Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
A pop up socket is a type of specialty electrical outlet that can be concealed from view when not in use. The socket is embedded into the floor or a piece of furniture, and features a button that can be pressed so that the receptacle pops out. This allows users to temporarily plug in a power cord, then flip the socket back down into place when it's no longer needed. A pop up socket provides the convenience of accessible power supply without impacting available space or aesthetics.
These devices have grown increasingly popular for use in kitchen countertops, particularly in kitchen islands. They are also found in desks or worktops in offices, laboratories, and other work surfaces. Many facilities install pop up sockets in the floor in areas where projectors or computers will be used to show presentations. These types of sockets may also be found in a library or school setting, where it allows students to plug in computers and phones.
A pop up socket may have a variety of designs, depending on the application. The most basic models consist of a rectangular box with two receptacles. When the user presses down on one edge of the box, it rotates so that the outlets are accessible. Residential models often feature a tubular design. Users press a button on the top, and the tube slides up and extends out of the top of a countertop. These models may incorporate half a dozen outlets or more, and some also include data ports.
These devices offer a number of advantages compared to traditional wall-mounted outlets. When not in use, they sit flush with the surface of the floor or furniture, resulting in clean lines and smooth surfaces. When the outlet is flipped down, it leaves the entire surface free for work. By keeping the receptacles themselves concealed when not in use, homeowners are also able to prevent food or water from damaging the outlet.
While the kitchen island is one of the most popular locations for a pop up socket, these devices may not meet electrical codes in many areas. Inspectors may require a standard fixed outlet in addition to any pop up outlets that are used. These units are also difficult to install, and tend to cost much more than other power receptacles. Finally, it may be difficult to locate a model that complements different types of finish materials, such as granite or wood, without detracting from the look of the surface.
@allenJo - While in principle I would agree with your take on this, there is something quite obvious that I think you’re overlooking. The pop up power sockets are made visible by the touch of a button. Surely if a toddler can pry open electric socket covers, they can even more easily press a button.
So I don’t know that these units are the magic bullet for safety; however, I do agree with the essence of your argument – you can’t touch what you can’t see. As long as the kids don’t go crawling about letting their hands slide about in random places, you should be okay.
Pop up sockets do more than provide an elegant way to give you access to electrical outlets. They are also very safe, in my opinion, especially if you have toddlers around the house who can be prone to sticking their fingers in electrical sockets.
The usual way to prevent them from doing that is to buy those plastic strips that plug into the sockets and prevent the kids from sticking their fingers in. However, these are not foolproof, as some toddlers can pry these open.
The pop up electrical sockets, by contrast, are not visible unless activated, and so there’s less of a chance that an accident will take place.
Of course these units don’t exactly have plug and play convenience like the plastic strips do; pop up sockets need to be installed, which makes them a bit more cumbersome, and of course they do cost more. But they’re worth it.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!