In the kitchen I have two 16 A wall sockets, and each has a power strip plugged into it ("max 3000 W" label). At present, the washing machine and the oven are connected together to one power strip, while the fridge and the microwave are connected to the other.

I was wondering: being the washing machine and the oven the most energy-intensive appliances, shouldn't they be connected to different sockets? However, notice that they cannot actually run together, since the maximum load for homes here in Italy is 3 kW: if I start the washing machine while the oven is heating, the power supply gets interrupted.

Can I leave it as it is, or should I try to distribute better the load?

I'm renting, and obviously installing more wall socket would be the best, but it's not doable. Also complaining with the owner wouldn't be good advice.

  • 2
    You can't use power strip like this ,It might result in over current and tripping and power strips are meant to be used for temporary purposes. You have to directly plug into 16A wall sockets. so I'd suggest four 16A wall socket. One for each and again. Have a separate circuit box with trippers in the kitchen.
    – King
    Oct 6, 2023 at 11:41
  • 3
    Unless the power strips are of high quality, I would get rid them for that use. Most common strips are made more for light use devices. Most washers(clothes) usually not that high of a power use, unless they heat water also. Ovens are high power use and usually need their own circuit. The electrostatic discharge might be concerning if it comes from the washer or you rubbing socks over carpet.
    – crip659
    Oct 6, 2023 at 11:41
  • 2
    OP is in Italy @Huesmann. Things are different there than they are here in the US...
    – FreeMan
    Oct 6, 2023 at 13:38
  • 1
    @Huesmann in 230V countries a lot of appliances are sold to fit on a standard 16A circuit and to be plugged in to a standard outlet. Ranges and ovens sold that way aren't always very good ones, but still, they are sold that way.
    – jay613
    Oct 6, 2023 at 14:18
  • 1
    @Huesmann, my stove has gas burners and electric oven. The electric oven is powered by a boring 15A plug, 110V.
    – popham
    Oct 6, 2023 at 15:58

2 Answers 2


[ Preamble: I assume the oven is not a gas one (with a light or igniter) and I hope you would have said so if it was. But it's a good callout in the comments and so I'll state my assumption here. ]

"Should I" is not a question that can be answered very well here, but here are some things you should consider:

  • Ideally each one of these appliances should be on its own breaker and its own wall outlet.
  • It's better not to use power strips for large appliances. Especially not a 3000W power strip for an oven that may use 3000W by itself! And especially not for a fridge where the power strip is an unnecessary failure point that can cause your food to spoil.

If it is practical and within your budget to get an electrician to install some more breakers and wall outlets you should do that.

The fridge should be on its own circuit so that if a different appliance causes a breaker to pop open, your food won't spoil.

The oven should be on its own circuit because it (probably) easily uses 3000W by itself, and if you have something cooking you don't want to be unable to use the microwave or washer for hours on end!

The washer and microwave can probably share a 16A circuit, if that is allowed where you live. You don't have ring mains in Italy right? But if you do, you can definitely have the washer and microwave on one.

Also you didn't mention your cooktop ... is it a single unit with the oven? Or somewhere else, with its own circuit or is it gas? I'm asking because, if you do have an electrician do work, you should add more than one 16A circuit to the location of any electric cooktop, especially if combined with an oven. Exactly what you should add, ask the electrician, it depends on your electric service.

  • 3
    This advice is based on US code, but it's also common sense advice and common sense applies no matter where in the world one lives! +1
    – FreeMan
    Oct 6, 2023 at 13:40
  • There is actually nothing in my answer based on US code! I was careful to cite practical reasons for my suggestions. In fact, for all I know, these things may be required in Italy, or they may even be disallowed, to limit power use! I tried to avoid those questions, though they are good ones.
    – jay613
    Oct 6, 2023 at 14:06
  • And @FreeMan you didn't catch my 3000kW oven (now fixed)? :)
    – jay613
    Oct 6, 2023 at 14:08
  • Yeah, I guess you're right, and yes, I know you cited no code anywhere. I guess I've just gotten so used to seeing these types of recommendations that I assumed. I do fully support your answer and was trying to stave off criticism...
    – FreeMan
    Oct 6, 2023 at 14:08
  • I assumed you were baking paint onto car parts! :D
    – FreeMan
    Oct 6, 2023 at 14:10

I'm taking the unusual step of a second answer ... this one based on the additional comments that OP is a tenant, there is a 3kW limit on the entire apartment, and we accept that the owner will not address this.

My suggestion is to:

  1. Use a single wall socket for all three of the laundry, microwave, and oven, and plug in only one of them at a time. Using the circuit breaker to police this constantly is not a good idea! The breaker can fail, resulting in a fire.
  2. Buy a small countertop oven, around 1500W, and use that whenever possible. This can better coexist with your other appliances. Use the larger oven only when absolutely needed, and then you can plan its "electricity time".
  3. If it turns out you can use your countertop oven together with the laundry, or the laundry together with the microwave, or whatever ... you can leave them all plugged in. But again, don't leave the big oven plugged in relying on the circuit breaker to protect you frequently, don't use the power bar for the big oven, and preferably don't use any power bar for the fridge, so that the failure of a cheap power bar won't cause your food to spoil.
  • 1
    Thank you again, but unfortunately I cannot plug/unplug from the wall sockets since they are hidden behind the kitchen furniture. Taking a cue from what you say, I think my best option is to plug the oven to the wall, and the washing machine to a good strip (it is 3kW certified) with the rest of the appliances, but never use them when I do laundry. In fact, I cannot plug the washer to the wall, since it has a schuko plug, and that's not very common in Italy.
    – Thomas
    Oct 6, 2023 at 17:44

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