Electricity is one of the most important inventions that bring a dramatic improvement to our life. The most basic use of electricity is to light up our house during the night or power our home appliances. Electrical power must be used together with the sockets and switches in order to control the flow of electricity. They are indispensable in the whole electrical system. However, you may have difficulties choosing the types of sockets and switches for your home or office. There are different types of switches and sockets available in the market and each type is designed for different purposes and applications. Knowing the basic functionalities of these sockets and switch types will help you in making a better decision when selecting suitable electrical supplies for your buildings.
Electrical equipment or appliances need to be connected to the sockets in order to get a continuous power supply. Electrical sockets convey the electrical current flow into the electrical appliances. Although the shape and design of the sockets are varied across different countries, their function remains the same. We normally differentiate the electrical sockets based on the number of slots and their voltage capacity.
In general, there are two holes in the two-slot socket. The first hole on the right side is called ‘’hot’’ hole which connects to the wire that supplies the electric current to the appliances. The second slot located on the left is called ‘’neutral’’ hole which is used to connect the wire that brings the electric current return to the breaker box. When you plug in an electrical appliance and turn it on, it creates a circuit that the flow of electric current will come from the ‘’hot’’ side, pass through the electrical appliance and then back to the ‘’neutral’’ side. This type of electrical socket possesses two connection slots and provides an ungrounded connection.
Besides the two-slot sockets, you also can find three-slot sockets in most of the modern housing. They have a third slot which is known as ‘’grounded’’ hole that connects to the grounding wire for neutralizing any dangerous electrical current into the ground. A three-slot outlet with a grounded hole can provide an extra level of safety as it can absorb the electrical shock and protects the appliances from surges or over-voltage issues. In Malaysia, we use a type G socket that is British origin and only works with plug G. Type G sockets are belong to the three-slot socket, grounded, and provide a standard voltage of 240 V with a frequency of 50Hz. If the voltage of your appliance is not within 220 V to 240 V, it is required to use a voltage converter to convert the voltage output up or down to reach a desired voltage output of the appliance in order to avoid damages to your appliances.
This is the combination of a two-slot socket and a thee-slot socket that allow the plug-in from the plug that is suitable for these two types of sockets.
Switches are used to control the on and off of the power to your lighting, fans, or other electrical devices and appliances. Basically, there are 3 common types of electrical switches installed in residential buildings.
Single-pole switches are the most basic types of switches that use to control the lighting fixtures, fan, or other appliances from one single location. They generally possess two brass-colored screw terminals that are connected to the hot wires. The first brass-colored screw terminal is for incoming hot wire where the power comes from, while another brass terminal is for the outgoing hot wire that goes to the supported device. They are usually featured a ground terminal to connect the circuit’s ground wire.
Double-pole switches are similar to single-pole switches but they can control two different appliances or devices at once. They are just like two single pole switches operated under one single button. In this case, a double-pole switch has 4 hot brass terminals that allow for the connection of two pairs of hot wires.
These types of switches allow you to control a single fixture from two different locations. For instance, they are normally installed at the bottom and top of the staircase in which you can turn on and off of the lighting easily from two places. They have three terminal screws which are common, travelers, and interchangeable screw terminals. The power sources from the hot wire will connect to the common screw terminal.
Bell Push Switches:
Bell push switches are commonly used for industrial applications to check the flow of electricity or for generating electricity quickly when pushing such as doorbells. This type of switch is similar to the single-pole switches but it only allows for a short and abrupt flow of electricity.
Things to consider when changing your sockets and switches
Traditional sockets and switches are designed in white color with plastic material. You may want to replace them with the style and color that match the whole appearance of your room. The replacement of sockets and switches can be done quickly and easily. Sockets and switches come in a wide range of designs and finishing such as Brass, Stainless Steel, Nickel, Chrome, Black Sockets, Rose Gold, Copper, etc. The first thing you need to consider when selecting the style of the socket and switches is the general feel of the room. For instance, a chrome or silver finishing is suitable for a modern room design, while a brass finish looks great in a traditional room design. You may also want to consider other metal finishes in your room such as doorknobs, photo frames, light fixtures, etc. So you can choose the right socket and switches that can add new lease of life to your room
In addition, You also need to consider the condition of the wall before selecting the new sockets and switches. Flat plate sockets and switches can provide a great feel to your room finishing, but it may not work well with the wall that is not flat.
Regarding the switch type, there are a few common selections including rocker, toggle, touch, and dimmer switches that you can choose from. Rocket switches are the most common and default choice. Toggle switches are suitable for period properties as they can elevate the style of the room to another level and provide a more classic feel. Touch switches are suitable for a more contemporary design of the room and have a higher price.
You must always pay attention to the house’s electrical system, purchase quality sockets & switches from a trusted supplier and also hire a professional team for the design & installation.