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Note: We have three different technical guides all related to heated towel rails:
1. What is a Dual Fuel Heated Towel Rail?
Dual fuel heated towel rails give you the choice of two different energy sources on one rail, electric or central heating. This is chosen by you, dependant on whether you want the whole central heating system running (typically in the winter), or whether you just want to have the heated towel rail alone running, when you would use the electric option (typically in the summer). You'll need both central heating pipes running into the rail and an element connected to a fused spur. Dual fuel is a great benefit in the summertime and is economically a good option and becoming ever more popular.
2. Buying Dual Fuel is Very Simple - All You Need is a Rail and a Geyser Dual Fuel Pack
Select your chosen rail from our "Central Heating Towel Rails" category (not an "Electric Towel Rail" as you need it to be un-filled). Then you'll simply need to purchase one of our "Dual Fuel Packs" which contain all the component parts you'll need to install the rail as dual fuel. The exact dual fuel packs compatible with your chosen rail, will be displayed in the bottom right hand section of the towel rail product page, under "Accessories Suitable For This Product". Note: If you don't see any dual fuel packs listed on a particular towel rail, this will mean that rail is not suitable for using as electric (and you will also notice it will say "rail not available in electric" under the main product images).
We have four different types of Dual Fuel Pack in total, as governed by the type of Valves they are supplied with. All four packs are represented in these images below which show you how each pack will look once fitted (dependant if your central heating pipes come through the floor or the wall):
3. What Function Does Each Component Part in the Pack Perform?
A. T-Piece: This is essentially the key component of the setup, as the T-Piece enables you to connect both the valve (for the central heating) and the element (for the electrical supply) to the same valve entry point (tapping) on the heated towel rail. All of our Dual Fuel Packs include 2x T-Pieces, as this gives a neat symmetrical look on both sides of the rail.
B. Valves: Required to control the flow of water from your central heating system. You have the choice of four different types of valve across our 4 dual fuel packs:
- Manual Angled Valves
- Manual Flat Front Valves
- Thermostatic Angled Valves
- Thermostatic Flat Front Valves
C. Element: Required to heat the rail when used as electric. You have the choice of two types of element across the four packs:
- Single Heat Element (supplied with the Manual Valve Packs): This element will heat up to an internal temperature of 65°C and then maintain this temperature.
- Variable Heat Element (supplied with the Thermostatic Valve Packs): This element will heat up to your desired temperature, across five settings starting at 20°C and increasing to 70°C in increments of 10°C.
D. Blank Plug Required as we supply 2x T-Pieces with our packs, so the blank plug blocks up the opening on the T-Piece which isn't occupied by the element.
E. Extension Pipes & Shrouds: Purely aesthetic to finish off the installation as shown in the images.
4. How do I install the Dual Fuel Towel Rail?
You will potentially need both a plumber and an electrician to install dual fuel (or a tradesman who can do both). All of our Dual Fuel packs are supplied with comprehensive double sided fitting instructions, which contain in depth instructions and images so your plumber and electrician can follow our step by step guide to ensure your installation looks just like our suggested set-up photos (as shown above). This is important as we have seen some very odd looking installations over the years, which look very cumbersome. Remember to keep your instructions safe and ensure both your tradesmen read and understand them.
Note: We do not provide these double sided instructions here on the website, as you are paying for this additional service as part of your pack.
Here are some further installation images so you can see how neat a dual fuel set-up actually looks when fitted in conjunction with the rail.
5. How do I select which heat source is being used?
Note: As detailed in our fitting instructions (supplied with the pack) the lockshield (or valve) on the "Return" (water outward) side of the rail, needs to remain locked in the open position.
Central Heating Option: Turn only the "Flow" valve (water inward) to fully the open position (fully anti clockwise) to allow the water from the central heating system to flow into the heated towel rail and switch on the central heating system. Note: Ensure the heating element is switched off at the fused spur (further explained in question 6 below).
Electric Option: Turn only the "Flow" valve to the fully closed position (fully clockwise - tip to remember: clockwise to close "clo to clo"). Now switch your heating element on. The solution in the heated towel rail is now locked off on one side, creating a semi closed system, so the element can warm the heated towel rail alone and there's room for the heated solution to expand out through the opposite side. WARNING: If you close both valves, too much pressure could build up inside the rail and it could potentially blow.
