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Questions about plug sockets - exciting.

(24 Posts)
Cabbagesaregreen Thu 25-Dec-14 07:35:39

Hi. We've just had some work done in our house which included new appliances. Is it okay to have a dishwasher and American type fridge freezer running off the same double plug socket?
Same question for washing machine and tumble drier on a double plug socket? Is it better to just use either the washer or dryer rather than both at the same time?

PigletInABlanketJohn Thu 25-Dec-14 07:53:26

1) yes

2) no

UK sockets are specified to carry a 13Amp load. Curiously, this applies to both single and to double sockets, although some makes (notably MK) are better than average.

Twice the load increases the heat in the socket beyond what can easily escape. Washer and Tumbledrier combinations in one socket or extension are very prone to heat damage which is troublesome to repair and may be dangerous.

Tumble-driers are especially bad because they run at a heavy load for a long and continuous period (unlike, say, a kettle, which runs at a heavy load for a minute or so). Washing machines run at a heavy load all the time they are heating water.

Modern dishwashers use very small amounts of hot water so are running at heavy load for fairly short periods.

I don't know your fridge freezer, but modern European designs use very small amounts of power.

This problem is almost exclusively confined to kitchens and utility rooms. It is very preferable to have a generous number of DP switches for fixed appliances above the worktop, feeding sockets in the wall underneath, everywhere you have, or want, or might one day consider, or might re-plan, having an appliance; as well as double sockets at least every metre above the worktop.

Switches should always be visible in plain sight, and if their purpose is not obvious, should have clear and durable labels, so they can be turned off in an emergency such as a malfunction, leak, or an appliance fire. It is no good expecting a stranger in your kitchen to rummage behind cornflake packets or under the sink to find a hidden switch while panicking.

There are a few weird people who find the sight of switches and sockets unaesthetic. I consider them to be analogous to Victorian matrons swathing the legs of their pianos in drapery.

Cabbagesaregreen Thu 25-Dec-14 08:03:36

Thanks, piglet john. I've double checked behind the appliances and the dishwasher has it's own socket but the fridge freezer has one of the sockets on a different double socket. The other plug running off this is an extension cable leading to microwave and telephone and wireless - is that ok? Or should the microwave I guess not be run off an extension cable?
Whilst I've got you - our tv and speakers, sky and DVD are also on an extension cable???

Cabbagesaregreen Thu 25-Dec-14 08:05:33

Sorry- is it ok re the washing machine and dryer as long as not run at the same time if on double socket?

PigletInABlanketJohn Thu 25-Dec-14 08:22:15

if it's a combi microwave, that is a heavy load.

telephones, radios and TVs are trivial loads and you can run them off extension strips.

You can use the washer and drier at separate times, until you forget.

Extension cables (unless dangerous chinese imports) always run off a 13Amp fused plug so do not easily overload sockets. They vary in quality. Look for quite a thick flex, and a fairly heavy socket strip. It should not be possible to fit a plug in upside down so that the earth pin pushes in and opens the shutters for the L and N pins (sockets are supposed to be designed so this is impossible, but the design rules were not changed quickly enough when multisocket strips came in) so this is an indication of poor quality.

For some reason, tumbledriers on extension leads tend to overheat the wall socket. I can't understand why, but one of the technical orgs ran a test survey, and it really does happen.

You can see now why a kitchen needs lots of sockets.

Cabbagesaregreen Thu 25-Dec-14 08:46:58

Hi. Yes it's a combi microwave. Going to swap some plugs around so it shares double socket with fridge freezer rather than off extension. Also going to get electrician in next week to add some more sockets ! Merry Christmas! Thanks !

lljkk Thu 25-Dec-14 09:39:16

Crikey Piglet, go eat some candy canes. You deserve a day off. smile

poorbuthappy Thu 25-Dec-14 09:44:31

I'm loving this thread on Christmas morning. grin

Cabbagesaregreen Thu 25-Dec-14 10:05:58

Poorbuthappy- I never stop worrying - Christmas or not !!fgrin

Cindy34 Thu 25-Dec-14 10:22:03

Nothing like a good socket thread for xmas morning smile

What about the socket on the oven switch... Hope you know what I mean. I guess that can take a 13A load but should not be used at same time as the oven, as otherwise total load would be high, or is it being on it's own dedicated circuit means that it is designed for the oven load plus up to 13A on the socket?

