The bathroom time in winter can get miserable, especially when you don’t have a heating system installed. Unfortunately, most homes do not have a centralized heating system installed, and this can make the bathroom trips shivering cold.
So, what can people do to keep their bathrooms comfortable?
What is the best alternative to warm up the bathroom without a centralized heating system?
Well, a space heater is an answer to all these questions. Space heaters are an economical way to warm up any part of the home, including your bathroom.
However, you need to be extra cautious while using these devices in the bathroom. Therefore, in this write-up, we have come up with all the crucial information you should know before using a space heater in bathroom.
We will also shed some light on the safety tips to keep you alert and updated.
Can You Put a Space Heater in Bathroom?
Yes, you can put a space heater in bathroom, provided that you follow all safety precautions.
Using a space heater in the bathroom is sure to bring a lot of comfort during those bathroom trips in chilled weather. However, you must be excessively cautious because heater and water have never been a good combination.
We all have heard of some or the other accidents that happened because people used heaters in the bathroom irresponsibly. It is extremely important to never leave a space heater unattended in the bathroom, and you also should follow the safety precautions to prevent accidents.
What Happens if You Put a Space Heater in Bathroom?
Most electric space heaters are not designed to provide protection against electrocution, which makes it even more important to keep them away from water.
Keeping the electric space heater in the bathroom can be risky as it poses an electrocution hazard for all family members.
Therefore, even after all the risks of using a space heater in the bathroom, if you still plan to use it, make sure never to leave it unattended.
Let’s understand in detail what can happen when you leave a space heater in the bathroom.
Risk of short circuit
There’s a huge risk of short circuits as electricity and water can never get friendly. Therefore, it is advised that you should place your space heater in one of the corners of the bathrooms where you can prevent it from getting in contact with water.
Placing it away from various water sources will keep you safe from short circuits.
Risk of electrocution
As explained by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, most electric space heaters do not protect against electrocution, which can put you and your family at fatal risk.
Therefore, you must ensure installing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in the wall outlet as they consistently monitor electricity flow through the circuit and shut down the device as soon as it detects a risky situation.
Notably, GFCI outlets have been made mandatory in all bathrooms by law since 1975. These smart outlets shut down the power even if the slightest fluctuation in current is registered. It also switches off the device in case it tips down in water or gets knocked off.
Risk of electric fire
According to the U.S. Consumer Safety Commission and National Fire Protection Association, nearly 25,000 house fires and injuries reported yearly are associated with the improper use of electric space heaters.
Keeping the heater in the bathroom increases the risk of electric fire as bathrooms are a hotspot for flammable objects like a curtain, deodorants, towels, paper towels, etc.
Therefore, to avoid fire, follow the 3-foot rule and keep your heater at a considerable distance from flammable items.
Is it Safe to Use a Space Heater in Bathroom?
No, using a space heater in the bathroom is unsafe unless you are excessively alert about using them.
Space heaters are portable, easy to use, and effective in distributing an adequate amount of heat in any small or restricted area. On the other hand, bathrooms can get excessively hard to step in during chilled weather conditions, which calls for a heating mechanism.
Most people think space heaters are a great alternative to heat the bathroom, especially when they don’t have access to a centralized heating system. As a result, the debate sparks on whether it is safe to use these heating devices in the bathroom or not.
Generally, it is unsafe to use space heaters in the bathroom because they have been the cause of multiple accidents. But, if you are still planning to use them in the bathroom, you must be overly alert and stay prepared to deal with all related mishaps.
What Type of Space Heater is allowed in Bathroom?
When you purchase a space heater for your bathroom, you need to be extra cautious. We have lined down a few factors that you should take into consideration before making a final deal.
Look for the ALCI plug
Using a space heater in the bathroom can get risky if you skip checking for the ALCI plug. For your information, ALCI is a protective device meant to prevent damage caused by running a malfunctioned or broken heating device.
Check the heater size
The space heater meant to be used in the bathroom should not be big. Usually, you will have to find a corner of your bathroom to place your space heater. Therefore, the device should be a perfect size, allowing you to follow the 3-foot spacing rule.
Check the space heater for its IP rating. The IP rating certifies whether a heater is water-resistant or not.
Other features that are a must spot are a functional thermostat, oscillators, auto-switch-off, timers, etc.
So, these are some of the factors that decide whether a space heater is allowed to be used in the bathroom.
Safety Tips: Things to Know Before Using a Space Heater in Bathroom
A lot of people use space heaters in the bathroom, but not all of them know about the safety precautions. Besides, many people have never used a space heater in the bathroom but want to do so. Therefore, we have mentioned the crucial safety tips to help everyone avoid fire hazards and protect the family.
Keep the heater on a flat surface
Whenever you use a space heater in the bathroom or anywhere else in your home, always keep it on a flat surface. Portable space heaters are lightweight, and their chances of tumbling down are always high. Therefore, to avoid fire accidents keep the heater on an even surface.
Check for safety features
Buying a space heater for the bathroom can be difficult because of the risk involved. As a result, it becomes vital that you check for safety features like overheat protection, tip-over protection, cool-touch, timer, etc.
These safety features will keep you and your family protected to a certain extent. Beyond that, you should always be prepared to deal with all mishaps.
Always plug the device into an outlet
Whenever using a space heater, never use extension cords. Generally, you should always plug a space heater directly into the electric circuit with sufficient power capacity.
Experts believe using extension cords could easily result in fires, short circuits, and other fire hazards.
Keep it away from water sources
Keeping the heater at a distance from water or water sources is extremely important. In addition, you should also avoid touching the device with wet hands or feet, as this increases the chances of electrocution.
Space heaters specifically designed for the bathrooms come with GFCI plugs that enable auto shut-off as soon as the heater comes in contact with water or tips down. So, consider buying heaters with GFCI plugs for extra safety.
Shut down and unplug the device when not in use
As a rule of thumb, you must ensure to put off the heater when you are not around. Furthermore, when the device is not in use, make sure to unplug it to avoid excessive power bill expenditure.
Do not use space heaters when your kids are alone in the bathroom
Using space heaters when kids are bathing can be beyond risky. Kids are always curious, and we cannot expect them to be responsible enough to be away from a heating device.
Therefore, you must heat the bathroom before your kids enter the area. The same goes for pets.
Check for maintenance regularly
Regular inspection and maintenance are a must to avoid fire accidents. In addition, when you clean the device regularly, it works efficiently.
Space heaters are convenient alternatives to any other mode of heating. However, this convenience comes at the cost of regular monitoring and maintenance. This device makes heating a particular area super-easy but demands a lot of responsibility.
Using a space heater in the bathroom to make it feel toasty can be risky; therefore, buying a device with proper safety features is of utmost importance. In addition, following the safety tips will help you avoid all kinds of fire accidents. So, be alert and stay warm.