Learn how to install switch with socket!

Have you ever needed a new outlet and ran out of space to install that outlet, because you don’t want to break anything in the building? If so, then pay attention in this article that we will show you a great option to solve this problem.

It is a fact that with the passage of time the number of electrical and electronic devices has grown and with this the need for new points of outlets in the installations arises. But how to have a new outlet without needing a breaker? Using an extension may temporarily solve your problem, but it’s not always the best option. So, in these situations what can I do?

Switch with socket

First, we need to understand what a switch is and what an outlet is, let’s go.

The switch is an electrical component that makes it possible to control a lighting point, being able to turn on or off a lamp or a set of lamps. There are different types of switch such as single, double, three-way, Four Way etc.

The socket is a point that provides electrical power to a plug that will be connected to the socket, and the plugs are most used in electrical and electronic devices such as a computer, TV, blender, vacuum cleaner etc.

The sockets are divided into two classes, which is the TUG socket (general use socket) and the TUE socket (specific use socket). Class TUG sockets are for the electrical current of up to 10A. Class TUE sockets must have an independent circuit, as they are for electrical current up to 20A. It is important to always perform the proper sizing for both outlets.

The switch with the socket is an electrical component that makes it possible to have a switch and socket at the same point. This type of electrical component has some restrictions to be installed, in the following items of the standard NBR-5410 shows these restrictions.

4.2.5.5 The terminal circuits must be individualized by the function of the use equipment they supply. In particular, separate end circuits must be provided for lighting points and for outlet points.
NOTE For housing locations, see also 9.5.3.

9.5.3 Division of the installation
9.5.3.1 Every point of use foreseen to supply, exclusively or virtually dedicated, equipment with a rated current greater than 10 A must constitute an independent circuit.

9.5.3.2 Kitchen outlet points, pantries, kitchen pantries, service areas, laundries and similar places must be served by circuits exclusively intended for supplying power outlets in those places.

9.5.3.3 In housing locations, it is admitted, as an exception to the general rule of 4.2.5.5, that outlet points, except those indicated in 9.5.3.2, and lighting points can be powered by common circuit, provided that the following conditions are simultaneously met:

a) The design electrical current (IB) of the common circuit (lighting plus sockets) must not exceed 16 A;
b) The lighting points are not powered, in their entirety, by a single circuit, if that circuit is common (lighting plus sockets);
c) The outlet points, excluding those indicated in 9.5.3.2, are not powered in their entirety by a single circuit, if that circuit is common (lighting plus outlets).

Switch with Brazilian standard socket.

How to install switch with socket

After a few brief explanations, we go on to install the socket switch. The first step in making any circuit changes is to turn off the circuit breaker for your safety.
For a better understanding we made a scheme with the following symbology:

Symbols used in the connection diagram.

The most common case to see is when we have a switch point and we want a plug point at that point, as in the example below.

Simple switch connection diagram.

To install a switch with a socket in a point that already has a switch, it is necessary to make some changes to the circuit where the switch with a socket will be installed. Since the lighting circuit is composed of phase, neutral and return conductors, the plug circuit requires phase, neutral and protection conductors.

The first change is to remove the existing switch, after that make a derivation of the neutral conductor and take it to the point where the switch with socket will be installed, also pass the protective conductor to the installation point. Remember to leave a spare driver to make future connections.

Removing the switch for placing the switch with socket.

Now with all the conductors available, we will make the connections of the conductors at the terminals of the socket switch. Derivate the phase conductor, thus obtaining two tips that we will call A and B. Connect tip A to the left terminal of the switch and tip B to the right terminal of the socket. To complete the switch connections, connect the return conductor to the right terminal of the switch.