How are the retractable sockets for the table top and how to install them yourself
Home appliances that provide comfort at home and in the office need to be connected to the electrical network. A large number of overhead sockets does not become a highlight in the interior design, regardless of the purpose of the room.
An excellent solution in such cases would be retractable sockets for the countertop. They help save space in the room and fit great in the interior.
Types and features of retractable outlets
The embedded power connector block is an original invention by socket manufacturers. It is easy to use and able to blend in harmoniously in any room.
Manufacturers of world famous sockets offer the buyer more and more sophisticated models and variations of such designs.
Tabletop Embedded Classification
A stylish solution for the kitchen-studio, office space will be built-in sockets in the closet, table or countertop. They serve as an alternative to the extension cord, while at the same time being a more perfect version of it. After all, it is not always appropriate to use an ordinary extension cord, especially when it comes to a conference room or a room for cooking.
Depending on the appearance of the embedded unit, the sockets are:
- horizontal type;
- vertically positioned.
Horizontal blocks can have one power connector, as well as 2, 3, 4 and more. It all depends on the particular model under consideration. Also, in addition to the standard plugs, they can be provided for connecting USB, HDMI, Internet.
Vertical models differ from each other in height and functionality.Among this type of sockets there are low variations, all connectors in which are located along the circumference of the device.
Often you can find models with 2, 3, 5 or more connectors, located one behind the other in height. In these socket units you can connect not only kitchen appliances, but also a laptop, a charger for any type of mobile phone, non-standard plugs of appliances.
According to their design features, the sockets built into the surface of the furniture are divided into:
Retractable blocks, depending on the specific model, can rotate around its axis by 180, 360 degrees. Some manufacturers offer sockets with lighting that can set a special atmosphere for the room.
Rotary built-in sockets are considered more reliable in operation.Their main disadvantage is the difficulty in using devices with a side plug type.
Built-in socket blocks can be placed in the following places:
- in a wall cabinet;
- in countertop / table;
- in the gutter between the table top and the wall.
Embedded designs of rosette units can be called universal, because the same model can be installed both in a wall cabinet and in a worktop. There are no fundamental differences in the installation site for such models.
One of the most important characteristics of any type of outlet is the degree of protection. Retractable models for the kitchen should be taken with a value of IP44. Indeed, in this room, an increased level of humidity, the threat of ingress of small particles of fat and dust.
Features of the device sliding structures
Retractable sockets at their convenience and need can be compared with built-in furniture for the kitchen.They not only save space, but also simplify life. After all, there is no need to lay a separate line to establish the missing number of fixed points of connection to the power grid.
Sockets, recessed into the tabletop, cabinet or other surface, are a block of connectors located in a certain way. Their size and appearance is dictated by the idea of the designer, designing a specific model for the manufacturer. Most often the connectors are grounded. The unit is equipped with a cable with a length of 1 to 3 meters and a plug for connecting to the network.
The plug of the sliding block can be stationary or folding. If everything is clear with the stationary option - it is plugged in and the device is ready for use, then the folding plug will be useful in case you need to increase the cable length.
The principle of operation of the sliding vertical block is quite simple. This construction, when not in use, is completely hidden in a secluded place - under the table top / in a wall cabinet.If you want to connect a coffee grinder or other household appliance, then you need to press the top protective cover of the retractable outlet. It will open a couple of centimeters. Then you simply pull the whole block up until it locks into place.
The specifics of operating a retractable outlet is schematically depicted in the following selection:
Fixation takes place using a special button set by the manufacturer at the bottom of the unit. You can turn on home appliances, not being distracted by the search for an extension cord or a free outlet on a working apron.
When the need for an additional power connector is no longer necessary, it is enough to press the mechanism that secures the sliding block, and, slightly pressing the top cover, hide the whole structure in its permanent place.
Vertical models can be equipped with LED lighting, additional inputs for audio / video equipment and other kind of connectors.Also, depending on the individual characteristics, there are blocks that can be hidden in the worktop together with the plugs of household appliances included in them.
Swivel retractable power outlets hidden in the countertop. When you need to use one of its connectors to turn on the electrical appliance, just press the special button on top. Some models have a mechanism that works when you press the cover. With this operation, a block turns out of the tabletop, turning the power connectors in a convenient position for use.
The angle of rotation depends on the characteristics of the model - about 180 degrees. The specific value must be indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions.
The rotary socket block is hidden by pressing the corresponding mechanism on top.Its connection to the mains is carried out using a cable located at the bottom. Some models do not provide a cable in the kit. You have to buy the appropriate wire yourself, given the technical characteristics of the unit.
Features of the choice and installation of sliding sockets
The sudden need for additional points for connecting electrical appliances can satisfy a retractable outlet. Its installation is not particularly complex. It is important to choose a model that can fulfill all the requirements for it. Then the process of operation itself will bring only positive emotions.
Information for making a competent purchase
The outlet market is replete with enticing options from the most famous manufacturers. In order to select a suitable model among the mass of proposals that corresponds to its ideas about the relationship between quality and price, it is necessary to clearly formulate the requirements.
