Talk

Advanced search

Heated towel rail - electric or central heating operated?

(22 Posts)
PineappleHed Sun 19-Jan-14 10:27:00

We're renovating our house and putting in a new gas central heating system. I imagine the towel rail will be on much more than the central heating will be so should we put in an electric one that can be switched on and off independently? What have you done?

PigletJohn Sun 19-Jan-14 12:52:09

will you have a hot water cylinder?

InsertUsernameHere Sun 19-Jan-14 14:36:20

You can get dual fuel one. Sometimes referred to as having a summer setting. Idea is that it is plumbed so mainly on central heating, but in summer months you have option on turning on electric element. Haven't used one - but having one fitted soon.

Other threads on here discuss whether towel rails are/aren't a source of heating for a bathroom. IMHO - they heat/dry towels and nothing more - I'd always have another source of heat (radiator with a towel ban/ UFH/ electric blow heater) others will disagree.

InsertUsernameHere Sun 19-Jan-14 14:39:00

You can get dual fuel one. Sometimes referred to as having a summer setting. Idea is that it is plumbed so mainly on central heating, but in summer months you have option on turning on electric element. Haven't used one - but having one fitted soon.

Other threads on here discuss whether towel rails are/aren't a source of heating for a bathroom. IMHO - they heat/dry towels and nothing more - I'd always have another source of heat (radiator with a towel ban/ UFH/ electric blow heater) others will disagree.

PineappleHed Sun 19-Jan-14 21:03:01

PigletJohn - yes we are having a central heating system with a water cylinder.

InsertUsernameHere -I hadn't heard of dual fuel systems - thanks a lot for that info - I will research that more.

PigletJohn Sun 19-Jan-14 21:53:34

If you are having a hot water cylinder, you can have the towel rail (or bathroom radiator) plumbed to warm up whenever the cylinder is being heated. This will be during and after baths and showers and (depending on your timer settings) in the mornings when it heats up the cylinder ready for use. These are just the times when a warm rail is most useful.

Have a TRV fitted to the rail so that (unless you choose to turn it up) it will not be getting hot and wasting heat in warm weather.

It will be simpler if (as is common) the cylinder is close to the bathroom.

evertonmint Sun 19-Jan-14 21:59:01

We have duel ones - they're great as can control it independently of the heating. Partic useful in late spring or early autumn when heating not on but towels need help drying.

Also genius in summer for emergency overnight laundry drying when I realise I haven't done the midweek school jumper wash in time smile

PineappleHed Sun 19-Jan-14 22:00:19

Do you not rate the dual fuel systems that Insert spoke about then Piglet John? Thank you

PigletJohn Sun 19-Jan-14 22:07:48

the insertable elements vary from 150W to 600Watts, a bathroom radiator is usually at least 500Watts. The higher power ones may be longer but check that. Try to get one with an adjustable thermostat. You will need a fused flex outlet (not a socket) adjacent to the bottom end of the rail, and of course you electrical circuits in the bathroom must be RCD protected and installed by a person who is a member of a Competent Person Scheme.

I have the plumbed method.

amazonianwoman Sun 19-Jan-14 22:53:49

PigletJohn - sorry to hijack - can a towel rail be retro plumbed to run off the cylinder?

We already have a towel rail which runs with the central heating but would love to be able to use it in the summer. It's upstairs but almost above the cylinder. It already has a TRV fitted.

Is it a big job? What sort of work would be involved? For a plumber, wouldn't do it ourselves!

PineappleHed Sun 19-Jan-14 22:54:28

aww PigletJohn that's a bit over my head I'm afraid. I'll show DH the info about the watts etc but the bottom line is - do you think the dual system is good? (we are getting proper electricians to fit whatever we do) Thank you

PigletJohn Sun 19-Jan-14 23:11:15

"can a towel rail be retro plumbed to run off the cylinder?"

yes

"do you think the dual system is good?"

I expect so, but I prefer the plumbed method.

evertonmint Mon 20-Jan-14 08:16:48

Dual works well for us. It seems daft to have a towel rail that can only dry/warm towels when you have the central heating on. Nothing worse than a still damp towel when you get out of the shower. Not a problem in summer but shoulder seasons it can be. If installing from scratch I'm not sure why you wouldn't (unless cost is an issue)

evertonmint Mon 20-Jan-14 08:21:10

Although the plumbed method sounds interesting too (we're redoing the family bathroom so might be an option). Does that work on a combi boiler? Ours heats water v quickly so we just have it on for the short time we need it in the morning and evening - not sure towel rail would heat quickly enough under those circs to heat/dry the towels.

PigletJohn Mon 20-Jan-14 08:24:30

No, only if you have a cylinder.

ItsATIARA Mon 20-Jan-14 08:33:18

Dual works well for us, although our bathroom fitter sucked his teeth and warned us they were unreliable.

TallulahBetty Mon 20-Jan-14 08:50:03

Dual fuel works for us and never had a problem with it in 7 years (touch wood smile)

We have a combi boiler so no hot water tank, if that makes any difference. I wouldn't have a towel rail again if I couldn't have a dual fuel one.

oscarwilde Mon 20-Jan-14 14:28:01

Wish I'd put in a dual fuel or simply an electric one.

jammietart Mon 20-Jan-14 20:18:53

We have duel fuel but also our towel rails have a separate timer of their own so can be operated independently from the rest of the central heating system . It works brilliantly!

PigletJohn Mon 20-Jan-14 21:06:34

zoning the bathrooms to come on separately is a good idea, but not common and might cost a bit. Plumbing with the cylinder is more common and usually simpler. I presume it was done at time of installation?

do you have separate zones for upstairs/downstairs or other parts of the house?

jammietart Tue 21-Jan-14 11:07:34

Not zoned exactly but our living space has underfloor heating then the bedrooms radiators and bathrooms towel rails all with separate controls. We've just renovated the whole house so a completely new system and all new pipe work. But I notice the op is renovating so might be an option. The dual fuel controls are expensive anyway aren't they? (I'm sure ours were £200 ish each x4 bathrooms)

yummumto3girls Tue 21-Jan-14 13:56:46

We have a combi boiler, towel rail works when heating is on. It also operates electrically so can be used separately from heating such as in the summer. Best thing I ever did and wished I did the same in our second bathroom.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »