Towel rail and heater testing

What happens during testing?

With an electric towel rail typically located in a humid bathroom environment, it has to undergo rigorous safety testing to be compliant with legislation. Towel rails must be tested to the standard EN 60335-2-43 and if they are to be used as a room heater also, additional testing to EN 60335-2-30 will be applicable. This article details some of the tests carried out, but is not an exhaustive list so please get in touch to discuss your requirements



Our engineers will test the normal operation of the towel rail using textiles that are pre-washed and have dimensions of 700mm x 700m, with a specific mass of between 140 g/m² and 175 g/m² in dry condition. Each test will also be repeated to allow for abnormal operation, in addition to no textiles.


Our engineers apply impact blows to the appliance using the spring hammer test, in accordance with IEC 60068-2-75 to verify resistance to rough handling.


Prior to testing, the towel rail must be set up as per manufacturers installation instructions, and this can sometimes involve bespoke test rigs. Testing is carried out in a purpose-built test corner, designed to accurately capture radiant heat over a wide surface area. Our engineers use a thermal camera to identify where thermocouples need to be placed to measure the temperature rise. The thermocouples used are attached to blackened copper or brass, 15mm in diameter and 1mm thick. The nature of testing products that heat involves significant time as the item must reach thermal stability, a process which can take several hours. During testing, the towel rail must be operated at a 1.15 x rate of power using a variable power source to check the temperature rise of the surfaces do not exceed the value specified, which changes depending on the surface material. This is monitored in seconds, for several hours.


Appliances are subjected to tests of IEC 60529, for which Cranage is UKAS accredited, and should be rated at least IPX4. Our spray equipment has a set radius, with holes a set distance, and water flows at a verified flow rate to ensure accuracy. We also carry out a humidity test for 48 hours in a humidity cabinet containing air with a relative humidity of 93% ±3%. All testing is completed in one location, so your item is not moved between labs.


This is carried out at several points throughout testing, for both normal and abnormal operations. For a class 2 appliance, we have to apply a mains voltage through a test probe using a specialised and calibrated benchtop multi function instrument. High voltage will also be applied to make sure insulation is adequate and barriers do not break down.


The test environment is also accurately and carefully maintained to a specific standard

  1. The temperature must be continually maintained at 23°c ± 2°c
  2. The relative humidity of the air must not exceed 55%
  3. Air velocity must not exceed 15 cm/s

We are UKAS accredited (1833) for EN 60335-2-43 and EN 60335-2-30, meaning our lab, people and process are technically competent and our results are accurate.

Get in touch with our team to discuss your towel rail testing requirements