6. Tip: If you have a Thermostatic Pack - Remember to Switch off the Variable Heat Element at the Fused Spur when Using in Central Heating mode - Otherwise You May See a Fault Warning
If you buy a thermostatic dual fuel pack with a variable heat element, when used in the electric mode you need to switch off the element at the fused spur to completely cut the power supply to it (not just switched off on the unit itself). To Explain Why: The variable heat element normally heats up to a maximum of 70 degrees, but the temperature of the water coming through the rail from the central heating system might be higher, therefore if the element is only turned off on the unit itself (and not on the wall) it may switch itself on flash a warning to tell you that it is registering temperatures over its own limit. This is nothing to worry about. To stop the flashing, simply switch the element off at the fused spur when the dual fuel rail is used with the central heating option.
7. What is the difference between the Single Heat Elements and Variable Heat Elements?
We offer two types of heating element in our dual fuel packs as follows...
- Single Heat
- Contained in all the "Manual Valve" Packs.
- Easy to use, simply operates from the switch on your fused spur (normally the switch is located outside the bathroom, as switches are not permitted in UK bathrooms).
- No direct control of the temperature, as a single heat electric towel rail will regulate at a fixed internal heat of approximately 65 degrees (note: this doesn't mean the surface temperature of the electric towel rail will be exactly 65 degrees but close to).
- Some customers have retro fitted our additional Temperature Control Plate to their single heat electric towel rail because they found the surface temperature too hot for them (think about the position of your electric towel rail and how close it may be to bare skin).
- Towel rails with exterior finishes in sparkling chrome, brushed chrome and black come with a matching chrome coloured heating element (as pictured above) with a matching grey flex. The white rails come with a matching white coloured heating element with a matching white flex.
- Variable Heat
- Contained in all the "Thermostatic Valve Packs".
- Use the '+' and '-' buttons to choose the desired internal temperature between 20 and 70 degrees, across 5 settings, each in increments of 10 degrees.
- LEDs will flash to denote element is working up (or down) to your chosen temperature and then the LEDs will turn static once that temperature is achieved.
- Features an internal thermostat (located on the probe of the element inside the electric towel rail) which registers the internal temperature of the solution. Once the required temperature is achieved the element regulates at +/- 2 degrees (by switching on and off) to maintain the temperature.
- This is the safer option if you have children as you can easily turn down the temperature of the rail making it much cooler to the touch.
- Towel rails with exterior finishes in sparkling chrome and black come with a matching chrome coloured heating element (as pictured above) with a matching grey flex. The white and brushed chrome rails come with a matching matt grey coloured heating element with matching grey flex.
- Note: Sometimes you may see that the Single Heat dual fuel packs list a different wattage output to the Variable Heat packs on the same model of towel rail. This will be due to the fact those are the respective wattages of element we supply with each respective type. Its the surface temperature of the rail during our testing which results in this. Remember the single heat are a fixed temperature so the surface holds a lot more heat and we sometimes supply lower wattages of element with those to ensure they are safe for use in the bathroom where they may come into contact with bare skin.
8. What wattages of element do I need to convert my own Towel Rail to Dual Fuel?
If you are planning to convert your own towel rail to dual fuel we have provided this list of all the different wattage elements provided in our Dual Fuel Packs and the corresponding dimensions of towel rails we suggest those elements are suitable for. Note: This is purely a rough guide and there is flexibility either way on the wattage. Alternatively you could also find an electric towel rail we sell, which is similar in size to yours and see what wattage element we provide with that rail (as they won't always follow this guide). Note: this is based on the height dimensions of portrait orientation rails, so it the rail you are buying is wider than it is tall, use the width measurement of your rail for the figures below:
Single Heat Elements (all wattages available in chrome & only 150,400,900 in white)
150 watts: 0mm high > 700mm high
200 watts: 701mm high > 800mm high
300 watts: 801mm high > 900mm high
400 watts: 901mm high > 1100mm high
500 watts: 1101mm high > 1200mm high
600 watts: 1201mm high > 1300mm high
700 watts: 1301mm high > 1500mm high
900 watts: 1501mm high > 1800mm high
Variable Heat Elements (all wattages available in chrome & matt grey)
300 watts: 0mm high > 900mm high
600 watts: 900mm high > 1500mm high
1000 watts: 1500mm high > 1800mm high
Click Here to go to the Accessories page with the elements listed on it.