Switch boards & other electric switches

Switch boards & other electric switches

Switch board

Switch boards are another integral part of electrical works during finishing of a new house. Reason for it being termed as integral is because switch boards are so prominent in a house that they define the finishing grade & quality of a house. If a house has been finished in economical look and budget, switch board too would be of low quality and average look, if a house has been finished in luxury grade, switch boards would be of best quality and sleek looks. There are multiple types of switch boards that are used in a house as mentioned below

  1. 1 Gang
  2. 2 Gang
  3. 3 Gang
  4. 4 Gang
  5. 6 Gang
  6. 8 Gang
  7. 6 + Dimmer
  8. Dimmer
  9. 6 + socket
  10. 1/2/3 Gang 2 way
  11. Bell push
  12. Power plug
  13. Light plug
  14. Multi plug
  15. TV socket
  16. TP socket
  17. Data socket
Picture credits  Aqua electrical

During construction of a house, switch boards selection and installation stage comes during the finishing works, however decision about which boards to be used has to be made during grey structure works before plastering the walls when electrical conduit is being laid. Switch boards are installed on a pre-fitted concealed plastic/wooden/metal boxes. It is not necessary that each brand of switch board has the same box on which it is to be installed. Switch boards that are most commonly used in houses in Pakistan can be classified as:

  • Local switch boards
  • China fittings
  • Imported

Local switch boards

Local switch boards can be commonly seen in low cost or economical houses in which wooden or metal internal concealed boxes are used  and switches are fixed on a custom made plastic sheet as shown in picture below. This kind of switch boards are very economical however do not give an appealing look to the house. Each switch is independent and can be easily replaced in case of any malfunction.

 

China fittings

China fittings are the most frequently used switch boards in modern houses. There is a vast variety of brands available under the category of china fittings. Each brand has multiple series of switches and each series has different switch style, colour and quality. Style that is in trend these days consists of vertically long sized switches as show in picture below. This style of switches give a sleek look and adds up to the value of overall finishing grade of house as mentioned before. These switches are slightly expensive to conventional small sized button china switch plates as shown in pictures below. Switch plates with smaller sized switches/buttons has an advantage over plates with medium or full sized switches/buttons, the easy replacement of individual switch in case of malfunction. In other two types, switches are made in pairs such as if one button malfunctions, a pair of 4 switches will need to be replaced.

electric switch boards

Typical 8 gang board in smaller sized switches

Typical 8 gang board in medium sized switches

Typical 8 gang board in full sized switches

 However as per our experience, we recommend following brands that deal in imported china fittings with good quality switch plates:

Imported

Though people mostly use china fittings as explained above in their newly built houses these days however imported (European) switch boards are also used in premium plus or luxury grade finishes. These types of switch boards have their own internal box that is to be fitted during grey structure works.  A typical china fitting box if fixed during grey structure will not accommodate imported switch boards. These switch boards are expensive as compared to china fittings however quality of switches and internal system is far superior as a result of which malfunction rarely happens. Only disadvantage in these boards is that the largest sized board in imported fittings will not have more than 4 or 6 switches/buttons. Hence more boards are required in one room that will add up financially to the already expensive list of imported boards. Some of the imported fittings available in Pakistan are:

Quality check

Most common defect and malfunction that occurs in china fittings switches is related to sockets and dimmers. Sockets in low quality china fittings loose their internal grip as a result of which 2 pin or 3 pin male plug doesn’t hold inside the female socket. Secondly the internal fitting of a socket that holds 2 pin or 3 pin must be made of good quality copper. While purchasing the light plugs, multi plugs and power plugs, one must inquire about the said issue from the seller. Low cost/cheapest light plugs do not have life of more than 2-3 months once you start using. Similarly low cost/cheapest dimmers in china fittings will get defected if you have to operate fans on UPS. As per our experience, we will highly recommend dimmers and light plugs of Aqua electrical. These fittings are most expensive in china brands but one time investment will save you from hassle of changing your fittings again and again due to malfunctioning.

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About The Author

Mohsin Munir
Holding a degree in BS EE (Electrical engineering) and astounding knowledge of house construction business since 2010, wide experience and relevant expertise in the construction business. Believe in research based strategy while holding a distinguished position in the construction market. Started at a small scale in 2010 and recognised among the top builders and contractors in Pakistan now, especially among the expatriates and overseas Pakistanis who always trusted in our commitment and services.

1 Comment

  • amir on September 18, 2019

    How much offset is required on left & right side of 2 kanal house as per CDA bylaws?

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