Discuss Extension leads - advice needed in the New Member Introductions area at ElectriciansForums.co.uk.

  1. KSA

    KSA New EF Member

    Location:
    Suffolk, UK
    Hi all,
    I'm not sure if I'm posting on a forum specifically for electricians? or if this is also a forum for the general public looking for advice from electricians? Either way I'm the latter and hoping someone can point me in the right direction.
    After a serious house fire last summer, as a result of poor electrics, I'm trying to be extra cautious when it comes to using any electrical appliances.
    The specific advice needed is in regards to plugging in my washing machine and tumble dryer. I currently have a double wall socket, with one socket being used by a freezer and one spare socket to cover both other appliances. In the past I have used an extension lead for these, however I'm not sure if this is the safest practice? The only options I can see are either to constantly unplug/plug in each appliance in to the wall socket as it's required (not sure if this will cause issues with the appliances in the long run?), use an extension lead (while only using one applicance at a time, I assume this would be safer?), or to have an additional wall socket added (would prefer to avoid if possible).
    If someone could advise which is the best option I would be very appreciative.
    Thanks in advance
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  3. Pete999

    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Be very careful with extension leads don't use them when they are still coiled up, it's a fire risk, your best bet would be to get an Electrician to change the single socket for a double one, providing the wiring is OK, I would do this for peace of mind.
     
    KSA likes this.
  4. DAvid Prosser

    DAvid Prosser Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    The best solution would be to get an electrician to change the single socket to a double. Should not be very expensive as long as the wiring has been updated due to the fire.

    looks like Pete has typed quicker than me.
     
    KSA likes this.
  5. Wilko

    Wilko Gorillas are Great Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Business Name:
    Wilko Electrics
    Hi KSA and welcome to the forum. So sorry to hear about your house fire and hopefully it's all been put right now(?).
    Agree with Pete and Dave :handpointup: do a simple upgrade to a dual outlet socket on the wall and leave the appliances plugged in. You can then control them from the front and if you are worried only use one at a time. Perhaps get Repair Electrician back to do it, or I'm sure someone here could help.
     
    KSA likes this.
  6. Murdoch

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    The extension is protected by a 13A fuse and you are plugging in 2 devices which could both draw 13A so the fuse is likely to go and also you are overloading the plug and socket so something will fail sooner or later....
     
    KSA likes this.
  7. KSA

    KSA New EF Member

    Location:
    Suffolk, UK
    Thanks guys, I really appreciate the super speedy advice. Just realised my typing error though, it's actually already a double wall socket, however one of the sockets is already being used by a freezer, so there's only one single socket left to cover the washing machine and tumble dryer. Should I just look at having an additional socket added to cover the spare appliance?
    If I were to use an extension lead but only use one appliance at a time, would that be ok? Or is there still a risk with that?
    Thanks again
     
  8. Pete999

    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Providing the single socket (now a double one) is actually on a ring circuit, as part of the ring and not spur, it could be possible to add an extra socket next to the existing, as a lay person you would be hard pressed to undertake this investigation, it's still your best bet to get an Electrician in to assess the situation, it's not a big job and shouldn't be an expensive one either, do yourself a big favour and employ a Sparky.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
    KSA likes this.
  9. Andy-1960

    Andy-1960 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Dudley
    As Pete said earlier and just to clarify, if you do use the extension lead, ensure it is fully unwound before using it. Most new extension leads give a rating that shows maximum current draw when wound and maximum unwound. When using heavy loads (such as a tumble dryer) the cable will get warm and this heat needs to be dissipated, when it is wound the heat cannot dissipate and the coil of cable just gets hotter and hotter until it melts and shorts out or catches fire.
     
    KSA likes this.
  10. rolyberkin

    rolyberkin Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Chelmsford
    This is an example of what can happen when you plug too much into one side of a double socket, this was the result of two heating appliances into an extension lead as you are describing.

    IMG_6186.JPG
     
    KSA likes this.
  11. Andy-1960

    Andy-1960 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Dudley
    This is what can happen to the lead!

    Melted Lead.jpg
     
    Murdoch, Des 56, KSA and 1 other person like this.
  12. westward10

    westward10 Electrician's Arms

    Top Poster Of Month

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Twice last year I was called out to two extension lead burn outs. Both leads were recent purchases and were not exceeding their ratings I could only put it down to poor quality Chinese imports.
     
    KSA likes this.
  13. telectrix

    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    as above posts. get a sparks to fit an additional doulbe socket outlet. you know it makes sense. who dares wins usually ends up dead.
     
  14. Murdoch

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Or change the 2G for a 2G + 1G socket ...
     
    PEG likes this.
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