Which sockets for kitchen?

Hi,
I wonder if anyone has any input as to which make of socket I should buy to replace the old ones in my kitchen? The Screwfix catalogue lists several different makes (Clipsal polycarbonate, Select, Crabtree, MK) but it is not clear what the difference is between them. Are there any other makes/sources that people can recommend? (I guess that I need around 10 two-gang switched sockets.)
Also, is it desirable to have double pole switched sockets in the kitchen? They sound safer(?). The CU has an RCD for the kitchen.
TIA Colin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The differences between brands are cosmetic and quality.
I went for Crabtree white accessories throughout my house. I am very happy with them. Good looks and well built. MK are usually considered good, although they don't do a twin earth version (which probably won't bother you).

Yes. Always install DP switching. Consider installing a non-RCD circuit for the fridge/freezer only, so nuisance RCD trips don't cause a defrost.
Christian.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Christian McArdle wrote:

Why? Provided that you check your work for L/N reversal afterwards, the benefits of DP switches are lost on me -- particularly if your house has a PME.
Ben.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You're going to considerably reduce the choice if you go for DP switching, and I can't see why it's necessary, given that they are a recent innovation. Most people would surely unplug anything in a kitchen before attempting to service or repair it, surely?

--
*Do paediatricians play miniature golf on Wednesdays?

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
One advantage I can think of is on a RCD protected circuit. It might be confusing to have a faulty appliance plugged into a socket outlet still trip the RCD even when the switch is off. A DP switch on the socket would avoid this.
I think all MK socket outlets are DP switched for a while now, certainly those I've bought have been, and it wasn't a special request.
--
Andrew Gabriel

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

MK are considered best in the trade. Very reliable.
--
Z
Remove all Zeds in e-mail address to reply.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The 'trade' also fit loads of Potterton boilers.;-)
What they consider 'best' is neither here nor there, given their priorities of easy availability and installation etc.
The reliability and life of any BS socket is so high as not to be worth worrying about for a domestic installation.
--
*Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

But it is worth going for the "branded" sockets. The cheap unbranded ones such as you would get at B&Q etc are still BS approved but in my experience develop contact problems or switch problems much sooner especially if used with high currents like you get in the kitchen.
--
Tim Mitchell

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 27 Feb 2004 11:46:34 +0000, Tim Mitchell

Definitely worth going for the 'branded' sockets. As you say the cheap ones will not be as good in internal quality, asthetics and day to day use of, ie plugs are often a little less smooth in the insertion\removal actions. ..
SJW A.C.S. Ltd.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do you think the 'Select' twin sockets in the Screwfix catalogue constitute as 'branded' sockets?
Colin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 27 Feb 2004 12:35:47 -0000, "Colin"

No, off the top of my head I'm not sure what make they are but I know they're not brilliant. I'd stick to the Crabtree. I've always used them and not had any trouble. ..
SJW A.C.S. Ltd.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks.
Colin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I used the TLC BG Accessories sockets in my workshop which are a match for the old design of MK Logic. They cost 1.95 + VAT each for 10 off - or somewhat under half the price of MK. And they get far more use with things being plugged and unplugged than any others in the house, but have been fine.
IIRC, the BS checks reliability over a number of inserts and removals as well as current handling capacity at full load. Are you actually implying that any 13 amp socket shouldn't be used for a 13 amp load? FWIW, I reckon that a plug causes more problems than the socket - at the fuse connection.
The worst socket/ plug combination ever for overheating where those old MK surface mounted ones with an MK plug. It put me off MK products then - I went for Crabtree. But when they changed their design in the Classic range I sort of lost allegiance to any. ;-)
--
*Some days you're the dog, some days the hydrant.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Probably, but I had to replace some cheapy B&Q sockets which got hot when used with a kettle. The plug was fine, I suspect the contacts in the socket were not springy enough. I've also seen one where one side of the contact spring snapped off, and another where the one of the switches stopped working.
--
Tim Mitchell

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
FWIW I stumbled across the Screwfix bulletin Board when searching in Google. The concensus there confirms the opinion here... Choose between MK or Crabtree based on cosmetic style preference... avoid Select...
Colin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

ah, yes, the 'trade' have a variety of reasons for selecting products for customers, longevity is not always the top reason!

this is one area that I would go along with trade received wisdom. I've had a number of problems using cheap electrical fittings, for instance trying to remove the punchout on a FSU and breaking the entire faceplate, brass screws that shear with the slightest positive pressure, ill thought out cable connector positioning, etc.
I've never had such problems with MK stuff - they seem to be well designed to aid fitting with a number of neat touches, for instance the small clips moulded into the plastic facing for the storage of the fixing screws - no cost to manufacture that feature, but saves the inevitable misplacing of the screws during work. Plug insertions into sockets is generally a smooth action, not always the case on cheap brands/own brands.
I've not used crabtree but have heard good tales of the quality. I'll go Clipsall for exterior fittings every time after previous positive experiences.
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A different trade.

Don't presume others priorities. It is bad manners and usually wrong.

Really? Please point me to the reliability data the MTBs, MTTFs, FMAs, FMECA etc.
Not the accessories a local organisation installs. Fairly typical times to failure are switches; 1 year sockets; 2 years Immersion thermostats; some cases 6 a year.
They replace thousands of each every year.
The problem is with the switch contacts in the cheaper accessories. At best they are tinned and tinned switch contacts get choked up with gumf. MK I understand plate their switch contacts in silver. Arcing doesn't dirty up the switch contacts.
The sad thing is we have to take out existing accessories which have been painted, including MK accessories which have been in for yonks (up to 40 years) and work perfectly only to replace them with the cheapest which we'll have to replace next year. If we replaced them with decent accessories the organisation wouldn't have a fighting chance of staying in the current years budget.
If the householders didn't bad use the accessories the organisation might have a chance of installing replacements where needed that we didn't have to go back to in a few months.
However one problem with MK and possibly other brands is they change the styling every so often. Sockets are more visible now with the new-ish building regulations (sockets at 450mm height when they were often at 150mmm and not so prominent) so a mixing of styles has greater visual impact now.
Another is that the shuttering scheme has changed. It is actually a safety feature that all three pins have to be inserted for the shutters to open. It's a pest because if I only have a voltage indicator on me I either need to go get my plug in tester, faff about trying to get the voltage indicator probes in or take the socket away from the box to check the terminals to see isf a socket is live. If there are children with little prying hands around the premises this is a definite positive safety feature which overtides my lack of forethought to take my plug in tester into the premises to faultfind.
--
Z
Remove all Zeds in e-mail address to reply.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Trades tend to be trades. They often do what suits *them* best rather than what is best for the customer.

Err, you presume to speak for the entire trade, do you? That's rather worse than bad manners.

Why should I?

I'd suggest you start using other than MK, then, if those are the failure figures you see. They are ludicrous.

--
*Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:> > Not the accessories a local organisation installs. Fairly typical times

They are a bit. I expect that is the failure figures of only the ones that fail, ie that this person goes to fix, and not the overall failure rate, or anywhere near it.
Re different brands, Crabtree and Ashley have been the very best IME. MK OTOH has been the best at marketing, and I dont consider them to be the great brand that some imagine. There have simply been too many problems with their products, particularly with mains plugs, and they dont really compare to crab apples and ash trees.
If you do buy cheapos try the switches first: on some cheap brands theyre difficult to use.
Regards, NT
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.