PigletInABlanketJohn Thu 25-Dec-14 10:53:18

A cooker switch, with or without a socket, is (should be) on a dedicated cooker circuit of quite high power. Note that a "cooker" is not the same as an "oven"

It is assumed that the socket will be used intermittently, usually for a kettle or toaster, so it is unlikely to run for long periods at the same time as the cooker. In the event of an overload, the cooker circuit would trip.

However electric hobs and ovens only run intermittently; they heat up to target temperature, then click on and off as the thermostat maintains that temperature. Ovens draw much less than hobs.

Cabbagesaregreen Thu 25-Dec-14 11:53:18

Looking behind the cooker it's plugged in to a single socket and has it's own switch on the fuse box. I assume that's good enough.

FiloFunky Thu 25-Dec-14 12:09:28

woah stop the boat...... you cant just plug things in anywhere?!

Cabbagesaregreen Thu 25-Dec-14 12:15:56

Who'd have known?!

PigletInABlanketJohn Thu 25-Dec-14 12:41:53

is it really a plug and socket? Is it a gas cooker?

An electric cooker should have an usually thick cable, going into something like cooker outlet

PigletInABlanketJohn Thu 25-Dec-14 12:43:10

un usually thick

ignominious Thu 25-Dec-14 12:51:28

Our dishwasher and washing machine run off a strip extension lead with some other stuff. Out of ten, how likely am I to die?

LOVE a household electrics thread. Happy christmas!

Cabbagesaregreen Thu 25-Dec-14 13:10:44

Hi. Hard to see as behind cooker and low down. It's a dual range cooker so both electric and had. It us a plug but with thick grey cable.

PigletInABlanketJohn Thu 25-Dec-14 13:47:10

you can usually run an ordinary gas cooker, or a UK-market dual-fuel cooker with one electric oven, off a plug and socket, but not a range or a cooker with two or more electric ovens or grills.

You can never run an electric hob (except a miniature bedsit one) off a plug and socket.
Best have a look in your instruction book. Yours may be incorrect. Industrial plugs and sockets are available for high loads, but they are large, round, and coloured. The correct thick cable will not fit in a 13A plug.

Cindy34 Thu 25-Dec-14 14:07:50

Have electric hob, electric oven. Then washing machine plugged into the socket on the cooker outlet. I do avoid having washing machine on at the same time as the hob/oven, works fine.

Cabbagesaregreen Thu 25-Dec-14 14:24:58

The person who fitted the cooker wasn't corgi registered but I've got corgi person coming to check it and give certificate mid January. I assume they will know about the plug?
It's a leisure range cooker with 2 ovens and gas job and grill.

MuscatBouschet Thu 25-Dec-14 19:27:57

Best Xmas thread ever!

specialsubject Fri 26-Dec-14 11:34:18

very festive...

cabbages if you've got a person who says they are Corgi registered, that has been irrelevant for several years. Check on the gas safe site to see if they are registered on that (don't take their word for it)

if they aren't on there, report them as doing gas business without a licence.

Juno213 Sat 27-Dec-14 19:45:24

The person who owned the house our house before us was a builder and did the extension. The electrics are questionable at best. When we moved in, the tumble dryer, boiler and kettle were all plugged in to am extention lead. When I noticed, I tried to unplug it and it wouldn't shift. The whole thing had melted itself together. Luckily, I think they are designed to do this rather than catch fire but please let it be a lesson to be very careful with appliances. It's just not worth the risk of thinking that they are working fine at the moment.

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