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.