Bathroom Zones Explained
Before we carry out any lighting or electrical work in a bathroom, it is important to understand the type and significance of Bathroom Zones.
We all know that electricity and water make for a terrible and potentially lethal combination so it is essential to keep the two well separated.
Bathrooms are therefore divided into different zones according to the amount of water/moisture you are likely to encounter in a particular area. An electrical or lighting product will require a different type of Ingress Protection Rating (see IP Ratings) depending on which zone it is to be fitted. The lower the zone number, the higher the IP Rating that is required.
An image of the zones is included with these descriptions. Whilst the illustration is a guide, the dimensions are specific and should be adhered to. Work in this area should always be carried out by a qualified electrician who will be conversant with the IEE wiring regulations.
Zone 0 is INSIDE the bath or shower tray. Light fittings used in this zone should be rated at IP*7 so that they are immersion proof. Further, the light fittings must be low voltage to a maximum of 12V.
Zone 1 is the area directly above the bath or shower tray up to a height of 2250mm from the floor. Light fittings in these areas should be a minimum of IP*4 and if powered on 240V mains supply, a 30mA residual current device (RCD) should also be employed to protect the circuit in this area.
Zone 2 is the area stretching from 600mm outside the perimeter of the bath or shower tray again up to a height of 2250mm from the floor. Once again in this zone, an IP*4 rating should apply and it is a good practice to regard the area around your wash basin as this zone as well.
Zone 3 is anywhere outside Zones 0, 1 and 2 and also, where water jets are unlikely to be used. No particular IP rating is required in general but should there is any risk of water jets coming into contact with any fittings – for example where a wet room may be hosed down for cleaning - then an IP*5 rating should be used.