Installation of Electrical Floor Boxes in Concrete or Wood Floors

Electrical floor boxes are electrical outlets fixed flush on the floor to provide supply points for users in an office or industrial space. In a large space like an office, it is neither convenient nor aesthetic to provide every user wall supply points. The advantage of installing electrical floor boxes is that computers and other office machines can be easily hooked up anywhere in the building. The floor boxes are installed flush on the floor with a moveable cover so that they do not pose a hazard to users. In addition to power supply, floor boxes can also carry RJ45 data ports, VGA ports and telephone jacks for network connection, video transmission and telephone usage. There are a wide variety of floor boxes available for wooden and concrete floors.

Benefits of using Electrical Floor Boxes

By using electrical floor boxes, designers are no longer forced to configure floor plans to provide wall point access to all users. If only wall supply points were used, the center of the space would be left empty and the users would all be clustered along the walls. Additionally, long electrical cables can cause workplace accidents if a user trips over them. The unsightly cables also detract from the aesthetics of the design. Just like wall power points, users can configure electrical floor boxes with receptacles for electricity, networking, telephony and audio/video transmission by installing the outlet of choice. This will be different based on the desired uses. An industrial layout might call for more power points for LED high bay lights or floor lamps, while conference rooms would also require provision for connecting video and audio devices. With floor boxes, interior designers can then see the entire layout as a clean slate to be configured for maximum efficiency.

Types of Electrical Floor Boxes

Electrical Floor boxes are of two types- fixed boxes and pop-up boxes. Fixed boxes have the outlet joined to the frame of the box and covered by a flip-up lid. These are suitable for open offices and industries where the user can easily see the outlet. Pop-up boxes have the outlet attached to the lid of the box. These boxes are more suitable for offices, conference rooms, hotels and auditoriums because it is more convenient for a seated user to access the outlets and the design is more elegant. Both 5Amp and 15 Amp plug outlets can be provided. Ground Fault Current Interrupters may be used to ensure that equipment is not damaged by earth leakage current. The box lids and body come in aluminum, brass and steel finishes. Industrial boxes are made of cast iron or PVC.

How to Decide Placement of Electrical Floor Boxes

Each workstation should have access to an electrical floor box. In offices, the floor boxes can be placed under tables so that they do not get damaged by people accidentally walking over them. In conference rooms, the boxes can be arranged around the main table and at the presentation area. In industrial settings, the floor boxes can be placed near each work area to eliminate long power supply cords.

In wooden floors, floor boxes can be retrofitted with a bit of cutting. You will need a drill, screwdriver, needle nose pliers, a multimeter, chisel and a wire stripper. The location should be chosen with care because a box installed in the open would easily break after getting stepped on. The best locations are on the underside of tables and on the floor along the sides of the walls. Take care to install the box away from timber joists. There should be a junction box or switchboard close to the location of the floor box. This reduces the length of wire needed to power the appliances connected to the box. Estimate the wattage of the equipment you plan to connect to the floor box and add it to the load on that particular circuit to understand if the permissible load is being exceeded. For added safety, a conduit can be used to route the wire from the switchboard to the electrical floor box. Installing a floor box in an existing concrete floor can be considerably tougher since specialized drilling equipment like a jackhammer and a concrete saw cutter will be needed to make space for the box.

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