Retractable Countertop Outlets: How And Where Best To Install

Home appliances that provide comfort in the home and office need to be connected to the electricity grid. A large number of overhead outlets will never be a highlight in the interior design, regardless of the purpose of the room.

In such cases, a retractable tabletop socket is an excellent solution. Easy to use, they save space and blend in beautifully with the interior.

We'll show you the different kinds of pull-out sockets available for sale. Here you will find valuable information about the design features, specifics of operation and installation of mobile varieties of electrical outlets. The information is supplemented with photos, diagrams and video presentations.

Content of the article:

  • Views and features of pull-out outlets
    • Classification of countertop recessed units
    • Peculiarities of pull-out designs
  • Peculiarities of choosing and installing pull-out outlets
    • Information for making a competent purchase
    • Selection of location location of the device
    • Self-installation of recessed designs
  • Conclusions and a useful video on the subject

Windows and features of the power sockets

The recessed power socket unit is an original invention of the socket manufacturers. It is easy to use and can fit in any room.

World famous socket manufacturers offer more and more advanced models and variations of such designs to the customer.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

Color schemes offered by manufacturers allow choosing the most suitable variant for your home making the socket almost invisible in the interior

Classification of countertop sockets

The stylish solution for kitchen studios, office premises are sockets built into a cabinet, table or a table top. They serve as an alternative to an extension cord, being at the same time a better variant. After all, it is not always appropriate to use a normal extension cord, especially when it comes to a conference room or food preparation room.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

For a conference room, it is advisable to install several units of recessed outlets. This will avoid confusing the wires from the extension cords

Depending on the appearance of the recessed unit, the sockets come in:

  • horizontal type;
  • vertical type.

Horizontal units may have one power socket as well as 2, 3, 4 or more. It all depends on the particular model in question. Also, besides the standard plugs, they can have USB, HDMI, Internet connection.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

High models with different types of sockets are good for installation in the recreation area if a family of 2 lives in the house

Vertical models differ from each other in height and functionality. Among this kind of socket-outlet blocks there are low variations, where all the sockets are placed along the circumference of the device.

Often one can find models with 2, 3, 5 or more sockets, arranged one behind the other in height. Not only kitchen appliances, but also a laptop, a charger for any type of cell phone, non-standard appliance plugs can be plugged into these socket blocks.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

Removable sockets with inlets arranged in a circle are quite compact. They allow several electricity consumers with different sockets to be connected at the same time

With regard to their constructional features, the sockets built into the surface of the furniture are divided into:

  • retractable;
  • rotatable.

Retractable blocks, depending on the particular model, can rotate around their axis by 180, 360 degrees. Some manufacturers offer lighted sockets that can give a special ambience to the room.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

Removable vertical models, which are rather high above the worktop level, must be carefully operated by carefully pulling out the plug

Removable recessed sockets are considered more reliable. Their main disadvantage is the difficulty in using appliances with a side-type plug.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

Swiveling pull-out models are more stable than vertical ones. This is due to their low height above the table

Fitted socket outlets can be located in the following places:

  • in a wall cabinet;
  • in a worktop/tablet;
  • in a gutter between worktop and wall.

Fitted socket outlet units can be universally installed, as the same model can be installed both in a wall cabinet and in a table top. There is no fundamental difference in location for these models.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

The location of the pull-out socket in the wall-hung cabinet is very convenient. The main thing is to have enough space for it

One of the most important characteristics of any type of socket is its degree of protection. The pull-out models for the kitchen should be rated at IP44. After all, in this room there is a high level of humidity and the threat of small particles of grease and dust.

Peculiarities of pull-out designs

Setting outlets in their convenience and necessity can be compared to built-in appliances for the kitchen. Not only do they save space, they also make life easier. There is no need to insert a separate line to install the missing number of fixed points of connection to the power grid.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

Wall and worktop sockets are protected from humidity and grease by a cover

Installed sockets are the perfect combination of sockets laid out in a specific way on a worktop, cabinet or another surface. Their size and appearance are dictated by the idea of the designer who designs a particular model for the manufacturer.

The connectors are most often grounded. The unit is equipped with a 1 to 3 meter long cable and a plug for plugging into the mains.

The plug of the retractable unit can be fixed or collapsible. While the stationary version is straightforward - plugged in and the unit is ready to use, the collapsible plug is useful when the cable length needs to be extended.

The operating principle of the retractable vertical unit is quite simple. This construction is completely hidden when not in use in a secluded place - under the countertop/cabinet.

