Connecting an outlet to electrical wiring will not be difficult if you have an elementary understanding of the principle of operation of the power supply system and remember the safety rules when working. In addition, the quality of the work done is of particular importance, because improper connection of the outlet will lead to malfunctions and breakdowns of electrical appliances, and the outlet itself may fail. But, one way or another, from time to time you have to repair various connections in the electrical network, and therefore it is worth learning how to connect the outlet correctly.
Tool for the job
Before starting installation work, you need to prepare the following tool:
- Building level.
- Insulating tape.
Before you connect the socket to the power supply, you should understand its structure. The receptacle consists of an assembled block with a front decorative panel and a frame attached to the block with a screw. The back has pins for the plug, whichis inserted with the back side into the socket. It is used if the socket is attached to the wall. When the wiring is laid on the surface, wall sockets are connected. In general, the socket consists of:
- Two contacts, which include the plug of the electrical appliance. One contact is phase, the other is zero.
- Two terminals with which the contacts are connected to the mains.
- Contact for ground connection (not present in all sockets).
- Movable tabs for attaching the socket.
Once you understand the socket arrangement, you can begin to figure out how to connect the socket to the power supply.
Connecting the electrical cable to the outlet
A conventional socket is designed to connect a cable with a cross section of up to 2.5 mm. It is this wiring that is often used in apartments of multi-storey buildings. Differences in cable thickness may relate to lighting connection points. In this regard, in places for connecting chandeliers or sconces, as well as switches, a cable with a cross section of 1.5 mm is often laid.
Now let's take a step-by-step look at the rules of how to connect an outlet:
- First, you should turn off the electricity supply to the room where the work will be carried out. It does not hurt to check the absence of voltage with a special device after turning off the machines - after all, machines can also fail. Double control will help to avoid serious consequences.
- The socket is dismantled to the point where there is free access to the terminals for attaching the electrical cable and further fixing the socket. The terminals are a metal connector with a screw where the wire is inserted and tightened securely.
- If a wall socket is connected, the general insulation should be wound about half a centimeter into the box.
- The wires of the cable are stripped and placed in each of the terminals that provide contact between the socket and the cable. It does not matter which of the wires to which contact (phase or neutral) will be connected. If there is grounding in the socket, the corresponding wire is connected to the grounding contact. It is extremely important to observe the rule that none of the wires can come into contact with the other. Only the part of the wire that will be directly placed in the terminal should be stripped. Usually it is 1 cm.
- After the wires are fixed in the terminals, the socket is fixed.
Methods of fastening sockets
Before connecting the outlet, prepare a place for its placement on the wall. In order to effortlessly connect the outlet both inside the wall and outside, you need to take care of the presence of about 20 cm of free wire on the wall surface.
If the wiring is outdoor, then the back of the outlet for outdoor mounting is securely fixed to the wall using dowels or self-tapping screws, depending on the material of which the wall is made. Then the process of connecting the cable to the socket contacts takes place, after which its front side is screwed to the back fixed on the wall.parts.
The procedure for connecting an outlet is different when the wiring is inside the wall. Here you will have to punch a recess in the wall and install a socket in it. After the wires are tightened in the terminals, the back of the socket is placed in the socket and each of the metal legs is screwed, resting against the wall. It is necessary to expand the paws until it stops gradually, performing several turns in order to avoid skew. It is better to hold the body itself with the second hand in a position parallel to the floor.
How to connect a grounded socket
Often this type of outlet is not used. But there are times when, for the sake of your own safety, you simply cannot do without them. For example, in the case of using an electric water heater located in the shower cabin, the risk of electric shock while taking a shower increases significantly due to the excellent electrical conductivity of water. Grounding devices must be placed near such a place. At the same time, neither people nor animals should have access to the grounding point.
To connect sockets with grounding, a three-core cable should be connected. The earth cable is usually yellow. Red or brown indicates phase, and blue indicates zero. If the electrical appliance consumes a large amount of electricity, this connection should only be made directly from the switchboard.
There are two main ways to connect an outlet: serial or "loop" and parallel orstar.
The first method involves connecting all outlets in turn, including grounding, supplying voltage to each subsequent outlet through the previous one.
The second way is to connect sockets in parallel in a star type, when each socket is connected directly to the junction box and is independent of the others.
The advantages of each method are obvious: the "loop" will save the cable, but will not provide such a network with great endurance. That is, it is not recommended to connect high-power electrical appliances to such a network. The unreliability of the entire circuit also belongs to the absolute disadvantage, since the appearance of a problem in the contact of one of the sockets will affect the operation of all subsequent ones.
