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Circuit for IXL Tastic Light/Heater/Fan

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  1. #1
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    Default Circuit for IXL Tastic Light/Heater/Fan

    I'm renovating the bathroom, which will include getting a small IXL Tasstic style light/heater/fan installed. It features 2 x 275W heater lamps plus a 100W standard lamp, plus whatever the fan uses. What is the maximum load which can be drawn by a single fitting on a lighting circuit?.....or will it need to be run from a power circuit?

  2. #2
    1K Club Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Flyn, I'm no electrician, but a simple equation is P = IV, where P is power (Watts), I is the amps and V is the voltage.

    You have 2 x 275 lights, plust a 100W light and a fan, which at most would probably consume around 50 watts. Thats 700 watts total.

    Your voltage is 240V, so your current consumption will be 700/240 = 2.9 amps if all items are on.

    The light circuit should be a 10 amp circuit, so your 2.9amp tastic should be fine. You have to look at what else is likely to be on the circuit at the same time, but I assume you will not have the equivalent of 17 or so 100W lights on at the same time as the tastic.

    Just remember.. I am not an electrician... and neither are you.

  3. #3
    Golden Member GraemeCook's Avatar
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    Hi Flynn

    Tastics come with either 275 or 375 watt heater globes and may have either 2 or 4 globes per unit. In our fairly small bathroom (approx 2x3m) we put in a Tastic with 4x275 watt globes. We now wish we had bought the unit with 375 watt globes.

    The heater is rarely on for extended periods, you want the heat quickly when you do switch it on - that's the way people use bathrooms - and you can always run it at half heat (But we never do!).

    The sparky put the Tastic on the light circuit - the light switch on the Tastic also controls the other lights in the bathroom.

    Cheers

    Graeme

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    150W is the limit last time I checked AS3000 . The tastics should be on their own circuit or on a mixed circuit.

    Cheers
    Pulse

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    It doesn't count as a lighting point as such. But it could go on a mixed circuit or its own circuit.

    In practice however, a lot are simply put on the lighting circuit but that's not the proper (legal) way to do it if all the lights in the house are already on that one circuit.

  6. #6
    Golden Member GraemeCook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulse View Post
    150W is the limit last time I checked AS3000 . The tastics should be on their own circuit or on a mixed circuit.

    Cheers
    Pulse
    Not sure I wanted to hear this, Pulse. How long has this requirement been in effect, and is there a grandfather rule?

    My Tastic was put in about 15-16 years ago and consists of 4x275 watt heating globes plus 1x60 watt light globe plus a fan (100 watts ???), a total of perhaps 1260 watts, which is well above the 150 watt limit that Pulse reported.

    Was it legal when it was installed, is it still legal, or have I been dudded by yet another inept licensed electrician?

    Cheers

    Graeme

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    1K Club Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeCook View Post
    My Tastic was put in about 15-16 years ago and consists of 4x275 watt heating globes plus 1x60 watt light globe plus a fan (100 watts ???), a total of perhaps 1260 watts, which is well above the 150 watt limit that Pulse reported.

    Was it legal when it was installed, is it still legal, or have I been dudded by yet another inept licensed electrician?
    I have the same setup and I know it is all on the 10amp lighting circuit. I am wondering the same thing and was waiting for someone else to comment on Pulse's comment regarding 150W max on the circuit. I would be suprised if this is in fact the case and I do not see the point as long as the wiring used has at least a 10amp rating. (Which I assume is a basic consideration for any electrician!)

    Having said this, there are separate cables that run to the unit for each pair of heating elements, the smaller light, and the fan. So technically I assume they can each be regarded as separate fixtures (?). (But I believe they do share the same neutral.....so.......). However, each heater pair consumes 550W on their own, so that blows the 150W limit out of the water.

    I have similar setups in both my bathrooms fitted by different electricians, years apart from each other.

  8. #8
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    As far as I can tell, the "150 W" quoted by Pulse is mainly quoted in several footnotes for maximum demand calculation in AS/NZS 3000.

