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I've done a lot of research and the general consensus is no, but this is for use cases drastically different to my own.

There is a double socket in my garage that has always been used for a fridge freezer and a tumble dryer. Recently I bought some LED christmas lights to use year round that draw a total of about 10 watts. I decided probably the best appliance to share a socket with would be the fridge freezer as the tumble dryer probably draws more power.

So my question is, on a short 1-2m extension lead would a fridge freezer and some LED lights be okay?

  • Could you mount the extension lead on the wall so that there is no chance of it getting wet? Is there any chance of changing the double wall socket to a triple or quad outlet? You want to avoid the possibility of the fridge-freezer being inadvertently unplugged. – Andrew Morton Jan 28 '17 at 18:24
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    How much current does the fridge pull and what gauge is the extension cord? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 28 '17 at 18:24
  • I'm not worried about it being unplugged, as that could happen with the current socket. I was trying to avoid changing the socket type as now in the UK it requires a certified electrician. I can buy any gauge extension cord, I didn't have one already in mind for the job, I just wondered if it was possible. What gauge would you suggest for an average fridge freezer about 10 years old? – Sam Bradley Jan 28 '17 at 18:46
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    I wouldn't mess with a refrigerator, because of the high consequences which occur if it it has a problem, i.e. a load of food gone to waste. You'd be amazed what a freezer load of food costs. Also, gas dryers are only a few hundred watts. An electric dryer uses the lion's share of circuit capacity, and I would expect it to be a dedicated circuit. (here in the States we do have 240V, and we use it for dryers at 23A). – Harper Jan 28 '17 at 19:53
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    @ZachMierzejewski Risk is downside multiplied by probability. I've seen many extension cords fail open (lost food) and never one fail fiery (burnt house). I suspect this is due to a UL requirement. – Harper Jan 28 '17 at 22:57
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Get an extension lead rated for 13 A. You can get rubberised ones which are a bit tougher - you don't want to skimp on the price.

Make sure it has some provision for mounting it on the wall and do so (use screws that won't rust, like brass or zinc-galvanised). That way, if water gets into the garage (like on those days it rains sideways) it won't get to the extension sockets.

It would be best to make sure that there is no way for condensation on the lead to trickle into either end - the plug end will be ok as that hangs down with UK sockets installed the right way up. For the extension outlet end, you just need to leave the cord hanging downwards a bit.

You might want to label the plugs with sticky labels or a marker pen.

Or you might have a electrician mate down the pub who'll install an extra double socket for the price of the parts and a couple of beers :)

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    "...no way for condensation on the lead to trickle into either end..." Google for "drip loop" – Solomon Slow Jan 28 '17 at 22:01
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Yes it will be fine, as long as you keep within the current ratings of both the main socket and the extension. As the current draw of the lights is minimal this isn't going to be a problem. This is what extensions are made for, and there's nothing particularly special about a fridge/freezer. Obviously mount the extension where it will be secure and dry.
Be safe, but don't fuss!

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It appears that you want the extension cord just to split the outlet in two- is that correct? If so, what you want is just a (heavy duty) splitter, with possibly an extension cord to the lights after it, since I assume that the freezer isn't going to be moving.

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The correct solution, is to install a new receptacle for the lights. You can brach off the existing circuit to feed the new receptacle, but you'll have to use proper wiring methods and materials.

Almost certainly, the manufacturer's instructions for the fridge specifically say not to use an extension cord.

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