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FAQ

Are heated towel rails environmentally friendly?

At Avenir, we strive to reduce the impact on the environment in the production and usage of our products. We believe there is environmental value in keeping towels from staying damp and requiring unnecessary washing and drying (especially if a tumble dryer is used). This means towels can be used for longer periods between washes.

We encourage customers to use heated ladders and rails for a maximum of 6 hours a day on a timer. Limiting your usage with a timer and washing and drying your towels less frequently will ultimately reduce your carbon footprint.

Posted July 26, 2013

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Are your heated rails energy efficient?

All Avenir ladders and rails are heated by means of a dry element (like underfloor heating) - Unlike Hydronic (liquid filled) ladders, the dry element heating system is not thermostatically controlled. Therefore the rail temperature will only reach the optimum temperature (45 - 55 degrees C) when covered by a towel. Contrary to what some manufacturers will tell you, this is actually an advantage; Thermostatically controlled heated towel rails use excess energy to maintain the rails working temperature even when not covered by a towel - this not only wastes energy but is also unpleasantly hot to the touch should you come into contact with the rails when they are not covered. By comparison our heated rails simply are cooler when not in use, saving you energy.
 

Posted May 6, 2013

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Can I install Solo or Cubo rails without the in-wall kit?

Possibly, if the rails are non heated then you definitly can. If they are heated and the wall is hollow (stud wall or cavity brick wall), or if the other side of the wall can be accessed, then it may be possible to fix and connect the rails without the in-wall kit being pre-installed in the wall. You will need to check with your builder about the positions of the studs and noggins to see if you drill holes through the tiles (and the wall), you will need to be able to feed the wiring from those holes to the transformer location (normally the ceiling) in order to make the electrical connection.

The wall mounting componenets supplied with the rails have 2 ways of fixing to the wall - there is a centre 10mm threaded hole which normally would screw over the aluminium spigots provided with the in-wall kit. When no spigotts are available (no kit installed), you will have the option of using the 2 additional small holes in the wall mounting component in order to fix it to the wall, with the wire going through the centre hole.

Posted July 27, 2013

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Can I order a towel ladder in a custom size?

No, Avenir heated or non heated rails and ladders cannot be made to a custom size. 

Posted July 27, 2013

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Can my towel rails be cut down?

Towel rails can be cut to your specifications for all ranges except the Xylo and Universal. Please note this needs to be requested when ordering, and a $20 cut down fee per item will apply. You can specify the length as centre to centre (C/C) or end to end measurement (O/A).

Unfortunately towel rails can not be cut down after purchase.

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Can your heated products be installed in wet areas?

Yes, all our low voltage products (Hybrid Ladders, Solo, Cubo and Xylo Rails) are perfectly safe to install in Bathroom Zone 1 (wet area).

Our 240V products (Fluid, Form, Base and Econ) are IPx5 rated, like most heated towel rails on the market in Australia. As such, they are technically allowed to be used in Bathroom Zone 1 (above a bath or in a shower area), however this is not recommended. If at all possible, you should consider using a low voltage device for safety reasons. You will find that many electricians will refuse to install 240V products in wet areas even if they are "technically" suitable because of their IP rating.

Posted July 27, 2013

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Do 12V rails get as hot as 240V rails?

Yes, heat is proportional to the wattage of a device, which is a product of the voltage and the current (Watts = Volts x Amps). So 12V heating products use a ultra safe low voltage but they draw very high currents (Amps), giving the same intended wattage as a 240V device which draws a very low current (amps). Therefore, 2 rails with the same wattage will emit exactly the same amount of heat.

Even so, they may still feel different in temperature to the touch. This can be because the surface area of the rails may be different. For example, our Hybrid heated towel ladders have very large flat rails for even heat distribution, so the same amount of heat would be spread out over a larger area and thus feel less hot to the touch, but at the same time have the same capacity to dry the towel.

Posted July 27, 2013

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Do I need to specify which leg for the connection?

