Ratings of commonly used domestic appliances

overloaded sockets cause fireOverloaded Sockets Cause FIRE.
The appliance power ratings shown below are indicative only. We’ve used the highest that we could find for popular household appliances.

Electrical power is measured in watts, W, a unit of power. Electrical current is measured in amps, A, the rate at which it flows.

Domestic Portable ApplianceAmps UsedWatts Used
Laptop<0.565 – 100
Mobile phone charger<0.5<12
Satellite TV box<0.530
DVD player<0.528
Hair dryer10.02200
Landline cordless telephone charger<0.510
Computer monitor<0.5100
Desktop computer3.0700
Television 42″ HD0.5120
Games console0.86<200
Washing machine102200
Tumble dryer11.02500
Vacuum cleaner9.02000
Radiator (oil filled)13.03000

Further information:

  • The fuse in a plug is a safety device designed to protect the lead rather than the appliance. It is a deliberate weak link in a circuit which will ‘blow’ if an electrical appliance or extension lead draws too much current due to either an overload or a fault. The blown fuse cuts off the electricity to stop the lead and appliance from overheating and causing a fire.
  • Appliances meeting the relevant product safety standards will always be fitted with a plug having a correctly-rated fuse. If you have to replace a fuse, it’s essential, having checked and corrected the reason for the fuse blowing, to replace it only with another of the same rating.
  • As a rule of thumb, fuses are rated according to the power rating of the appliance. Plugs for appliances rated up to about 700 watts should have a 3 amp fuse (coloured red).  Plugs for appliances rated between about 700 watts and 3000 watts (the maximum rating of a wall socket) should be fitted with a 13 amp fuse (coloured brown). (Some older appliances were fitted with 5 amp fuses (coloured black), which are still available to buy.)

Electrical Safety

Electrical safety calculator – are your sockets overloaded?

If you are worried about the condition of your electrical installation or fixed or portable electrical appliances, then call Plymouth Sparky.