I was expanding some plug sockets from singles to doubles in my house the
other day and noticed the following. I powered off what I though was the
upstairs sockets and set about testing them to make sure that they were not
live before I comenced work.
It was at this point that I noticed that my downstairs sockets where off as
well. To cut a long story short it seems that the house is wired up
basically with two MCB's - one for the kitchen and one for the rest of the
house. Not sure at this stage of the rating. So all of the sockets in the
house less the kitchen are wired onto one ring circuit.
As 2.5 twin and earth is rated at 25 amps and I only have one circuit for
all of the sockets, this means a maximum load of 25 amps and I make that a
maximum of 5.5kw. Is that correct?
Im just hoping that this will be enough for all of the stuff Im planning to
- 2 x PC's probably running most of the time including permanently switched
- Home cinema system running intermittently
- Various other appliances, vacuum cleaner, phone chargers etc.
What do people think? For info the house is a two bed semi so perhaps the
developers didn't think that two ring circuits (upstairs and downstairs)
would be required.
Check at your consumer unit , for the rating on the MCBs, generally speaking
the highest rated circuits will be nearest the main switch, ie 45A for a
shower, 40A for a cooker, then your ring circuits, should be 32A and or radial
circuits 20A there maybe a 16A and lighting circuits 5 or 6A. There will be B6A
marked on the mcb which means type B 6Amp mcb.
If you have 2 32A ring circuits in a 2 bed house you are no differnt to most
people, and pcs dont consume that much power,and even if you plugged all your
toys into socket circuit at once i doubt you would overload it
Most likely the case - we live an a three bed semi which was originally
wired with one ring for the whole house. When we built a kitchen extension
we extended this ring to the kitchen as well and we have never had any
problems - I run various PCs, a home cinema set up and loads of other
things! Remember that most of the things in your house that need a high
current (immersion/shower/cooker/etc) run off their own circuit so the
things you mention generally don't have a very high current drain and should
cause you no problems.
It's probably much more sensible, if you are going to have only two
rings, for one to be the kitchen and the other to be the 'rest of the
house'. You're much more likely to get a reasonable balance of load
between the two rings that way.
But it's a ring so you can have a total load of up to 32 amps on it
(it is protected by a 32 amp breaker is it?). If fused it will be 30
amps rather than 32.
32 amps at 230 volts is just under 7.5kW.
All of 500 watts I would think, maybe a little more, say 750 watts.
Another 500 watts or so at a guess.
Nothing except electric heating will take much more than a few hundred
watts. A really big vacuum cleaner might be just over 1kW. Phone
chargers etc. take only a few watts.
Thus if you add it all up your still at only two or three kW, it'll be
fine unless you plug in two electric fires *and* decide to boil the
kettle in your bedroom.
On Fri, 30 Apr 2004 11:07:27 +0000 (UTC), in uk.d-i-y "Charles
Quite common, most new houses that I wire are done similarly, 1 ring
for the front and 1 for the back. It makesx wiring easier.
Depends, if they are ring circuits then there are 2 cables to each
socket in effect, the MCB\ fuse size for this is 32A so that's your
maximum. This is more likely to be what you have.
The other way of doing things would be a radial, with 2.5mm cable you
will only be able to have 16A.
The cable ratings are maximum - in ideal situations. In practice they
need derating because of the way the length\resistance and thermal
effects lower the current carrying capacity of the cable.
2 rings will be fine for what you want, 2 PCs, home cinema and phone
chargers will probably struggle to peak at 10A if all switched on
There is regulation to minimise the effects of interruption of supply to
a circuit. Just interpretation what disruption is caused and how crtical
it is to have a circuit trip. You wouldn't want to have the washing
machine stop 3 minute before the end of a cycle because something
somewhere else had tripped a breaker. Perhaps consider more ring mains
and/or washing m/c circuit fridge freezer circuit.
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