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Posted By Topic: socket behind fridge

Dec 08 2017 18:33

Hi . Do i need a separate isolating switch for a socket behind a fridge .

Dec 08 2017 19:49


Dec 08 2017 21:06

That's a fantastic obfuscation..

The answer is no. As per 4.4.4.
But also as per all the other clauses that don't say that you do need an isolating switch for that purpose.


Dec 09 2017 09:23

thanks for replys . 4.4.4
exceptions number 2 indeed says a socket outlet need not have a switch for a stationary appliance ( fridge is pretty stationary ).
the kitchen designer has drawn in the extra switch for the fridge next to power points, seems asking for trouble with someone inadvertently turning off the fridge . Yes it would be labeled and could get a covered switch . Just seemed a silly idea .

Dec 09 2017 11:18

No obfuscation at all; the rule is perfectly clear - and should be the first place to look rather than asking other people's opinions.

The default rule is each socket has its own control switch. So we generally use switched socket outlets, , but can use unswitched sockets plus separate switch. Nothing unclear so far.
Exception 1 allows one switch to control two adjacent sockets - nothing unclear about that.
Exception 2 allows sockets that are not "readily accessible", not to have a switch. That covers things like sockets for hi-bay lighting, and also sockets behind fridges etc. Nothing unclear about that either.
Exception three says the switching can be by the action of plugging in or unplugging; eg PDL 800 series. Nothing unclear there.

So the problem here is not lack of clarity by the rule-writers, but confused thinking by many practitioners. There is NOTHING in the clause about "isolating" switches; it's all about "control", ie a functional switch. If they were "isolating" switches, they would have to comply with; including having a facility to lock them "off", and having a suitable contact gap to provide isolation.

I'm not going to get into a discussion about whether an accessible switch to control the fridge socket is a good idea. Used to be common as an easy means of de-frosting a freezer. But following the contract generally is a good idea; so if the plan calls for one don't leave it out without getting a variation.

But I certainly wouldn't put an isolating switch there - they are mostly big ugly things that ruin the look of the nice new kitchen.

Dec 09 2017 12:06

That's much clearer Alec.

For Peter, probably easier to do as instructed.

Just take note of as well.

Dec 11 2017 08:11

do as instructed???? yeah bend over to an ill informed architect, i think not. i outline the option to customers, particularly with microwaves as i had one older customer put her wheatbag in the microwave, pushed 20 mins instead of two and watched it burn as she didn't know how to turn it off, some also like the switch option for when there's lightning storms, it's their house after all.

Dec 11 2017 11:57

Well said Rarrar ... practicalities should take preference provided they fall within the scope of legislation