Optimise Use of 3 Power-Boards Being Used with 14 Outlets

All

I have 14 plugs being used with 3 power boards in my WFH setup. Being cold in Melbourne, I also use one of them with an electric heater fan. Because of the load, all of them keeps tripping. These boards have created a big mess of cords all over the place.

Any suggestions on how do I optimise them? Is there a way to reduce the number of power boards, and at the same time avoid tripping due to load?

Comments

  • +2 votes

    You're going to need to move some load to a different circuit.
    Extension cord from the Kitchen Maybe?
    Got to be careful not to overload the cord though.

    Wear more clothes.
    Use a different heating method.
    Run the heater at a lower setting (ie on 1 heating element instead of 2 so it runs more often but consumes fewer watts)

    Or time offset the heating.
    ie preheat the room before you start working and then shut everything down for lunch and re-heat the room over your lunchbreak.

    •  

      Rental house. .no proper thermal insulation. The temp keeps dropping all the time.

  • +6 votes

    Minimise the connections between the wall and high-current devices. Plug the heater directly into the wall if you can

  • +10 votes

    I can even begin to imagine how you need 14 power items to wfh

    •  

      Agreed.
      even 2 people with 3 monitors each only gets you to 8 plugs

      •  

        Real physical embedded systems development needs allot of power points.

        •  

          1 for soldiering iron, 1 for fume extractor, 1 for microscope, 1 for oscilloscope, 1 for power supply, 2 for computers, 2 for monitors.

          That's still 9.

    •  

      Here is the list :-)

      • 2 monitors
      • 1 laptop
      • Google home
      • 6 charging cables(iphone, headphone, Shredder, podcast mic and accessories)
      • Printer
      • 2 powerboards connecting
      •  

        Needs a MS Paint diagram

      • +1 vote

        Not sure about the shredder, but for the 6 charging cables, could you use something like this?

        https://www.amazon.com.au/Anker-6-Port-Charger-Powerport-iPh...

        If its a Google home mini, you can also use a USB-USB Micro cable for those….

      • +6 votes

        Shredder

        Burn the paper to generate some heat and save a power point.

      • +6 votes

        Simple, unplug the crap that doesn't need to be on 100% of the time.

  • +2 votes

    Is there a way to reduce the number of power boards

    Wouldn't that be something you could easily look into? Belkin do an 8 way powerboard with surge protection… 2 of these covers you, or could then allow the heater to run on a separate plug.

    #NotRocketScience

    •  

      The problem is, there is only one socket in my rental house. The other socket is in the next room. If I connect the heater directly to the wall socket, curious how do I get the other things?

      • +1 vote

        With a piggy back extension lead like this: https://www.kmart.com.au/product/2m-piggyback-extension-lead...

        • +2 votes

          Don't plug an electric heater into one of those things!

        •  

          One of the ones that [ in S.A. at least] were only legal to use when connecting a fridge [heavy but intermittent power draw] that would obscure the wall socket or has the law changed in the years since I completed my electrical appliance safety assessment training?

          Should work - I suspect I'm not the only one who bends it more than a little…

  • +6 votes

    3 Power-Boards Being Used with 14 Outlets
    electric heater fan. Because of the load, all of them keeps tripping

    I'll be more worried about them starting a house fire tbh.

    TIP: that heater shouldn't be sharing the powerboard, should plug directly into the wall socket.

    • -2 votes

      House fire? A standard household wiring circuit only has a 10/15 amp breaker. Pretty much any extension cord or power board would be rated for that load.

      This is a bigger problem in the US because voltage is halved, so current is doubled. Often household breakers will be 30 or 40 amps, which can easily overload extension cords that aren't rated that high.

      • +2 votes

        Fact

        Poor maintenance and incorrect usage of power boards can result in home and office fires endangering lives and causing considerable damage to property.
        Statistics show that over 350 residential house fires are started by electrical faults in NSW each year.

        Power board safety
        Problems with power boards can arise from:

        • Overloading the power board.
        • Dust build up in unused points.
        • Power leads becoming dislodged over time, particularly under a desk where they are knocked by feet.
        • Poor placement of power cables and extension chords leading to the power board.
        • Inadequate ventilation of the power board preventing “normal” dissipation of heat generation.
        • Limited or no understanding of the amount of power being drawn by different appliances.
        • Heavy plug-in transformers that will "over balance" and partially unplug, resulting in over heating from poor connections.

        Source https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=630

        •  

          extension chords

          I've submitted a suggestion they attend to that.

  • +2 votes

    Search bunnings or officeworks for power board that supports 12 devices. Use this for low power devices (not your heater). Run your heater from another power circuit via an extension cord. That leaves just 1 device that you need figure out what to do about it.

    You can also get 240GPO to multiple IEC connectors to power a computer and monitor via the one power point:
    https://www.jaycar.com.au/computing-communication/computer-c...

    • +3 votes

      No, run the low power devices from the Extension cord.
      The problem is that 8x Low power devices may well sum up to more load than the heater (depending on their and the heater's power consumption)
      The heater should always be plugged directly to the wall.

      Really trying to eliminate some devices should be a priority.

      •  

        The problem is, there is only one socket in my rental house. The other socket is in the next room. If I connect the heater directly to the wall socket, curious how do I get the other things?

        • +3 votes

          there is only one socket in my rental house

          You mean only one socket in the room you’re using right? Or only one near your desk?

          As others have said what you are doing is dangerous hence the safety switch is tripping.

