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Socket Overload Calculator

Are you overloading your sockets and putting your home at risk of fire? Plug in some appliances to find out!

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Terms & Privacy Policy

Terms of Use

The content of this web app is for information and guidance only. The appliance power ratings used are indicative only - we've used the highest we could find for popular brands of appliances.

Whilst we make every effort to keep the information on this web app accurate and up to date we cannot accept responsibility or liability for the content. The Electrical Safety Council and its partners do not accept any responsibility for damage or injury resulting from unsafe use of electrical equipment. Nor can we accept responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage to your computer system whilst using this web app.

Links

The Electrical Safety Council encourages links from Government departments, industry organisations, and all other organisations which might be of interest to our visitors. We also provide links to other internet sites that may be of interest.

The content of external websites linked to and from our web app is beyond our control and we do not accept any responsibility for their content and/or upkeep. Once you leave our web app and visit another website you are subject to the terms of use and privacy policy of the new website.

Privacy Policy

The Electrical Safety Council does not collect personal information about you when you visit our web app unless you give the information to us. If you choose to give us any personal information (for example your e-mail address) we will only use the information provided to respond to your enquiry and provide you with any information or material requested.

We may collect information such as your browser type, your IP address, how you came to the Electrical Safety Council, the pages of our web app that were viewed during your visit, and any search terms that you entered on our web app. This information may be collected even if you do not contact us.

If provided, personal information is maintained in a secure file and will only be accessible to employees of the Electrical Safety Council. We will not pass the information to anybody else. The Electrical Safety Council Ltd will treat all your Personal Information as confidential. This information will be kept on a secure server and will be fully compliant with the 1998 UK Data Protection Act and consumer legislation. You should be aware that if we are requested by any regulatory or government authority investigating suspected illegal activities we are obliged to provide any relevant Personal Information and/or User Information.

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The Electrical Safety Council collects information about how people use this web app. To do this, we use Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. Google Analytics uses cookies to help analyse how the web app is used. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the web app (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the web app, compiling reports on web app activity for us and providing other services relating to web app activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.

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Cookies used by this web app

Google Analytics sets the following cookies:

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__utma 730 days Stores each user’s amount of visits, and the time of the first visit, the previous visit, and the current visit (presumably partly for double checking of this information).
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By using this web app, you consent to the storing of the cookies listed above. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. The website www.aboutcookies.org contains information on how to do this on a number of browsers. If you do not wish to accept cookies, you will be able to use the rest of the web app for browsing or research purposes.

Sound Effect Credits

"Plug in" sound effect from YipeeChristina at Freesound.org. "Plug remove" sound effect by Freesfx.co.uk.

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This web app is the property of the Electrical Safety Council.

Registered Office:

Unit 331
Great Guildford Business Square
30 Great Guildford Street
London
SE1 0HS
Phone: 020 3463 5100
Fax: 020 3463 5139
Email: enquiries@esc.org.uk

Warning!

Your extension lead and wall socket are overloaded.

Warning!
Your extension lead and wall socket are overloaded

You have overloaded the extension lead and your wall socket - they are at risk of overheating and could cause a fire. Unplug some of the appliances immediately!

The appliances you have plugged in exceed the maximum current rating of the extension lead and wall socket - the maximum load for a single socket is 13 amps (13 A) or about 3000 watts (3 kW).

Different electrical appliances use different amounts of power, so it's important to have a general idea of how much each appliance will use. For an indication of the current ratings of commonly-used domestic appliances, consult the more information section.

Top tips

To avoid overloading your sockets

Try again

Try another combination

Great!

Your wall socket is not overloaded.

Learn more Try another combination

Great!
Your wall socket is not overloaded

The appliances you have plugged in have not overloaded the extension lead and wall socket - the maximum load for a single socket is 13 amps (13 A) or about 3000 watts (3 kW).

Different electrical appliances use different amounts of power, so it's important to have a general idea of how much each appliance will use. For an indication of the current ratings of commonly-used domestic appliances, consult the more information section.

The fuse in a plug is a safety device designed to protect the connected lead from overheating in the event of an electrical fault and, in some cases, overload. It will quickly disconnect the supply in such an event.

