7 Tips for Choosing a Socket and Switch


  1. №1.Type of electrical wiring
  2. №2.What socket to choose: degree of protection of the case
  3. №3.Important technical parameters of the
  • socket. Grounding
  • . Ratings
  • Screw and screwless connection
  • A variety of connectors
  • №4.Types of sockets
  • №5.The choice of the switch
  • №6.Design and material of execution
  • №7.What else is important to consider when choosing?
  • Every day we use switches and sockets many times, sometimes without even knowing how much the comfort and safety of our lives depends on them. I do not want to scare anyone, but the wrong choice threatens to ignite the wiring and electric shock. In the best case, after some time the plug starts to fall out of the socket, and the case from the box. Safety of electrical installation equipment, by which they understand sockets with switches, is the most important factor of his choice, but today, when designer switches, sockets with a timer and other interesting decisions are on sale, other parameters are important, and it becomes very difficult to make a purchase. We will try to figure out how to choose the outlet and the switch correctly.

    №1.Type of electrical wiring

    Electrical wiring in the apartment can be:

    • flush-mounted type , when the cable is laid in the wall. Without going into the features of wiring installation, we note that this is the most preferred and safest option, but, alas, not always available;
    • open type , when the cable is mounted directly on the wall.

    Internal sockets and switches are suitable for wiring of the hidden type .The main part of the electrical installation equipment in this case is located in the wall, and only a nice case is mounted outside.

    open wiring requires outdoor equipment, i.e.overhead sockets and switches. They will bulge noticeably, but to say that such details can ruin the interior is still impossible. However, in this case it is necessary to approach the issue of determining the ideal location more carefully, so that no one touches the socket or switch once again. The advantages we assign simpler installation.

    №2.Which socket to choose: the degree of protection of the case

    Even a child understands that the socket is a source of increased danger. Adults can add that contact with water can be disastrous. So now, do not use sockets in the kitchen or in the bathroom at all? What then to do in pools and other rooms where contact with water cannot be avoided? In this case, designed protective outlets, the body of which can prevent the negative effects of moisture and dust.

    When choosing an outlet, you should definitely pay attention to the degree of protection against moisture and small items from the , which is indicated in the marking by the letters IP and the next two digits.

    The first digit shows how protected the socket is from third-party objects:

    • 0 - no protection;
    • 1 - protection against objects larger than 50 mm;
    • 2 - protection against objects more than 12 mm;
    • 3 - protection from objects over 2.5 mm;
    • 4 - protection from objects larger than 1 mm;
    • 5 - protection against small particles, incl.from dust;
    • 6 - absolute dust resistance.

    The second digit indicates degree of protection against moisture:

    • 0 - no protection;
    • 1 - protection from drops falling from above;
    • 2 - protection against drops falling not only strictly from above, but also at an angle of 15 degrees;
    • 3 - protection against splashes that fall at an angle of 60 degrees, incl.from the rain;
    • 4 - protection against splashes that fall at different angles;
    • 5 - protection against a stream of water;
    • 6 - protection from a powerful stream of water;
    • 7 - protection for short immersion in water;
    • 8 - protection for long immersion in water.

    The choice of outlet depends on the where it will be operated by the , and what impacts are expected on it. For example, an IP 20 socket is suitable for living rooms, an IP 44 socket for a bathroom, although some advise taking an IP 45, and an IP 65 outlet for a street.

    No. 3.Important technical parameters of the

    sockets It is better to entrust the installation of sockets and switches to professionals if there is even the slightest doubt about their own abilities. On the other hand, whoever undertakes the installation of such equipment, it is necessary to know the basic technical parameters.


    Sockets can be with or without grounding. The choice depends on whether there is a grounding conductor in the apartment wiring:

    • socket without grounding is usually labeled 2K, where K is a contact and digit is the number of contacts. Such sockets are used when grounding is not provided or is optional;
    • socket without grounding is marked 2K + 3, it looks externally with two metal strips in the socket with contacts. This is an option for homes that use a three-wire network.

    It should be noted that wiring without grounding today is becoming less common, it remained only in old houses.