If a coffee grinder or other household appliance is to be connected, the upper protective cover of the pull-out socket has to be pressed in. It will open by a couple of centimeters. Then you should simply pull the entire unit up until it locks into place.

The specifics of the operation of the retractable socket are shown schematically in the following selection:

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Socket block in slid-in position on table

Removing socket block from table cavity

Positioning unit in comfortable working position

Use the slide-in unit in retracted position

Lock in position by means of a special button, The locking is done by a special button installed by the manufacturer on the bottom of the unit. Household appliances can be switched on without the distraction of searching for an extension cord or a free socket on the work apron.

When the need for an additional power socket is eliminated, simply unclip the mechanism that locks the slide-out unit and, by slightly pressing on the top cover, hide the entire structure in its permanent place.

The vertical models can be equipped with LED lighting, additional inputs for audio/video equipment and other kinds of connectors. Depending on the personality, there are also units that can be concealed in the countertop together with the plugs of the appliances included.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

A twist-in countertop socket is brought into operation by rotating the lid. While rotating, the appliance plug connectors are opened

The twist-out receptacle unit is hidden in the countertop when not in use. When you want to use one of its sockets to plug in an appliance, just press a special button on top.

Some models have a mechanism that is triggered by pressing on the lid. When this actuates, a block that rotates the power connectors to a convenient position for use is pulled out of the tabletop.

The rotation angle depends on the model specifications - about 180 degrees. The specific value is always specified in the manufacturer's instructions.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

When planning the installation of the pull-out sockets in advance, you can emphasize this when making the tabletop. Then the specialists will make a special opening and a cover for it

Hidden socket outlet unit by pressing the corresponding mechanism from above. Its connection to the power supply is made by means of a cable located in the lower part. Some models do not have a cable included. You will have to buy the appropriate cable yourself, taking into account the technical characteristics of the unit.

Pecial features of selecting and installing the retractable sockets

The sudden need for additional points for connecting electrical appliances can be satisfied by the retractable socket. The installation is very easy. It is important to choose a model that can meet all the requirements for it. Then the operating process itself will only bring positive emotions.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

The recessed wall socket is increasingly used for additional connection points

Information for competent purchasing

The socket market abounds with tempting variants from the most famous manufacturers. In order to select the right model among the mass of proposals that meets your ideas about the quality-price ratio, you must clearly formulate your requirements.

Firstly, you have to decide how many power sockets and additional inputs for audio/video equipment, USB cables and other things will be needed. According to these requirements a suitable option can be selected. It may be necessary to buy 2 or 3 recessed designs.

Secondly, you should not forget about the power. Each model is rated for the maximum load it can handle. This information is also needed to understand what cross-section of cable is needed for connection. Therefore, the total power of the electrical appliances to be connected must not exceed this value.

In order to know the load capacity of the socket outlet model you have chosen, it is sufficient to read the specifications given by the manufacturer in the instructions.

Third, the manufacturer is important. The following companies are on the market: Evoline from Germany, Simon Connect from Italy, Ecoplast from Russia, Schneider Electric from France, Kondator from Switzerland and GTV from Poland. The pull-out sockets are made of high-quality materials.

Manufacturers who have been supplying their products to the market for many years are fully responsible for its quality. But there are also cheaper counterparts produced by Chinese firms - Desc Socket and Displace. These socket blocks visually resemble their original prototypes, but that is where the similarity ends.

Chinese companies' sockets are made from cheaper materials, so after 4-6 months they begin to break down. At first, the unit starts to live its own life, not responding to the needs of the user. It spontaneously opens and closes, and after some time it stops working.

Fourthly, you need to choose a version that matches the color scheme of the room. Manufacturers pay special attention to this matter offering different color solutions for the same model - metal, gold, bronze, black, white and others.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

Depending on the protection level of a particular model, you should place the unit away from water, because they have no waterproof properties

Fifth, having selected the optimal model, carefully examine it for any external damages and defects. You should also check the package and the functionality of the device you are buying.

Sixth, you should pay attention to the degree of protection indicated by the manufacturer in the instructions. It is good when this value is IP44, if the installation will be in the kitchen. For a room or office, IP20 is sufficient.

Selection of device location

When calculating the number of inputs to the power supply it is necessary to decide where exactly the socket blocks will be located. Here it is important that the location is convenient and easily accessible.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

The retractable design should be used first and foremost by the kitchen hostess

If the recessed sockets are to be installed in the office desk in the meeting/conference room, the needs of business partners and employees must be considered and anticipated. After all, the need for additional power for laptops, tablets and other mobile devices arises in the course of joint work.

The number of sockets for connection should be commensurate with the number of employees participating in the discussion of business processes.

