Improper wiring in a house raises the risk of fire and electrocution. However, with a little planning, the risks can be successfully avoided. Also, placing the switches and sockets at the correct height means that you will not have to bend or jump to use them. And admit it, dangling wires are a nasty sight too.
Although electrical wiring should preferably be done by certified experts, in case you want to go the DIY way use this Enlighten guide that we created keeping convenience and safety requirements in mind. Also, do not forget to have it inspected and approved by a local building inspector.
- Wherever there is a switch or a socket, the wiring must be vertical to it.
- Wires should be at least 10 cm (4 in) away from doors and windows.
- The main lighting switch should be placed near the door at a height of about 75-90 cm (30-35 in).
- Switches for pantries should be located in the hallway.
- Switches for rooms should be located inside the room and the same is true for the kitchen as well.
- Inside rooms, sockets should be installed at a height of 30 cm (12 in) from the floor, and switches at a height of 90 cm (35 in) from the floor.
How to plan your socket layout
- Make a plan for your room setup and draw it out on a piece of paper. Mark all your furniture items as well as your electrical appliances like TVs, computers, sound systems, etc.
- Then mark all the socket points you will need (including for your internet and telephone).
- Aesthetically, it is desirable to have the socket for all stationary items like TVs and computers placed behind the items themselves to keep them, as well as their wires, hidden.
- Sockets for items which will be used regularly like, for example, vacuum cleaners, should be placed on open walls at a height of 30 cm (12 in) above the floor.
Wiring the bathroom
Most modern bathrooms need sockets inside for appliances like hairdryers, razors, etc. Also, you will need wiring for items like Jacuzzis, heaters, and exhaust fans, and maybe even a washing machine.
- The outlet for the Jacuzzi and shower can be installed behind the wall since they will not have to be regularly plugged and unplugged.
- Near the bathroom mirror (usually placed above the sink) you can have a couple of outlets for small appliances, like a hairdryer.
- In some countries, the washing machine is often placed in the bathroom. If the size of the bathroom allows, you can also create space and add a socket for this. Bear in mind that the sockets for this appliance should be located at a distance of at least 50-60 cm (20-24 in) from the water pipes.
- Sockets and switches in the bathroom must comply with the standard for wet rooms (protection class at least IP44) and should be properly grounded.
Wiring the kitchen
The kitchen needs more wiring, sockets, and switches than any other room in the house. You will need sockets for a refrigerator, an electric range, an exhaust hood over the stove, and a microwave. Also, you might have a dishwasher, a mixer, a blender, a coffee grinder, a coffee maker, a juicer, a waffle maker, a sandwich maker, and a bunch of other types of small appliances, all of which will need a power supply. While wiring the kitchen, you must keep in mind the following points:
- You will need at least 5 sockets for appliances that will remain permanently plugged in.
- For the refrigerator, the socket is usually behind it. If you keep a microwave over your fridge, its outlet can also be located behind the fridge.
- If you are going to use an electric range, that will need separate wiring and a separate socket.
Wiring the bedroom
- If your bedroom has a classic layout, with a bed in the center and one bedside table on each side, then you will need 2 sockets next to each of them for connecting the lamps and charging mobile phones and tablets. The same number of sockets are needed if you have an arrangement with 2 separate beds.
- TVs are also usually present in the bedroom, so you will need sockets for that too, preferably hidden behind it.
- For houses that don’t have central air, the air-conditioner sockets should be placed near the windows where you wish to install them to avoid any dangling wires.
Have you learned something new from this article? Let us know which other guidelines you would follow if you had to re-wire your home. And if you know someone who is moving into a new house, share this article with them and spare them of the hassle of having to look for this information all over the internet.