How dangerous is daisy chaining?

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Burnsie1983, 12 Jun 2021.

  1. Burnsie1983

    Burnsie1983

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    Hello

    I have recently moved into a new property and like a lot of people I have had to set up a a office at home.

    My property is from the early 1980s and is a little sparse on plug sockets. In the office there are two single sockets on each wall. Currently I do not have the funds to to get someone in in to hollow out the brick to expand to a double socket.

    Out of each socket I have a a good quality surge protected 4-way extension. One of the extensions have all the computer equipment (two monitors, a computer, speaker). The other has lights and phone charger.

    In the corner of the room there is the bulkhead over the stairs and I have placed a bookcase on the bulkhead. I want to have a light on the bulkhead. However it is quite away from the socket. I obviously cannot run one of my my 4 way extension up to the light have the cables for the office equipment are not long enough. The only solution would be to run a extension from my extension (daisy chain) to plug in one or two low amp lights.

    I know that generally daisy chaining is a bad idea.... However, is this still the case? Is there any solution?

    Thanks
     
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Thanks to the brilliant design of the UK plug and socket, you can daisy-chain a million multiways if you want to.

    The current drawn will always be limited by the fuse in the first plug (usually 13Amp)

    You can plug in about 300 typical table lamps with modern LED bulbs without causing an overload. Probably about a thousand phone chargers. More computers or TVs than any normal person would reasonably require in one room.

    However, you can only plug in and use at any one time, one heavy-load appliance such as a fan heater, washing machine, air-conditioner, dishwasher or tumble drier, kettle or toaster; and such appliances are best plugged straight into the wall socket, not into an adaptor or extension at all, as there is some risk of overheating. Tumble driers are worst for this.

    The fuse in the plug will burn out if there is a sustained overload; but there is likely to be overheating which will shorten the life of the plug and possibly the socket. If you ever see brown staining or distortion round the pins, it is damaged.
     
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  4. JohnD

    JohnD

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    BTW, a competent electrician can easily fit a surface-mounted double socket in place of a sunk single, without needing to cut out the wall.

    A good time to add new sockets, or change sunken singles to sunken doubles, is just before you are about to redecorate the room, or fit new carpet or flooring laminate. It is a bit dusty hacking brickwork about.
     
  5. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    That's not exactly accurate, is it? The design is merely a botch of several limitations.
    The fuse is only required because of the inadequacy of the plug to handle the design current of the circuit.

    As you could were the circuit protected by a 16A OPD - and the plug not inadequate for even just 16A.
     
  6. JohnD

    JohnD

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    yes.
     
  7. FrodoOne

    FrodoOne

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    A rather biased response - I believe.

    The OP talks about "extensions", by which he/she seems to mean "Power Boards" on one or more extension cables.
    Of course, one can have any number of these extended ad infinitum anywhere in the world - as long as the current drawn does not exceed the rated protection provided.

    The initial "protection" provided is to the wiring of the premises, via the Circuit Breaker or fuse at the CU.
    (This prevents overheating of the wiring in the walls etc. of the premises concerned.)

    The PROBLEM with the "brilliant design" of UK Ring supplies is that the Circuit Breaker protects premises wiring from exceeding 32 Amps but further protection has been deemed necessary in preventing more than 13 A being drawn from any individual Socket Outlet - by means of a fused plug.

    As long as an initial "fused plug" (or its equivalent) is provided, there should be no problem in providing any number of "daisy chained" devices inserted into any individual UK Socket Outlet.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2021
  8. boringoldcodger

    boringoldcodger

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  9. AndyPRK

    AndyPRK

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    Apparently in USA you can’t just keep daisy chaining extensions as the current capacity of the cables varies and can be less than the opd.
     
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  11. JohnD

    JohnD

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    yes, that's what I said.
     
  12. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    By that way of thinking all the cables in the house should be rated at the current rating of the main incoming fuse and then there would be no need to have MCBs
     
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  13. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Well, I suppose that would be correct, if all the accessories were similarly rated, but it is a silly thing to say.
     
  14. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    The main incoming fuse at 80 Amps supplies a bus bar which supplies a number of MCBs... which limit current

    The the ring final MCB .at 32 Amps supplies a ring.......which supplies a number of sockets which have fused plugs
     
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  15. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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  16. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    To answer the OP's question.
    Not very dangerous.
    So long as you are aware of the limitations and don't start plugging kettles and electric heaters in, it will be fine.
    Always a good idea to have access to the wall switch or be able to yank the plug out if possible- just in case.
     
  17. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Indeed. In fact, provided the fuses do what it says on their tins, it would not be (electrically) dangerous even if one did "start plugging kettles and electric heaters in".

    Probably the greatest actual 'danger' with daisy-chained extension leads is that they can create 'trip hazards'!

    Kind Regards, John
     
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