This is a bit of an electrical design question. I'm rewiring my house,
and want to provide a decent amount of sockets for appliances in the
living room, for now and for the foreseeable future. This room is
about 12 metres square, i.e. not that big. It's also roughly square in
Currently there are 2x 2 gang sockets, which is woefully inadequate.
My current standard appliance list (which I think your average house
has or will have) is this:
4x for stereo
Which sums to 11 sockets. Sticking 6 2x gang sockets on the walls
seems excessive, but maybe thats me being outmoded in the ring
circuits I frequent?
But seriously, what is the solution?
Thanks in advance,
firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeff Sheard) wrote in
Going from all the frustration sockets give me, I would say a minimum of 8
doubles, two in each corner on adjacent walls.
May need a bit of Xmas treeing,but at least there'll be one shortish
unobstructed run to wherever you need to go - unless someone knows better
(you're welcome to do a field trial by installing in my hovel)
Wire two low-current devices into one plug - for example, Freeview box
and video recorder. It helps if they have detachable mains cords.
I think this is quite safe if done neatly and the fuse in the plug is
the correct rating (for example, a Freeview box and video will each have
a 3A fuse. You'll still only need a 3A fuse with both wired into one
plug as each only takes a very low current.)
Also safer than plug-in adapters and those nasty 4-way socket strips you
see for 99p in DIY stores and pound shops.
Yup. I've got 11 doubles in a through lounge and none are in regular use.
Table lamps are on dedicated 2 amp outlets fed from dimmers, and the
Hi-Fi/TV on a dedicated radial circuit with its own earth.
But I'm ok for hoovering 'plugs' :-)
*A fool and his money can throw one hell of a party.
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
In system terms, what are the practical advantages to having each
appliance plugged into a separate socket (as opposed to putting, say,
the 4 stereo plugs into a trailing socket)?
I'm more interested in the safety/functionality trade-off than in
"theoretical flows as measured by an oscilloscope", as cable control
is, I think, a lot easier with 4>1 than 4>4.
None whatsoever. I used toi buodl computer racks - we used banks of rack
munted IEC and 13A sockets, and one flying lead from them to a socket
in the floor.
Provided the total rack draw was under 13A, its all fine.
If you're clueful enough to wonder, there's no advantage ;-)
That is: Nanny would like you to know that daisychaining one 4-way
adaptor into another into another into another is bad for you (each link
adds some contact resistance, since many cheap 4-ways form their
contacts with little more than bendy tinplate), and some numpty
somewhere will plug a 3kW fanheater into the last one of such a chain.
So Nanny knows that in the limit, it's better to festoon the wall with
lots of double sockets (at Regulation not-too-close-to-the-floor height,
natch, thereby increasing the trip hazard...)
But if you avoid doing anything silly, consolidating multiple low-load
appliances into a single feed through a 4-way, 6-way, or whatever is
perfectly sound, can look better, and makes it more convenient to turn
off multiple appliances which would otherwise draw 'standby' or
wall-wart-loss currents uselessly.
None in particular from an electrical point of view (not for low power
In fact there may be occations with todays highly interconnected AV
setups in living rooms, where commoning a number of devices back to the
same power point can help keep hum under control.
The advantage of lots of sockets verses "just about enough" is more ease
of cable routing, reducing trip hazards, and having somewhere to plug
the vacuum cleaner in etc.
You can take it to extreams however... a couple of doubles in each
corner does not look the excessive, however enough to satisfy the
socket requirements for a big AV or HiFi setup will start to look silly
because you typically want them all bunched together.
Personally I use multiway sockets fixed to (for example) the HiFi rack
so that only one power lead comes off it even though it uses eight.
It also says 6 - 10 for a kitchen
4 - 6 for bedroom (more if intended for a "young person"
4 for a bed sit
2 for a hall
1 for stairs/landing
1 for loft
6 for study / home office
2 for garrage
2 for utility room
Time to ask The Question.
If there were plugs and sockets that took up half or a third the space
of today's, and were fully compatible with 13A plugs/skts, meaning you
could plug either kind of plug into any and all sockets, and they were
to all the usual BS etc, would you choose to use them? Why?
I dont understand that. Wall warts would have no effect on the use of
smaller plugs as well as the present standard.
The way I see the size question is we dont to see want a long row of
sockets on teh wall, but we do want more sockets to use nowadays.
Fitting 6 sockets in the space of 1 double would solve that, and since
both systems would be fully compatible, it would not affect the use of
present plugs in those sockets, they would be usde as now at the same
density as now. And the new plugs would fit the present old sockets
too, so there would be no compatibility problem.
If you are maintaining compatibility, then you will need the same pin
layout and spacing. So yes you could put them closer together
(especially if you oriented each rotated 180 degrees), you could make
the plugs skinny, triangular, and have the cord exit from the top (i.e.
US style) rather than the edge. You could squeeze four (maybe even as
many as eight) into the space of a current double socket. However if you
plug an exiting design wall wart into one you would probably obscure
four sockets in one hit.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.