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Plug Socket Extensions


LordDamian Hemsley

Question

Hi all

Looking for a bit of advise. Basically each room we have upstairs has one plug socket in it. My mrs wants another in our room. I have googled for help but seems to be a bit scarce other than the yes you can do it attitude but i would love to know from a proper electrician if its possible.

Is it ok to wire another socket from an existing socket? Obviously the floor boards would be up and a proper job done. If this is possible how many can your wire in? Can you daisy chain another two of the original one or is it best to leave alone. I did suggest an extension but she wants it doing properly and not loose a socket that the extension plugs into.

 

Thanks in advance for your help

Damian

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Theres more to adding a socket to BS 7671 than you have outlined. There are considerations for circuit protection, diasy chaining off a spur may not meet the regs and earthing and bonding........

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It's okay to wire a spur as you describe IF you are able to properly verify that the existing socket is indeed part if a ring circuit, and just beacuse it has two cables into it already is NOT proof that it is in fact a ring.

 

you can only install ONE spur. you cannot daisy chain a number of them, so to do what you want would require extending the ring.

 

For the house to be old enough for just 1 socket in each bedroom, then the age of the installation is such that it's likely the wiring may be in poor condition, and the consumer unit may not be up to modern standards, so there is a lot more to look at as well.

 

To do what you want requires a bit of test equipment and knowledge how to use it.  It is within the scope of a competent DIY person, but there is a lot more to it than just connect an extra socket and check power comes out of it.

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Hi all

Looking for a bit of advise. Basically each room we have upstairs has one plug socket in it. My mrs wants another in our room. I have googled for help but seems to be a bit scarce other than the yes you can do it attitude but i would love to know from a proper electrician if its possible.

Is it ok to wire another socket from an existing socket? Obviously the floor boards would be up and a proper job done. If this is possible how many can your wire in? Can you daisy chain another two of the original one or is it best to leave alone. I did suggest an extension but she wants it doing properly and not loose a socket that the extension plugs into.

 

Thanks in advance for your help

Damian

 

 

Hello Damian,  welcome to the mad house.....

 

The bit of your question about how many can you wire in, is actually a bit more complicated than may first appear...

and without more information it is impossible to anyone on here to categorically say yes or no in relation to your house.

 

 

I will try and illustrate as follows:-

you need to know the full composition and condition of the existing circuits before it can be decide how safe it is to extend or not.

 

A circuit has a fuse (in the fuse box) which can allow a max amount of power down a cable.

A cable has a physical size (diameter of conductors) that affects how much power it can carry.

Both the fuse and the cable size affect how long a circuit can be. (e.g. how far is the furthest point from the fuse box.)

 

{ There are some other more complicated bits relating to the incoming supply and the type of earthing to the property that also need to be considered but we shall assume they are ok at the moment }

 

The physical cable has insulation, usually PVC on modern circuits, (older wiring may be rubber which is beyond its reasonable working life), which gradually deteriorates over time and usage.

more power + older age = more deterioration. 

It is hard to see the deterioration of PVC cables visually. A thing called an insulation resistance test can confirm how good or bad this is.

 

So..

providing your fusing, cable size and insulation resistance  is good, then you can probably extend your circuits with the new sockets you want.

But,  If you don't verify these bit and just extend hoping its ok there is a risk of overload / fire / shock etc..

 

 

 

An analogy could be..

 

I have a bucket in front of me with some water in it...

I ask you how much more water I can put into the bucket

 

You need to know the capacity of the bucket, and how many litres are already in there,

before you can tell me how many more litres I can pour in..

 

If I just guess and pour some in...

 

It may be well within the capacity of the bucket, or it may be too much for the capacity of the bucket...

In the one case everything works fine no spills,

In the other case the bucket overflows and we have a spillage accident to deal with.

 

 

Hope that sort of makes sence...

 

You need the existing  installation checked and tested before any accurate advice of what you can or cant extend safely.

 

Guinness

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As others above have said there's more to it. Thats the problem proper electricians are having at the moment as they will inspect a job and quote say, £150-300 for a socket due to main bonding, Rcd, broken rings etc when the local Eastern European handyman will add  any old bit of cable he found to any existing circuit & say there you go boss- it works £50 please.

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It's okay to wire a spur as you describe IF you are able to properly verify that the existing socket is indeed part if a ring circuit, and just beacuse it has two cables into it already is NOT proof that it is in fact a ring.

 

you can only install ONE spur. you cannot daisy chain a number of them, so to do what you want would require extending the ring.

What do you need to verify it's a ring v a spur with 2 cables?
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What do you need to verify it's a ring v a spur with 2 cables?

If it's a spur off a spur off a spur (i.e a radial circuit) then it may look like a ring but it's not.

 

A simple ring continuity test at that socket will give you a pretty good idea.

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What do you need to verify it's a ring v a spur with 2 cables?

Test equipment.

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Test equipment.

whilst factually accurate I don't think it's very helpful. Thanks Dave
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whilst factually accurate I don't think it's very helpful. Anyone else ?

The answer by ProDave gives a fuller explanation. Anyone who knows how to do wiring would know how to do this. Even a quick Google would give you the answer and more.

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The answer by ProDave gives a fuller explanation. Anyone who knows how to do wiring would know how to do this. Even a quick Google would give you the answer and more.

so you are saying if I have a question on electrics I should Google it and not ask here in an electrical forum? (Which I found by using Google) ...
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so you are saying if I have a question on electrics I should Google it and not ask here in an electrical forum? (Which I found by using Google) ...

No. I am saying that someone who does not have the first idea of the basics, which are easy to find for anyone (even using something like Google), should not be contemplating wiring things up.

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No. I am saying that someone who does not have the first idea of the basics, which are easy to find for anyone (even using something like Google), should not be contemplating wiring things up.

but they can still ask a question and expect an answer.

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but they can still ask a question and expect an answer.

They can ask. They can expect. What they get however........

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but they can still ask a question and expect an answer.

He got one. He has quite a few actually. Usually asking DIY questions on a forum full of professional electricians when you have no idea what you are doing will get you answers you don't like.

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He got one. He has quite a few actually. Usually asking DIY questions on a forum full of professional electricians when you have no idea what you are doing will get you answers you don't like.

They encourage DIYers here. It is completely legal don't you know? ;-) ethical on the other hand..........????????

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I was not trying to steer this towards discussing the ethical principals of the forum.

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