Kitchen grid switches - Why?

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by kdLeeds, 12 Apr 2012.

  1. kdLeeds

    kdLeeds

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    I am at the planning stage for a new kitchen and looking for ideas from my daughters recently refurbished kitchen.

    I noticed in her kitchen that the electricians have fitted grid switches which feed fused connection units behind the appliences. My questions are: Are grid switches now a legal requirement in kitchens. Isn't a plug top and 13a socket a fused connection unit? (if so, why would you cut off the plug top and wire into a fused spur?

    Another observation is that a grid switch has the potential to be accidentally switched off, (especially with children arround) disaster if it happens to be the freezer.

    Do new rules apply or can I still plug fridge, freezer, extractor hood, dishwasher, washing machine in to a 13a socket.
     
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  3. riveralt

    riveralt

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    Don't forget, if your property is england based, and you are not using registered electricians you will need to notify your Local Authority Building Control before you start.

    No they are not a legal requirement. On a ring final circuit you would simply loop the ring in and out of the supply side with a single 2.5mm cable running down to the socket and plug below - no need for an fcu. Even simplier for radial final circuit.
    I used above the worktop 20Amp appliance named grid switches for my own kitchen which run down to unswitched sockets for the appropriate appliance.

    For power critical appliances you can always fit a 'key' operated grid switch and hide the key.

    No new rules regarding this - though if you are starting from fresh in the kitchen you or the person designing the circuits should consider a separate RCD protected ring final circuit for the kitchen itself and possibly individual RCD protected radial final circuits for some of your appliances. There is very very limited scope for sockets to operate without RCD protection.
     
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  4. RF Lighting

    RF Lighting

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    There has to be a readily accessible way to isolate your appliances.

    If you can easily get the the socket then that's ok, but if you want the socket hidden away such as at the back of the washer then you'll need a switch above the worktop.

    I think they are a great idea. The last kitchen I did, I fitted them for the dishwasher, washer and tumble dryer.
     
  5. sparkiemike

    sparkiemike

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    Personally I don't see the point. I prefer to have a single socket outlet in an adjacent cupboard. That way it is not visiable but still accessible.
     
  6. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Any children tall enough to reach a switch on the wall behind a 600mm deep worktop must surely be old enough to be told, and trusted, not to turn things off at random.
     
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  7. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Accessible, that is, apart from being behind all the stuff that's in the cupboard....
     
  8. kdLeeds

    kdLeeds

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    What makes you think that they are on the wall behind a worktop? These are on a wall adjacent to a door, same height as a light switch
     
  9. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Daft place for them.

    Observation #2 - any child not old enough to be told/trusted not to play with switches should never, ever, be allowed into a kitchen unsupervised.
     
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  11. sparkiemike

    sparkiemike

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    If you are suggesting that they need to accessible for emergency switching/isolation then the big switch on the consumer unit might be more apropriate.

    For functional switching - all the applicances i have seen have their own switches for that

    For maintenance - then moving the stuff is no real hardship
     
  12. RF Lighting

    RF Lighting

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    A grid switch is just much neater and IMO the best way to do it.

    The on off switch on our extractor hood broke a while ago. Fortunately there was a convenient switch just near by to allow it to be switched off with out having to get out some steps to get to the socket on top of the wall cabinet.
     
  13. Dave2010

    Dave2010

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    from my understanding these grid switches are rated at 20A so could be unsuitable for ring mains as these are usually protected by 32A MCB

    doesnt this mean you single cable coming from grid is going to be protected by a 32A?
     
  14. kdLeeds

    kdLeeds

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    I'm actually looking for tips on planing a kitchen not bringing up children (been there and done that)
     
  15. RF Lighting

    RF Lighting

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    Yes it is but as long as it is only supplying one single socket then it is ok as the fuse in the plug will prevent the cable and the switches from being overloaded.
     
  16. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    20A could well be all that the cable is rated for.


    Yes - just like a spur.
     
  17. Dave2010

    Dave2010

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    doh!! yeah its just dawned its really just a spur :oops:
     
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