    For example, AS/NZS 3000 Table C1 MAXIMUM DEMAND—SINGLE AND MULTIPLE DOMESTIC ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS
    In the table entry "A. Lighting" load group, refers to footnote "e"
    (e) A socket-outlet installed more than 2.3 m above a floor for the connection of a
    luminaire may be included as a lighting point in load group A(i).
    An appliance rated at not more than 150 W, which is permanently connected, or
    connected by means of a socket-outlet installed more than 2.3 m above a floor, may
    be included as a lighting point in load group A(i).
    Note, the whole section C in the standard is "(informative)" which means it is for "guidance" rather than the letter of the rule.

    Other references to combination units in the standards are:

    2.6.3.1 Residential electrical installations
    Additional protection by RCDs with a maximum rated residual current of 30 mA shall be provided for final subcircuits supplying—
    (a) one or more socket-outlets; and
    (b) lighting points; and
    NOTE: For the purpose of this Clause, combination fan, light and heater
    units are regarded as a lighting point.

    AS/NZS 3018 also shows an "informative" example of a "mixed circuit" "Number of points per final subcircuit" calculation:

    (iii) 10 A socket-outlets and lighting points Any combination allowing 1 A contribution per socket-outlet and 0.5 A contribution per lighting point where the maximum of 20 points including the fan/light/heater unit is not exceeded.

    e.g.
    2 10 A socket-outlets = 2.0 A = 2 points
    17 Lighting points = 8.5 A = 17 points
    1 Fan/light/heater = 5.43 A = 1 point
    Total 15.93 A 20 points
    or
    7 10 A socket-outlets = 7.0 A = 7 points
    7 Lighting points = 3.5 A = 7 points
    1 Fan/light/heater = 5.43 A = 1 points
    Total 15.93 A 15 points
    Again, these are "informative" but they imply a combination lighting/heating/fan unit should be on a mixed circuit.

    The bottom line is that as long as the cable rating is sufficient for the load, and the circuit protection (circuit breaker / fuse) is correct for the cable, it probably doesn't really matter if it is on a lighting or a mixed circuit.
    Last edited by chrisp; 25th Nov 2008 at 09:52 AM. Reason: To italic the quotations from the Standards

  9. #9
    1K Club Member Pulse's Avatar
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    I'll quote from AS3018 page 33 table:

    "A socket outlet installed more than 2.3m above a floor for the connection of a luinaire may be included as a lighting point in load group A(i).
    An appliance rated at not more than 150W, which is permanently connected or connected by a socket outlet installed more than 2.3m above a floor may be included as a lighting point in load group A(i)."

    I interpret this as saying a Tastic (or ceiling fan) can be on a light circuit as long as it is below 150W (which none of the tastics are) or it must be on a mixed or power circuit on 2.5mm cable.

    Cheers
    Pulse

    (Sorry Chrisp.. just noticed you beat me to it)

  10. #10
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    Oh, and a few other points that might be of interest:


    1. With the withdrawal of incandescent bulbs, and plucking some figures out of the air, a house with 20 light fittings would have had a lighting load in the region of 1200W (assuming 20 x 60W bulbs). This would have corresponded to about 5A. If all these bulbs were changed to the equivalent compact fluorescent bulbs, the current demand would be reduced to 1A. It is quite likely that demand on lighting circuits will actually reduce in the future - leaving extra capacity for these combination units.
    2. I'd be more concerned about the clearances around the heat/light/fan units than the circuit it is connected to. It is much more likely that a fire will start from the unit being too close to other combustibles in the roof cavity than from overloading the wiring.
    3. I'd also be a little concerned about the number of times I've seem these combination units recalled. It seems that the quality of some of these units maybe questionable.

  11. #11
    Golden Member nev25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulse View Post
    I'll quote from AS3018 page 33 table:

    "A socket outlet installed more than 2.3m above a floor for the connection of a luinaire may be included as a lighting point in load group A(i).
    An appliance rated at not more than 150W, which is permanently connected or connected by a socket outlet installed more than 2.3m above a floor may be included as a lighting point in load group A(i)."
    That refers to a Maximum Demand Calculation
    NOT Circuit loading

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nev25 View Post
    That refers to a Maximum Demand Calculation
    NOT Circuit loading
    Gotta love the way some of these standards are worded. Seems that they try and remove any ambiguity at the expense of clarity.

