10 Oct, 2023
Posted by Prime Time Electricians
0 comment

Understanding Power Points: How Many Power Points Can You Add Per Circuit?

Electricity plays an integral role in our lives. Given our fast-paced routines and the growing reliance on electrical devices and appliances, our modern power demands have surged like never before.

Whether you’re a homeowner in Perth or a business manager seeking electrical solutions, getting a grip on power points is crucial.

In this month’s blog, we’ll break down everything you need to know about power points – from the number you can have on a single circuit to the ins and outs of wiring them. Plus, we’ll chat about why it’s smart to have pros like Prime Time Electricians handle the heavy lifting.

everything you need to know about power points

How many power points per circuit?

One of the most common questions homeowners and businesses have is: ‘How many power points can a circuit handle?’ The answer varies based on several factors:

  1. Circuit Load Calculations: Every power circuit has a load capacity. It’s essential to calculate how many devices will be plugged in and their total power consumption. Overloading can be dangerous and is a potential fire hazard.
  2. Electrical Codes: In Western Australia, electrical codes define the standards for safe electrical installations. They may stipulate limits on how many power points can be connected to a single circuit.

Every power outlet is built to handle a certain amount of electricity, referred to as its ‘load rating’. Typically, the ones you find in residential homes can handle between 10 to 15 amps, based on their specific rating.

On a 15 amp circuit, a good guideline is to allocate 1 outlet for every 1.5 amps, ensuring you stay within 80% of the circuit’s capacity. This equates to approximately a maximum of 8 devices for a 15 amp circuit. But of course, we recommend to stick below this number to stay on the safe side.

It’s common for us to plug multiple gadgets into one outlet (especially by using power boards), and each of these devices adds its own electrical demand to the circuit. When the total demand exceeds the outlet’s load rating because of many devices running at once, that’s when an overload happens. 

To read more: How To Avoid An Overloaded Power Point At Home

How many power points per circuit

How to wire a power point

Wiring a power point involves:

  1. Tools and Materials: Ensure you have the right tools such as screwdrivers, wire strippers, and appropriate electrical wire.
  2. Safety Precautions: Always turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker before starting any electrical work.
  3. Wiring: Typically, a power point will have a live (active), neutral, and earth terminal. Connect the corresponding wires from your electrical cable to these terminals.
  4. Testing: Once wired, turn the electricity back on and use a voltage tester to ensure it’s working correctly.

However, unless you are an electrician or have extensive knowledge of electrical systems, are familiar with load ratings, and have a sound understanding of electrical safety – we advise against any DIY power point installation or repair jobs. Essentially, if you don’t know 100% what you are doing, you risk not only damage to your property but more importantly you put yourself at risk of electrocution.

To read more: What Causes Electrical Fires?

How to wire a power point

Can you piggyback power points?

‘Piggybacking’ involves plugging one cord into a power board and then connecting it to another, essentially extending its length. The term “piggybacking” is also used when a double adaptor is employed to transform a single power outlet into a double one.

It’s advised against using the piggyback approach as it poses the risk of overloading the power board. While it’s possible, there are challenges and safety considerations:

  • Overloading: The more power points you add, the higher the risk of overloading the circuit, especially if multiple devices are used simultaneously.
  • Compliance: Not all piggybacking installations may comply with local electrical codes.

A standard power point is not designed to support multiple devices simultaneously without risking potential overloads.

Can you piggyback power points

Do power points use power when switched on?

A frequent query we get is whether power points consume electricity when they’re switched on but not in use. Generally, the power point itself doesn’t use power; however, any devices or electrical appliances plugged in, even if switched off, might draw ‘standby’ power. To mitigate energy waste, consider unplugging devices that aren’t in use or using smart power strips.

Why choose Prime Time Electricians for power point installation?

Our team at Prime Time Electricians are well versed in all things power points. Our expertise lies in:

  • Assessing Circuit Loads: We ensure that your electrical system can handle the desired number of power points without risking overload.
  • Safety Standards Compliance: Our qualified commercial and residential electricians stay updated with the latest electrical codes, ensuring that all installations are safe and compliant.
  • Reliable Installation: With our years of experience, we deliver safe and effective power point installations that stand the test of time.
Why choose Prime Time Electricians for power point installation

Your safety is paramount

DIY electrical work comes with inherent dangers. A small mistake can lead to serious hazards, including electrical shocks or fires. It’s crucial to prioritise safety above all. If you’re unsure about any electrical task, it’s always best to consult or hire the professionals. This way, you can ensure the safety of your home, business, and loved ones.

Need help with your power points?

Understanding power points is vital for homeowners and businesses alike. Whether you’re considering adding a new power point to your existing circuit, or need a major electrical appliance installed (such as an oven, dishwasher or cooktop) we are here to help. 

For any electrical needs in Perth, WA, trust none other than the qualified electricians at Prime Time Electricians. Give our friendly team a ring today.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.