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Topic # 165672 16-Feb-2015 21:04
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Hi team

About to move from our house (that we built and had shedloads of extra sparky wiring done and a whole heap of AV/network/distribution wiring done) into a small box with a handful of powerpoints and no AV/networking......

In the lounge where we want to put the entertainment cabinet there is a single power point.  To plug into that I have;
Plasma TV
Sky box
Intel NUC
HT Receiver
CD player
Xbox One
HDMI splitter
Subwoofer
Modem
plus I've probably forgotten something.....

Obviously I'm very wary of overloading the joint and burning the place to the ground.  It was built in the 70's....

My long term plan is to renovate the whole house including rewiring.  Until then what's my best way forward?

I was looking at something like this or this.  Are they any good?

Any other suggestions (apart from get used to just having TV and Sky for a while)?

Thanks.

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  Reply # 1240434 16-Feb-2015 21:38
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Get a Plug in AMP Meter (Such as http://www.jaycar.co.nz/productView.asp?ID=MS6119&CATID=83&form=CAT2&SUBCATID=1003#3) and see what you can plug into the power point before it gets too much.

Find a long extension cord and take extra feed from a different power point/feed in the house.

Get in an electrician and get them to check the wiring to the power point. He may be able to change it from 1*10A to a 2*10A outlet depending on the cable Used to the Outlet.

My 65" Sony TV uses 338W max (about 1.5 Amps and my AMP can use up to 720W (3 Amps max), Xbox can use around 85W (0.4A)  etc so things don't use as much are you think.

Its very unlikely you have everything pulling all the power at the same time. (Just make sure you measure the power usage when you turn them on at the same time 





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  Reply # 1240435 16-Feb-2015 21:39
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As a general rule, I believe 2 kw is the maximum limit per power point.





 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1240443 16-Feb-2015 21:56
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A 10 amp outlet@ 240v = 2400watt

That's why heaters max out at 2400w , it's the max rating for a single outlet

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  Reply # 1240478 16-Feb-2015 23:05
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If it had two sockets they would probably be on the same cable, anyway! You want to (or perhaps not) see my collection of power boards behind my AV setup and behind my computer! They aren't those expensive so-called surge protected ones, either.

Like others have said, as long as you are below 10A you will be OK. But you do need to work out which sockets are on the same circuit to be able to assess the total current draw.  

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  Reply # 1240480 16-Feb-2015 23:21
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If they are 70's sockets (or 80s for that matter - like the PDL 500 series with the ugly step on the face of them) then check after stuff has been running for a while if the pins of the plug are hot at all. Old sockets lose their grip and also will oxidize up making for more resistance. If its any more than slightly warm then stop running so much on it till you get the socket changed out.




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  Reply # 1240485 16-Feb-2015 23:42
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When you first get access to the house. But before you start moving everything in. Make a map of what power points are on what circuit. As this makes future upgrades easier. As well as planning what should plug in where easier as well.

The problem with adding extra power points is that they need to be RCD protected under the current rules. Which pushes up the cost quite a bit. if you do get an electrician in for something. While he is there ask him to have a look in the switchboard and see what size cables were used for the power point circuits. Hopefully 2.5mm cable was used. Although there are alot of houses out there with 1.5mm cable for all the power points. The problem with 1.5mm is it could only run at a max of 15A under the old rules. And under the current rules only 10A. This is because it gets too hot if it gets covered with insulation.

If you have 1.5mm cables. If possible try to run new circuits from the switchboard for new power points rather than extending existing circuits.





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  Reply # 1240525 17-Feb-2015 08:19
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linw: If it had two sockets they would probably be on the same cable, anyway! You want to (or perhaps not) see my collection of power boards behind my AV setup and behind my computer! They aren't those expensive so-called surge protected ones, either.

Like others have said, as long as you are below 10A you will be OK. But you do need to work out which sockets are on the same circuit to be able to assess the total current draw.  


If they are on the same cable that can be okay. The cables are designed (if it is Two Core Plus Earth 2CPE) to take more than 10A - just make sure the fuses are upgraded appropriately.

Get a sparky to change the plug into a two - four plug version (if possible). Upgrade the fuse.

The big issue with adding too many items to an extension cord or power box is that they are not designed to handle more than X Watts / Amps of load. However 2CPE is.

The power boxes wont protect you from overloading. They will protect you from surges / spikes caused outside of the plug.





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  Reply # 1240549 17-Feb-2015 08:55
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nunz: ... Get a sparky to change the plug into a two - four plug version (if possible). Upgrade the fuse. ...



+1 for the four-plug :





Sideface


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  Reply # 1240552 17-Feb-2015 08:59
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Many power strips do have a builtnon 10A breaker. The breakers or fuses on permanent wiring are to protect the cable and lately they are limited by the derating from potential insulation around the cable. You can't just increase the rating to mat h the number of outlets. The Standard for socket outlets only tests maximum demand from 1 socket even if there may be 4. Some take that to mean that it is still a 10A fitting regardless of the number of sockets.