          I’d suggest a high quality power board eg the belkin one already suggested and cutting down significantly on what you have plugged in. For example, one option could be running iPhone/headphone charging off a 20,000mAh power pack that you charge every couple of days. Google home can probably run off another 20,000mAh pack.

          Do you need your printer, podcast mic and shredder plugged in all the time? Or could the printer live in the living room and be plugged in when needed? Same with the shredder. Podcast mic, do you use that for calls or is it for recording a actual podcast? If the latter then you can probably unplug that during the day.

          As a long term solution, you could also speak to your rental agent to speak to the landlord about getting a electrician in to add more powerpoints. It probably isn’t an entirely unreasonable request given only having 1 per room probably no longer cuts it for WFH requirements etc and also what you are doing is a good way to start a house fire.

          Especially with that heater!!

          I’d suggest going 50/50 on the cost in the first instance with you doing the bulk of the work, getting quotes, figuring out the best places to put them and then send that to the agent.

        • +2 votes

          You can try a wireless power board.

  • +1 vote

    Be careful using heaters in powerboards
    http://www.myswag.org/index.php?topic=55180.0

    what 12 things do you have powered by the boards?

    •  

      2 monitors
      1 laptop
      Google home
      6 charging cables(iphone, headphone, Shredder, podcast mic and accessories)
      Printer
      2 powerboards connecting

      • +7 votes

        You don't have a powerboard connected to a powerboard, do you? If you do, stop.

        The iPhone, headphone and shredder probably don't need to be on full time. Charge the iPhone and headphone in the second room perhaps?

        • +2 votes

          This, a bit of common sense sure wouldn't go astray here.

        •  

          Yeah, makes sense. It is just that the battery keeps draining as I am always on the call. All the ports on my laptop is fully used to connect to monitor. No more ports left. So, in the middle of the call, if I need to charge, this has come handy. May be the old phone that I am carrying need to looked as well.

  • +1 vote

    Hope OP has good home & contents insurance.

  • +1 vote

    OP stole electricity from neighbour's house
    OP running sublease 2 beds apartment in city to 10 students

    kidding
    peace

    • +7 votes

      OP stole electricity from neighbour's house BBQ in local park.

      • +2 votes

        Wasn't it the outlet for the neighbors pool pump that guy was using?

        • +2 votes

          I think you're right, but BBQ in local park sounded better.

  • +4 votes

    Tape down the trip switch on the power board and give it a couple of bananas. Shouldn’t need a heater as I reckon your study will get pretty warm.

  • +3 votes

    Here's what I'd do:

    Socket in room: electric heater

    Power point in next room -> Extension cord -> ONE Power board -> Laptop etc.

    All the junk that charges via USB, just plug into the USB ports on your monitor or computer.
    Or get a power board with USB charge sockets built in.

    Preferably, get the single socket replaced with a double. It's a 5 minute job for an electrician and <$10 in parts.

    • +2 votes

      This! I don’t understand why the devices being charged aren’t being run from the monitor, desktop or laptop. They don’t need to be plugged into a powerboard to still charge effectively.

      •  

        Except iphone/ipad, the rest need power socket

  • +1 vote

    To free up spots on the power board and may reduce overload, go out and get a 2 x IEC Y splitter, so you can connect 2 monitors up on 1 plug, this is how I have run 3 monitors and 1 pc on 2 plugs. if the printer has an IEC power cable then get a 3 x iec splitter (jaycar has them) or you can get a c5 and c13 splitter to run your laptop and printer saving more space on the board https://www.powercord.com.au/2-1m-wall-to-c13-and-c5-cloverl...

  •  

    I don't understand all the chargers needing a plug each, aren't they all USB? Just get a decent USB charger with 6 ports or something.

    What exactly is tripping? The actual powerboards or the fuse in your fuse box? Like one of us said, don't use heater on high will help enormously.

    If the powerboards are tripping I would try put the heater closest to the power socket on the most tolerant (cheapest) board (the boards should tell you how many Watts they will tolerate).

    Best of course is to use a separate plug (fuse circuit if possible) all together. Just get an extension cord to use the plug from the other room.

  • +1 vote

    Short term: use the bedroom GPO to power the fan heater. Use extension cord to bring it to your home office setup. Avoid physical tripping.

    Medium term: ask your landlord to install more GPO outlets

    •  

      That make sense. I need to ask the landlord. The challenge is, being a small house, need to close the door while WFH. If I get the cord from another room, closing the door becomes a challenge.

  • +1 vote

    Install a smoke alarm, make a plan with your flat mates to get out of the place and where to meet up.
    If it’s tripping at some point it’ll be burning…..

  • +1 vote

    What's the power rating on the heater?

    If the heater is (hopefully) only 1000W, then sharing with a power board is not ideal, but less concerning than if it's pulling the full (or close to) 2400W the Powerboard and wall outlet should be rated to.

    If you're pulling more than 2400W from the outlet just for the heater, then that's your key problem, get a lower power heater.

    Also get rid of the unnecessary chargers and the Google Home. Stick them in the other room, same with the Shredder and Printer.
    Print wirelessly to the Printer, connect it up to your modem if it doesn't have inbuilt WiFi.

    Power Bank for the phone, to keep it topped up through the day corded headset instead of the Bluetooth one.

    •  

      The heater is a small one and 1000W. I liked the idea of Powerbank, but what is the benefit as I still need to keep charging Powerbank!

      •  

        You should easily get a day's use out of the Powerbank assuming you're just using it to top up fully charged devices through the day.
        Recharge it overnight.