a hit on my wife...to claim from insurance.

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    Junior Member sparkydelux's Avatar
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    Installing socket outlets in bathrooms is just asking for trouble. The less amount of power there is around water, the less people will be oblivious to the danger they are putting themselves in. Even if the socket was in zone 3 or beyond, I'd ALWAYS put on ELCB circuit. it doesnt just end at the socket, there could be dodgy wiring or exposed wiring that could lead to a fatal shock. I was always told: when in Doubt, Put it on an RCD. Cant go wrong with a safe bet like that.

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    Junior Member sparkydelux's Avatar
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    Would it be advisable to NOT have a socket outlet in a cabinet? Purely for the fact that when the appliance is in use it would be in the required zones. Therefore making it applicable! Its like saying its fine to have a plug in the cabinet,ok, then lets extend it with an extension lead. Now the power is extended from the outlet into the zones. Now lets replace the extension lead with a 1m cable and a 2kw hairdryer on the end of it. Still the same thing, still the same risk. So why would it be Ok for the socket to be deemed Ok in the cabinet?
    Further more, The cabinet would be most exposed to water damage from plumbing related issues, leading to the poor old plumber / resident getting electrocuted in the process of trying to sort out their leak.
    And the thought of Water pipes and cables in the same area worries me. Maybe the pipes arent bonded!!Then what?
    If it was me, I wouldn't fit it and I wouldn't recommend it was Ok to the client.
    You never know what that will be used for. Would you risk life and reputation because the regs were so vague? Its common sense....... thats how we were trained to think.
    Doesnt matter if the regs dont mention it, its up to us to decide on the best solution.

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