For Hybrid Ladders, Solo, Cubo and Xylo Rails, you can choose at time of installation (Connection can be made through any leg).

For all other heated ladders and plug in configurations (Form, Fluid, Base and Econ), you will need to specify the leg through which the wire is connected. The concealed wiring option through the bottom left leg is standard, and all other options (including all plug in options) are considered SMO (special Make to Order) and as such cannot be returned after ordering.

Posted July 27, 2013

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Do you offer a glass fixing solution?

Yes, for all accessory ranges except Universal and Bloque, there is a glass fixing mounting system available, sold as a seperate item.

Posted July 26, 2013

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Do you offer a glue-on solution?

We are currently developing a glue-on solution which will be available soon for most of our accessories and Hybrid heated ladders - please contact us for more details.

Posted July 26, 2013

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How hot do Hybrid ladders get?

This depends on what is meant by hot - Hot could mean hot to the touch or the capacity to dry the towel. Hybrid rail have more than twice the surface area of other heated towel rails on the market and for an equivilent size ladder they will have improved capacity to dry a towel because of their large flat rails and even heat distribution, however they may not feel as hot to the touch because that same amount of heat (energy) is spread out over a larger surface area. This large surface area amplifies the difference in temperature between when the ladder has towels covering the rails and when not.

With one or more towels covering the rails, you will find that the rails get very hot – especially the ones directly being covered completely. The easiest way to describe how hot they should get is as follows; Cover the rails with a dry towel and leave the ladder on for say an hour (it should reach full temperature beforehand but this depends on the room temperature). Then put your hand under the towel on the very top rail over which the towel is covering. The rail should be hot enough to make your hand feel quite uncomfortable without burning. If this is not the case then you should consider looking at the length and gauge of the wire used by the electrician between the transformer and the rail - this can have a big effect on the heat - See other FAQ on this site.  

When there is no towel covering the rails, if one compares HYBRID with other rails, you will find that the temperature feels less than half as hot to the touch (lukewarm). This is simply because the horizontal rails have twice the capacity to dissipate the heat energy and nothing to do with the amount of energy being emitted from the rails – In other words, if the same heat is spread out over twice the surface area, then it will feel half as hot to the touch. 
 
Posted July 26, 2013
Products: hybrid,

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Should I use a timer?

We strongly recomend using a timer to conrol when the rails is heated. After about 4 hours, a damp towel will be completly dry and there is no benefit to leaving it on for longer.

Heated towel rails have the capacity over time to waste energy unknowingly, unlike for example a light bulb, which when left on can easily be noticed. For heated towel rails, if only a switch is used to control the rail, it is easy to forget it on.

A typical timing schedule for heating a rail would be to switch it on 2 hours before your normal bath/shower time, and switch it off 2 hours after that. 

Please note: Your warranty may be void if no timer is installed

Posted July 26, 2013

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What does the IP rating mean?

IP stands for Ingress Protection and specifies the protection against solid and/or liquid of an electrical system. In the case of Avenir products, the rating is IPx5. The first number after "IP" is "x", which means it has not been tested for solids (normally dust). The second number is 5, which means it has been tested for electrical insulation against water ingress (not into the ladder, but into the waterproof connections inside) to the extent that it will be safe in a wet area such as zone 1. If this second number is less than 5, then it is not safe to use in Zone 1.

Avenir does not advise using a 240V heated product in a wet area (Bathroom Zone 1). We recommend you choose a 12V rail(s) for this application. Avenir manufacturers Hybrid, Solo, Cubo and Xylo heated rails and ladders which are all low voltage devices that are safe to use in wet areas.

Posted July 27, 2013

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What gauge wire should be used?

Both Hybrid and Solo/Cubo individual heated rails use a 12 volt transformer. With low voltage products it is important to minimise the volt drop. For this reason it is important to use the appropriate wire gauge between the transformer and the rail(s). For Solo/Cubo rails, 1mm wire is supplied with the in-wall installation kit - this is the correct wire.

