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Can I use light switches to control mains plug outlets? Answered

My room has only one outlet. What I want to do is fix 2 plug sockets to the bottom of my desk and then have everything electrical connected to that through an extension lead.  However, as these are at the back of the table I want to install light switches at the front which I can use to switch the outlets. Is this allowed/safe? The switches I have are single pole. This picture is as seen from underneath the table.


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steveastrouk

2 years ago

Since the terminology you are using and the sockets look British, then run the outlets via two switched, fused spurs..

There is no such thing as a plug socket. There IS a socket, and there is a plug.

Do you put socket plugs into plug sockets ?

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iceng

2 years ago

Don't forget US electrical codes are a max of 15 amperes per fuse on a group of outlets. As Quadrifoglio said you should use a minimum of 16 gauge wire (stranded or solid).

Use stranded for the plug cord and a UL knot inside the eBOX.

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Jack A Lopez

2 years ago

There exist boxes, made of PVC or steel, made to fit outlets and light switches.

Wikipedia calls these pattress boxes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattress

Although, I have never seen that word before today. I've always heard them called electrical boxes, electrical connection boxes, 1-gang, 2-gang, new work, etc, boxes.

I think it would be a good idea to use some of these boxes, rather than just directly attaching the switches and outlets to the bottom of your desk.

I mean, when the electrical connections are made inside of a closed box, that should prevent you from accidentally touching the connections. I think that is especially important since you are putting the switches in a place where, I am guessing, you have to reach under the desk, in a place where you cannot see the switch, in order to turn it on.

So. Yeah. I definitely think you want to use some boxes.

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Quadrifoglio

2 years ago

I would go with a surge protector (not just a power strip) and be done with it.

Yes, it can be done but to do it correctly requires knowing the maximum load, rated capabilities of the parts, the proper wire gauge, grounding, shielding, etc.