How much load can my uk sockets take

  Mariam134 11:52 01 Jan 2018

Hi so I have a fish tank and I have two extension leads on two sockets next to each other. On these leads I have one filter that is “ 230v~50Hz 3.1W” and one “8watt” heater, on the other I have one iPhone charger and one fan heater I use occasionally that is about “13A 250v” I use a small lamp and phone charger on my other sockets in my room, at night the only things constantly running are charger,filter,heater (8watt) and light. This morning I woke up to none of the plugs working upstairs . So I went to the fuse box and pushed the pin up and it worked, but I’m worried as I don’t know if the overnight load of the fish tank is what cuased the power to go out or something else, I don’t know the first thing about electricity someone please help.

  alanrwood 14:48 01 Jan 2018

A domestic UK socket can supply 13 Amps (Just over 3kW) so the fire is the only thing that should be connected if it is being used at full power. In truth the other items you mention add negligible additional load so you will probably get away with it.

You say you have reset it using a switch so you have an RCD (Residual Current Device) which is quite sensitive.

click here would disconnect all the appliances from the sockets, except for the fish tank heater of course, and see if the problem repeats. If it does, then the problem is either internal house wiring or the fish tank heater so disconnect the heater or replace it and see what happens.

If it does not repeat then reintroduce each appliance one at a time and monitor the situation.

In all honesty you will probably find that it is fine but worth keeping an eye on.


  Mariam134 14:56 01 Jan 2018

I’ve had these things running for about 3months and this never happened before. We recently got a second hand vacuum cleaner and it was being used briefly this morning , but the sockets downstairs in the kitchen where working it was only the ones upstairs that went out.

  Mariam134 15:03 01 Jan 2018

Sorry it wasn’t the vacuum cleaner it was something else.

  wee eddie 15:04 01 Jan 2018

I have avoided posting as Household Power Circuits should be the province of Professionals, of which I am not. However I do have a little knowledge.

Most Household Ring Mains are rated for 30 Amps and a trip Switch set to this consumption level. However these switches are set to trip, at any sign of a Short Circuit, regardless of the current in use at the time.

One of the most common sources of such short circuits is liquid spilling on/in something. Therefor my first suspect would be a fault in the Fish Tank's water heater.

  Mariam134 16:10 01 Jan 2018

Ok thanks I’ll keep an eye on everything.

  alanrwood 18:30 01 Jan 2018

Hi wee eddie

As I remember fish tank heaters are coiled wire in what is similar to a glass test tube so if liquid has got in it should be I would recommend having a close look.

Yes the ring main is rated at 30 Amps but that is to cover all the sockets on the ring main which in this case would seem to be the upstairs sockets. Each individual socket is rated at max 13 Amps by the value of the fuse in the plug itself.

This brings up another question:-

Are the fish tank heater etc plugged in to an upstairs mains socket as I would expect them to be plugged in to a downstairs ring main socket. Just want to be sure we are getting the right picture.

  Mariam134 18:34 01 Jan 2018

The filter and heater are plugged in my room upstairs. Also I’ve checked the heater and it’s completely fine, working fine. I don’t have a glass heater, it’s a small solid square “marina betta heater”

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:58 01 Jan 2018

It sounds as if you have two separate rings for your sockets - one upstairs one down.

If only the upstairs breaker tripped then you have an overload something plugged into the upstairs sockets overloaded the circuit - look at the breaker and see if it is marked at 15A or 30A.

As it tripped overnight with out the Fan heater connected I would look at your other devices that were connected overnight. If every thing is working then it may well have be a glitch (breakers do trip ocassionally) but if you are worried then an inspection of the sockets to kame sure nothing has come loose should be done by a competent electrician.

  Mariam134 19:04 01 Jan 2018

Everything seems to be working as normal. Maybe it was just a glitch or maybe someone else in the house did something. Thanks.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Huawei Mate 30 Pro Review: Hands-on

Fred Deakin on creating the artwork for his sci-fi rock opera The Lasters

Best iOS 13 features: What does iOS 13 do

Les meilleures enceintes connectées avec écran tactile (2019)