    Rated data

    Type and strength, voltage, frequency of the network are the most important parameters when choosing an outlet. In our networks use alternating voltage of 220 V and a frequency of 50 Hz, in other countries these parameters are somewhat different. Rated current is better to choose, depending on the planned load on this outlet. For domestic conditions, it is better to take products with a voltage of 250 V and a rated current of 10 A, for connecting a washing machine, electric stoves - 16 A. Experts recommend using the 4 A ratio - 0.88 kW when choosing.

    When choosing the outlet and calculating the total number in the apartment, you should take into account the number of kilowatts allocated for your apartment. If powerful equipment is connected to all sockets at the same time, the cable could overheat, and this could lead to a fire. That is why electricians advise to make a calculation of the power of the electrical network before installing new equipment and new sockets. This calculation is performed by a specialist - it is better not to spare money for this.

    Screw and screwless connection

    Without going into the details of mounting sockets, we note that special screws are used to fasten the core in the socket. They are screwed into the plate, which clamps the contact. If over time the contact weakens, you can gently tighten the screw.

    There are sockets with quick-release contacts, i.e.without screws. Instead of the traditional clamping, fixing is carried out here thanks to a special hole, which can taper and expand when you press a key. Manufacturers of such products promise that regular prevention of such a system is not needed, and the mechanism is able to independently and reliably tighten contact. In fact, this is not always the case, and to restore the contact you have to do a procedure that is much more complicated than just tightening the screw.

    In addition, experts advise taking sockets where the plug connectors are equipped with springs - they allow you to fix the plug more firmly. If you intend to connect several outlets with a loop, then there must be an additional pair of contacts, which will simplify the installation process and increase the safety of the connection.

    Variety of connectors

    In different countries of the world use sockets in which the connectors are arranged differently. Accordingly, electrical appliances have a plug of a certain shape, hence the problem of adapters. We will not go into various options and geography of their use( this is clearly shown in the picture), but we note that we use type C sockets( without grounding) and F( with grounding).

    №4.Types of

    sockets In our usual understanding, a socket is just an element with holes where you can connect an electrical appliance, and after using it, simply unplug it. This is the most traditional option. It is still the most popular, but there are also new, more modern devices that can be somewhat larger.

    When deciding which socket to choose, pay attention to their types:

    • a socket with a cover is indispensable where there is a high probability of moisture or dust getting into the equipment. Such products are put in bathrooms, pools, on the streets. While the socket is covered with a lid, it is protected from negative external influences;
    • socket with a curtain - ideal for children's room and childcare facilities. The design provides for the presence of special blocking elements that do not allow to stick a wire or other thin object into the socket. The shutters only open when an electrical plug is inserted;
    • socket with switch , which allows you to turn on and off the power of the appliance, eliminating the need to constantly insert and remove the plug. This solution aims to extend the life of the outlet;
    • sockets with pushing out of the plug facilitate the process of disconnecting from the power supply of electrical devices, thereby allowing you to extend the life of the outlet and the power cable itself. The design assumes the presence of a button on the case, when pressed, the plug literally jumps out of the socket. Something like this is implemented in mixers. It is appropriate to put such sockets in places where they are actively used, for example, in hairdressing salons and in kitchens;The
    • socket with the light indicator suggests the presence of a small light bulb in the design. Its light indicates the presence of electricity in the network and allows you to quickly navigate in the dark;
    • floor outlet with a sliding mechanism is needed when it is impossible to arrange it in the wall for some reason. By the way, retractable sockets of this type are sometimes mounted on countertops;
    • socket with timer .The functionality is clear, and the off time can be set using both buttons and the display, as well as with the help of a turning mechanism;
    • Wi- Fi sockets are used in the “smart home” system, they can be controlled remotely using a special application;
    • socket strip is appropriate where work on several electrical appliances is constantly required, for example, in the kitchen;
    • special sockets may be required to connect a telephone, radio point or antenna;
    • power connectors are needed mainly at the stage of construction and repair work to connect high power devices.

    Among the more original options are also window sockets , which convert solar energy into electricity, sockets with a wattmeter ( show how much energy the connected device consumes) and , which has been set.

