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Discuss Advice needed: Connect multiple appliances to mains. in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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I'm a bit of a gamer and over the years i've amassed a collection of consoles i'd like to have easily accessible. Now i understand that if i was to just grab an extension lead, and hook up all of them to the double socket i have nearby, that i'll likely overload the socket and this poses a fire risk. But i there a safe way to do this? Like an extension with switches? Or would this still pose the same risks?


Obviously not being an electrician my logic is a 10 way extension of something with switches 'sounds' safe. As i'd only have maybe the TV and 2 consoles switched on and running at any one time. The remaining 7 sockets would be switched off at the extension. But then i don't know the ins and outs of that and how off the off truly is. i.e If they may still be drawing more power and thus causing a potential overload.


Hope that all makes sense? I'm essentially looking for a perfectly safe way to not have to constantly swap the plugs in and out, as that gets extremely messy very quickly. Whereas switches i can manage. Any help is appreciated.
 

James

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10 way extension leads are available, not many are individually switched though.

I would be surprised if you were overloading anything, a console is normally less than 200w when being used and far less when in standby.

At that loading, you should be able to run around 15 of them off a single plug socket and still have enough left for the screen.
 

telectrix

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as he said ^^^^^^. use a 8 way or 10 way extebsion lead. maybe surge protected. only way you could overload anything would be if yo plugged in a couple of 2kW heaters.
 

pc1966

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Olson are not the cheapest, but they are good (and UK made). We still have some bought in 1992 that are used without trouble!

here is a quick search for 10-way UK socket, switched:

https://olsondirect.co.uk/browse-by...jaxcatalog=true&no_of_sockets=87&switched=134

Also they will do custom versions for a small premium, so if they don't have quite what you want they will make it. Socket types, cable lengths, types of filter/SPD, metering options, etc
 
Thanks for the advice, but the Olson is a bit out of my price range. I'm planning to run 3 games consoles, a TV, an echo dot, and a Desktop off the extension. using a 7th socket for hooking up other consoles as an when i think. This would be plugged into a double socket (other socket remaining empty). Are there any affordable 8 socket options and reliable brands? The reviews i read for many surge protected extensions aren't great, so not sure what will or won't be adequate. Even brands like Masterplug i see in stores have seemingly mixed reviews.
 

James

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Got one of those sitting next to me with all the stuff an electrician needs charging plugged in.
Alexa
Phone
Tablet
Wife’s tabley
Desk lamp
Laptop
 

pc1966

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To some extent you pay your money and take your pick. The CPC example is perfectly adequate for most things, whereas the Olson are really for the professional applications end of the market.

Surge protection in the likes of these should cope with most smaller spikes from induced lightning, big motors switching in nearby areas, main feed cable fault being cleared, etc. But they won't do much if you are on the end of an overhead line in the country and you get a near-direct strike on a pole, or your building is hit (though if you don't have a lightning conductor in that scenario you have far bigger worries than your Xbox stopping).

What you can get now, and is recommended for practically every new installation by the 18th edition of the wiring regulations, are big surge protection devices to be fitted in your CU (consumer unit = fuse box). However, even they come in two types with most homes likely have a "type 2" SPD (surge protection device) fitted that is rated for induced lighting, and only a few having the bigger and more expensive "type 1" SPD that are designed to cope with the much higher surge energy from a direct hit to related metalwork.

To confuse people they both quote the rating in peak current in the tens of kA range, but what is not immediately obvious is the Type 1 are tested with a 10us/350us surge duration ,whereas the type 2 have an 8us/20us surge waveform so around a tenth the energy for the same sort of peak current.

Unless you know you have a high risk of lightning damage (of just greater reason to fear divine retribution...) then the SPD in those extension blocks should be adequate. Mains equipment is supposed to withstand a certain degree of over-voltage anyway, though it seem things get more crap every year :(
 
Thanks for all the advice guys, it's really been a help. I'm thinking i'll get the extension above from CPC. And will run the following:

TV
Desktop PC
Nintendo Switch
PS4
Playstation VR
XBox One S
Amazon Firestick
External Hard Drive

Based on what has been said above it seems like i'm at no risk of overloading the socket with this setup. The extension would be plugged into a double socket. Would this render the second socket unusable? Or would i be able to use that still? As i'm thinking some of the older games consoles i can keep stored and then plug in when i actually want to use them. Rather than keeping setup full time. Someone elsewhere told me to get a plug in power meter to check load. Is that advised?

Sorry for all the questions. I'm being ultra careful with our little one running around. Haha.
 

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