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Multi-sockets – Bane of your Electrical System

Don’t you hate it when you get home with your newest electrical gadget and you don’t have anywhere to plug it in? I know I do, and what do you do? Grab that ever handy Multi-socket or Power Strip, and voila, you now have up to 4 more power points for your latest and greatest toys! I know the picture on the right is familiar to us all.

You might have wondered once or twice how dangerous this is, and then shrugged that concern off because it is just so darned convenient… WELL DON’T JUST SHRUG IT OFF!

Overloading your electrical system is a serious fire hazard! Every time you plug in a new device to an already loaded circuit, you are putting more and more strain on the wires that are embbeded in your walls, and some of these wires might be older than you AND your parents, adding to the risk of them catching on fire. The more you load a circuit, the more electrical current that has to flow through the copper conductor, this increased flow of current causes a build up of heat in the conductor if it is not sufficient to carry the load you are demanding of it, this heat then melts the PVC insulation of the wire, causing wires to short circuit and spark causing a fire, or worse, sometimes the PVC insulation itself overheats and catches on fire!

Okay, so you got a new gadget and it has a 13 Ampere (AKA Square Pin, AKA British Standard) plug, and all you got on your wall are 5 Ampere (AKA Round Pin) plugs. So again your handy Multi-socket comes to the rescue, and does a quick conversion. Surely, since the there is only one device plugged into it, you can’t be overloading the circuit, and therefore its same right? Well yes and no. Your new device may have come with a square pin plug because of the country it was made for, anything going to the UK for an example comes with a square pin plug. BUT your device may have come with a square pin plug because it needs more current than what a 5 Amp, round pin outlet can provide, in this case, even though you are only using one device you are STILL overloading your circuit, and possibly causing your internal wiring to heat up.

Another thing to keep in mind is that most Multi-sockets that are available on the mass market for Rs. 75/- (Less than 1 USD) are built to very poor standards. The terminals of your plug may not fully connect with the terminals inside the Multi-socket, and the terminals of the Multi-socket may not connect properly with the terminals in your power outlet. This causes sparking, and sparking causes heat which can cause fire, cause your Multi-socket or power outlet to melt, and offer you a serious risk of electrocution. Quick Hint: If you hear a ticking, or cricking sound coming from the vinicity of your multi-socket, then something in there is sparking and you need to adjust your plugs/power packs (AKA adapters, AKA power bricks) IMMEDIATELY!

I’m not saying that Multi-sockets are the devils spawn put on this earth to burn down all our homes and offices, but I do seriously advise you to think twice before plugging something into one, and to always keep a close eye (and ear) on it. Also, go be a big spender and buy Multi-sockets that are manufactured to better standards whenever possible, they only cost about Rs. 250/- (About 2.50 USD) more than the cheap ones that could leave you, your home, and all your wonderful electrical toys extra crispy!

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3,899 comments

  1. Sardha /

    Good article, I look forward to reading more and more things about electrical items from your blog. It is a pressing concern, especially when it comes down to household safety and your family’s safety, so keep it coming. Thumbs up.

  2. I agree with Sardha. Thanks for the update, Tharindu!

  3. Wow! Is this blog great or what, thanks for writting it.

  4. Thank you for your help!

  5. Silvana Byrom /

    Fantastic post of yours, thanks. Your blog just got a new subscriber.

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