Wherever a cooperating group of appliances is to be connected, a socket block including two to four electrical points is installed. The installation and connection of this variant is different from that of a normal socket outlet. For the result to be reliable, you need to know the subtleties. Do you agree?
We will tell you in detail how to connect a socket block, what variants of connection with regard to consumers exist. From us you will learn what installation rules should be considered when installing such a modular device. The information presented for consideration is based on the PUE.
The detailed technology of installation and connection of socket blocks we have reinforced with schemes, step-by-step photo-guides, video.
The contents of the article:
- Design and installation locations of outlet blocks
- Customer-specific connection methods
- Installation instructions for the outlet block
- Preparation work
- Labeling the wall
- Creating the chutes and \"landing\" places
- Specifications of how to fit the sockets
- The subtleties of electrical connection
- Conclusions and a useful video on the subject
The design and mounting points of the socket blocks
The socket block differs from the usual socket block only in the number of \"fixing places\". It consists of a plastic body and an inner part represented by terminals with contacts and terminals to which the springs for the plugs are attached.
Most modern models are equipped with earthing terminals, designed to increase the safety of the system and to reduce the voltage from all the electrical appliances connected through the unit.
The number of connection points of the socket-outlet unit to be installed is determined according to the number of appliances to be fitted in one group
Socket-outlet units are of two types:
- Designed for concealed wiring. Installed in the wall with a module of socket-outlets;
- For exposed wiring. Mounted on the surface of the wall with a slat-shaped receptacle.
In addition to the two main variations, there is also a very practical pull-out type. They can be easily built into a worktop or a cabinet and pulled out when needed. They work like wall-mounted/in-wall power supplies.
Socket outlets are often installed in kitchens, behind the worktop, at 10 cm height, inside kitchen cabinets and behind the walls of adjacent drawers, at 30-60 cm above the finished floor. Built-in sockets are ideal for groups of non-powerful household appliances: cooker hood, multicooker, refrigerator...
The recessed case of a three-to-five socket-outlet group is hidden in the worktop until the upper panel is pressed slightly
Hall or sitting room arrangements are made near the computer desk or behind the TV screen. Outlet groups of three electric outlets can often be found in bathrooms. But in this case devices with waterproof cases are used and they should be placed at least 60 cm away from the water source.
Wiring methods with consumers in mind
The socket block of one group is connected by means of a daisy-chain. It involves connecting all the elements of a group to a common power supply line. This loop circuit is designed for a load not exceeding 16A.
The only \"minus\" of this circuit is that if one of the wires becomes damaged, all the devices located behind it also stop working
Today the connection of the socket strip is often made by a combined circuit, based on a parallel circuit. This method is actively practiced in European countries. For our country it is used to provide a separate line for high power consumers.
Parallel connection means the insertion of two cables from the junction box:
- the first one runs as a loop, powering four of the five sockets of the 5-block;
- the second one runs separately to the fifth point of the socket group, which will be for powering the high power device.
The method is good in that it ensures the operability of a single point and makes it independent of the operation of other nearby circuit participants.
The main advantage of the combined solution is the maximum degree of security, which is very useful for high power and high cost appliances
The only drawback is the increase of the cable consumption and the labour costs of the wiring.
The loop and combined solution can be either closed or open. The former involves drilling out channels in the wall for the insertion of lines and \"sockets\" for connectors, the latter is realized by placing the PE conductor on the wall surface.
The baseboards and cable ducts used for open wiring have not only an aesthetic function but also protect the PE conductor from mechanical damage
The use of plastic cable ducts increases safety and aesthetics for open wiring. Most of them are equipped with dividers between which the line is laid. It is convenient to monitor the condition of the PE conductor through the removable front.
Socket block installation instructions
The choice of installation method, whether outdoor or indoor wiring, depends on the material to be worked with. The walls in the house may be concrete or masonry or they may be made of wood or plasterboard.
Whether you plan to tap the concrete in a panel house or limit the installation of the overhead unit to open wiring is up to you.
The first thing to do is to deenergize the area where work will be carried out.
After switching off the breaker in the switchboard it is absolutely necessary to check that there is no voltage using a screwdriver
In older buildings where no breakers are installed, to de-energize the premises one has only to unscrew the plugs.
