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Posted By Topic: Bathroom heater

Jan 31 2016 08:38


Anyone know any reason not to place a bathroom fan heater above a doorway?

Assuming that the manufacturer clearance to ceiling is met and that there is no specific statement in the manufacturer instructions not to place above a doorway (e.g. Goldair have this note) I cant see anything in NZS not to.

Have seen it done all the time but on this occasion customer is saying \'wont get signed off by building inspector\'



Jan 31 2016 09:03

taken from the goldair MI instructions

\"• If this heater is mounted above a shelf or other wall mounted object then there must be a minimum of 700mm clearance between the shelf and the outlet grille\"

a door slightly ajar would be considered a obstruction as per the above, and cause over heating of the object - thus a fire or damage risk.

i\'ve seen a few melted plastic shelf\'s even a few melted plastic bathroom cabinets (the recessed type).


Jan 31 2016 09:15

yes... so aside from that in the goldair instructions (which I\'d mentioned) is there anything in NZS or building stds to prohibit it?

Jan 31 2016 09:28

if you want to go against something clearly printed in the MI, then hey thats what PL insurance is all about.

unless of course you can get 700 above the doorway, then you are all good.


Jan 31 2016 09:56

pretty simple, no extra regs needed, just think hard about signing the permit where it says \'Manufacturers instructions adhered to\" i haven\'t found a fan heater without 200mm clearance above it, i reckon it\'s in case the fan stops and it combusts, the flames will not hit the ceiling/scocia and turn to custard.
good luck taking shortcuts, it\'s only a matter of time.


Jan 31 2016 15:06

This has been addressed here on is forum before although a brief search has failed to find the original topic.

You as the electrician are making some statements on the COC about the installation when you certify it.
Specifically that the installation is safe to connect.
And on the ESC that this installation is safe to use.

Given that the manufacturer requires a clearance from combustible materials in front of the heater you should not place the heater above the door opening.

Sure it will not be a problem if the door is fully open or closed but you have no control over that.

The only thing you have control over is the location of the heater.

If you install it above the door and it sets the door on fire and burns down the house you can be sure that the homeowner will immediately finger you to his insurance company and the EWRB.

Compliance with manufacturers instructions should be mandatory but instead we have this situation where we are allowed to rely on them.
You should rely on them to not install this heater above the bathroom door opening noses the door opens out of the room thereby avoiding the possibility of the heater setting the door on fire.

Jan 31 2016 19:45


Feb 01 2016 07:01

sorry but some of yous seem to be missing the direction that i was coming from...

I recognise that (goldair for one) some manufacturers do indeed specifically refer to no installation above a DOORWAY

I didnt suggest for one minute that i was intending to do that with such a heater.

So let\'s me more specific:

1/ In a situation where the manufacturer makes no specific requirement that the heater not be installed above a doorway and assuming that the distance to ceiling criteria are met, what do people think is actually a reasonable and realistic distance to the top of a door, the door itself... ?

2/ In the same situation, is anyone aware of any specific NZS that prohibits such placement of heater?


Feb 01 2016 07:03

this is not about cutting corners, this is about being pragmatic and endevouring to find a safe solution that has a mechanism of compliance in order to give the customer what they want...

Feb 01 2016 07:37

AS/NZS 3000 clause a general requirement for all electrical equipment shall not be installed in a position where it might cause a fire hazard.

This requirement is then cited by the general citation of AS/NZS 3000 in the ESR 2010.

Feb 01 2016 08:47

\"this is not about cutting corners, this is about being pragmatic and endevouring to find a safe solution that has a mechanism of compliance in order to give the customer what they want...\"

If you can find the MI for the device you want to use and it says that location is OK then you can rely on that?

If you can\'t find the MI the general consensus is it not a good location

Feb 01 2016 17:48

i dont know then, i give up, probably 3meters !


Feb 01 2016 19:39

If the manufacturer specifies a minimum clearance distance from the front of the heater to a shelf surely logic would apply that distance to any object that could potentially be left in front of the heater.

As Pluto has pointed out AS/NZS3000:2007 4.2.2 covers the situation.

And of course as professionals we should be using our combined experience, and knowledge to make correct judgement calls on these matters before we install and certify.

The bottom line should be would you be happy with one of there heaters installed over a doorway in your house with your family living there.