"Zvezda" will ensure the independent operation of each outlet with the maximum load on the network and increase the safety of all wiring, however, the cost of laying it will significantly exceed the first budget option. You should also note that the main cable that is routed to the junction box must have a larger wire section than the wires connected to it from the sockets.
Socket installation height
Generally accepted rules establish the optimal distance for placing sockets in the range from 30 to 80 cm from the floor. Of course, there are cases that do not allow to observe exactly these parameters. Then it is important to know that it is not recommended to install the outlet at a height below 15 cm from the floor slab and less than 10 cm towindow start. For your own safety, it is recommended to keep any electrical components away from the weather in any of their manifestations.
This type of outlet has two connectors for plugging electrical appliances, however, one connection to the network. Connecting a double outlet, as in the case of a single one, is not difficult, following the above instructions. It is important to understand that when two high-power devices are activated, the entire load falls on one line. Since it is not possible to connect a double outlet with load sharing from each device using the “star” method, it is not recommended to connect powerful devices to such an outlet at the same time.
Since it is possible to connect two sockets that are side by side and have separate terminals for connecting to the wiring in a parallel way, it will be safe for the power supply system to turn on powerful electrical appliances at the same time. It is important to choose the right distance between the sockets so that the decorative strips of the sockets fit freely.
Connecting three outlets
You can connect three sockets, like two, and four, in a serial or parallel way, depending on the requirements for the electrical network. When three outlets are connected in series, the contacts will play an important role in the operation of the network. In this regard, it is recommended to purchase sockets with high-quality components. Also, a feature of connecting with a "loop" is the need to maintain an unbreakable ground line. Therefore, you must connect the ground wireby branching from the wire, and not by breaking and connecting to the terminals. Thus, the reliability of the wire will be achieved not on the socket mechanisms, but on its own connection, and a guarantee against line breaks will be provided.
Connecting four outlets
Before you connect 4 sockets in series, you should carefully consider what devices you plan to use with them. Indeed, if the maximum cable cross-section for which a standard socket is designed is 2.5 mm with a rated current of up to 16A and can withstand the load of up to two powerful devices, then the simultaneous connection of such devices to all four sockets will simply disable them. Thus, the use of four sockets with a "daisy chain" connection method is only allowed with low-power devices. In this case, you should think about connecting at least two independent power lines to these outlets, or connect them to the mains in parallel.
General rules for installing an outlet block
Regardless of the number of sockets, the installation of their blocks has certain nuances and rules. To figure out how to connect an outlet block, consider the following instructions:
- The generally accepted distance between the centers of the sockets is 72 mm with a depth of 42 mm. However, there are non-standard forms of socket front panels. Therefore, it is necessary to measure the distance between them before making seats in the wall for socket boxes.
- It is recommended to use the building level when marking onwall before chasing recesses for socket boxes.
- The right terminal of the first outlet must be connected to the right terminal of the second outlet, and so on.
- Due to the need for special reliability of contacts, it is recommended to solder them.
There are a number of mistakes that beginners usually make. With little experience, they do not know how to connect an electrical outlet in the best way and with the least effort. Consider some features of connecting sockets:
- You should immediately pay attention to the material from which the wiring is made. If it is aluminum, then such a wire breaks easily at the bends. Therefore, you need to work with metal carefully - it will not withstand more than 3-4 bends. Then the connection process will have to be started again, in addition, a break may occur at the base in the wall, which will make it extremely difficult to reconnect the outlet.
- Aluminum wire has a much lower conductivity than copper wire. Accordingly, when connecting sockets, it is necessary to correctly calculate the distribution of the load on the power grid in advance and, if necessary, replace the cable.
- When tightening the terminals, do not be zealous. Of course, the wires must be securely fixed, which is especially important with high power consumption. But they should also not be pinched, as this will directly affect the quality of the connection between the socket contacts and the wiring, which can lead to burning of the contacts, overheating them and malfunctioning of the socket.
- The quality of socket boxes should be given special attention. With timesocket contacts can overheat, weaken or burn for various reasons. Today, many socket boxes are made of refractory material, and their cost is available to everyone. Do not save on your own safety and purchase low-quality materials.
By following these rules, you can easily monitor the condition of the power supply, replace sockets and switches as needed. But be sure to remember and follow all the safety rules for working with the electrical network and appliances for your own safety.