Power Socket From The Light Fitting

Do you need more power sockets, and it seems easy to take a spur from a lighting circuit to provide an additional power outlet? Is it safe to do?

Often there is not enough power outlet in rooms in your home, and it would be ideal if you could get just one or two more sockets. The problem is lighting circuits are 1.5 mm cables, and the power outlets are 2.5mm cables.

Can I run a socket off a lighting circuit?

Yes and no, lighting circuits use 1.5 mm cable. It’s rated at 15 amps. A radial circuit with sockets uses a 2.5mm cable rated to 20 amps and is on a 20 amp MCB. A socket must have 13 amp protection at a minimum.

You can see there is a shortfall or very close to a shortfall in the number of amps that can be carried by the 1.5mm cable.

The breaker will trip if you plug anything in that requires more than 2amps.

Can you apply power diversity?

No, there is just no power to play within the circuit. Ok, if you have all of your lights off and plug in an appliance that is less than 15 amps, it will work. But 15 amps is your limit.

How much current can 1.5 sq mm wire carry?

It depends on the type of insulation, the altitude, and the room’s ambient temperature. 1.5 sq mm cable can withstand up to 16 amps i9n the right environment.

If the 1.5sq mm cable is running in conduit, the amps will reduce to 14.

Can I use a 2000 W load with a 1.5 mm wire?

2kW draws a load of 9 amps. 2000 W is fine on 1.5sq mm cable as the cable is rated for 16 amperes.

Can you spur off a lighting circuit in the UK?

Yes, you can extend the lighting circuit in a few ways. You could run a spur from the last ceiling rose as long as you loop in the circuit using an existing junction box.

If you can use the lighting circuit for additional power outlets, what’s your option?

Use a fused spur from the socket-outlet. The only option to add a power outlet in the home is to spur off an existing power outlet.

You can spur a single or double outlet, but you can only do this once. And the spur must be fussed for additional protection.

Further outlets are not permitted under BS 7671 and the building regulations.

How many can lights be on one circuit?

There is no real limit to the number of lights you can have on one circuit. It’s not the number of lights that determines how many you can have. It’s the load on the circuit.

A standard 15 amp circuit can handle up to 1400W, which is a lot of light bulbs, and unless you are competing with a lighthouse, you will never use all of the lights together.

Can you run a spur off a spur?

No, the wiring in your house has been calculated for safety, and the wiring complies with BS 7671.

Under regulations, you can add one spur to the main final ring from an outlet anymore, which could overreach the design parameters and cause the cables to heat and burst into flames. 

Your home wiring was designed to be in balance.

Can you spur off a socket in the kitchen?

Yes and no, Your kitchen is considered a high-risk area, and it is best to use qualified electricians to make any circuit alterations in a kitchen area.

Some electrical work in your kitchen would fall under part P of the building regulations and is considered notifiable work.

How many sockets can you add to a ring main?

There is no limit. A 32 A final ring can support a lot of power outlets, and they are rarely all switched on and draw power together.

But they can be spurs! You can only add one socket spur to your final ring circuit, as stated in BS 7671.

Adding 20 would be a problem or a potential problem.

Do you need a certificate for a spur?

No, if it’s a DIY job, you don’t need a certificate, if an electrician has spurred off on your behalf, then the electrician needs to give a certificate to the homeowner staging the work in compliance with the rules and regulations of BS 7671.

If there is a problem, you will not be going to jail for a DIY spur that is not in a special location.

Do you need a certificate for an outside socket?

If an electrician has fitted the outside socket, the electrician has to issue a small works certificate stating the work has been carried out in compliance with BS7671 (IEE Wiring Regulations).

What electrical work is notifiable in England?

A few areas fall under part P of the building regulations that are termed as notifiable work. Notifiable work is notified to the building authority that can be inspected for compliance.

Part P covers:

  • Alterations to circuits or additions to circuits in a special location
  • The installation of one or more new circuits in a domestic property
  • Installation of a new consumer unit/fuse board
  • A rewire of circuits or a rewire of the whole property
  • A partial rewire of the property
  • New build electrical install

Can I add an outlet in the middle of a circuit?

Yes, but it may be more difficult than you first thought. Electric cables run under the upstairs floorboards and hang down.

It could be easier to lift the floorboards and find the final ring before you attempt to add another socket to the circuit.

In any case, it will probably require some patching up when the work is complete.

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