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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 19th Nov 2017, 3:58 pm   #21
merlinmaxwell's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK.
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Default Re: Sockets on a roll

I have often seen a socket mounted upside-down on the skirting board
That counts as genius!
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Old 19th Nov 2017, 9:48 pm   #22
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Default Re: Sockets on a roll

A quick Google suggests that the problem isn't the orientation, but the installation height. It was common in old houses, along with the other horrors of early electrical installations, but I doubt you'd get a professional electrician to do that nowadays.
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Old 19th Nov 2017, 11:13 pm   #23
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Question Re: Sockets on a roll

Ah, yes: 'installation' height: the distance between the floor and where the socket is mounted on the wall. ISTR that that requirement largely came about because of the risk of some houses getting flooded.
Can anyone here confirm that?

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Old 9th Dec 2017, 8:07 pm   #24
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Default Re: Sockets on a roll

I have a feeling the 'installation height' is something to do with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). Baically the act states that wheelchair users must be able to reach sockets and light switches while using their wheelchairs. When 'my' building at the University was refurbished the requirements of the DDA had to be observed. Unfortunately this meant that the height of a light switch ended up below the height of a stand filing cabinet. This meant the already small tutors offices ended up even smaller because filing cabinets would no longer fit below light switches. They would only fit alongside so reducing the floor area. Happily the sockets were allowed to be fitted above desk height. I visited some sheltered housing recently and observed that the mains sockets were halfway up the walls for this very same reason.

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Old 10th Dec 2017, 2:07 am   #25
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Default Re: Sockets on a roll

When my late mother became unable to bend down to skirting board level I bought a short 2- or 4-way switched extension lead for each socket and screwed them to the wall at a suitable height and convenient positions, securing the flex with cable clips. She was in a council house so it would have been a lot of hassle to get the sockets repositioned, even if they would have been prepared to do it, and the cost was minimal compared with paying a certified electrician to do a permanent job.

I suppose the light switch problem could be solved by fitting ceiling-mounted pull switches with suitably long cords? The original flush light switches in our late 1930's house were positioned at eye height, and I lowered them to just below shoulder height when I rewired (it was legal to do so then!). For the tiled toilet this was not practical, meaning that when our son started walking, he couldn't reach the switch when he got up in the night. To avoid having to disrupt the tiling, I replaced the wall switch with a 2-way switch and fitted a two-way switched ceiling pull switch, and connected them for two-way switching, so we could continue to use the wall switch and he could use the pull switch.
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