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What is a Dual Fuel Towel Rail and Why Do I Need One?

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Heated towel rails are the perfect addition to any bathroom. They are a stylish way to utilize wall space and provide heat to get rid of any bathroom chills. There are a few different ways to heat a towel rail, one of which is dual fuel. Continue reading to find out why Dual Fuel is so popular in today's bathrooms.

Towel Rail fuel options

What Does Dual Fuel Mean?

Dual fuel is when your towel rail is connected to both your central heating and your mains electricity.

duel fuel towel rails

Why Should I Buy One?

A Dual Fuel heated towel rail combines the best of both worlds to offer the most efficient bathroom heating solution. Central heating towel rails are great for the winter months when your heating is already switched on. But when it gets to Summer and have your heating off, you'll need to turn it on again just for your towel rail. Electric heated towel rails let you control the temperature independently from your central heating but are less efficient.

This is why Dual Fuel heated towel rails are the best option. You can heat your towels and room using your central heating throughout the winter and then easily switch it over to be heated electrically in the summer when you turn off your central heating. This guarantees toasty towels all year round.

What Do I Need?

Firstly, you need to work out how much heat you need for your space. This can be done by using our heat calculator to calculate your room's heat requirement.

Next, have a browse through our range of Traditional and Designer Towel Rails and pick out a style you like that meets your required Wattage. We have a massive range to suit any size and shape of space. Once you've selected a suitable model, divide its output in Watts by 1.81 and round up the value.


  • My 2m x 3m x 2.5m Bathroom with Double Glazing would require around 700w to heat and I want the towel rail to be the only heat source for this room.

  • My chosen towel rail, The Finsbury Steel Towel Rail (1200m x 500m), has an output of 773w.

  • To work out what electric heating element I need I would divide the output (773w) by 1.81 which gives 427w (773/1.81=427.1).

  • I would then round this up to get 500w as the required wattage for my heating element.

Electric Heating Elements.

There are two main types of electric towel rail heating elements, standard and thermostatic.

Standard electric heating elements maintain a single temperature until they are turned off.

Thermostatic electric heating elements have multiple temperature settings that can be adjusted.


The T-piece (also known as a Tee-piece, Tee connector, or Dual Fuel adaptor) is what turns your towel rail from single fuel to dual fuel. They are fitted to the towel rail to give it two inlets, one for the electric heating element and one for the valve. The T-piece is sometimes included with the towel rail depending on what type you go for.


You can use any of our wide range of valves with your towel rail. However, we've found that certain styles are more popular with towel rails, they can be viewed here. Valves will only be used when you are using your towel rail in central heating mode. This means you need to decide whether you want them to be thermostatic or manual. You can learn more about the differences between the two here. You also need to determine what configuration you will need to suit the direction of your pipes. You can read more about this here.

dual fuel towel rail accessories

How To Use a Dual Fuel Towel Rail.

To use your dual fuel towel rail in central heating mode, open both valves as you would open them on a radiator. This will allow the water to flow through your towel rail. You must ensure your electric heating element is turned off at this point.

To use your dual fuel towel rail in electric heating mode, close the input (flow) valve to cut the flow of water into the towel rail. You can leave the return (lockshield) valve open so that pressure is released. When you're ready to return to central heating mode, just turn off your electric element and open the input valve.

Installing a Dual Fuel Towel Rail.

Each installation is different due to the varied shapes and sizes of our towel rails, but there are some rules that apply to all types of towel rails. We would always recommend enlisting the services of a professional installer to ensure that the installation goes as smoothly as possible. Please ensure that your towel rail is being installed in a Bathroom Zone that is suitable for electrical products. Also, you should check the IP (Ingress Protection) rating of your electric heating element. This defines the levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies (tools, dirt, etc) and moisture.

We hope this has helped you to understand the wonderful world of dual-fuel towel rails. If you do require any more information feel free to drop us an email, give us a call, or jump in the chat.



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