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Why do we have a switch for a socket?

It is there for these reasons:

1. Safety: now we have childproof sockets, but not long ago, they were open and hazardous! And remember that children's fingers can fit into sockets, so they are at a greater risk than adults, not that adults stumble upon such problems. So when the switch is off, there is no risk of getting electrocuted.

And imagine this: an iron box or an immersion rod that is plugged in and left there! That is a very risky situation.

2. Power Saving: A lot of power is consumed when you don't turn off the switch in a socket. We tend to plug in our mobile chargers, our laptop chargers, TV, and a lot of electronic appliances and leave them there. If there is no switch, the socket is always in use. Even though you don't actually use them(when the TV is off, or when the laptop charger is not plugged in, etc), a small amount of power is used up in energising these devices.

I just read the description at this point, so about the difference in both countries:

1. We have concrete walls with PVC pipes housing the electric wiring in the house. So all the wiring is routed to different "switchboards" as we call them. So in India, there are no wall sockets, just switchboards(these are fit into the wall). These switchboards have outlets for electrical appliances. So apart from safety and power saving, it is for convenience of the consumer and the constraints in the wiring technique that urge us to use switches for outlets.

2. Fluctuations: We have the need to turn off our outlets once in a while, and we need to do it quick. Tree branches hanging over supply lines, distribution transformers giving up on us, and phase switching in rural areas(in rural areas, we use pumps for irrigation, so there is a schedule according to which the phases are switched according to the load distribution among the phases), all these lead to fluctuations, where the faults are not sufficient to trip our MCBs but enough to cause nuisance and possible damage to equipment. So switches ensure a quick turn on and off.

3. Power Cuts!!!: I almost forgot this one. You were using your TV, air conditioner, etc. There was a power cut, and you leave the house to get some fresh air. You return to see that all the appliances are on, and god knows for how long! That is something that we in India cannot afford. We have more demand than supply and power saving is absolutely essential. Imagine this happens with a dangerous appliance like an iron box. You left it on because there was a power cut. People forget these things. So we make sure to switch off fans and lights and also switches to the outlets before we leave, so such things never happen.

This article comes from quora edit released

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