Materials must be prepared in advance:
- Socket block;
- decorative strips;
- Jumper wires;
- Cable for wiring;
- Sockets to be joined to blocks;
- plaster or alabaster.
The choice of socket block must be based on the quality of the product as well as the possibility of connecting the PE conductors separately.
- Head hammer equipped with a D 70mm drill bit;
- Structural level;
- Ruler, ruler and marker;
- Installation kit;
- Bowl for mixing plaster;
The choice of drill bit depends on the material to be worked with. The nozzles for drywall or the same concrete vary in performance and, therefore, in price.
Labeling the wall
Easy installation and connection of the socket group depends largely on the correct marking. Before you begin the work, make sure there are no utilities under the wall. When working with plasterboard, it is important not to hit the supporting profile.
With a ruler, level and marker, mark the place where you plan to perform the installation. When marking, it is guided by how many electrical points the group includes. The centers of the future holes are marked with crossed lines.
Step 1 - choose where to install the sub-sockets
Step 2 - use a laser or bubble level
Step 3 - marking the socket mounting points on the wall
Step 4 - determining the exact position of each sub-socket
The center of the future holes are removed. It is important to make sure that the drill bit guide does not \"go sideways\". A little trick: since it is rather difficult to achieve a horizontal hole position when creating a socket block, a slightly larger drill bit with a diameter of 80 mm can be used for the job.
The distance between the centers of the electrical outlets must be 72 mm, otherwise the cover will not fit
In order to avoid mistakes later on when installing the cable it is better to draw a drawing showing the position of the cables during the installation phase.
Types of wiring and cabling in an apartment are explained in detail in a popular article on our website.
Create drill holes and landings
When preparing the wall landings in concrete or brick walls start drilling at low speed in the marked crosshairs remembering to control the position of the drill.
For the accurate installation the holes are first marked with a drill of small diameter. Only then is the drill bit fitted, which makes a depression along the contour of the future \"seat\".
For the installation of an outlet panel in a concrete or brick wall, the contours are formed first with a drill bit and then the middle is removed with a chisel and hammer
The wall material remaining in the drill holes is chiselled out with a perforated chisel. After this, the grooves necessary for the connection protrusions of the wall plugs are put in between the holes.
When planning the concealed wiring, the grooves are chiselled out along the planned lines. When powering a point of the unit with a separate line, another groove must be made from the panelboard.
All holes and grooves are cleaned of crushed pieces and dust with a brush or a cotton cloth. In the future it is better to run the cable in a corrugated sleeve to protect the PE conductor and make it easier to install.
If you do not have a drill, feel free to use a grinder; equipped with a diamond disc you can create perfectly flat groove contours with minimal effort
If you wish you can also do it \"ancient\" way with a hammer and chisel. But be prepared that the implementation of this method will require more effort and time. And making hollows with a chisel in the brick for routing cables is not an easy task and does not always give the neat result you want.
It is much easier to work with gypsum plasterboard substrate. To make the landings it is only necessary to use a drywall nozzle according to the markings to cut circular slots. The main thing is not to press too hard in order not to break the fragile substrate.
Specific attachment of sub-branches
The best way to attach sub-branches is to use special cups connected together by plastic clips. Standard-sized round or square designs ensure that the elements are firmly fixed in the plane.
Intersockets in these are most often removable structures that snap into special slots
Alabaster or plaster mortar is used to fix the inserts in masonry or walls. The powder is diluted with water in a 4:1 ratio. When working with these sour creamy compositions, remember that they quickly set.
Powder should be diluted in small portions and quickly put into the hole until the mixture hardens. The same mortar is applied to the outer sides and bottoms of the connected glasses adjacent to the surface, then the whole unit is inserted into the hole.
The position of the sunken glasses is corrected by means of a level, making sure that the protruding edges do not exceed the wall plane.
Making sure that the sub-branches are positioned correctly, the edges are covered with liquid mortar, giving the plane a maximum even surface. Leftover alabaster or plaster can be used to mask the wiring to the socket.
