Adding new electrical sockets(26 Posts)
Has anyone had this done, and if so, was it expensive? Our living room only has 2x2 wall sockets so we have extension cables plugged into all of them. DH realised the other day there are times when we're running 15 appliances off those 4 sockets and started worrying it was a fire hazard. Anyone know what it would cost to get someone in to add a couple more wall sockets?
I have had it done in each of the 3 properties I've owned in my life, but all bought too long ago for me to remember the price or even for that price to be relevant today.
It's not a big job for the electrician though.
What will happen though is that you will then need to sort the plaster work around the sockets (and possibly where they have drilled a channel to move wires etc), and of course decorate.
If you get some prices, then ask the electrician what 'finish' they will leave to make sure you are comparing like for like quotes.
Meantime do the sums and see if you are risking a fire.
15 appliances in 4 sockets? Not a good idea. What type of fusebox do you have, trip or wire?
Not a big deal and well worth doing. We did it as we were running stuff off extension cables - now dont need any extension cables downstairs.
OH is an electrician with 24 years experience . He said it's not a fire hazard as it's fused. If you wanted the sockets putting in next to the existing ones it's not a big job and shouldn't be too expensive.
Thanks for the advice, all!
@Villagernumber9, I'm not sure what type of fusebox we have - it's a box with loads of switches inside When a fuse blows, one of the switches goes off and we just turn it back on again to fix it. We don't have to go out and buy a new physical fuse and replace it. Anyone know what sort of fusebox that is?
I should have mentioned that we rent this flat so I'm reluctant to spend vast amounts of money on it. However, we've been here for 6 years and the landlord's never put the rent up, so we're now paying below market rent. In return we cover the cost of any repairs, decorating etc that we want to do. (With the exception of things like gas certificates etc that are his legal responsibility. But if it's something that we want to change just for our convenience we email him to let him know and then just go ahead and do it.) If it's not a very expensive job perhaps it would be worth doing just to hide the ugly extension cables, even if it's not a fire hazard!
Yes he said there are fuses in the extension plugs.
We're up north I'm afraid although he does have a contract which is taking him all over the UK over the next few months. I think it would be easier for you to find someone locally, but if you're struggling PM me and I'll ask him
Re multi socket extension leads. We have mandatory annual fire lectures and we're always told that appliances plugged in must not exceed 13amps in total. If they do, there is an increased risk of fire. High powered items like hair dryers, tumble dryers, fans, kettles, shouldn't be plugged into multi-gang extensions but things with 3 or 5 amp fuses are fine (so long as the total plugged in to that extension doesn't exceed 13amps).
I have had extra sockets put in. One room required a small amount of plaster work (which the sparky did) and the other didn't as he was able to perform some wizardry behind the wall. It was a day's work for 2 sockets + plastering, so we paid our electrician's day rate + the cost of the sockets (basic ones, about £15 the pair).
Google gave me this re the '13 amp rule'
Derbyshire fire service overloaded socket advice
You have a breaker box. And if it is tripping a lot, you have faulty stuff, there is a fault or you are overloading it.
Not my business what the 15 things in the lounge are, but have a chat with your landlord about electrics. With breakers it should be a fairly modern installation.
You do have to worry about overloading them as fuses will only help so much. If the resistance of the cable is too high because it's long or Daisy chained, not enough power will be taken by a fault to cause the fuse to blow, but enough might be taken to cause a fire.
For actual sockets, electricians have to do several measurements/calculations to make sure the fuse/circuit breaker can protect the circuit. For extension leads no testing happens so you have no idea of the fuse is doing anything useful.
I don't understand what you mean.
If the multiway is plugged into a socket, everything downstream of it is protected by the 13A in the first plug. Daisychain as much as you want, 13A is still the fuse.
The socket circuit is probably protected by a 32A breaker, and is safe for considerably more.
So where is your overload?
Yeh I thought it was the multisocket adaptors (without the cable) that could be dodgy.
Maybe it's the RCD that's tripping.
Piglet John if the fuse is 13a but the loop impedence is over about 5 ohms then the fuse won't protect the socket adequately. However if it's all phone charges and games machines that's unlikely to be a problem. However fires have occurred because of faults at the ends of extension leads which didn't blow the fuse (3000w is plenty for a fire)
My point is extension leads are not great practice chained together, in fact they would often be recorded on an inspection but not generally coded.
you mean if a fault runs to earth? Not the same as an overload. What is the current you envisage?
Go look at the bullrush chart for a 13A BS1362 fuse with 25A passing through it then come back and tell me how "safe" you think they are from being overloaded.
Well you have to take the higher of earth and neutral loop, but earth loop is always higher resistance. But your circuit protection needs to protect against shorts to either earth or neutral as well as overload. It's the lack of protection against shorts that are the danger in this situation, admittedly in the specific case of overload it could actually be avoided because of the excessive voltage drop. But that's not to say anything for it being safer.
Anyway don't just take my word for it, just Google extension lead fire or something similar.
Basically when adding a circuit you need to check the protection will work by testing. Every time you plug something in you're creating a new circuit with no testing or calculation. And if you add enough extension leads, you'll definitely create an unsafe circuit.
john and john That chat is way out of my league! Scrambling to remember my GCSE physics If nothing else it's reinforced that this definitely a DIY job for me to undertake myself.
specialsubject Thanks for the name of the fusebox. I think it trips about once a year so that's reassuring. Will talk to the landlord and see what he thinks.
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