Top tips

To avoid overloading your sockets

Try again

Try another combination

Top Tips
To avoid overloading your
sockets and risk of fire

To avoid overloading your sockets and risk of fire, follow this simple advice:

  • Check the current rating of the extension lead before plugging appliances into it. Know its limit - most are rated at 13 A, but some are rated at only 10 A or less. The rating should be clearly marked on the back or underside of the extension lead. If not, refer to the manufacturer's instructions
  • Never overload an extension lead by plugging in appliances that together will exceed the maximum current rating stated for the extension lead. This could cause the plug in the wall socket to overheat and possibly cause a fire
  • For an indication of the current ratings of commonly-used domestic appliances, consult the more information section.
  • Only use one socket extension lead per socket and never plug an extension lead into another extension lead, as this poses a greater risk of overloading your wall socket and the extension lead plugged into it
  • Use a multi-way bar extension lead rather than a block adaptor, as this will put less strain on the wall socket. Some block adaptors do not have a fuse, which increases the risk of overloading and fire.
  • Consider having additional sockets installed if you regularly rely on extension leads and adaptors - and use a registered electrician to carry out the installation work.

Check regularly for the following danger signs:

  • a smell of hot plastic or burning near an appliance or socket
  • sparks or smoke coming from a plug or appliance
  • blackness or scorch marks around a socket or plug, or on an appliance
  • damaged or frayed leads
  • coloured wire inside leads showing at the plug or anywhere else
  • melted plastic on appliance casings or leads
  • fuses that blow or circuit-breakers that operate for no obvious reason

More information

  • Electrical power is measured in watts, W, a unit of power
  • Electrical current is measured in amps, A, the rate at which it flows
  • The fuse in a plug is a safety device designed to protect the lead rather than the appliance. It is a deliberate weak link in a circuit which will 'blow' if an electrical appliance or extension lead draws too much current due to either an overload or a fault. The blown fuse cuts off the electricity to stop the lead and appliance from overheating and causing a fire.
  • Appliances meeting the relevant product safety standards will always be fitted with a plug having a correctly-rated fuse. If you have to replace a fuse, it's essential, having checked and corrected the reason for the fuse blowing, to replace it only with another of the same rating.
  • As a rule of thumb, fuses are rated according to the power rating of the appliance. Plugs for appliances rated up to about 700 watts should have a 3 amp fuse (coloured red). Plugs for appliances rated between about 700 watts and 3000 watts (the maximum rating of a wall socket) should be fitted with a 13 amp fuse (coloured brown). (Some older appliances are fitted with 5 amp fuses (coloured black). These fuses are still available to buy.)

Ratings of commonly-used domestic appliances

Please note: the appliance power ratings used are indicative only - we've used the highest we could find for popular brands of appliances.

Domestic Appliance Amps used Watts used
Computer monitor < 0.5 A 100 W
Desktop computer 3.0 A 700 W
Desk lamp (with 60 W lamp) < 0.5 A 60 W
Dishwasher 10.0 A 2200 W
DVD player < 0.5 A 28 W
Electric blanket < 0.5 A 60 W
Games console 0.86 A < 200 W
Hair dryer 10.0 A 2200 W
Hair straighteners < 0.5 A 60-100 W
Iron 12.5 A 2800 W
Kettle 13 A 3000 W
Landline cordless telephone charger < 0.5 A < 10 W
Laptop charger < 0.5 A 65-100 W
Microwave (standard) 6.74 A 1550 W
Mobile phone charger < 0.5 A < 12 W
Printer < 0.5 A 50 W
Radiator (Electric) 8.5 A 2000 W
Radio < 0.5 A 40 W
Satellite TV box < 0.5 A 30 W
Television 42" HD 0.5 A 120 W
Toaster 9.0 A 2000 W
Tumble dryer 11.0 A 2500 W
Vacuum cleaner 9.0 A 2000 W
Washing machine 10.0 A 2200 W
Wi-Fi Router < 0.5 A 10 W

Make your friends aware of the potential danger in overloading sockets.

 
 
 
 
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