    Nev, so are you saying that technically there is no maximum load per fixture? (Or at least it is not 150W).

  13. #13
    Golden Member GraemeCook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nev25 View Post
    That refers to a Maximum Demand Calculation
    NOT Circuit loading

    Nev

    The question is whether my Tastic was legal when installed, and is it still legal?

    Cheers

    Graeme

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    For those with a copy of the Australian Wiring Rules, the following clauses are relevant;

    1.6.5
    1.7
    2.2.1.1
    2.2.2
    3.1.2
    4.1.2
    4.2
    4.5.2

    Essentially, the rules indicate that any appliance may be connected to a circuit provided that wiring & equipment cannot be damaged & people are not put at risk. The rules further state that the appliance should work normally & not unnecessarily cause any protective device to operate.

  15. #15
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    It's fine on a lighting circuit.

    Is the people above who are quoting the AS3000 electricians as I would have thought this question was a very easy one.

    As Nev said, what has been quoted above mostly refers to maximum demand which is generally used to calculate the sizing of the mains cables, not sub circuits.

    If you stuck with the max 150 watt light fitting, that would mean a light with 3 x 60 watt globes would have to be on a separate circuit.. Or a 500 watt flood light, and so on.. .

    And what would having a mixed circut change things.. Would labling the switchboard light/tastic make it legal?? That does not make sense either.

    As elkangorito said above, the circuit breaker has to protect the wiring fed from it.

  16. #16
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    Ditch they IXL, they're pointless in my opinion, especially if your ceilings are a little highter than usual. A simple fan heater is more effective in a bathroom. The idea of heating is to heat the air in a space (your bathroom). The IXLs heat the air directly around the bulbs and then the air rises via gaps around the built in fan and into your ceiling.
    1100 Watts of nothing or 1800 Watts and you get a reasonable amount of heat. I know what I'll be tipping towards.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tricky4000 View Post
    Ditch they IXL, they're pointless in my opinion, especially if your ceilings are a little highter than usual. A simple fan heater is more effective in a bathroom. The idea of heating is to heat the air in a space (your bathroom). The IXLs heat the air directly around the bulbs and then the air rises via gaps around the built in fan and into your ceiling.
    1100 Watts of nothing or 1800 Watts and you get a reasonable amount of heat. I know what I'll be tipping towards.
    Not quite my experience, Tricky. The IXL globes actually emit a beam of heat which very quickly creates a circle of warmth under the unit, which then diffuses around the room. Its a much more pleasant type of heat than a fan heater.

    Concur with your comment about mounting height - ours is boxed to lower its position - and that more heating watts is better than fewer.

    Cheers

    Graeme

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ab1 View Post
    It's fine on a lighting circuit.

    Is the people above who are quoting the AS3000 electricians as I would have thought this question was a very easy one.

    As Nev said, what has been quoted above mostly refers to maximum demand which is generally used to calculate the sizing of the mains cables, not sub circuits.

    If you stuck with the max 150 watt light fitting, that would mean a light with 3 x 60 watt globes would have to be on a separate circuit.. Or a 500 watt flood light, and so on.. .

    And what would having a mixed circut change things.. Would labling the switchboard light/tastic make it legal?? That does not make sense either.

    As elkangorito said above, the circuit breaker has to protect the wiring fed from it.
    A "lighting point" has a specific meaning in the context of AS3000 and 150W is the maximum for something to qualify as a "lighting point".

    Yes you can have the Tastic on the same circuit as some lights. But the Tastic is then an applicance connected to that circuit and is not a "lighting point" in the context of AS3000.

    In practice, and this is the point, if it's an average sized house and it has only one lighting circuit then it's unlikely you would be able to connect the Tastic to that circuit and remain within the rules. It wouldn't be electrically dangerous to do it, worst case is you'll have breakers tripping all the time, but wouldn't comply with the rules and isn't the situation you want (unless you like resetting circuit breakers).