The rule of convenience and accessibility is also relevant for the placement of outlet blocks in the home built into the worktop/cabinet. At the same time, safety should not be forgotten. If the socket-outlet will be installed in the kitchen, the correct place has to be selected.

Categorically avoid these places:

  • over/under the hob;
  • over/under the sink;
  • below the hob/washer.

These are safety rules. After all, water could cause a short circuit. A distance of 60 cm must be kept from water and fire.

If the power socket built into the worktop is very close to the sink, it may break down at any moment. When washing dishes, it is possible that water will spill onto the nearby countertop.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

Positioning additional electrical outlets farther away from the stove will allow you to avoid melting the housing of the built-in unit

The optimal place for the built-in units is the worktop, actively used by the hostess for cooking, and the eating and resting area of the family members.

If in the working area it makes more sense to place a block of 3-5 power connectors, then in the recreational area a block of combined connectors would be more necessary. Then all family members can plug in their mobile devices as needed.

Self-installing recessed designs

Removable power outlets can be installed by yourself. A minimal tool kit is required for this - there is no need to knock down a wall or lay a separate power line.

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You can easily buy a socket-outlet in a store or buy one you like

before installing it, you have to familiarize yourself with the package, which includes the socket outlet itself, the fixings and the mounting plate,

Measure the real size of the twisted socket, which in budget models does not always match the size specified in the passport

Before installation we carefully study the device of the twisted twisted socket from the back side

Consider carefully and choose a place for the twisted socket block, as it will need to be cut out and installed. For the installation you will have to cut a hole in the table. It will not be possible to correct errors later

Mark the place and size of the hole, in which the lower part of the device, hidden under the table, will be immersed.

The device is pressed from above by the screws, from below, under the table top - by the assembly plate, along the perimeter of the hole is set PVC seal

After installing and connecting the unit, we check its action in practice. When closed, only the top panel of the unit protrudes above the table

Step 1: Purchase of the turning block

Step 2: Complete the unit for two power points

Step 3: Measure actual dimensions

Step 4: Study from the inside

Step 5: Choosing the best position for the outlet pair

Step 6: Shaping the installation hole

Step 7: Installing the paired rotary outlet in the table

Step 8: Testing the installed slide-out outlet

The main difficulty in installation is to cut a hole in the tabletop. Depending on its material, this operation may require the use of additional tools or the use of specialists.

So if the covering is made of artificial stone, glass or other complex material, you cannot do without special skills.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

In the cut-out hole of the worktop, the slide-out structure is placed and secured with fasteners

If the question of how to install the sockets in the glass worktop yourself has arisen before ordering the kitchen set, it is better to order the holes for them from the furniture manufacturer. Not having experience working with such material, you can ruin the expensive surface.

In the case of making a hole is not particularly difficult, you can safely proceed with the installation of the pull-out unit. To do this, you must mark the installation location, referring to the actual dimensions indicated in the manual. Each model will have its own dimensions.

Finishing the marking, it is necessary to carefully cut out the hole. Then, using the supplied fasteners provided, fix the sockets tightly. If you have installed a retractable unit with cable and plug, you will need to plug it into a regular socket. The cable length allows you to reach even a very distant electrical point behind the cabinet.

Retractable countertop outlets: how and where best to install

Depending on the model and manufacturer of the outlet blocks, their dimensions and installation plans will vary. Information on these data can be found in the instructions

If such a socket is not available, the recessed design can be connected directly to the supply line by alternately connecting the corresponding wires. Here it is important to de-energize the line to be worked with. Otherwise you may get a shock.

When the model purchased does not have a cable with plug, it is necessary to connect the seats, using 15-20 cm long pieces of wire. Then connect the power cable by inserting it into the hole in the box body. The wire ends must be stripped of insulation and plugged into the socket mechanism according to marking.

Finished with the wires, you can power the line and check the functionality of the installed pull-out socket.

Information on the installation rules and installation sequence for the fixed socket strip can be found in one of our popular articles.

Conclusions and a helpful video on the topic

Video #1. A video about the Polish manufacturer's horizontal recessed countertop receptacle unit:

Video #2. Overview of the use of a vertical countertop/cabinet recessed outlet unit:

Video #3. Video clip on the vertical worktop recessed socket:

When giving preference to worktop mounted electrical socket units, it is important to choose the optimal model. You can install it yourself, following the installation instructions. It's a modern eye-catcher and a real space saver in your room.

Would you like to tell us about a time you installed the pop-up socket with your own hands or have been using it for years? Have questions or find controversial points in the text? Please comment in the box below.

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