USB sockets in bathrooms?

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by robertpstubbs, Dec 27, 2021.

  1. robertpstubbs

    robertpstubbs Screwfix Select

    The separate thread about electric toothbrushes reminded me of my experience. I went to the trouble of installing a shaver socket next to where the toothbrushes were kept. Then of course the toothbrushes failed and the replacements came with USB cables.

    Are there any rules about installing USB sockets in bathrooms? Do you get USB sockets without also having 240v sockets? Or would you do it with USB modules? Could you use the lighting circuit?

    Considering how long some people spend in the bathroom and how many drop their phones down the john, perhaps a shelf with a USB socket built in would be a good idea?
  2. Peterdevon

    Peterdevon Screwfix Select

    A USB socket does not contain an isolating transformer so not allowed unless 3m from zone 1
    robertpstubbs likes this.
  3. robertpstubbs

    robertpstubbs Screwfix Select

    Is there any easy way of getting the 240v down to 5v outside the bathroom and then wiring in USB sockets?
  4. Bazza

    Bazza Screwfix Select

    If the USB socket is inside the bathroom it would still need to be powered from a mains isolating transformer, or the socket would need to be SELV.
    I wouldn’t risk it. You’ll know why if you’ve ever looked at the questionable circuitry inside most USB chargers!!

    Edit on my SELV suggestion. I remember this was discussed on the IET forum a few years ago. One contributor posted this….

    Even if it IS proper SELV (e.g. if BS EN 60950-1 or BS EN 62368-1 have been applied with the relevant tests, as required by BS 1363-2:2016), the product is highly likely only to be rated for a narrow band of humidity (say 10 % to 90 % non-condensing). This will NOT be acceptable in a location that has condensing humidity - and MAY NOT PROVIDE PROPER SELV ISOLATION UNDER BATHROOM CONDITIONS !
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2021
    robertpstubbs likes this.
  5. robertpstubbs

    robertpstubbs Screwfix Select

    How about a 240v/12v SELV fan transformer with 12v/5v marine/leisure/motor USB sockets?
  6. Bazza

    Bazza Screwfix Select

    Save the hassle. Just get a rechargeable battery USB powerbank
    Movieman334 likes this.
  7. Teki

    Teki Screwfix Select

    That would work, you would need to place the SELV transformer in the ceiling or outside the zone. Alternatively, use a European 2-pin plug USB charger that you can plug into your shaver socket which operates down to 100V:
    robertpstubbs likes this.
  8. robertpstubbs

    robertpstubbs Screwfix Select

    That’s an option, but it and Bazza’s powerbank are more things to get lost or end up in the water.

    I was trying to work out how to do neat USB outlets flush with the wall.
  9. Ind spark

    Ind spark Screwfix Select

    Not what your asking but why not charge it on your bed side table.
  10. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

  11. Bazza

    Bazza Screwfix Select

    Only any good if you have an Oral-B toothbrush.
  12. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    compatible with Oral-B and Braun electric toothbrushes. (except Oral io series)
  13. Bazza

    Bazza Screwfix Select

    And not anything else. Like my Philips Sonicare toothbrush.
  14. Jimbo

    Jimbo Screwfix Select

    Probably cheaper and easier to use the TLC product and buy a suitable toothbrush in most cases, than devising something bespoke.
  15. robertpstubbs

    robertpstubbs Screwfix Select

    But USB is more universal.

    I’m not an expert on it but I believe some other body maintenance devices also use USB charging.

    And phones, tablets and music devices also get used in the bathroom.
  16. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    All of which are battery operated with rechargeable batteries, so charge their batteries out of the bathroom.

    It is possible to buy plug in shaver socket USB adapters, so the adapter would be protected by the isolation transformer in the shaver socket, but it is an attempt to solve a non-existent problem by providing USB sockets in every possible location for equipment that has rechargeable batteries.
  17. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Just a thought.

    What if we had an isolating transformer feeding a USB power supply in an enclosure outside the bathroom and just a USB socket on a faceplate in the bathroom - or the USB only socket in the bathroom was fed from an isolating transformer outside the bathroom.

    Probably numerous reasons why not - fire away!

    There may be some scope here for a manufacturer to cook up something that complies
  18. robertpstubbs

    robertpstubbs Screwfix Select

    I was thinking of one transformer feeding multiple USB sockets in all bathrooms and possibly outside.
  19. Ind spark

    Ind spark Screwfix Select

    Why not charge it in the bedroom?
  20. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    That doesn’t provide protection by isolation.

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