    In practice, Tastics are very commonly connected to the lighting circuit without any consideration of the total load on that circuit. Most to the time it doesn't cause a problem. If I bought a house with that arrangement, then I wouldn't bother changing it unless the was an actual problem in practice. With the move to energy saving lamps that's increasingly unlikely to happen anyway (and I'd expect the AS3000 wattage rating of a "lighting point" will at some stage be changed to reflect the phase out of incandescent lamps).

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
    A "lighting point" has a specific meaning in the context of AS3000 and 150W is the maximum for something to qualify as a "lighting point".

    .

    Where the hell did you get that one from

    So my 500 Qi Spotlights at the back of my house are not light points????

  20. #20
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    Reduce your carbon footprint Nev.

    Or are you growing something "special"

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    Definition of a luminaire (lighting point) according to AS3000:

    See clause 1.4.64

    Also see 2.6.3.1 (b)

  22. #22
    Golden Member GraemeCook's Avatar
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    Bit of a worry when all these trained and licensed electricians cannot give a specific answer as to the wattage that can be connected to a lighting circuit.

    Now is my Tastic a single 1260 watt appliance, or as it has four switches is it deemed to be four smaller appliances?

    • Light switch - 1x60 watt globe.
    • Fan Switch - 1x100 watt fan (guessing fan wattage).
    • Heat Switch A - 2x275 watt heat globes (ie 550 w load)
    • Heat Switch B - 2x275 watt heat globes (ie 550 w load)

    Limit of 150 watts doesn't seem realistic, but we still do not know what the limit is.

    Cheers

    Graeme

  23. #23
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    Graeme,

    There are two separate issues that might be being confused. Firstly, there is the rating of the circuit (cable, circuit breaker, etc); and secondly, there is the "maximum demand" calculation used to determine the size of the incoming mains.

    Dealing with the first point, I think it is fairly obvious that the circuit rating needs to be sufficient for the load connected - the composition of the load doesn't really matter (i.e. the cable and protection device doesn't need to know if it is connected to a light or another device). In this sense there isn't really a "light" and a "power" circuit, there is a 8A or 16A circuit that has been labeled "light" or "power" for the convenience of the property owner. Your fan/heater/light unit on full is drawing about 5.5A so an 8A circuit ("light" circuit) would probably be adequate for the load but it would depend upon what else is also on that circuit. As someone pointed out above, the consequence of too much load is tripping the circuit breaker (not "burning your house down" as often cited on the forum.)

    The second point is to do with load "diversity" in calculating the required incoming mains cable size. Just because a house may have 5 x 15A circuits and 2 x 8A circuits doesn't mean the mains will be 5 x 16A + 2 x 8A = 96A - it will often be greatly less than this, say 45A. The Standard provides guidelines on calculating the typical "maximum demand" (which is quite a poor terminology - it's really maximum expected load, not the theoretical maximum load) for the whole residence. For example, for lighting, the Standard suggests allowing 3A for the first 20 lighting point and a further 2A for each extra 20 lighting points. You can do a quick calculation assuming 60W bulbs in each lighting point and find 20 x 60W = 5A. It could easily be much more if you place 150W bulbs in each fitting - but the Standard suggests 3A is adequate/typical. This is because it is unlikely, in a typical situation, that all lights will be on at the same time. This simplified calculation stipulates that any light over 150W isn't called a "light point" for the purpose of the calculation and needs to be considered separately - conversely, any appliance of "not more than 150 W" can be counted as a light fitting. Again, this section of the standard is "informative" and is a guide. If your circumstances are different (say, you often use all your lights and appliances at the same time), the "maximum demand" calculation may need to be done differently to ensure that adequate allowance has been made for the incoming mains cable. Continuing the example, the house with 5 x 16A + 2 x 8A circuits could be loaded up the limit of each circuit breaker and draw 96A but you'd probably blow the supply fuse!
    Last edited by chrisp; 28th Nov 2008 at 02:51 PM. Reason: more info.

