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Replacing mr16 halogen with gu10 led in bathroom


I started painting my bathroom and slightly pulled the ceiling down lights to paint the ceiling. There are 3 down lights and all of them are 12V MR16 Halogen connected with individual transformers. One of the lights right above the shower cubical had almost burnt connector, which was blackened and simply fell as black powder when I tried to disconnect the wires. I thought that probably had a loose connection so I replaced the connector and carried on painting. Next day I wanted to check the light before I put it back after painting the ceiling but I couldn’t find the connector. Only I could find was the metal barrels with screws of the connector as the plastic insulation has all melted due to the high temperature. That suggests me there is a short circuit but there wasn’t any sort of tripping the circuit. I thought I’d replace the transformer and watch it for a while before fit that back.

However, now I want to replace all 3 bulbs with GU10 LED bulbs, where I have 2 main questions to find answers;

1. The current fittings are not seem to be IP65 compatible. They are just like a normal down light fitting. Can I replace all 3 bulbs with the IP65 Fire Rated GU10 LED bulbs that are directly connected to the Mains without transformers? OR any other recommendations?

2. I am very comfortable doing this work, but does this work require any kind of certification or need to comply with any building regulations or impact my Home Insurance, etc?

Thanks very much for your time and advise.

3 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Best Answer

Yes a minor electrical works certificate must be issued for this job as the work is within a special location and must be certified as compliant with BS7671:2008. Would be far batter to fit LED versions as GU10 lamps will fail very quickly in the bathroom. GU10 type LEDS could be used. The fittings should be IP65 and fully fire rated.


Answered 8th Jan 2015

Bathroom is classed as a special location and it is a criminal offence (since 2005) to carry out electrical work in a special location without prior notification to local building control. Halogens run hotter than your oven in the kitchen, which is why muppets installing halogens incorrectly, causes house fires, your bathroom was wired by muppets.

ALL electrical work requires certification, special locations (Outside, bathroom and also kitchen in Wales) require ADDITIONAL notification under Part P of the building regs.

You may be comfortable with doing the work but without knowing how and what to test to ensure a safe installation, this is false confidence I'm afraid. Connecting accessories is 25% of the job at most.


Answered 7th Jan 2015

A bathroom, as pointed out in earlier replies, is indeed a 'special location' whereby electrical installations carried out within zones 0,1 & 2 of that location must comply with specific safety regulations. And indeed within certain distances from zone 2. Most ceilings are outside of zones 0,1 & 2. Having said that I would still observe prudence in choosing suitably IP rated (ingress protection) light fittings. Google 'special locations' and 'ingress protection' and discover what they are. That way you will better understand the issues with which you have been presented. Do you need light fittings that can withstand a high pressure hose jet or ones that are protected against splashing?You may find that what some claim as 'must' or 'should' fit are actually prudent advice but not what the regulations actually require. When fitting lights outside the zones choose something suitable for the circumstances of use. I never advocate DIY electrics by the way as I've seen too many dangerous outcomes as a result. Take care. Rob.


Answered 12th Jan 2015

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