    №5.Switch selection

    Many of the options for selecting sockets are also valid for the switch:

    • by installation type switches can be overhead and built-in. The choice mostly depends on the features of the wiring in the apartment;
    • depending on the operating conditions choose switches with different degrees of protection against dust and moisture .For rooms with consistently high levels of humidity, it is recommended to choose switches with plastic or rubber casing;
    • technical characteristics of the circuit breaker will be indicated in its label and are selected depending on the rated mains voltage, current and power of the devices with which the circuit breakers will operate.

    According to the method of fastening switches can be:

    • screw by analogy with screw sockets. Experts say that such switches are good to use with aluminum wiring, which does not sparkle and does not heat up;
    • screwless is often used with copper wiring.

    Depending on design features switches are divided into:

    • cross over - the most familiar and easiest to manage option;
    • rotary - such a mechanism is often used in switches, made in retro-style. To switch on here it is necessary to turn the lever clockwise;
    • push-button is an option that can be compared with a flip, but has not yet found distribution. To turn on the light, just press the button, it is pressed to turn off;
    • dimmers allow you not only to turn on the light, but also to adjust its brightness by turning the lever. It is very economical and convenient when you need to create different lighting scenarios in the same room. Dimmers are usually used with incandescent bulbs and halogen lamps - finding a fluorescent or LED lamp that could connect to a dimmer is difficult, and it will cost a couple of times more expensive than usual.

    Several switches can be installed on one panel, which are responsible for switching on different groups of luminaires; this is a common and quite convenient solution today. Moreover, the same lamps can be controlled from different places in the room - this requires the installation of additional switches. The system is complicated, but comfort is growing. Smart switches with motion sensor, touch or remote control are installed in smart home systems.

    Separately, switches with illuminated switches should be highlighted: : a built-in small light bulb will tell you what electricity is there and make it easier to search in pitch darkness. You can install an home switch with a timer or switch that will respond to the cotton.

    # 6.Design and material performance

    Elements such as sockets and switches, it is not accepted to emphasize in the interior design, so they are always selected to match the walls. The style of their execution should correspond to the chosen style of the interior, and there is where to roam. Manufacturers offer us products in the most simple and familiar performance, as well as real works of art.

    is commonly made from impact and fire resistant plastic. Less common and rather elite options are wood, leather, stone, glass and even concrete, porcelain, clay and textiles .In switches it is allowed to use steel, bronze, chrome, aluminum and other metals. Despite the fact that no one focuses on sockets and switches, their design is an important step in creating a complete harmonious interior.

    The more sophisticated and original design has the equipment, the more it will cost, but in pursuit of aesthetics do not forget about safety.

    №7.What else is important to consider when choosing?

    Considering several options in the store, does not prevent from conducting a visual assessment of :

    • from plastic sockets and switches should not go a sharp unpleasant smell. Acrid flavor is the main sign that the quality of the product, to put it mildly, is not very high;
    • externally, the product should not have flaws, uneven edges, cracks, pits and other defects. If the material is plastic, then it should be hard - soft plastic is easily deformed, and this can be not only an aesthetic problem, but also a security risk. The weight of the also matters: a quality switch or socket will be weighty, since all the structural elements have thick walls that provide higher mechanical strength and durability;
    • The quality of plastic is indirectly indicated by the . The number of elements that make up a switch or socket. The more of these elements and fasteners, the better - it means that the manufacturer used good material;
    • build quality can be identified by grounding contacts. If they are thin and soft, then it is better to refuse such a purchase;
    • must be present marking and the quality mark of the manufacturer. There is usually no marking on cheap Chinese products. In addition to the quality mark, information is applied on the rated voltage and current;
    • is another indirect indicator of quality - the presence of instructions for assembly and installation. Manufacturers who take care of customers put it, and unscrupulous Chinese companies, which stamp poorly-designed outlets and switches, often pack them in a plastic bag and that's it.

    Among the manufacturers of outlets and switches, we mention Legrand( French company, industry leader), Schneider Electric, Jung, Bticino, ABB, Polo, Fontini. There are slightly cheaper products from Polish and Turkish companies, which also has good quality: Viko, Makel, Karlik, MONO, OSPEL.From domestic producers the largest is Wessen.

    Finally, we note that the standards regulate the installation of sockets and switches at a height of no more than 1 m from the floor, but there are many exceptions to this rule, especially when it comes to bathrooms and kitchens - here you can install equipment in the most convenient place.

    Tags: Electricity
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