The Procedure for Installing a Heated Towel Rail

Imagine the comfort of having a heated towel rail as part of bathroom fixtures. You can dry your towel, swimsuit, and other water-related clothing easily.

Heated towel rails are in two forms: electric and hydronic.

The electric kind of towel rails can be fitted such that it operates through a wall socket, or added into the home’s electrical system. Any of the qualified electricians in London can easily mount one for you by attaching the rail to your bathroom wall using its anchors as support. On the other hand, the hydronic towel rail operates on your hot water system like a radiator. It must be connected to current radiator lines via copper pipes.

How’s it done

Approach 1: Taking measurements for an electric towel rail

  1. Locate the closest Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet: When current passes through the wrong outlet, for instance, water, the function of the GFCI outlet is to turn off. Electric outlets in the bathroom are usually GFCI outlets, but it’s always advisable to test it using a circuit tester. You can buy one from any hardware store around you.

When testing the outlet, plug a device into it such as a radio or a night-light, to know if it’s conducting electricity. Then plug in the tester and push the button. Electricity should stop flowing in the outlet. Switch it back on with the outlet reset button.

Should you be making the rail a part of your home electrical wiring system, look for the electrical junction box. Don’t have one? You need one to be fitted.

  1. Find an area where your rail can be screwed into studs: You can either have a rail standing on its own or fastened to the wall using screws secured in studs. Get a stud-finder or use a small nail to test for studs. Sometimes, studs are located opposite outlets, windows, and doors.

Should it happen that you can’t locate any studs in a  convenient place, you can make use of toggle bolts to hang your rail. They come with metal flaps that open up to secure the bolts in position.

  1. Mark off the points for the support anchors: If you are not using a rail standing by itself, then it has to be adhered to the wall with the help of support anchors at two points. The rail can either have the support anchors attached to it or be separate from the anchors such that it slides or snaps into them. Let someone help you hold the anchors against the wall at the intended points of anchorage then mark the area with a pencil or marker.

Cross-check that the anchors are at the same height using a level instrument or tape measure before tracing their point else your rail would be unsymmetrical.

  1. Drill holes at the midpoint of the traced anchor points: On the wall where you have traced the support anchor, draw an X and drill a hole at the midpoint.

Should your option for anchorage be a toggle bolt, then you need a bit that can create enough room for the toggle to slide comfortably through. There is a collapsible metal wing on one side of the toggle bolt that opens up on the other side of the wall when inserted.

  1. Fit the towel rail onto the support anchors: Insert the support anchors to the wall via the holes. If you have a rail carrying support anchors already, you can install the whole system as one. Otherwise, you have to get the support anchors into the walls first, then hang the rail onto them. There are instructions on the rail installation kit that you should follow for a good job.

Approach 2: Installing a hydronic towel rail

  1. Locate the radiator supply and return channels: You will have to move your radiator out of the way first to find these lines or channel. If that has been done already, you will see copper pipes extending from the wall or floor. Onto these pipes will your new hydronic rail be connected.
  2. Positionthe towel rail very close to the lines if possible: Let the return, and supply lines of your towel rail be near to the existing ones by looking for the best position that supports this proximity. By doing this, installation becomes hassle-free. Be careful not to place your hydronic towel rail close to bathroom curtains or any source of fire hazard as much as possible. The essence of this is for added protection.
  3. Take measurement of the distance between the radiator lines and rail lines: After step 2 above, let someone help you hold the rail in position so that you can measure how far from the radiator lines is your rail. This will help you determine the quantity of copper pipe you need for the connection.

Instead of diagonal measurement, take vertical and horizontal distances. Put simply, rather than measuring a straight diagonal line between your rail and the pre-existing pipes, take a right angle measurement. This is because the new copper pipes needed for the connection will be placed at right angles.

  1. Mark out points on the wall where the support anchors will be placed: Like we said before, most rails hang on two points on the wall known as support anchors. Let someone hold the rail against the portion of the wall where you intend to fix it then trace out the points for the support anchors. Proceed by drawing an X on the mapped out points to get the midpoint. Drill into the wall at these points. We advise you to use a level to get accurate heights of the anchors before marking them out.
  2. Attach the towel rail to its support anchors: You can install the entire rail system including the support anchors in a one-time effort if the anchors are joined to the rail. Or, you may have to fix the anchors first before sliding or snapping the rail on them. Do well to check that the support anchors match the wall marks or points.
  3. Join the supply and return lines of the rail with copper pipes: This is where you’re to use the measurements you took between the existing lines and the rail’s lines. Connect these two sets of lines with the copper pipes. Soldering the pipes into a firm position will be required. You need to protect the surfaces at the back of the pipe you solder with a soldering shield cloth.

There may be a need to hire an electrician to do this job for you. Our emergency electricians at Electric Works London are professionals at handling a wide range of electrical and heat control systems. You should give us a call today for useful advice and assistance.

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