For Hybrid rails with a load of less than 120W, a 1mm wire gauge is sufficient (lighting grade wire), provided the length of this wire is not more than 2 meters. If it is longer then you should use a thicker wire to mitigate the volt drop. If the load is greater than 120W, you need to use 2.5mm wire (normally used for 10A power points). It is never a problem to use thicker wire than is required - although there is limited space inside the Hybrid ladder for connection.

By way of example of the effect of wire gauge on volt drop: For a 12V appliance drawing 120W through a 2 meter 1mm guage wire, you can expect about 8% energy loss (less heat). At 4 meters under the same curcumstances, you would expect to loose 16% of the heat in the rail. Other than the reduced energy in the rail, there is no technical reason why longer wire should not be used, however it is very important that the wire gauge specified is correct. Failure to observe this will cause the wire to get hot and be a fire danger. DO NOT USE SO CALLED FIGURE 8 WIRE - unless you are absolutly sure the gauge is thicker than that specified above. Normal 240V house wire is the prefered option although only 2 cores are required (no earth).

 
Posted July 26, 2013
Products: cubo, hybrid, solo,

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What is the advantage of the Hybrid's flat rails?

The Hybrid heated towel ladder range features broad, flat rails that have twice the surface area of ordinary rails. For this reason the heat is spread over a larger area and will help to dry and warm your towel more evenly. At the same time, because the energy is spread out over a larger area, they will feel less hot to the touch (mostly this occurs when not covered by a towel) - Please note that this does not impede the ability of the Hybrid ladder to dry your towels. The same amount of energy is still being emitted from the rail - just spread out more evenly. 

By comparison, other rails on the market (with small round tubes) have the capacity to be very uncomfortable to the touch (even burning to the touch - especially for young children) because the heat being emmited is concentrated in a smaller area.
 
Posted July 26, 2013
Products: hybrid,

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Where are Avenir accessories made?

We produce our bathroom accessoies from raw materials at our automated facility in Sydney (excluding certain Universal items). A small assortment of components are imported from China. Our imported Universal items, like some of the soap dispensers and toilet brush sets, are made in high quality Chinese factories, under the supervision of our German and Dutch partners.

When viewing products on this website, look out for "Made in Australia" in the product details.

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Where should I put the transformer?

Both Hybrid and Solo/Cubo individual heated rails use a 12 volt transformer. With low voltage products it is important to minimise the volt drop. For this reason we suggest keeping the wire between the transformer and the rail(s) as short as possible - typically less than 2 meters. This means that an appropriate palce to locate the transformer needs to be nearby the rail(s) and also positioned such that it can be accessed in case it should need replacing in the future. Typically this is in the ceiling directly above the rail(s) or inside a nearby vanity - Please note that for safety reason, the transformer must not be directly accessable and must be in a secure location where it cannot be accedentally touched. Your electrician will advise you on a safe location. If this distance exceeds 2 meters then the only result will be a loss of energy in the rail(s) - for example, a 5 meter wire could mean the rails will have 10-20% less heat (energy).
 
Posted July 26, 2013
Products: cubo, hybrid, solo,

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Why are my accessories loose?

Accessories not firmly attached to the wall is always an installation issue. A common misconception is that the grub screw is not tight, and after re-tightening it, the accessory is still not firmly fixed to the wall.

We have prepared a troubleshooting guide to help address the common installation mistakes and give advice on how to re-install them correctly Click here

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Why aren't my towel getting hot enough?

Australian heated towel rails are designed to dry your towel and don't get as hot as European radiators. They will of course take the chill out of the towel and gently warm them, but the towels will not be heated to the extent that, for example, a tumble dryer will heat them.

‚ÄčIn Europe by comparison, the radiators will heat a towel much more. This is because these radiators are very high energy devices which are designed to heat the bathroom. Australian regulations separate heated towel rails from room heaters. Room heaters are a separate category and require additional certification that most Australian heated towel rails do not conform to.

Posted July 26, 2013

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