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I have recently moved into a house that has had very little work done on it since it was built in the early 60's. There are a total of 3 plug sockets downstairs and 4 upstairs. This may have been plenty for 1963, but is a little low for today's lifestyle.

The house does have a fairly new consumer unit so I'm not worried about having to replace the old fuse box that had one big on/off switch for the whole house.

I do want to increase the number of sockets, how should I be adding new sockets to the ring circuit, adding a spur from the existing sockets or extending the ring circuit to include new sockets?

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Can you confirm the socket circuit is currently protected by an RCD?

All new sockets must be protected by an RCD, and in most cases all new wiring must be too.

It is preferable to extend the ring wherever possible, but occasionally using a spur with one single or double socket or one fused connection unit (FCU) is preferable as it reduces the total cable length on the circuit.

In most cases it is now considered sensible to provide a separate ring circuit for the kitchen/utility room due to the large number of high-current kitchen appliances that may be used.

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Before you do any adding of sockets, you should check the size of the cable used for the ring main.

If it is 2.5mm^2 and still in good condition then extending the ring is not a problem, but don't just add spurs to the ring. It is better to increase the ring loop to encompass the new sockets and, while you are at it, add more than you need ie be generous - it is very annoying to have to come back yet again...

Also check the breaker supplying the ring, if as you state the consumer unit has been recently changed then all should be fine.

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  • Yes, recognizing now what failure to plan ahead did previously, don't repeat that mistake! – FreeMan Jan 27 at 17:06

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