I live in the UK - my downstairs toilet consists of just a small sink and a toilet.

Next to the sink is a heated towel rail which is wired straight into the socket, and is controlled by a switch.

I would like to add a timer to control when it comes on and off as it is not connected to the central heating.

I have seen socket adaptors with timers on them (see picture), but this would mean installing a standard plug socket and rewiring the towel rail to have a plug.

enter image description here

As far as I can tell this is allowed under UK building regs as it is not within 3 metres of a shower or bath, but I am still worried about the proximity to the sink.

Would this be a viable solution or are my concerns founded?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

  • This is attracting VtC as "shopping advice" (and "needs more focus" which I really don't get). I think that if you edit to focus on the "plug near the sink" aspect, you'll be OK, as any sort of power timer control should otherwise do the trick.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 29, 2020 at 12:14
  • 1
    Thanks for the advice, I've edited the question to focus more on the plug near the sink aspect Oct 29, 2020 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


Allowed, but there are lots of timeswitched fused connection units available if you'd prefer not to have a plug/socket.

Selection here:


Edit to add: all sockets must now be RCD protected. If the existing circuit is not RCD protected you must not change the fused connection unit to a socket.

  • That seems like the ideal solution, I didn't know these existed. Thanks a lot Owain Oct 29, 2020 at 21:32
  • Couldn't you put a RCD at the FCU location if the circuit wasn't RCD protected already? Oct 30, 2020 at 0:03
  • Unfortunately not in strict compliance with current standards. BS7671 requires equipment to satisfy the relevant standards. The British Standard for socket and FCU RCDs BS7288:2016 stipulates that SRCDs provide supplementary protection, but that additional protection must be provided upstream. BS7288 has been omitted from BS7671 as a type of RCD suitable for providing primary protection for fixed wiring. This is a change from previous editions of BS7671 and also BS7288:1990.
    – Owain
    Oct 31, 2020 at 8:11
  • This omission may be corrected in future editions of the standards. In many cases of course an electrician will install a BS7288 device and record it as a deviation from BS7671 and some certification bodies are recommending BS7288 devices where there is no other easy means of providing RCD protection.
    – Owain
    Oct 31, 2020 at 8:12

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