At the first instance you look at this article, you may think “Is an article really necessary for such a well known device?”. Well the answer is YES.
Electrical sockets have come a long way from just being a connectivity device to plug in your appliances. Today there is such a wide variety available, that you end up being confused on which one to install at home.
Common and inexpensive sockets manufactured by companies like Anchor India, are meant to be installed on laminate boards. This is more or less the most common installation type that one would see in Indian homes. A more recent concept is a modular switch panel, where you get a luxurious feel to the product. The panel houses the socket , switches and regulators for your ceiling fans.
Coming back to sockets. There are many types available, but to start the classification, we go by number of connections offered. We have a traditional 2 pin socket which is used for simple devices like tape recorders, Table lamps and so on. And then we have the 3 pin socket, where the third pin is the Ground pin. This basically ensures that stray current from the device is effectively grounded preventing the user surprise shocks.
One important point we would like to emphasize is , PLEASE ensure that your home is well grounded and certified by your electrical architect/designer. We have known cases where weak earthing connection or poorly terminated earthing connections have caused serious electrical shocks to occupants from the most unlikely sources such as water taps!
We have again strayed from the main topic, but only for a while. The 3 pin socket is very common and these days the two pin ones are more or less obsolete, atleast from the builder’s perspective.
So, lets focus on 3 pin sockets……..
We have the common 5A socket used for light devices and the 15A socket for the heavy duty devices such as washing machines, wet grinders, water heaters etc.
If you have sockets within reach at home and especially if you have young children you may want to consider sockets with built in covers which only move over exposing the entry point on arrival of a three pin plug. However these cause mild problems if you try to insert a two pin plug instead.
These days, seeing other country’s goods at home is very common and the common practice is to buy on of the universal adaptors which convert the Indian socket to the matching type which your device is intended for. While this maybe a good stop gap arrangement, we suggest you go in for a universal socket at your home. You can see an illustration below:
Image Courtesy: Crabtree India
These universal sockets would give you peace of mind and all your imported gadgets can plug into it.
PLEASE NOTE: These sockets will NOT step down the voltage from 230V to 110V. They merely allow the appliance to be plugged into the socket without the need of an additional converter. For stepping down the voltage, please use a wall mountable step-down transformer.
It is always good to plan the number of sockets that you would need, in order to avoid using extension chords. For example, in the living room, you may need:
- 1 socket for television
- 1 socket for DVD player
- 1 socket for home theatre
- 1 socket for Audio Player
- 1 socket for Set top Box
- 1 socket for Reading Lamp
- 1 socket for mosquito eliminating dispenser
This list is just to give you an idea so as to how you need to budget the socket availability. Remember, the earlier you budget and convey this to the electrician, he can suitably select a good fuse/miniature circuit breaker (MCB) for your home thereby protecting you from overload hazards and so on.
Also sockets/panels come with some kind of low power light these days which allows you to locate these in the dark. Some even have a glowing mechanism which uses no additional power.
Good quality sockets are certified by BIS and other such standard organizations and ensure that spark, shocks and other such unpleasant things are not experienced by users. Flame retardant property is also something which you can consider for purchasing the socket.
We strongly recommend you to plan the socket count and also location of each socket for each room of your home.
hope this article helped you
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