In the modern home electric and electronic devices proliferate at a dizzying pace. Chargers for electronics, computer, printer and peripherals etc. Lighting, entertainment devices, TV and radio. It seems these devices have gobbled up every outlet in the home. Kitchens and home offices have difficulty keeping an outlet available for the next device. Let’s face it we like our gadgets and kitchen power tools. Those who maintain a home shop realize how difficult it is to feed the electric monster. Power tools corded or cordless demand outlets. Some to charge batteries for drills, drivers, weed whackers and others to power shop and garden tools.
Code for Spacing Electrical Outlets
Homes over 20 years old have power supply problems with an over abundance of demand and short supply. The typical outlet count for a 20 amp circuit is 10 duplex or an actual 20 plug in spots. This is based on the electrical code that states that a circuit breaker should carry only 80% load of its rating. The twenty-amp circuit is actually rated for 16 amps. At an estimated 1.5 amps per outlet we arrive at our 10 outlets, though code does not require this. Code demands an outlet every 10 feet of wall space. Loading would limit a 20-amp circuit to 1920 watts. Fortunately, many of our prolific electronic devices tend to be low wattage but its trying to find an open slot to plug into.
Modern Lighting Demands
Modern lighting circuits are carrying only about 20% or even less load because of the ongoing switch to LED lights. These miserly devices provide the light at only about 15% or so loading. Long lasting and cheaper to run makes them a good investment, even though they are a bit pricier than CFL or incandescent lighting.
How to Stop Vampire Power
So how much is enough? Hard to say. These power hungry electronic and electric devices are still growing. Every family member over 8 years of age has a cell phone, probably radio or TV in the rooms and more than likely a laptop or desktop PC. But with this comes remote operation, and we then fall victim to ‘vampire’ electricity usage. The remote circuit in TVs, radios and computer equipment must remain ‘hot’ to function. This remote circuit is on 24/7 even if the device is considered turned off. This circuit will burn about a third the power of a fully on device. You are essentially paying for the convenience of remote operation. A couple of ideas will help. Most of us utilize power strips, some have surge protection protecting our equipment. There are ‘pigtail’ extension cords that facilitate the plugging in all those power boxes used by electronics. These short extension cords are only between 10” to 18” and avoid crowding of the array of transformers plugged in. A switched wall outlet facilitates the cutting of power to all the devices so connected, killing vampire power drainage. If not, it is possible to remote switch an outlet allowing power to be cut.
Electrical Troubleshooting, Repairs, Upgrades & More in Laguna Woods, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Irvine, Lake Forest & Orange County, California
If you’re tricking out that ‘man cave’, home office, hobby room or kitchen add some power. For the person building their home, you have a chance to subdue the electric beast by doubling the outlets or putting in double duplex outlets, this is four outlets per box instead of just two. Entertainment venues, home offices and the kitchen are important points for power expansion. Bedrooms could use some improvement in the power supply area. Call Peterkin Electric