The plastic housings are driven into the cavity and fixed with plaster mortar or special tines placed on the sides
The plasterboard mounting cages are additionally fitted with special tines. By pressing against the reverse side of the board surface, these feet force the cup into the hole.
Depressed into the wall, the wall sockets must not protrude or protrude beyond the wall. If the space between the wall and the plasterboard is insufficient to accommodate a wall socket, the hole in the wall is additionally deepened.
The only exception is when tiling or plastering is intended. In this case the socket underneath is slightly projecting 5-7 mm outside the wall.
Comprehension of the electrical connection
After the mortar has reached the desired strength, proceed to connect the indoor unit. To connect the sockets by looping, the wires laid from the junction box are led into the first sub-socket.
To do this, the cable ends are stripped 10-15 mm from the plaque. The job can be done with a sharpened knife. But to achieve maximum accuracy, experienced homeowners recommend using side cutters.
To be able to make a new connection in the future if necessary, masters recommend that when stripping leave a small reserve of the supply cable, directed from the junction box. During installation it may be inserted in a large spiral or snake shape inside the socket.
The important thing is to avoid a sharp bend or breakage as inexperienced persons often \"sin\" by inserting the wire inside the socket at short notice.
Coloured wire strips are prepared in time in order to create jumpers. The cross section of the jumpers must match the supply line conductors. The jumper wires should not be too long. Otherwise, they will interfere with the connection process and will not allow the socket to \"sit\" tightly in the mounting box. In the cut wires also stripped the insulation by about a centimeter.
Wires are inserted through the adapters of the pre-cleaned from the plaster residues of the cavities sub-sockets. The wire ends are bent in the direction of the terminals for easier installation.
The protective cover is removed from the socket block itself, then the clamping screws are unscrewed 5-6 mm. The stripped end of the phase conductor of the supply cable is led to the first socket, taking into account the position of the terminals. From there the PE terminals guide the PE conductor and the neutral conductor of the supplying cable to the second socket.
The other sockets are connected via jumpers connecting the device mechanisms. The conductors with the same color braid are connected according to the colouring: phase in red, \"neutral\" in blue and the ground wire in green
All subsequent sockets are connected in the same way. The sockets with the wires neatly laid are not tightened too tightly with screws. When wiring the sockets, it is essential to observe the polarity of the contacts: the phase conductor is led away from the phase terminal and the neutral conductor is led away from the neutral conductor.
To ensure that the conductors are safely in the sockets, the bolts are unscrewed as much as possible before installation and returned to their original position when finished
Installing the protective conductor, a fundamental requirement of the EAR, which states that all connections must be permanent, must be strictly observed. Underestimating the importance of the quality of installation is fraught with the fact that the risk of electric shock increases manifold in a dangerous incident.
So if the head supply socket loses contact with earth during installation, the following circuit participants lose the protective zero. Later on, if the mains voltage accidentally touches the housing, e.g. due to a faulty iron, the housings of all appliances connected to the supply wire will be live.
For maximum security of the wire connection, it is better to use sockets fitted with two fixings rather than one bolt
Sockets with wires connected to corresponding terminals are inserted in the wall holes and secured with side clips. Then check that all devices are securely installed and correct their position with a spirit level. If necessary, bare wire sections are wrapped with insulating tape or insulated with heat shrinkable sponge.
After that it remains only to \"press\" all self-tapping screws, fix the housing in the socket and install the decorative cover in place.
Step-by-step photo instructions:
Step 1 - taking out and stripping wires
Step 2 - placing the wires in the terminals
Step 3 - inserting the case into the socket
Step 4 - placing the case on the fixing screws
Step 5 - mounting the last socket in the row
Step 6 - horizontal alignment of the sockets
Step 7 - pulling the fasteners through the \"ears\"
Step 8 - mounting the decor cover
If the block is correctly installed, all the sockets should work and the frame with the sub-sockets should not move when used.
Conclusions and useful videos on the subject
The videos we offer will help you to understand how to install the power socket block correctly.
Video #1. Installing sub-sockets for the outlet panel:
Video #2. Instructions for installing a five-socket block:
Installing a socket block is not much more difficult than connecting a regular or double socket. With attention and the utmost care, the installation can be done by anyone with only basic wiring skills.
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