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Adding a Switch to Electrical Flex

Use of flex switches

Flex switch

It can be useful to install a switch in the flex of some small appliances to make it easier to operate. A common use is in the flex of bedside lamps.

Never use a flex switch where it may be possible for it to come into contact with water. They are not suitable in kitchens for example.

1. Switch off the mains socket outlet and remove the plug of the appliance.

Preparing the flex switch

2. Release the retaining screw on the new switch and remove the cover.

Switch components exposed

3. Inside you will see a rocker type switch with a terminal at each end allowing the live to be switched. You will also see terminals for connecting the other conductors, and a clamp for the flex at both ends of the unit.

Preparing the flex

Cutting the flex for the switch

4. Prepare the flex by cutting where you want to insert the flex switch.

Stripping and preparing the flex conductors

5. Strip and prepare both ends by cutting back the outer sheath and stripping about 5mm of insulation from the end of each conductor. Taking each end in turn, twist its separate filaments. The amount by which the sheath needs to be cut back, and the insulation of each conductor removed, will depend on the particular fitting.

Connecting the flex to the switch

Connecting the neutral conductors at the switch

6. Insert the blue conductors, one from either direction, into the neutral terminal connection.

Connecting the live conductors at the switch

7. Insert one of the brown live conductors into one of the switch terminals. Repeat this for the other brown live conductor into the other terminal of the switch.

8. If your flex has an earth wire, connect these, one from either direction, in the earth terminal connection.

Ensuring the flex is held in the clamp

9. Secure the flex at both ends in the small clamps to prevent strain on the connections.

Securing the flex switch cover

10. Double check your work to ensure that all conductors are fully and securely held with no exposed parts showing. Replace the cover and fasten the retaining screw.

Electics Safety warning

box alertThis material is for information purposes only. Strict rules govern what electrical work can be done without notification and inspection.
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