Overloading Sockets


Its getting to that time of year here in the UK where the nights draw in, temperatures drop and our electrical usage goes up. Every year thousands of fires are started due to overloading sockets, the majority of the issues are caused by the overloaded sockets of extension cables.  With our homes being ever equipped with more electrical goods its important to understand the wattage of different appliances. Some appliances require so much power that when group together that they cause the extension to overheat and start a fire. Here are a few tips to keep you warm and safe this winter.

Our top safety tips to avoid overloading sockets


How many is to many?

Its not so much a matter of overloading sockets but instead the total wattage of the devices going in to the sockets. A good rule of thumb is to keep the total wattage under 3000w, anymore and it could become a potential fire hazard.

Below we have listed a few of the most common devices there average watt usage;

Mobile Phone; 12w

Lamp; 60w

Fridge; 150w

Electric Heater; 2000w

Vacuum Cleaner 2000w

Washing machine; 2200w

Hairdryer; 2500w

Ketlle; 3000w

As you can see from the list and the rule of 3000w you could easily have multiple every day electrical items but try and boil a kettle and you run the risk of overheating and fire. There is a great socket overload calculator here

Are block or lead extensions best?

Try and avoid and extension that doesn’t have a fuse. We personally prefer extension cords due to the fact that the blocks can often get pulled out of the socket slightly due to the extra weight of the plugs. This loose connection can lead to additional risk of overheating.

Surge Protectors

Surge protectors are a devices designed to protect from voltage spikes, power cuts and even lightening strikes. A surge protector wont help by allowing you to overload sockets, its imply gives you that little extra assurance.

Hopefully you found this article on overloading sockets useful and will help keep you and your family that little bit safer this winter. For more handy tips for the home be sure to check our blog

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