diamond geezer

 Sunday, February 25, 2007

Power points

Why are homes still built with too few electrical sockets? My flat is less than 10 years old, but it's still woefully under-supplied. Take my main living room, for example. Whoever fitted out my flat decided that six wall sockets (in three pairs) would be sufficient. They were wrong. As you can see from the following audit of my plugged-in electrical appliances, I've already used most of these sockets several times over.

Socket 14-way adapter → TV set
                           video recorder
                           DVD player
                           digital radio
Socket 22-way adapter → Freeview box
                           aerial booster

Socket 3 → → → → → → → → → hi-fi
Socket 44-way adapter → laptop
                           wi-fi router

Socket 5 → → → → → → → → → computer
Socket 64-way adapter → monitor
                           CD player

That's a total of 16 electrical items powered by six sockets - an average of nearly three appliances per plughole. And my current set-up leaves no room for temporary plug-ins, such as recharging my mobile or powering my vacuum cleaner, which often proves a bit awkward. At least I haven't (yet) been forced to plug a 4-way adapter into a 4-way adapter in order to satisfy my craving for power, but that day may come.

Six sockets just aren't enough to support basic electrical needs in 21st century Britain. Even were I to cut back to absolute essentials (TV, video, Freeview, aerial booster, hi-fi, laptop, wi-fi, telephone) that would still be too much to plug directly into my walls without running out of sockets. My kitchen's supply isn't much better, neither is the single socket beside my bed adequate for all I'd like to use it for. Goodness knows how the true gadget freaks amongst you cope with what you have.

Why can't builders install a sufficient number of power outlets in our homes, as standard? It might help us to avoid the wired hell of tangled flexes and electrical spaghetti that currently clutter our living spaces. Surely a few more holes in the wall would make practical sense, and make our lives a little safer too? Because as technology advances, this current imbalance can only get worse.

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