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Why Are Bathroom Radiators Earthed?

Bathroom radiators are an integral part of any bathroom. They provide the necessary warmth and comfort during the cold and frosty winter months and can therefore be an essential part of a great bathroom design.

However, the most important thing about the radiator is that it must be earthed, and this is what most users don’t know. 

Why bathroom radiator earthing is important is to prevent electrocution, fire hazards and damage to the radiator and other appliances.

Usually, you can see a thin wire going from the radiator to the ground.

Reasons for earthing bathroom radiators 

As many of us have discovered, the most frustrating part of renovating a bathroom is trying to decide what fixtures and accessories you want to include. 

From countertops to flooring, faucets to showerheads, the number of options to choose from can be overwhelming. 

One of the easiest ways to add warmth to your bathroom is to add a radiator.

And what a better way than to have an earthed radiator.

So, why are bathroom radiators earthed?

1. To prevent electrocution 

Electricity is used for a wide array of purposes in your home. 

Intentionally or otherwise, people get exposed to it every day. 

In the bathroom, you may interact with electricity through the hot and cold water pipes, the heating system, light switches and other things. 

When you come into contact with electricity, you can be electrocuted. 

However, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of electrocution. 

One of which is to earth the bathroom radiators to prevent electrocution.

2. To prevent fire hazards 

You may not know it, but your bathroom is at an increased risk for electrical fire hazards and may be a potential hazard to your entire family. 

This is because there are several sources of electricity in the bathroom, including the hair dryer, lighting, and of course, the heater. 

When you are soaking in the tub or taking a shower, you are surrounded by sources of electricity that can come into contact with any conducting material.

Once excess electricity flows from the metal parts of the radiator to the ground through this material, an arc will be created that can spark fire.

By connecting your radiator with a grounding wire, you can easily direct any power leakage to the ground, thereby preventing fire hazards before they start.

3. For protecting radiator and other appliances 

As with any electrical appliance, radiators are vulnerable to power spikes and surges.

If the electricity supply to a radiator is unstable, the radiator will draw too much electricity that will not only destroy it, but will short any appliance plugged on the wall. 

When the bathroom radiator is earthed, it electrically connects the metal frame of the radiator to the earth’s ground.

This in turn provides a pathway for excess current to flow into the ground.

A simple earthing wire can be the solution to protect the radiator and the whole electricity system of your home.

Is a radiator an extraneous conductive part?

This is a question that gets asked quite a lot, and while it sounds pretty simple, it’s not. 

At the very least, a radiator is an extraneous conductive part, meaning it can form an earth potential. 

However, in other cases, a radiator is not an extraneous conductive part.

Such is the case with old bathrooms. 

The radiator does not create an earthing potential with plastic heating pipes for example.

Do you need to earth central heating pipes?

After a few cold winters, you may be thinking about installing central heating in your home. 

While this can be an expensive undertaking, it can also result in big energy savings. 

Centralized systems use less energy than individual space heaters and provide a more consistent heat. 

As you rush out to buy your central heating system, you should consider earthing your pipes.

An RCD should be all you need to install without supplementary bonding.

Types of central heating pipes 

The type of boiler you use will largely determine the type of central heating pipes you use. 

However, your central heating pipe choice will also depend on the size of your boiler, the type of fuel you have, and whether you have a hot water system. 

Here are some of the most commonly used central heating pipes.

1. Microbore system 

One of the first decisions in deciding a heating around your building is the type of pipework to install. 

This will depend on the size of house, and how much heating and cooling it is going to need. 

These days, the most common is microbore, because it is cheap and easy to install. 

Microbore is an 8mm piping that makes the most of every inch of space, and also requires less upkeep than larger pipes. 

It is also easy to fit a microbore system, so it is a good choice if you are installing new pipework, or replacing existing ones.

2. Single loop

Single pipe (also called singly or unidirectionally) loop is a type of central heating system that uses a single pipe for both incoming and outgoing hot water in the radiator.

Single pipe loop central heating systems use one pipe to deliver hot water to the furthest connected radiators in the home. 

Since it is a single pipe system, the water in the nearest radiator will be of a higher temperature compared to the last one. 

As the pipework dissipates heat along its length, some parts will end up not being warmed uniformly.

3. Feed and return

Traditionally, the most popular central heating pipes are feed and return. 

The purpose of the return pipe in the system is to distribute heated water evenly throughout the home. 

The feed pipe is a slightly larger pipe that allows water to enter the system at a high enough rate to keep the boiler amd radiators operating at a constant level.

How to stop noisy central heating pipes

We’ve all been there: you’re lying in bed, trying to sleep, when suddenly—SNAP!—a banging sound interrupts your slumber. 

You spring out of bed and scurry out of the room, convinced that something’s wrong and you’re about to have a walk of shame through your house, discovering that your expensive electronics or appliances have been destroyed by a freak accident. 

When you get to the source of the noise, however, you realize there’s no damage. 

Just your noisy central heating pipes clanging against your home’s pipes or walls.

Here’s a list of the solutions to common culprits.

  1. Pipes should be free from any excess air that causes gargling
  2. Pipes should be properly filled with water softener to remove limescale and other debris that hinder the flow 
  3. Pipes should be properly fastened and supported with brackets and screws 
  4. Pipes should have a proper flow rate
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