Bathroom: what distance should be kept between the socket and the sink?

Are you in the middle of work and are you wondering about the electrical standards to follow with regard to your bathroom? To ensure the safety of all bathroom users, it is important to follow a few specific recommendations when working around the house. What distance should be kept between a socket and a sink in a bathroom? We tell you more about electrical standards to help you live safely.

Electrical outlet and bathroom: the standard to know

When doing work in a bathroom, it is necessary to be well informed to know the standard that defines the safety distance to be respected. In the event of non-compliance with this standard, the presence of an electrical outlet near a water point (sink, shower, bathtub, etc.) becomes dangerous.

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Electrical outlets, switches, lighting, location of electrical appliances… Everything is provided for in a bathroom and nothing should be left to chance. The standard that defines what must be complied with in terms of low voltage electrical installation is the  NF C 15-100 standard. 

In France, this standard brings together several essential safety rules, in connection with electrical installations and users of the water feature. Water and electricity naturally do not go well together, which explains the existence of strict standards intended to guarantee everyone’s safety when renovating or building a room. The risk limit is a key point that defines the NF C 15-100 standard.

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Volume and bathroom: what does the NF C 15-100 standard consist of?

A bathroom is traditionally divided into 3 compulsory safety zones , defined according to the shower space or the bathtub space of your bathroom. Thus, a body of water is divided into several volumes by the NF C 15-100 standard. These 3 areas may or may not include electrical equipment.

Within each volume , a distance must be strictly respected between the electrical outlet and the water point or the sanitary installation (sink, shower or bathtub, even bidet).

The  distance to be respected between an outlet and a sanitary installation depends on the volume in which the sanitary installation is located. In the case of the washbasin, we refer you to volume 2 , which generally includes this sanitary installation (see below).

Bathroom, electricity and NF C 15-100 standard: what does each volume correspond to?

Each volume predefined by the NF C 15-100 standard cannot accommodate electrical equipment. Volume 0 corresponds to the space occupied by the shower or the bathtub. The proximity to the water is in fact immediate: no electrical installation is permitted.

With regard to volume 1 , this corresponds to the space which borders the receiver, and which rises to a height of 2.25 m above. In this volume, only one type of electrical installation is permitted due to the possibility of splashing water . Thus, a switch is tolerated, as well as very low voltage lighting (12V security). The degree of protection of this electrical installation corresponds to IPX5.

It is also possible to install in volume 2 an instantaneous or storage water heater (class I, earthed).

Volume 2 corresponds to the 60 centimeters that surround and border volume 1 (the receiver) . Tolerance is greater for electrical installations: 20 to 50 Va shaver socket, class II or very low voltage 12V lighting, class II towel dryer without mandatory earth connection, instantaneous or storage class I water heater, very low voltage switch 12V security.

Distance between electrical outlet and washbasin: safety and volumes

The mandatory safety distance to be observed between a washbasin and the installation of an electrical outlet is therefore  60 centimetres . These 60 centimeters correspond to the perimeter of volume 1, which includes the shower tray or the bathtub.

Note: take care to take into account the IPX protection index of the electrical elements that you wish to install in this volume.

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