All Posts, News

Understanding the Electrical ‘Zones’ when installing heated towel racks

When it comes to electrical installations in bathrooms or other areas with water sources, safety is of the utmost importance. To minimize the risk of electric shock or other hazards, different "zones" have been established to guide the placement of electrical equipment in relation to water sources. These zones are typically defined by international or national electrical codes or standards, such as the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) or the NEC (National Electrical Code) in the United States.


This zone refers to the area inside the bathtub or shower basin. Electrical installations are not allowed in this zone, as it is directly in contact with water.


This zone extends vertically from the top of the bathtub or shower basin up to 2.25 meters (7.4 feet) or the height of the showerhead, whichever is higher. It also includes the area directly above the bathtub or shower basin. Electrical equipment in this zone must be specifically designed for use in wet environments and must have a minimum Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IPX4 or higher, meaning they are protected against water splashes from any direction. Low-voltage (12V) or lower electrical devices with a safety isolating transformer are typically used in this zone.


This zone extends 0.6 meters (2 feet) horizontally from the outer edge of Zone 1 and up to the same height as Zone 1. Electrical equipment installed in this zone must also have a minimum IP rating of IPX4 or higher. GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) or RCD (Residual Current Device) protection is typically required for outlets and electrical devices in this zone.

Outside Zones (Zone 3 and beyond):

These areas are located outside of Zones 0, 1, and 2, where the likelihood of direct contact with water is minimal. Standard electrical equipment can be used in these zones, but GFCI/RCD protection is still recommended for safety.

Keep in mind that these zones and regulations may vary depending on your local electrical codes and standards. Always consult a licensed electrician and follow the guidelines outlined by your local authority before installing or modifying electrical systems in bathrooms or other areas with water sources.

What is an IPX Rating?

IPX is a part of the Ingress Protection (IP) rating system, which is an international standard (IEC 60529) used to define the levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies (tools, dirt, etc.) and moisture. The IP rating system is recognized and used worldwide, including in the United States.

An IP rating typically consists of two digits. The first digit indicates the level of protection against solid particles, while the second digit (indicated by 'X') represents the protection level against water ingress.

For example, an IPX4 rating means the device has a specific level of protection against water splashes from any direction but does not have a specified protection level against solid particles. If a device has a full IP rating, such as IP44, it means it has protection against solid objects larger than 1mm (first digit - 4) and protection against water splashes from any direction (second digit - 4).

While the IP rating system is recognized and used in the United States, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has its own standard, called the NEMA enclosure rating system. NEMA ratings define the protection levels of electrical enclosures against various environmental conditions, such as dust, water, corrosion, and physical impacts. Although there isn't a direct one-to-one correlation between IP and NEMA ratings, they can be roughly compared to understand the protection levels they offer.

In wet areas like bathrooms, it's crucial to use specialized electrical equipment that is designed to withstand water exposure without compromising safety. One excellent solution for enhancing comfort and luxury in your bathroom is the Jeeves Wet-rated Kit for our Jeeves Collection heated towel racks.

The Jeeves Wet-rated Kit is a UL certified upgrade kit that allows for the installation of any Jeeves heated towel rack in a ‘wet area.’ These include but are not limited to above a bathtub, in a shower alcove or walk-in shower stall, or in a wet room. Following proper installation, the wet-rated kit ensures any Jeeves heated towel rack is safe to use in these areas.

By investing in the Jeeves Wet-rated Kit, you can enjoy the unparalleled experience of stepping out of the shower or bath and wrapping yourself in a warm, cozy towel, even in areas with water exposure. The kit is designed to meet safety standards and provide peace of mind, so you can relax and enjoy the benefits of your heated towel rack without any concerns.

Make sure your heated towel rack installation complies with electrical safety guidelines and indulge in the ultimate comfort and luxury that a properly installed heated towel rack can provide.

Remember, when installing electrical equipment in wet areas like bathrooms, always consult a licensed electrician and follow the guidelines outlined by your local authority. By adhering to safety regulations and using the Jeeves Wet-rated Kit, you can ensure a secure and enjoyable experience with your heated towel rack.