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The electrical configuration of a home determines its safety and function. Its essential parts include switches and sockets. Therefore, choosing the right ones can be challenging, especially when considering your interior’s safety and aesthetic appeal.
Knowing your home’s basic electrical features is crucial as a homeowner. Aside from turning the appliances and lights on and off, it helps during emergencies involving wiring problems that may cause a fire. That said, here are the basics of how to choose switches and sockets for your home:
1. Know Their Types
Knowing the different switches and sockets and their uses is the first step to choosing which is suitable for each part of your home. Each kind has a specific function to help make home living more convenient. They may also provide safety features to help you respond better to electrical faults. The following are the standard switches and sockets used in residential settings:
A switched socket is a combination of a switch and an outlet. This type is common in industrial uses but is also suitable for home appliances like air conditioners. You may find the appropriate switched socket for your home by visiting your local electrical supplies store or online stores like cablepro.net.au.
A single-pole switch is suitable for lighting small rooms like the closet, powder room, bathroom, and storage room. However, it can also be used for ceiling fans and other low-power appliances. It contains a ground wire to serve as protection against electrical faults.
Double-pole switches are suitable for appliances that need a 240VAC electrical supply. These include washers, dryers, electric ranges, and electric water heaters. You’ll need this type of switch for high-power electric usage.
Three-way switches allow control of lighting for different locations at one single point. This switch type is common in most homes, especially in hallway lighting. It’s convenient because you can turn a light on and off from the most accessible spot.
Stepless regulators are common in smart homes. It’s used for controlling dimmable lights for a better interior ambiance. This switch is a must if you’re planning to install ambient LED lighting in your home.
Double outlets are typical in residential settings. It allows simultaneous usage of two appliances of the same voltage. It’s best to place them in all accessible parts of the home for easy plug-in.
USB sockets are a common feature of smart homes. It allows you to plug in your device directly instead of using traditional power plugs. You can install this outlet type with a combination of double sockets.
GFCI or ground fault circuit interrupter sockets are used in home exteriors, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry receptacles. This outlet can be installed at least six feet away from water sources. When it detects a short circuit, it interrupts the electric flow to prevent electrocution.
Like GFCI, AFCI or arc fault circuit interrupter offers protective measures against electrical faults. It’s designed to detect arc faults and interrupts electricity to prevent fire. You can install them in any part of the home, especially in the main living areas.
2. Learn Their Ratings
Switches and sockets have different ratings specific to their uses. For instance, a switch or socket indicates its maximum ampere capacity. For your home safety, it’s best to hire an electrician to determine the current and voltage rating before purchasing new switches and sockets.
3. Assess Their Safety Features
Assessing the safety features of switches and sockets is a lifesaver. You can prevent electrical-related accidents that may start a fire. For example, a regular double socket isn’t safe for wet areas. Instead, it’s best to install GFCI outlets.
Aside from electric flow interrupters, there are also sockets suitable for child safety and pet-proofing your home. Outlets with safety shutters prevent children from poking through the socket. Sockets with waterproof covers are also helpful for homes with pets.
4. Examine Their Durability
The durability of your home switches and sockets will determine their safety and longevity. In the past, most of them were made with plastic. However, they can be prone to melting when overheating occurs.
Today, PVC and porcelain are the most durable and safest materials for switches and sockets. They are heat-resistant, thus preventing melting. They are also efficient electric insulators.
5. Consider Their Ease Of Use
Switches and sockets around the home should aid convenience and improve the home’s functionality. Installing ones that are easy and safe to use is imperative to ensure everyone in the house can use them any time necessary. Aside from purchasing user-friendly switches and sockets, placing them in the most accessible spots is also a must.
6. Look For Aesthetic Finishes
After considering the types, functions, durability, and safety features, you may now look into their aesthetic finishes. Most switches and sockets’ faces are plain white. However, some manufacturers now offer finishes in other colors and textures to match your interior design. This way, you can maximize your home’s safety without compromising the aesthetics.
Choosing switches and sockets for your home can be simple when you know the basics. However, the technicalities are still best left to the experts to ensure your safety.