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Heated Towel Rail Controller

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barnaclebill58 | 18:09 Wed 13th May 2020 | How it Works
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I have a heated towel rail with a 400w element. At the moment the towel rail is either on or off at one temperature. I'd like it to be on at a low temperature in the summer and a higher temperature in the winter. Will something like https://www.dimplex.co.uk/product/fscw-towel-rail-energy-regulator-runback-timer-white do the trick ? I think it works by varying the voltage going to the element . Can anything go wrong if the element is getting less than 240V ?
Thanks

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Well, that's a new one on me, Bill.
Reading the blurb, it sounds right for you.

Since it's Dimplex, then I would trust that the element would suffer no ill effects.

It's not a cheap item, so I would ring Dimplex tech support to confirm that your rail is suitable.
Question Author
I did that and they said "We are unable to comment or confirm if the FSCW will work with your towel rail, purely because it has not been tested or approved by out factory with that specific product.
The FSCW is an energy regulator which should reduce or increase the voltage (up to 240v) to the product, but how the product reacts to this and whether there are any safety features within it that could be compromised we are unable to confirm.”
I don't know how heated towel rail elements vary. Are there some that are specifically designed to run at variable temperatures?
As is made clear in the blurb, it "works with the Dimplex ranges of CPT, TDTR, BR, TR and S rails".
They make the rails so know all of their characteristics. It may well work with your rail, but they can't be expected to confirm that it will, thus potentially making themselves liable if it doesn't.
Question Author
Is the worst that can happen that it either doesnt work or the element fails? I know nothing about electricity so Ill take chance as long as it is unlikely that anything dire could happen .
At a guess, it just reduces the voltage supplied to the rail, so I personally would give it a go.
It's difficult to imagine that it could fail in a way that presents a danger.
BUT DON'T HOLD ME RESPONSIBLE IF IT DOES!
If there's any problem,Bill, I think it's going to be with the controller rather than the towel rail element.

I've had a look at the rails that Dimplex say are compatible. One is a BR400 (400 watts). So, according to TheChair's post, the controller is able to control 400 watts.

Reducing the voltage just reduces the current load, therefore lowering the temperature. Unless there is some other electronic circuitry with your element, it should be fine.
I've had experience of extractor fan speed controllers in pubs. Much the same principle. Fans seem to go on and on. It's the controllers that keep failing.
I've been reading reviews on Amazon for a similar product to the Dimplex controller (similar price). They work fine... for a while.
I'll bet you that in the case of a warranty claim, Dimplex would insist that it should have been used with one of their products.

I'm inclined to go with TheChair, and give it a go. I can't see any safety issue (assuming your electrical circuits are kosher.)

If it were me, I would leave it alone, and fit a 150 watt rail alongside this one, or even mounted above it.
You can then choose which one to use according to the time of year.
Question Author
Many thanks - I'll get a sparky to fit a controller.

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