Too much power through one plug socket?

4 May 2004
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United Kingdom
I have a 2-plug socket with 2 4-way plug adapters all full. Do I have too much power running through one socket? Do I need to worry? What can I do about it? Is there a power limiter/transistor or something to stop it bursting into flames and burning me to death in my sleep?
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Dudley, the extension leads have FUSED plugs on them, even if they have the maximum allowable, which is highly likely, each extension will only draw a maximum of 13A, so that side of things is safe.

However, double gang sockets are not designed to have 26A drawn through them, they are only rated at 13A maximum load.

The real test is to see if either of the plugs for the extensions, or the socket faceplate feel warm to the touch, if they do, unplug one.

However what do you have plugged into these extension? Most domestic gear will not overload extensions even in this situation.

Give us a list of waht is plugged in, and you can get a clearer reply.
It is a desk suite with printer, lamp, stereo, computer cable x 2, monitor, mobile phone charger, scanner, broadband router etc... We turn off one of the 4-plug switches when its not in use.
Thanks for the reply though...appreciated,
From the looks of that list, there is nothing there that would cause a problem, total load across both is probably less than 10A.
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If it is affecting your sleep, then perhaps you should add up the current draw of each device, and put a suitably rated fuse in each 4-way adaptor, adding up to no more than 13A (probably 5A in each one)

The monitor would probably be the most power-hungry device there, unless it is an LCD one in which case it draws very little.
I asked a similar question a few weeks back


and got some very informative answers.
You are all very kind and I appreciate your fast replies. I am a novice and in my new home (1st time buyer) I am aware but unsure on how to approach these things. So I appreciate sites like this.
One further question whihc reflects my ignorance! How do I find out what appliance uses what amp? Is it written some where or can I find it out somehow.
And yes it is a flat screen LCD monitor.

Thanks again,
On most appliances there will be a plate somewhere on the back. It won't tell you the amperage but it will tell you the power in watts.

Divide the wattage by the voltage (always 230v) and you'll get the current in amps.

This is not as difficult as it sounds - example:

You have a fan heater with a plate stating the power as 2400w. 2400w divided by 230v = 10.43 amps current.

Hope this helps.
Indeed, a multimeter will show you the current, in amps. But this is a DIY forum, and I don't expect the person asking the question to have one.

And yes, sometimes a plate on an appliance will show you how many amps it draws. However, if the appliance is getting on a bit, that figure is likely to be based on 240V. I KNOW we are still running at about 238V but to be conservative these calculations should be based around the new 230V standard.

Example: 3kw @ 240v = 12.5 A
3kw @ 230v = 13.04 A

So in the interest of safety (albeit cautious), 2990 watts is the upper limit for a 13amp plugtop.
ninebob said:
Indeed, a multimeter will show you the current, in amps. But this is a DIY forum, and I don't expect the person asking the question to have one.
:eek: :eek: :eek:
Thanks again to all for your help. No, I don't have a current meter! I might be back here if I get it all wrong and need some more help!
ninebob said:
Indeed, a multimeter will show you the current, in amps. But this is a DIY forum, and I don't expect the person asking the question to have one.
In this particular case (a Q about plugging things in) that's reasonable.

For anything more than just plugging in and out, I would say it was mandatory to have a multimeter. The first time you buy a screwdriver to use on something electrical, buy a multimeter. But don't try to use it to measure how much current an appliance is drawing...
When I do anything other than plugging and unplugging I fear for my life. Carpentry, Plumbing, Plastering, painting, paving I can do. I can't really see the need right now (with regard to my original question) as to why I would need a multimeter. A purchase necessitated by necessity I think.

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