  24. #24
    2x4
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    Quote Originally Posted by elkangorito View Post
    Definition of a luminaire (lighting point) according to AS3000:

    See clause 1.4.64

    Also see 2.6.3.1 (b)

    If you have gone to all the trouble to find the clauses , why not share the info?
    Seem a little "pointless" pardon the pun

  25. #25
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    2.6.3.1
    Residential electrical installations
    Additional protection by RCDs with a maximum rated residual current
    of 30 mA shall be provided for final subcircuits supplying—
    (a) one or more socket-outlets; and
    (b) lighting points; and
    NOTE: For the purpose of this Clause, combination fan, light and heater
    units are regarded as a lighting point.



    1.4.64 Luminaire (lighting fitting)
    A complete lighting assembly intended to distribute, filter, or
    transform the light from one or more lamps, together with such
    components as ancillary and auxiliary equipment, shades, diffusers,
    reflectors, and accessories. Such an assembly includes the means of
    connection to supply circuit wiring, internal and interconnecting wiring, and
    any associated housings. A lampholder that is not incorporated in an

    assembly is not regarded as a luminaire.





    Limit of 150 watts doesn't seem realistic, but we still do not know what the limit is.

    An 8A lighting circuit is capable of just under 2000w full load(That would be the limit) but as chrisp points out,when taking into account maximum demand it gets a little more complicated.

    Breaker is there to protect the cable only.

    RCD breaker is there to protect us and the cable.

    Neither of these care what the load is,only that it does not exceed the breakers current rating.


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    All of this is very interesting. How can this problem be solved?

    Well, if all this electrical stuff is so simple, why isn't there a definitive answer so far? BTW, I know the answer & it is very simple. I have already given the answer. It is not a complicated issue IF you know what you are talking about. It has little to do with maximum demand & more to do with "understanding domestic electrical installations", as per rules & training. Electrical familiarity plays a big part in this.

    In the meantime, for those that have these "fan/heater" units installed, if you have not had any problems since the installation (this is particularly for Graeme), you should not have a future problem both legally & technically, providing all things electrical remain unchanged within your installation.

    For those who have a copy of the latest rules & regs but can't decipher them, I suggest you spend some time learning about electrical theory & practice. I don't know how much time it will take you...maybe about 1000 hours. If you're smart, maybe about 500 hours or a little less. The regs can only really be understood IF one has a very good knowledge of electrical theory & practice.
    To show that I'm not "one sided" in this matter, I know of some electrical contractors that have little concept of "fault current" & its implications. They also seem to have little regard for "time/current" curves of circuit breakers (discrimination). Whilst I may seem to be a bit harsh on electrical contractors, these 2 things are CRITICAL for safety & trouble free operation of any installation. I do, however, feel that many electrical contractors understand these important things.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that anybody can read a rule book but not everybody can interpret those rules correctly unless they have been exposed to real situations.

    These days, correctly selecting switchgear (circuit breakers etc) is made easy since manufacturers usually have "technical sales people" available to recommend switchgear combinations. In most instances, these people will provide the correct solution for a given situation. I only mentioned this to highlight the point that on many occasions where more than one subcircuit is used, switchgear selection is important.

    The answer to the current question is "your fan/light/heater unit can be connected to any circuit you so desire". But do you know to which circuit it is best connected? A reasonable electrician will know the answer to this question. A new circuit may need to be put in to facilitate this appliance because of other factors like prospective circuit load etc. It would be unusual to have the mains to your home upgraded due to the addition of such an appliance but if an electrician decides that maximum demand could be a problem, he should do a maximum demand calculation & provide the results to you (if you can understand the results).

    Is this still DIY or UIY (Understand It Yourself)?

  27. #27
    Golden Member GraemeCook's Avatar
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    Thanks Chris for your very erudite explanation, and for providing the final link in the explanation 4x2.

    My place has 2x8amp circuits labeled 'lighting' and as it has not blown any fuses in the last ten years I was pretty sure the circuit was not overloaded. However the mention of a 150 watt limit raised questions of its legality, not its functionality.

    Thanks again

    Graeme


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