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Discuss Is it OK to terminate switched fused spur with 13A socket? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. haggis999
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    haggis999 Active EF Member

    Location:
    Southampton
    I am planning a new layout for our utility room and would appreciate some advice. We have three appliances (washer, dryer and freezer) that will sit under a worktop directly below the window. My intention is to feed this equipment via a row of three 13A fused spur switchplates located inside a tall larder unit to the right of the appliances.

    Would there be any problem in terminating each of these switched fused spurs with an unswitched 13A socket instead of cutting off the moulded plugs currently fitted to the appliance power cords and hard wiring each cable to a flex outlet box?

    Another issue is the risk of trapping the mains cord when one of these big and heavy machines is pulled out from under the worktop for servicing and then pushed back. There will only be a 23mm gap between each machine, so it will be impossible to see what is happening behind the appliances. The only solution I can think of is to pull the loose mains cord up and across the top of the machine before it is pushed back under the worktop. The loose cable would then be pushed back out of sight once the machine is in place.

    Are there any better ways to minimise the risk of trapping the cable?
     
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  2. Phil Thompson
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    Phil Thompson Let us light up your life! Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Newtownards
    Business Name:
    Brite Spark Electrical
    Flex and trailing socket from your FSU.
     
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  3. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    I very much doubt the cables will be long enough
     
  4. Richard Burns
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    Richard Burns Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Business Name:
    Richard Burns
    Welcome to the forum.
    Having a plug behind an appliance would mean that the appliance would have to be removed to change a blown fuse, not a terrible thing since if there is a fault you would probably have to remove the appliance to repair it first, however it can be an inconvenience.
    Also having two 13A fuses in series is redundant and you could just go for 20A DP switches instead of SFCUs, but this ensures that the fuse to blow will be the one in the plug top.
    The cable run of running three independent cables in safe zones behind the sockets will be a nightmare of space so at least 35mm back boxes to allow space for the through cables.
    With only 23mm behind the appliance you will have to hope they are slim plugs because that is close.
    I pull appliance cords in the way you describe, but you can tie a string to them to keep them up and allow you to pull it back again when drawing out or tape/clip them to the back once the appliance is almost to the worktop.
     
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  5. vjsmarwick
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    vjsmarwick Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Island dweller lol
    Personally I cut the plugs off and wire the appliances in to 20A flex connection plates especially for built in appliances but prefer it for all appliances. It’s much simpler to replace the fuse above the worktop and as said above an awful lot of appliances won’t go fully back with a plug behind them. And building standards are much happier with this here now too but building standards seem different everywhere lol
     
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  6. haggis999
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    haggis999 Active EF Member

    Location:
    Southampton
    Thanks to everyone for their rapid responses to my first post on this forum.

    It's the gap between each of the three appliances that is 23mm. I will be using a standard 60cm deep worktop, so there should be adequate space behind the machines.

    My primary concern was to make sure that I had not missed some obscure new regulation that forbade the use of a 13A socket downstream of an SFCU. Replies so far suggest that this is not a problem. However, I have not given up on the alternative solution of cutting off the appliance plugs and hard wiring to flex outlet boxes behind each machine. Which method is most common in the trade?

    I guess it is a matter of the convenience of a plug connection versus the convenience of a readily-accessible fuse (with two fuses in series, sod's law determines that it would always be the more inaccessible fuse that will blow first).

    The idea of taping or clipping most of the surplus cable to the back of the machine just before it disappears under the worktop seems a good way to avoid it being trapped under the appliance. As long as the 60cm of free cable is fixed fairly high up at both ends, then it should only drop down by 30cm as the machine is pushed back, which is not enough to reach the floor.
     
  7. haggis999
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    haggis999 Active EF Member

    Location:
    Southampton
    I'm also beginning to think that this would be the best solution, using something like the MK 20A unfused flex outlet (MK code K1090).
     
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  8. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    most common way is a 20A D/P switch ( neon optional) above worktop for isolation, feeding a single 13A socket below
     
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  9. haggis999
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    haggis999 Active EF Member

    Location:
    Southampton
    That does have the advantage that if anyone carelessly put some strain on the power cord when pulling the machine out from under the worktop then it would probably just disconnect the plug (unlike a hard-wired connection).

    From my own experience, appliance fuses very seldom fail, so perhaps having the fuse hidden behind the kit is not much of an issue.
     
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  10. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    If you are still 'planning' your new utility room, there is also the consideration of how these appliances are supplied; especially a separate washer & dryer, which potentially could have a load of 2.2kW each. This could put a disproportional load, if they are connected at the same point on a ring final circuit for example?

    Why not consider buying a combined washer/dryer, alleviating the issue above, and freeing up space below the work top for an additional cupboard where sockets for just two appliances could be placed.
     
  11. haggis999
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    haggis999 Active EF Member

    Location:
    Southampton
    I am still very much in the planning stage, as I like to work things out on paper before picking up any tools, but one decision has already been made. We tend to avoid dual-purpose kit in favour of dedicated devices, so when our 17-year-old washing machine died a few weeks ago, we replaced it with a new washer and dryer (we never had a dryer before).

    I was already planning to check out whether or not I need a new ring main to handle the additional electrical load, but thanks for the reminder.
     
  12. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Just a thought, washer dyers are more reliable these days, although I do encourage her indoors to use the washing line to dry the washing :)

    It may be more appropriate or easier to have a new radial circuit installed for your new appliances rather than a new ring final.
     
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  13. haggis999
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    haggis999 Active EF Member

    Location:
    Southampton
    I've now checked more carefully behind each of the three appliances and found that the position of a 13A wall socket would have to be completely different for each machine to allow them all to be pushed back against the wall. You need a minimum of 30mm clearance to accommodate a plug and socket. Large areas behind each machine are much closer than that to the wall.

    In the case of the freezer, the wall socket would have to be quite close to the floor, making it a little trickier to avoid trapping the cable when moving the machine.

    I guess there must be ways to install a 13A socket that is set back 30mm into the wall, but it would probably take quite a bit of effort.
     
  14. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

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    Location:
    Northampton
    Business Name:
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    Can you not install the socket in a position that doesn't impede the FF or is the flex not long enough?
     
  15. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    I do a lot of kitchen refurbishments, hardly ever locate the socket behind the appliance for problems you've encountered. Similarly, locating 3 appliance adjacent to each other will also present the problem of flex length of each appliance.

    Can you not redesign your layout?
     

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