Bathroom Zones and IP Ratings Explained

Electrical items in a bathroom must meet a minimum level of Ingress Protection (IP) against moisture. The level of protection required is indicated by an IP number.

UK electrical regulations divide the bathroom into 4 distinct zones. These zones are classified by their proximity to water and condensation, i.e. whether electrical equipment is likely to get wet if installed in this area. When installing an electrical item in a bathroom, you must ensure that the product’s IP rating meets the level required for the bathroom zone.


Understanding IP Numbers:

The first digit of an IP number refers to the level of Solid particle protection, meaning how effective it is at keeping out solid foreign objects, and also preventing access to hazardous parts.

The second digit refers to the Liquid ingress protection, which is the level of protection against water reaching hazardous internal parts.


1st Digit:

Object Size Protected against:

Effective against:

0 n/a No Protection against contact and ingress of objects
1 >50mm Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand
2 >12.5mm Fingers or similar object
3 >2.5mm Tools, thick wires, etc.
4 >1mm wires, screws, etc.
5 Dust protected Complete protection against contact. Protected against dust in small-medium quantity
6 Dust tight Complete protection against contact. Zero ingress of dust


2nd Digit:

Protected against:

0 No Protection
1 Dripping water
2 Dripping water at a 15 degree angle
3 Water spray at 60 degree angle
4 Water splashing from any angle
5 Water jets (6.3mm nozzle) from any angle
6 Powerful water jets (12.5mm nozzle)
7 Submersion in 1m water for up to 30 mins
8 Submersion in >1m water for a continuous period



Breakdown of Bathroom Zones:

The table and diagram below describe the 4 bathroom zones, and the minimum IP requirements for electrical items within these zones.



Required IP Rating:

Zone 0:  Inside the bathtub, shower tray, etc.  At least IP67 
Zone 1: Directly over the bath or shower tray to a height of 2.25m   At least IP65 
Zone 2: Over the bath / shower tray outside of zone 1; the area stretching 0.6m outside the perimeter of the bath / shower tray; and a 60cm radius of any tap.  At least IP44
Zone 3: Any area outside zones 0, 1 & 2 where no water jet is likely to be used.   None specified


Bathroom Zones

Click to expand


The information on this page should be used as a guide only. If you are unsure of  the suitability of any product for bathroom installation, please consult a qualified electrician.

All electrical works must be carried out by a fully qualified and certified professional electrician.




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