A washing machine, an electric heated towel rail and a water heater are often installed in the bathroom. Often, many apartment owners also install an electric floor heating system in the room, purchase hot tubs and shower panels, and sometimes even special audio and video systems.
Low-power appliances (for example, lighting), in principle, can be connected through a step-down transformer, but in practice, household appliances are always powered from a 220 V network. Such equipment is a potential hazard, especially during water procedures, when the humidity rises sharply in the room, condensation will form and sockets and switches may be splashed with water.
To protect yourself from negative consequences, including electric shock and a short circuit that can lead to a fire, a separate, always grounded electrical line should be laid in the bathroom.
Automatic machines and RCDs
The chain must be protected. Firstly, a circuit breaker (AB, or automatic), and secondly, a residual current device (RCD). The RCD is controlled by differential (residual) current, that is, it works in case of leakage and thus helps to protect the apartment and its inhabitants.
The rated current of the circuit breaker and the operating current of the RCD are selected based on the power of the devices. For example, a circuit that feeds a washing machine with a power of up to 1.5–2 kW is equipped with a 10 A automatic device and an RCD with a rated current of at least 10 mA. However, under no circumstances should the tripping current of the RCD exceed 30 mA.
Instead of two devices, you can install one combined — RCD with built-in overcurrent protection (differential machine).
How to choose the right RCD and differential machine
When choosing an RCD or differential machine, pay attention to its type. To protect the outlet to which it is planned to connect a washing machine or other installation with an inverter motor, as well as any equipment with an electronic power supply, it is necessary to use type A RCD according to GOST R 60755–2012. Only such devices respond to the pulsating DC leakage current that can occur in circuits with working modern household appliances, a laptop and a TV.
When choosing, pay attention to trusted brands such as Schneider Electric. The range of the brand includes high-quality RCDs and type A differential automata — in the Acti 9 and Easy 9 series of modular devices.
Protected sockets and switches
Another important aspect of electrical safety in the bathroom is the use of sockets and switches that have the required degree of protection against water (IP).
The minimum requirement for electrical installation products is IP44 (water splashes are allowed), recommended is IP 55 (water jets are allowed).
One hundred percent safety will be ensured by devices with a high degree of moisture protection. For example, sockets and switches Mureva Styl (Schneider Electric), which are equipped with spring-loaded shutters, seals and a special arrangement of fasteners. The series includes both built-in and overhead devices.
Where to install sockets
According to GOST R 50571.7.701‑2013, sockets with a voltage of 220 V can be installed no closer than 60 cm horizontally from the font (shower tray) and the area located directly above the plumbing equipment.
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