Electric towel warmer
As part of the bathroom equipment of a modern home, there is always a heated towel rail. It is intended primarily for drying towels, bathing accessories and other things.
At the same time, this device, due to heating, creates a comfortable microclimate in the bathroom in terms of temperature and humidity, prevents condensation from forming, and blocks the appearance of fungus and mold.
Modern options for heated towel rails take on an aesthetic function and are an integral part of the design of the bathroom.
Benefits of Electric Towel Warmers
Electric heated towel rails are used instead of the water version or installed in addition to it. Their comparison shows that the electric unit provides a number of advantages:
- ease of installation;
- due to autonomy and independence from the water main, the heated towel rail is not tied to the bathroom at the installation site and can be mounted in other rooms;
- the accuracy of maintaining the temperature of the working element using the regulator.
In domestic conditions, it is important that due to the lack of direct contact with water, the electric version is not subject to corrosion and potentially has a longer service life.
They are equipped with standard protection circuits against overheating, electric current leakage and power surges. This makes them reliable and easy to use.
The device of electric towel warmers
When equipping a bathroom, several varieties are used:
The liquid version is based on a sealed housing, the interior of which is filled with oil or antifreeze. Heat is generated by an insulated heating cable or heating element of a heating element.
Oil-filled towel warmers warm up slowly (typical time to reach operating temperature is one hour). The positive side of such a pronounced thermal inertia is that the unit does not cool down for a long time after being turned off.
When using antifreeze as a working fluid, heating is faster. However, the device also cools down quickly.
During installation, a liquid heated towel rail with heating from a heating element is mounted so that the heating element is located on top. If the heating cable functions as a heat source, there is no such restriction. The heating cable simplifies the sealing of the case, which reduces the cost of the device.
When used in the construction of a “dry” heater, it is separated from the body by a graphite gasket. The battery in this design heats up faster and cools down just as quickly after turning off the supply voltage.
The best parameters and functionality have a hybrid or dual-circuit heated towel rail. One circuit is connected to the electrical network, while the second is powered by a hot water supply network. The advantages of liquid and electrical appliances remain: the efficiency of the first of them and the independence of the second from hot water cuts.
Despite the simple design, a developed set of controls and automation is installed in older models.
The first of these components is a manual or automatic temperature controller. The controller in automatic version has two implementation options.
The younger models of devices with a conventional sensor turn off the heating element when the temperature reaches 50 ° C. A thermostat is introduced into the structure of the older models, which with the necessary accuracy stabilizes the degree of heating previously set by the regulator.
The automatic regulator is complemented by a timer. If there is a program control unit, you can set the heater operation algorithm for the day ahead. In the context of a constant increase in utility tariffs, the use of a timer that turns on heating only during the period necessary for this saves the budget.
During operation, moisture somehow gets on the upper surface of the unit, which is accompanied by the appearance of streaks. The surface fades and even rust appears on it.
To maintain the appearance, the surface is regularly wiped with a soft cloth. Strong contamination is washed off with soapy water, after which the unit is immediately wiped dry with a soft cloth. After wiping with polishing agents, gloss is additionally induced.
The only serious restriction in this area is the ban on the use of abrasive pastes for cleaning the outer surface and high efforts.
Before cleaning, disconnect the appliance from the power supply by removing the plug from the socket.
For the manufacture of the case, ordinary or stainless steel is used, less often there are models using copper, brass or aluminum for this purpose. Appeal to them allows you to achieve increased heat transfer and efficiency.
The disadvantage is that, other things being equal, devices made using non-ferrous metals lose in cost.
Steel models have different colors, which makes it easier to match the chosen style of bathroom interior. The durability of colorful coatings of budget models leaves much to be desired. In this sense, polymer coatings are in an advantageous position. Leading positions in terms of service life are held by chrome and polished.
As for the external forms, then you can easily choose the model you need in this interior. Classic versions are available, made in the form of a coil and having a different number of sections. In addition, M-shaped, U-shaped, ladder and perforated plate devices are offered.
Another degree of freedom in terms of design is the choice of a fixed or swivel model.
The required power of the heated towel rail is determined by the purpose. In the event that it is used to dry towels, other fabric products and to remove moisture and steam from the bathroom, then you can stop at a model with a minimum power.
In this situation, the choice of the unit is made solely on the basis of size, color and design.
In cases where, according to the local conditions of the bathroom, the heated towel rail additionally takes on the functions of a heater, then according to SanPiN, the power is selected at the rate of 100 W per 1 m2 area or 41 W per 1 m3.
When choosing a model, it is advisable to increase the calculated power value by 30 – 40%. In this case, the comfort temperature is set using the controller.
At the same time, the margin relative to the calculated value does not lead to an increase in the cost of purchasing the unit.
Unlike water heated towel rails, electric counterparts are not tied to water mains. They can be installed in any suitable place. All you need is an outlet with the required power. The latter means that the cross-sectional area of copper wires is chosen to be at least 2.5 mm2.
Fixed or swivel brackets are used for workplace mounting. The design of the latter allows you to tilt it at an angle of up to 90 °.
When positioned less than 0.6 m from a bathtub or shower enclosure, splash protection is provided for safety reasons.
The socket for connection is equipped with a grounding contact, which is connected with a separate wire to the ground bus in the shield. Due to the specific conditions of the operating area, sockets with waterproof housings are used.
In practice, two options for supplying voltage to the heated towel rail are used.
In the first case, hidden wiring is used for this.which improves the aesthetic parameters of the bathroom.
The second option is based on the use of a socketwhich requires less installation costs, and disconnecting the device during operation becomes easier.
As part of the power supply circuits, it is advisable to provide an emergency shutdown device.
In situations where there is an avid lover of taking hot baths in the house, it is advisable to move the outlet outside the bathroom. The connection cord is brought out through a hole in the wall.
An electric heated towel rail is a power device that experiences serious loads during operation and is therefore at risk of failure. Failed device
- does not work;
- does not heat up;
- it has no power supply.
The last fault is not directly related to the battery and is detected by checking the outlet. To do this, the voltage is measured on it using an electrical tester, it first switches to a range with an upper limit of 250 V. In the absence of a tester, you can check the voltage in the outlet using a known-good one, for example, an electric lamp.
Towel dryer doesn’t work at all only in the event of a break in the 220 V voltage supply circuits to the heating element. This happens for two main reasons: a break in the voltage supply circuits to this element or when the element itself fails.
Checking the health of electrical circuits should be done with a multimeter that switches to ohmmeter mode. The measuring device is connected to the contacts of the plug, which is previously removed from the socket.
Specifying the location of the break in the current flow circuit will require disassembly and continuity of the connecting conductors and the heater separately. It is best not to do it yourself and consult a specialist.
Before checking the resistance, be sure to:
- disconnect the unit from the 220 V network;
- set the heating controller to the maximum temperature position;
- make sure that the device has cooled down to a temperature not exceeding 30 ° C (you can safely take the work surface with your hand).
Compliance with these provisions ensures that the current flow is not interrupted by the automatic temperature controller.
Weak heating usually occurs due to a break in the neutral wire of internal electrical circuits.
At the same time, with the help of a tester operating in the ohmmeter mode, the integrity of the insulation is monitored. If a breakdown is detected on the case, it is not only impossible to use, but also dangerous due to the combination of high humidity and limited space characteristic of the bathroom. Therefore, it should be immediately disconnected from the network and replaced with a new one.
Some designs are repairable. These include those that originally provided for the replacement of the heating element.
A short circuit of internal and external electrical circuits is detected by the operation of the circuit breaker. If this repeats, including when it has cooled down, then additionally check the resistance with an ohmmeter.
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