If there is one place in your home where electricity is everywhere, it is the kitchen. Probably no other room has so many appliances in use, and therefore so many electrical sockets. Of course, it is a room where there is a lot of water sloshing around as well, so the placing of the sockets is of crucial importance.
Planning Needs Expert Advice
This means that if you are installing a new kitchen, or doing up an old one, you need to take expert advice on planning the electrical installations. In the first place, you need to understand that there are three elements to the electrical supply to your kitchen: the circuit for 13-amp sockets for basic kitchen appliances; the 30-amp supply needed for cookers and other high-load appliances; and the lighting circuit.
Appliances such as fridges, dishwashers and washing machines can be plugged into an ordinary socket, so it is a good idea to place the appliances first where they will be going, and then install the sockets in the appropriate place. Make sure that the sockets are concealed, especially if there are children in the house. Apart from the safety issue, it can save you having your freezer switched off by meddling little fingers.
Appliances like electric cookers will need their own separate circuit, which needs to have an individual 30-amp circuit-breaker located on the supply main board. Having more than one high-load appliance on a single circuit means it can overload, which can cause fires and other safety hazards. The cooker must not be plugged into an ordinary socket, but needs to be hard wired into the wall plate. It should have a separate switch, so that the supply can be isolated when required.
Don't Stint On Sockets
When planning the installation of the sockets for the smaller appliances, such as kettles, food processors and toasters, it is wise to be generous. It is a good idea to think of all the appliances you currently have, and then double the figure. The number of gadgets being invented is increasing all the time, and the last thing you want is to have to start installing more sockets in a few years' time.
Make Sure You Get It Right
Electrics are probably more complicated in the kitchen than anywhere else in the house. You really need to talk to a qualified electrician before you start, in order to ensure you get it right first time. Not only does it need to be properly designed, but you have to make sure it is safe as well.