How to decide on electrical fittings

ElectricalWhen you are thinking of building a home, all the nitty-gritties associated with it come flooding. Definitely, finding the right kind of electrical fittings will be one of them. It is not as easy as one thinks.

Anyone who has actively taken part in the home building exercise will agree that it is simple, small issues like these that cause much worry than major decisions. The problem is made more complex as a majority of these decisions are based on personal tastes and budget.

There is a whole spectrum of products that form the full requirement list for a house. This includes Conduits and bends, AC Conduits, Switch boxes, Switches and Plates, Light boxes, Fan boxes, Junction boxes, Wires and MCBs.

Some basic guidelines and awareness is needed before you take a call on how and what to select. More than aesthetics, the prime concern should be utility and safety, when it comes to electrical fittings.

Making the right choice

It has been sometime since MS conduits have been replaced with PVC conduits. It is always better to look for heavy duty conduits with a thickness of 2 mm and ISI-mark. One easy way to identify the conduits is by colour markings. Green is for heavy duty conduits, red for light duty and some medium duty conduits are marked with blue.

AC conduits, with 50 mm diameter, are embedded in the walls to connect indoor and outdoor units of split ACs with copper piping. These are not heavy duty conduits, but make sure they have proper sealing against entry of insects and moisture from outside.

No one prefers wooden switch boxes these days for obvious reasons. Go for 16-gauge sheet metal for switch boxes, light boxes and fan hook boxes. Copper or aluminium are the best options for electric wires. Look for the ISI mark without fail. Wires might be marked ISI 694 (Part I) or IS 694 (Part II) – ISI 694 Part I is most often the preferred one. Similarly, between conventional and modular switches, the latter is trending now, because they are made of fine quality polycarbonates. Finally, choose a MCB or Miniature Circuit Breaker with ISI mark to have effective protection against earth leakage, short circuit and overload.