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  Reply # 1240568 17-Feb-2015 09:33
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Looking at your list of equipment I estimate that your load would be approximately 750watts (maybe 1000watts max).... well within the 2000watt  limit of a power point socket.

As others have suggested, check the power socket around the pin regions for any signs of discolouration or surface distortion which may indicate that the socket has been overloaded in the past... If it has been overloaded get the socket replaced.

With that number of devices you need to use a power board to ensure mechanical stability and good connection of all plugs.
Any plug that works loose or out of position in a socket could arc and be likely to cause a fire.








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  Reply # 1240764 17-Feb-2015 12:25
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And don't buy $3 house brand power strips. At least get the hpm ones.




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  Reply # 1241005 17-Feb-2015 17:56
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Bung: Many power strips do have a builtnon 10A breaker. The breakers or fuses on permanent wiring are to protect the cable and lately they are limited by the derating from potential insulation around the cable. You can't just increase the rating to mat h the number of outlets. The Standard for socket outlets only tests maximum demand from 1 socket even if there may be 4. Some take that to mean that it is still a 10A fitting regardless of the number of sockets.


While I do agree with some of the posters that a powerstrip will cut you out at the 10Amp 2400w mark, which is theoretically what a plug should be fused for, I also know from horrible experience that one day someone will put a larger power draw device into your power board and over load it. Unless you plan on banning all heater users, lan parties, teen agers with hair dryers, ironing boards etc then look at getting the plugs multiplied. 

I am stuck in a rental with one power plug, two monitors, one pc, switches, routers, docking bays and guest pcs. all was good until someone decided to do some ironing.  Took down my server  (can anyone say veeeerrryy sllllooooww rebuild of RAID10 harddrives) , annoyed my work PC (caught it doing a windows update) and stopped a long running data copy.

A 'guest' power board for those special moments and a death threat hanging over any hand that messes with your main power board often works wonders.  The second plug gets the load away from the first plug / power board. And it also means you aren't counting watts everytime you add something new.








nunz

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  Reply # 1241027 17-Feb-2015 18:13
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nunz: A 'guest' power board for those special moments and a death threat hanging over any hand that messes with your main power board often works wonders.  The second plug gets the load away from the first plug / power board. And it also means you aren't counting watts everytime you add something new.


A 2nd plug only guarantees anything if it is on another circuit. Even though many power circuits have 20A breakers on 2.5 cable 16A will be more and more common so you can't assume you can stick 2 high current loads on 1 circuit. Every winter some office or other has a bunch of computers brought down by someone bringing in a heater.

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  Reply # 1241029 17-Feb-2015 18:14
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Nunz, get a UPS.

I have not done it yet, but my "server" gear can all run off 12V so I want to hook it up directly to the battery of my UPS (yes, will be fused and have a low voltage cut-out initiated by software).  The "server" is an Atom processor with a 12V power adapter, the modem/router runs off 12V, the gigabit switch runs off 12V, the USB media storage drive runs off 12V, and the Ethernet backup storage runs off 12V.  The monitor needs mains, but internally runs off 12V so easily modified.




You can never have enough Volvos!


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  Reply # 1241048 17-Feb-2015 19:11
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Niel: Nunz, get a UPS.

I have not done it yet, but my "server" gear can all run off 12V so I want to hook it up directly to the battery of my UPS (yes, will be fused and have a low voltage cut-out initiated by software).  The "server" is an Atom processor with a 12V power adapter, the modem/router runs off 12V, the gigabit switch runs off 12V, the USB media storage drive runs off 12V, and the Ethernet backup storage runs off 12V.  The monitor needs mains, but internally runs off 12V so easily modified.


I used to have a $2500 UPS but unfortunately they aren't earthquake proof. They also don't get you around the 10Amp issue. My needs are a little more power hungry.  4 x 2TB drives - and that's my workstation.  I run a lot of virtual stuff so need CPU, multi spindles and some reasonable network gear.

There is nothing like multiple power plugs. When we spec an office on behalf of a client we insist on at least four power plugs per work desk - appropriately fused. by the time you take a PC, printer (and there is a few watts in that alone - it used to trip out my dirt cheap 600W UPS) 1 -2 monitors, cell phone, camera, iThingys, speakers, VOIP phone or PABX type phone, desk lamp etc it all gets a bit crowded.  Add in a vacuum cleaner, guest laptop, etc and more is better when it comes to plugs.

Having a distinctly labled, seperate powerboard / plug specially for heaters during winter and fans during summer saves us a lot of grief.

My advice to the original poster is this:

 

  • If you can afford it, get a second, third and fourth plug put in.
  • Get them on differing circuits if feasible.
  • More is good - no one ever complained of having too little but when you dont have enough - then you know.









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