What is IP Rating for a Water Heater?
Why should you care?
In every water heater, there is a compartment where the thermostat, heating element and the connecting wires are connect shown in Photo 1.
It is protected from water ingress by a cover (photo 2).
Electricity and water don’t mix.
And rightly so. Water is a very good conductor of electricity. Water can worm itself through gaps, accumulating in the compartment. Overtimes it will build up enough water to create a short circuit.
Our instinctive caution about the combination of electricity and water can be so deeply ingrained that many people dismiss electrical appliance in bathroom outright.
However, properly installed, a suitable electric heater can make a safe supply of hot shower to your bathrooms for years if not decades.
What to consider when replacing a water heater
Fret ye not – finding a safe electric heater to use in your bathroom is quite straightforward, and most retailers will give you plenty of assistance when you make your choice. There are two things you need to consider:
This code spells out how water heaters are to be installed and how plumbing works are to be done in Singapore.
It is an offence for an individual who carry out or offer or undertake any regulated works unless the individual is licensed plumber or the individual acts under the direct supervision of a licensed plumber. Public can direct their queries or report practices by unlicensed plumber to the building management or PUB’s 24-hour call centre at 1800-CALL-PUB (1800-2255-782)
2. Heaters must carry the appropriate IP rating for their fitting location
Number one is a no-brainer, but it’s worth re-iterating. DO NOT try and install an electric storage heater in your bathroom unless being supervised by a Licensed Plumber.
However highly you value your DIY know-how, the consequences of a mistake could be affecting the health and safety in long run – of you or the other users of your bathroom.
When engaging a handyman or contractor, please ensure that they can provide the details of the Licensed Plumber so you can verify authenticity at the PUB website
Number two is a little more complicated – so here’s our handy guide to choosing a heater with the right IP rating for your bathroom:
What are IP ratings?
The IP Code system is a scale which classifies the degree of ingress protection offered by electric appliances against both solid and liquid particles. In other words, it’s a measurement of how waterproof your gadgets are.
The first number in an IP rating shows the appliance’s protection against solid particles – including everything from hands to fingers to particles of dust. The second number in the IP rating is a measure of the appliance’s protection against water. This is the important number to consider when choosing an electric heater for a bathroom. The number can range from 0 – 8, where “0” indicates no protection at all, and “8” indicates protection against long periods of immersion under pressurised water. An “X” in an IP rating does not necessarily indicate zero protection – however it does mean that the manufacturer has not tested the appliance for its protection levels in that category.
Rule of thumb. When the heater is placed above the ceiling or away from the shower area IPX1 will do. However, if it is exposed directly to the shower an IPX4 rating should be selected.
Reading the IP rating on a water heater
Below are examples of the most popular storage water heaters in Singapore and their IP ratings.
Rheem Manufacturing Company (Singapore) Pte Ltd EHG-60 storage water heater is rated IPX4
While Rheem RHEEMGLAS FURY 85VP62 storage water heater is rated IPX1.
Ariston (Made In Italy) TI50 HDX SIN storage water heater is rated IP21.
Rheem RHEEMGLAS FURY (Made In Mexico) EP20-H storage water heater is rated IPX1
Ariston Thermo Group PRO RS 100HE SIN3 storage water heater is rated IP21
Rheem ER-40A storage water heater is IPX1 rated.
Rubine RWH-AR30A Sin 2.5W storage water heater is rated IPX4
Ariston (Made in Italy) TI-Shape 30R 1.5 SIN storage water heater is rated IP21
Joven Electric JH25 storage water heater is IP21
Rheem EH-40M storage water heater is IPX1
Rheem RHEEMGLAS FURY 65SVP10S storage water heater is rated IPX1
Rheem Manufacturing Company (Singapore) Pte Ltd EHG-50 storage water heater is rated IPX4
Rheem EH-55M is rated storage water heater IPX1
Ariston Thermo Group PRO R S 56SHE SIN3 storage water heater is rated IP21
Ariston Made by MTS Group INOX AA-40 storage water heater is rated IP21
Ariston Thermo Group PLUS 30R 1.5 SIN storage water heater is rates IPX1
Ariston Made in India INOX AA-25 storage water heater is rated IP21
Ariston Thermo Group PRO RS 80HE SIN3 storage water heater is rated IP21
Rubine RWH-AR15A SIN 2.5W storage water heater is rated IPX4
Ariston Thermo Group PRO 30 OR 1.5 SIN storage water heater is rated IPX1
Ariston Thermo Group PRO R S 80HE SIN3 storage water heater is rated IP21
Ariston Made in Italy TI-SHAPE 30 R 1.5 SIN storage water heater is rated IP 21
Ferroli Group SEH30-3.0 storage water heater is rated IPX1
Rheem RHEEMGLAS FURY Made In Mexico 85VP20S storage water heater is rated IPX1
Rheem EH-40M storage water heater is rate IPX1
Ariston Made In Italy TI 80 H DX SIN storage water heater is rated IP21
Ariston Thermo Group DS 30 SHE SIN3 storage water heater is rated IP21
Ariston Made In India INOX AA-40 rated IP21
Ariston Thermo Group PRO RS 30SHE SIN 3 storage water heater rated IP21
Rheem EH-40 storage water heater rated IPX1
Below are examples of some storage water heaters in Singapore which are not IP rated.
Ariston (Made In Italy) under CASA P 15 SIN storage water heater – Not IP rated
Joven Electric Co. JH50 Made In Malaysia storage water heater is not IP rated
Rheem RHEEMGLAS STANDARD 81VP6S not IP rated
AO Smith water products company 38L storage water heater is Not IP rated
What happens when your water heater is not IP-rated or has a low IP-rating?
The various zones in a bathroom denotes the likelihood of contact with water. Zone 1 is almost certain to get water droplets from all directions and Zone 2 may get water splashing at a lesser extent. At Zone 3, the chance of getting contact with water would be minimum.
Placing a water heater at Zone 1 is only recommended if it has IP rating of IPX4 or better. For Zone 2, we recommend IPX2 or better. IPX1 would be safe only at Zone 3.
Above photo is the result of an IPX1 rated water heater being placed within Zone 1. Over a long period of time, Water entered the seal, accumulated and cause a short circuit.
Some of our customers have experienced water heater faults due to poor IP ratings, including this 2020 May 14 Joven Toa Payoh HDB Exposed Storage Heater Replacement case. The existing Heater Joven JH25 with IP21 rating reported to have tripped the MCB whenever turned on. Water has been found in the circuit board/heating element compartment.
We have replaced it with a Rheem RHG30, a IPX4 rated water heater that is 3 notches better than IP21. Other errors corrected are installing missing key elements like an approved stop valve, double check valve and a drainpipe to the pressure relief valve outlet, which are required by the PUB.
We turned the heater around to face the opposite side so to avoid being under the waste pipes and have built a protective layer placed above the tank to comply with PUB code, as well as replacing all connecting pipe works with steel pipes.
We are water heater specialists
Here at Homeone Euro Trading Pte Ltd, we take pride in the quality of our water heater replacements and pay extra attention to the IP rating of your water heaters. We are the only bathroom wares showroom along the Geylang Road stretch which is also a registered BCA Contractor and have an in-house PUB Licensed Plumber. We are highly recommended as seen from the positive reviews from our satisfied customers and have completed hundreds of jobs. We are happy to draw on our 25 years of construction and plumbing experience to deliver the best services for you.