Electric sockets

Electrical sockets, colloquially referred to as contacts or plug sockets, are elements of the electrical installation that are used to connect a number of energy receivers to it. Simply put – it is thanks to them that it is possible to connect to the network a number of devices that need electricity to operate. There are many types of electrical sockets. Individual models of this type of attachment differ from each other, e.g. mounting location or type of supported plug.

Electrical sockets, like light switches, are usually installed at the final stages of making the electrical connection. They are an indispensable and necessary element (next to switches and switchgear) of any properly functioning installation. When choosing sockets, it is necessary to precisely define their basic functions that they are to fulfill at the place of assembly. This may affect the later efficiency of the equipment and the entire network to which individual devices are connected.

Electric sockets – division according to the place of assembly

The basic division of electrical sockets is based on the place of their assembly. In this way, two types of contacts are distinguished: surface-mounted and flush-mounted. The first of them, as the name suggests, are not hidden in the wall. The entire fixture design is on the selected surface. These types of sockets usually have the shape of a characteristic nugget. Surface-mounted models are rarely installed in homes. More often they can be found in workshops, factories and widely understood economic facilities. In such places, they are more handy and guarantee greater security of connection to the network. The big advantage of surface-mounted sockets is the fact that you do not have to drill the walls for their installation. Therefore, they are commonly installed, for example, on gazebos or terraces.

In turn, flush-mounted models are completely hidden in the wall. In their case, only the flat elements of the equipment housing are visible. This solution is much more aesthetic, which is why it is commonly used in residential spaces. Flush-mounted sockets are now considered a standard in modern and modernized electrical installations.

Sockets and types of phases

Another way to divide electrical sockets is to distinguish individual models due to the type of supported phase. There are single-phase and three-phase models on the market. Much more popular are the first of them, which are commonly installed primarily in residential buildings or offices. On the other hand, in places where equipment requiring a higher supply voltage for proper operation is used, three-phase electrical sockets are used.

Electric sockets – division due to plug construction

Individual electrical sockets are adapted to different types of plugs. In Poland, the following contact models are commonly used:

  • type C (CEE 7/1) – classic socket with two holes and a circular recess for the plug. Once used very often, today they are gradually being abandoned due to the fact that they do not have a grounding pin.
  • type E – (CEE 7/5) – sockets very similar to Type C except that they have a grounding pin. So it is much safer to use. Often contacts of this kind are referred to as Belgian or French. Besides, they are standard in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Their unquestionable advantage is universality, because all European plugs without PE can be connected to them. At the same time, note that these contacts are not intended for type F and C plugs. Interestingly – in Poland in the 1970s, attempts were made to develop its own standard of sockets based on the E models. To this day, such contacts can still be found in flats located in blocks of flats big slab. Ultimately, however, the Polish standard of type E sockets never came into common use.
  • type F (CEE 7/3) – so-called sockets. Like type C contacts, they have two holes – one for phase, one for neutral. A characteristic element of this equipment, however, is a specific grounding in the form of two plates located on the sides of the plug-in recess. Schuko sockets are common in Germany, the Netherlands, Croatia and Bulgaria. They are suitable for plugs type C and F, europlug and a special type E/F called unischuko. E plugs and round C plugs cannot be connected to schuko sockets. Very important note - this type of sockets in apartments is unacceptable by Polish Standards.
  • europe plug – a variety of type C sockets designed for plugs with a characteristic, flat shape.

At the same time, it is worth realizing that there are other types of sockets in many countries. We can distinguish at least a dozen or so specific models of contacts intended for specific types of plugs.

Electric sockets – degree of protection

Sockets also have different degrees of protection. This parameter indicates which rooms a given socket model is suitable for. Products marked with the IP22 symbol are standard sockets that are installed in residential and office spaces. They meet the basic safety requirements. IP44 sockets are manufactured for installation in kitchens or bathrooms. These are the so-called splash-proof contacts, much more resistant to moisture. Most often equipped with a special protective flap. There are also IP56 models designed, for example, for workshops, garages, swimming pools or saunas.

Concerning the degree of protection, the current standard is to install contacts with a grounding pin. There is no need to install sockets without this type of protection. In addition, there are also special models on the market with class D surge arresters, which will prove themselves where sensitive electronic equipment will be connected. There are also sockets with a built-in residual current device, which increase the safety of older electrical installations that are not suitable for a full retrofit. A certain novelty, however, are sockets with aperture covers, which are to protect children from inserting toys or fingers into the socket. 

Special socket types

Currently, the choice of electrical sockets is extremely large. In addition to the most classic solutions, you can find products with a very specific purpose, e.g. contacts for floor mounting (intended primarily for office spaces). There are special types of sockets for mounting, for example, in glass, marble or plastic surfaces. In addition, contacts with a USB port, sockets for antennas, telephones or computer networks can be distinguished. Due to the fact that the sockets also have an aesthetic function, today you can easily find a model in any color.

Electrical sockets in the store

The store offers a wide selection of electrical sockets. We have almost all types of contacts intended for both residential spaces and workshops, factories, offices and utility rooms. With us you will find sockets of almost any shape, color, degree of protection and purpose. We offer accessories from proven and reputable manufacturers, e.g. Hager, Berker and Schneider Electric. At you can also order sockets of a non-standard standard, e.g. contacts for British, American, Italian or Danish plugs. We have earthed and ungrounded sockets, as well as schuko contacts.