Washing machine in a shower room, is this legal?

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Baron88, Jan 29, 2021.

  1. Baron88

    Baron88 New Member

    Hello all, I’m currently renovating a house and I would like to add a little shower come laundry room.

    My question is what are the rules and regulations that I need to consider, and is what I’m planning even legal?

    Below/attached is a basic plan of what I’m thinking in terms of space, position and location for this room.

    As a side note I was planning of having the washing machine in a cupboard within the room, and nor was I planning on doing the wiring myself.

  2. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    Plenty bathrooms/shower rooms with washing machines in cupboards around without issue.
    You should be aware of the zones within the bathroom


    Any equipment installed must be suitable for the zone where it is being used.
  3. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    Put a switched fused connection point outside of the door to supply a flex outlet behind the machine, then cut the plug off the washing machine flex and hard wire it.

    Because you cannot have a socket outlet in that shower room, other than a shaver socket with an isolation transformer in it.

    Make sure you remove the fuse from the discarded plug and bend the pins over with a hammer, so it cannot be put into a socket, then dispose of it.
  4. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    As Comlec says you should check the IP rating of the machine is okay and manufacturers instructions.
  5. Nomenklatura

    Nomenklatura Active Member

    Move the door opening (to the left if you were standing looking at it), handbasin under the window, larger rectangular shower enclosure running the full depth of the room?


    1200 x 700
  6. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    Wiring regulations are not law, and you need to define what a room is, so one can argue as to if permitted until cows come home, but if some one is inspecting and passing the room then it is up to them.

    I wanted to turn a pantry and toilet into a wet room, it would need plumbing changing, and RSJ fitting so decided better to get some one in to do the work, and left them to it until they ran off, then I decided to complete it my self, so contacted LABC to tell them I was taking over the job, seems builders had never told them in first place, and changing from pantry and toilet to wet room required planning permission, I thought it was just Part P bit I needed to tell them about, and also found even when the building regulations say if opening window you don't need a fan, the LABC inspector can demand you fit one, he said because some one could walk past the window and look in.

    So it seems the washing machine comes under the new rented property laws on having an EICR done, I would have said it is not part of installation, but seems new law includes anything not readily moveable which would normally be left where it is until replacement is required, so it includes many items normally considered as in-service electrical equipment which is tested independently to the installation.

    If owner occupied likely no one will care less, in my case I had carers visiting the house, so it was a work place for them, so all needed to comply with health and safety at work act. But in the main no one will know or care anyway, so all your worried about is your own safety so as long as RCD protected then unlikely to be a problem.

    But if rented then you have to consider will it result in a battle every time the EICR is done? The LAP range do brushes that fit into a socket back box so you can have a hole in the wall to pass cables through and still look neat. I used them for TV cables. In my caravan the back has a shower, toilet, hand basin, wardrobe and consumer unit in it. This is original design, clearly a consumer unit is far worse than a socket, but caravan is not a building so there is no one who inspects them and draws air through their teeth while shaking they head saying job worth etc.

    The regs list what you can have within the zones (i) Whirlpool units (ii) Electric showers (iii) Shower pumps (iv) Equipment protected by SELV or PELV at a nominal voltage not exceeding 25 V a.c. rms or 60 V ripple-free d.c., the safety source being installed outside zones 0, 1 and 2 (v) Ventilation equipment (vi) Towel rails (vii) Water heating appliances (viii) Luminaires. Washer driers are not on that list.

    If my house did not have a wall between shower room and utility room I would fit a washing machine in the shower room, but I am not being cared for by anyone and house is mine, so I can do what I want even if it does break the rules, there is no one to catch me.
  7. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    A socket outlet may be installed BUT it must be outside the zones ( 3 M from bath or shower) or in an area that requires a tool or unique key to gain access such as under the bath. above a suspended ceiling more than 2.25 mts high or in a locked 'cupboard' to which the person using the bath or shower room has no access.
  8. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    Under the bath is "out of zones" but you cannot put a socket under the bath, because it's too close to the zones.
  9. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    I did once genuinely find a socket inside a shower enclosure that had been fitted in a bedroom and the tilers cut the tiles around it.
    The people living in the house used the shower like that for several years.
  10. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

  11. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    3.0 metres between the bath or shower tray and a socket is the current requirement, older editions of the regulations required 2.5 metres.
  12. Nomenklatura

    Nomenklatura Active Member

    Which reg(s) define that?
  13. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    If the underneath of the bath is enclosed and inacessible to the user of the bath or shower, then it is considered as outside the zones.
  14. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    Yes, so to give the example from the IET Onsite Guide, you can have a whirlpool unit under the bath, BUT IT CANNOT be supplied from a socket, so it needs a hardwired connection.
  15. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    I do not have a current edition of either OSG or BS7671, but I do note that the bathtub in the current edition is an open tub with no enclosure around it. When the concept of zones was introduced in the 16th edition bathroom regs, the bath was enclosed and the area below the bath was considered outside the zones. It may be that this area is no longer considered as 'outside the zones' or it just may be that the diagram reflects current trends towards open bathtubs with legs as shown in the diagrams, which, of course would be considered as Zone 1. The whole issue boils down to the question of if the user can obtain access to parts or equipment that would otherwise be forbidden in zone 1. The IET Onsite Guide, is just what it says on the cover, it is a guide, dealing with the most common issues for domestic installers, it is not a complete solution to all issues, for that we must use and interpret BS 7671 and the supplements.
  16. Nomenklatura

    Nomenklatura Active Member

    It is outside the zones, if a tool is needed.

    But it isn't 3m from the boundary of Zone 1, so no sockets allowed.

    So no regulation defines that.....
  17. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    If you build a cupboard in the bathroom to enclose the machine with a door on it, then it’s no different to having the machine in an adjoining room, but it is best practice that the zones should still be considered
  18. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    A handy reference to this in a publication would be helpful.
  19. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    Page 93 of the IET Onsite Guide.

    Technically you can have electrical circuits and equipment without 30 mA RCD protection in an airing cupboard with a door opening into zones 1 or 2, which you are “strongly recommended” not to do.
  20. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    Thank you for the reference. However it does no prohibit the fitting of electrical equipment only that consideration should be given to RCD protection.

    Recently, I have give a C2 observations for sockets in cupboards in a bathroom supplying a washing machine. The tenants were leaving the cupboard door open to power a heater next to the bath. Solution - changed the supply to the w/m to an FCU reducing the risk. Easy to justify using common sense but a bit more difficult using the regs. If the heater had not been there and the door closed - no code.

    One of those situations where you need to use your judgement and err on the side of caution.

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