First, it is necessary to decide how many power connectors and additional inputs for audio / video will be needed.equipment, USB cables and other things. In accordance with these requirements, you can select the appropriate option. You may have to purchase 2 or 3 embedded designs.
Secondly, do not forget about power. Each model is designed for the maximum allowable load that it can withstand. Therefore, the total power of electrical appliances, which are planned to be connected, should not exceed this value.
To find out what load the model of the socket block can withstand, it is enough to get acquainted with its technical characteristics given by the manufacturer in the instructions.
Thirdly, the manufacturer firm matters. The products of the following companies are on the market: German Evoline, Italian Simon Connect, Russian Ecoplast, French Schneider Electric, Swiss Kondator, Polish GTV. Retractable sockets are made of high quality materials.
Manufacturers who supply their products to the market for more than one year are fully responsible for their quality.But there are also cheaper analogues produced by Chinese firms - Desc Socket and Displace. These rosette blocks visually resemble their original prototypes, but this is where the similarities end.
Retractable sockets of Chinese firms are made of cheaper materials, so after 4-6 months they begin to fall into disrepair. First, the block begins to live its life, not responding to the needs of the user. It spontaneously opens and closes, and after a while it stops working.
Fourth, you need to choose the option that matches the color of the room. Manufacturers pay special attention to this issue, offering various color solutions of the same model - metal, gold, bronze, black, white and others.
Fifthly, choosing the optimal model, you should carefully examine it for the presence of external damage and defects. You also need to check the equipment and performance of the purchased device.
Sixth, we must pay attention to the degree of protection specified by the manufacturer in the instructions.Well, when this value is IP44, if you have to install in the kitchen. IP20 is enough for a room or office.
Selection of the location of the device
At the stage of calculating the required number of inputs for connecting to the power grid, it is necessary to decide exactly where the socket blocks will be located. It is important that the place is convenient and easily accessible.
If built-in outlets are to be installed in an office desk located in a meeting / meeting room, then the needs of business partners and employees should be taken into account and foresee. Indeed, in the process of collaboration, there is a need for additional power for laptops, tablets and other mobile devices.
The number of connectors for connection should be commensurate with the number of employees participating in the discussion of business processes.
For placement in the house of sockets, which are built into the tabletop / closet, the rule of convenience and accessibility is also important. In this case, we must not forget about security.If the retractable outlet will be installed in the kitchen, then you need to choose the right location for it.
It is strictly impossible to install sliding blocks in such places:
- above / under the stove;
- above / under the sink;
- next to the stove / sink.
These requirements are dictated by safety rules. After all, the ingress of water can lead to a short circuit. Keep a distance of 60 cm from water and fire.
If the socket that is built into the worktop is very close to the sink, it may become unusable at any time. In the process of washing dishes it is possible the spilling of water on the nearby countertop. A protective cover retractable outlets is not sealed and can not protect against the penetration of water into the mechanism.
The optimal places for the placement of built-in units are the working area of the tabletop, which the hostess actively uses for cooking, as well as the area for eating and resting for all family members.
If it is more expedient to place a block of 3-5 power connectors in the working area, then a block of combined connectors will be needed in the rest zone. Then all family members will be able, if necessary, to connect their mobile devices.
Independent installation of embedded structures
Retractable sockets can be installed independently. To do this, you need a minimum set of tools - after all, you will not have to hammer walls and lay a separate power line.
The main difficulty in installation is to cut a hole in the countertop. Depending on its material, this operation may require the use of additional tools or the involvement of specialists. So, if the coating is made of artificial stone, glass or other complex material, then one cannot do without special skills.
If the question of how to install the sockets on the glass tabletop on your own, is before ordering a kitchen set, then it is better to order holes for them from a furniture manufacturer. Not having experience with such material, you can ruin the expensive surface.
In the case when the hole does not make much effort, you can safely proceed to the installation of the sliding block. To do this, mark the place of installation, guided by the actual dimensions specified in the instructions. Each model will have its own.
After finishing the markup, you have to carefully cut a hole. Then, using the supplied fasteners that come with the kit, fix the sockets tightly. In case of installation of the sliding block with a cable and a plug, it will be necessary to include it in the ordinary socket. The cable length makes it possible to reach even a very remote electrical point behind the cabinet.
If there is no such outlet, then the embedded structure can be connected directly to the power supply cable, alternately connecting the corresponding wires. It is important to disconnect the line from which to work.Otherwise, you can get a shock.
In the case when the purchased model does not have a cable with a plug, it is necessary to connect the seats using wire segments 15-20 cm long. Then connect the power cable by inserting it into the opening of the box body. The ends of the wires must be cleaned, freeing from isolation, and attached to the mechanism of the outlet, respectively, marking.
After finishing work with wires, you can turn on the power line and check the operability of the installed retractable outlet.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Video clip about a horizontal unit of the Polish manufacturer that is built into the tabletop:
An overview of the use of a vertical socket that is built into the tabletop / cabinet:
Visual clip on the work of the vertical retractable outlet built into the tabletop:
Having preferred the electrical connectors that are embedded in the tabletop, it is important to choose the optimal model. You can install it yourself using the installation instructions. This design will give a highlight to the modern interior and will significantly save usable space in the room.