I am a photographer. To be very specific I do still photography. This involves studio lights which uses electricity to power up. But because I did not have many power outlets in my studio I needed to make one exclusively for this purpose. The best bet was to do this myself.
1. Buy the socket box from local hardware shop.
This box cost me just Rs. 45 and the sockets and wire about Rs. 150. The box comes with a top panel which has holes cut in them. It also has some predrilled holes where I can attach the screws.
2. A good brand’s electric sockets and switches always have marking on them.
The sockets that I bought are from the brand Anchor. I have been using this for couple of years now and they are very good. When you flip the socket you can see markings explaining the pins to their respective connection. We will be following them later in our project.
3. Attaching the switches to the box is easy.
Time to unpack the power sockets and fix all of them to the top panel. The screws are shipped along with the sockets when you buy them. I bought a switch so I can toggle all the sockets at once. Maintaining proper space between each electric socket and switch is not important. But it just looks much better whenever you see the box which is important 😉
Please note to buy all sockets from the same brand because they have same dimensions. I mixed up two brands because thats what I had at the time of making this video. And you can see the spacings is all messed up.
4. Make the connections and check twice.
Because these power sockets come with marking we have to just follow them when making the connections. Additionally there are some points for you to remember. The current should always flow from the bottom pin to the top of pin of the switch. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. But I have seen that this is the format that all electricians around the world follow. Every box I have opened or electric connections I have repaired I have found that the input power line (the line from the mains) is given to the bottom pin of the switch. And the wire to the sockets are connected to the top pin of the switch.
5. Mark the wires for easy future remembrance.
It is advisable to use Red for Line or positive wire, Black for Neutral or negative wire and Green for Earth or ground wire. But because I used only yellow coloured wire I made markings on them for better understanding. Double line for earth and one thick black line for neutral.
6. Drill and use wire connector to connect it to a plug.
Get some wire connectors and using screws and drill connect it to the box. I took this approach of using wire connectors instead of directly connecting the wires to the box is because I wanted flexibility. If incase I wanted to change the wires to a higher mm wire then this approach will be very easy. Just unscrew the old wire and screw in the new wires. Btw the higher the mm (millimeter) of the wire the better the current carrying capacity. And of course higher mm wires are costly.
Thread the wires from the top panel out of the box through this hole. Mark the ports on the wire connector so we can match up and fix the wires from the sockets that we marked earlier to these ports/pins.
Close the box after checking the connections inside the box on the top panel.
7. Power up and test if all is right.
Once you have made all the connections please check once again to make sure all screws are tightened good. Use a tester to check the connections. The tester should glow only when connecting to the line pin. It should not glow in neutral and earth pins.
Note: Check the tester in a live power socket before you test it here.
8. Choose a minimum 15amps plug for your extension box.
If you are not going to use a pre built power chord, then you can buy one of these electric plugs that fits to the socket. Take a 3 core 1.5mm wire with your desired length. Mostly they will follow the colour code of the wires like in this image.
Strip the inner wires of the core and just connect it to the respective pins inside the plug.
On the other end of the wire make the connection to the wire connector. And that is you are done.
Take a look at the entire gallery below for better understanding and watch the entire workflow. I have also embedded my video here if you like that version.