Grid Switches allow you to customize your wiring according to your need and if you’re looking for ways how to wire grid switches for kitchen appliances, keep reading. If you have multiple appliances in your kitchen that you want to operate together, you need Grid Switches. Furthermore, Grid Switches will also have enhanced protection against electric shock.
When Do You Need to Use Grid Switches?
If you have hard-to-access switches in your kitchen, you can use Grid Switches. Furthermore, with ease of access, grid plates will allow you to make combinations according to your needs on the front module.
What are Grid Switches?
Grid switches are made up of various pieces. For example, you can order a grid switch which resembles a typical light switch plate but has nothing behind it or switches integrated into it. Instead, these grid frames make it possible to fit everything together.
You can also choose to go with Grid Modules if you want to use multiple switches on a single board. Then, snap single switch modules into the grid frame and plate to make your custom switch. This lets you construct uncommon or non-standard combinations without ordering a factory to custom-make them.
Grid Switches for Kitchen
For your kitchen, first, you need to list which appliances you’ll be powering with your grid switches. You can then choose which module and plate you want, as multiple options are available. Furthermore, it would be best if you also tried to match switch and socket finishes that go with your interior styling.
How to Wire Grid Switches for Kitchen Appliances?
Now that you know about all the switches and modules available let’s see how you can wire the switches.
Firstly you need to decide how many under-the-counter appliances you’ll be connecting since that determines how many 20A/32A DP Switches you’ll need.
Your wiring will go through the grid modules directly, and the frame will hold the modules in the frame, so there’s no need to screw or unscrew.
For example, if you have 3 under-counter appliances, you’ll be using 3*20A DP Switches on the module. Then the process would look like –
- Take a spur off the ring main into the DP Switch.
- Using the Earth terminal on Grid frame connect the Earth cable from the Spur to individual appliance earth feed cables.
- Using a terminal block in the backbox connect the Neutral Connection from the Spur to appliance feed cables.
- Connect the Live Connection from the Spur to the 20A Switches to the appliance feed cables
Depending on your connection and placement, you might need more or less switches, however the process will remain the same.
Types of Grid Switch Modules
Firstly, you must note that you can have both front-loading and back-loading switch modules. In front-loading modules, the grid frame is attached to the wall with the modules, which then is connected to the plate on the front.
If you’re using front-loading modules, you have to attach the grid plate in front on top of the frame, which will be connected to the wall. On the other hand, in back-loading modules, you have to attach the module from behind before you attach the frame on top.
Both will work for your kitchen, and you need to pick whichever suits your taste.
Types of Grid Switches
Grid plates are where you’ll be installing your grid switches, so picking the right one for your needs is important.
1. Grid Plate with Light Switches
Grid Plates with Light switches are when you have to use an unusual combination of switches in one plate.
You can use a combination of an intermediate switch (used for lights) with two-way switches. Intermediate light switches are used as middle switches when three or more switches control a set of lights. On the other hand, two-way switches are when two switches control a set of lights.
Since you’ll be using grid switches in your kitchen, you are unlikely to need Grid Plate with Light Switches.
2. Toggle Grid Switches
The second type of available plate is Toggle Grid Switches. They work similarly to Grid plates with light switches. However, appearance-wise they are pretty different. Again, identical to Grid Plate with Light switches, they combine two-way light switches with intermediate light switches.
Toggle switches look different from rocker switches, and the board will have visible screws on top, so combining Light Switches and Toggle switches in the same grid won’t look good.
3. Grid Plate with DP Switches (Recommended Plate)
The last type of Grid Plate is with DP Switches. DP stands for Double Pole and you can use multiple 20 amp DP switches on the same board. DP Switches do this by controlling 2 circuits at the same time; in the case of your kitchen, it can switch between the live and neutral connection at the same time.
Why Are DP Switches Better for Kitchen?
DP Switches are best suitable for Kitchen uses since they operate by isolating both the live and neutral connection inside the circuit, which makes it safer as there’s no passing current. DP Switches are also the best option for your under-counter kitchen appliances.
If you have kitchen appliances that go under your counter, like – a fridge, freezer or washing machine, you have to plug them under the counter. However, for safety, you need a way to isolate the connection above the counter using a Grid Plate with DP Switches.
Light Switches will not work for Kitchen as well as for lights since the switch only controls one circuit, the live one. If you control a socket ring by only switching the live, the neutral connection is still connected, which increases the risk of receiving an electric shock.
However, with DP switches, since you can isolate both neutral and live connections, the risk of receiving electric shock goes down significantly, making it the safest option.
Kitchens usually have ring mains, and if your Kitchen has under-the-counter connections involving ring mains, you can use DP Switches above the counter to safely switch off appliances when not in use.
Can These Grid Switches Be Installed on a Ring Main Without a Grid Plate Fuse?
Yes, since the connection will go through a Spur there is no need to have a grid plate fuse on the ring main.
Grid Switches lets you customize your switchboard when you need an unusual combination of switches that aren’t factory-made to your own need. In the case of the Kitchen, Grid Switches let you connect under-the-counter appliances for safe usage in one place.
You also have multiple options to choose from Grid Plates and Modules, so it’s effortless to customize the board to your needs functionally and aesthetically. Furthermore, they also offer enhanced protection against electrical shock by separating the live and neutral connection.
So if you’re looking to upgrade the wiring of your kitchen switches for ease of access and enhanced protection, Grid Switches are the best option.