I am in Seattle and I have a count down timer I want to hook up to my heated towel bar so the towel bar will go off after an hour or so.

the timer says max load is 15A/1875W resistive, 8A/1000W Tungsten.

The heated towel bar says voltage: 120 VAC Rated Frequency 60Hz-115W and that it must be connected to a socket with at least 10A

Are these compatible? in the Amazon description it said this timer could be used with heated appliances such as hair dryers and electric heaters. In the little booklet that came with it, it does not mention any appliances with heat. THANKS!

  • Is this a new bar or one you've had for awhile? – JACK Oct 1 '19 at 23:24
  • Brand new, Jack. Just not wanting to have it on all day when I go out for the day. Even when I'm home, I don't think to turn it off. AND, the switch is a bit difficult to turn on and off. I had these in a couple of places in France in the Spring and appreciated dry towels. Here in Seattle towels get moldy smelling after a day or two. Thanks for your info. I don't quite understand the message from Harper, a few too many variables for me. No one here uses a hair dryer or any other heated appliance in the bathroom so it sounds like we're good to go with the timer. – Debbie Oct 2 '19 at 0:51

These are compatible. Your towel bar will draw less than 1 Amp and that is much less than the max load of your timer.

  • I can't figure out the negative votes. – JACK Oct 1 '19 at 12:19
  • 1
    Neither can I. You are right. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 1 '19 at 16:51

Your towel bar is comparable on a 15 amp circuit, I have one of these and can say I love it. After my shower I am clean so I toss the wet towel on the rack. It takes a few hours to dry , and if you have it on a timer it will take a while to heat up. I love my warm towel getting out of the shower, I do have it on a GFCI protected outlet. These are great and will work with your smart relay but be sure to have it on prior to your normal shower time, and on long enough to dry it out if you are like me and my wife.

  • I never knew an electric towel bar existed.... but then, I'm in Florida. – JACK Oct 1 '19 at 23:23
  • We have it on year round a nice warm towel feels so much better. We have had them in our last 3 homes and only 1 died after many years of service (7-10) I am not sure. When that one died my wife said I was a grouch until we got the new one, once the new one was in she said i wondered how long I would have to nag you to get it replaced (she missed it as much as I did). – Ed Beal Oct 1 '19 at 23:31
  • I hope Donna never reads this...she'll want one for sure. – JACK Oct 1 '19 at 23:52

Electric heaters are resistive loads, so the 10A it requires is under the 15A maximum of the timer.

You'll likely want this on a dedicated circuit, or at least not one shared with any plugs in the bathroom as running a hair dryer (10 to 12A also) at the same time as the towel bar is on would trip the breaker.

  • 1
    It says it must be connected to a 10A socket, but it is only rated 115W, so at 120V that is less than 1 amp... Still gave you an up vote though. – JRaef Oct 1 '19 at 2:13

First, Jack is absolutely correct, the practical load of the towel eater will be about 1 amp, and that is typical of towel heaters. 1 amp on a 15A or 20A circuit is, as you might guess, trivial. It is also well within the 1875W(15A) limit of that switch.

However, 110.3b says you must follow labeling and instructions. Those say that you must provision 10A of service to the towel heater. That is a surprising requirement, and UL would not require that lightly. It certainly puts a new wrinkle on things.

  • if the provisioning for a hardwired load accounts for greater than 50% of total circuit ampacity, no receptacles at all are allowed. So there can't be any receptacles unless this is a 20A circuit.
  • If it's a 20A circuit and there are any other hardwired loads, we're over 50% for hardwired loads, so no receptacles.
  • If it's a 15A circuit, there is only 5A left to provision other hardwired loads.
  • If it's a 20A circuit, it has only 10A left to provision other hardwired loads.

Now we collide with the bathroom receptacle rules. Quite likely your installation is grandfathered. However, grandfathering is not exemption, and the rule of grandfathering is you can't make the situation worse. For instance if you have outlets every 20' along every wall (12' now required), you can't remove one. So...

  • This load cannot be put on a (20A) circuit with receptacles that serve more than one bathroom.
  • It can be on a 20A receptacle circuit that serves only this bathroom, but again, no other hardwired loads.
  • It can be on a 20A circuit that serves no receptacles in bathrooms.
  • It can be on any 15A or 20A circuit that serves only hardwired loads, providing this doesn't overprovision the circuit.

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