USB Double sockets - opinions anyone?

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by BikerChris, Sep 14, 2018.


USB Sockets, opinions in 2018?

  1. Still not very reliable

    0 vote(s)
  2. Pretty good actually

    11 vote(s)
  3. I fit them, but wouldn't fit them to my own gaff

    3 vote(s)
  1. BikerChris

    BikerChris Member

  2. SteveMJ

    SteveMJ Member

    Consider me a DIYer as regards this.

    To provide the 5V for the USB power a converter has to be operating all the time. It is thereby consuming power, albeit presumably a small amount.
    BikerChris likes this.
  3. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    On some devices, yes, on others NO. For example, the MK double 13A socket with USB sockets has the USB side continually powered, whereas the MK single gang plate with just USB sockets does not have them powered and switches on/off when a plug is inserted or withdrawn.

    As for quality they vary - some are know to put out under 5v in all load conditions, others are not well regulated - overall you take a chance with what you get.
    BikerChris likes this.
  4. spinlondon

    spinlondon Well-Known Member

    BG now do a double socket WiFi extender with single USB port.
    Have installed them for others.
    Not bothered about installing them in my own place at the moment, perhaps in the future.
    A little worried about power consumption when not in use, as I have heard it can be quite high.
    BikerChris likes this.
  5. Wayners

    Wayners Well-Known Member

    Listened to a tech podcast and the guy is fitting them everywhere in his home. Has 10 double usb sockets in his kitchen. For general charging of devices like Bluetooth headphones, mobiles and torches plus everything else they are good.
    BikerChris likes this.
  6. Bazza

    Bazza Well-Known Member

    I have fitted quite a lot of these. They are OK for what they do. I even have a few in my house.
    Here's my gripes:
    1. For many makers, the USB converter electrics are connected all the time (some only are active when the USB plug is inserted. MK for example). So you consume a small amount of electricity even when it's no being used.
    2. (My pet hate) Because they are permanently connected across L&N, its a nightmare carrying out 2nd fix dead tests. Insulation Resistance voltages can kill them, so one has to remove them from the wall and bypass them, if you are testing properly!
    3. Many of them need a deeper socket back box. For many makers you can forget retrofitting to a 25mm back box. Some are shallower, but you need to choose with care.
    4. You are stuck with the current USB standard, and this will shortly be replaced by USB-C. (CLICKY LINK). So that's a nice replacement programme coming up!

    IMO. Overall they are OK, but plug in adapters are better.
    BikerChris likes this.
  7. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    That, to be honest is ridiculous.

    Different sockets have differing quiescent/standby power levels and I have seen some data giving figures of 1.5W and other sockets that are down at 200mA. If he has 10 of them in his kitchen and maybe 20 more elsewhere, the usage of each will be probably less than 5%.

    at 1.5W the consumption in a year is 13.14 kWh so allowing for time in use. say 12 kWh which at 15p/unit is £1.80 per annum. With 10 socket pairs £18 and for 30 £54. Would you leave a 60w incandescent light on permanently?

    It is a waste of power, which could, if every household starts fitting large numbers, place an extremely heavy load on the grid. With every household having two or three the load could 10, 20, 30, 40 MW.

    edit to add:

    To backup my figures, here is a discussion on the IET forum.
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  8. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

  9. BikerChris

    BikerChris Member

    Thanks SteveMJ, Pollowick, Spinlondon, Wayners and Bazza, really useful information.

    It's a shame that some use a little bit of current and I was surprised to see no on/off switch for the USB outlets on many models. I guess people want convenience and not the trauma of another switch, even if it wastes a little lecky. I might casually see if there are any zero power models, I'm surprised that with the current concerns over wasted power (needing energy efficient light bulbs, etc.), these USB sockets can even exist?

    Thanks guys, really appreciated!
    SteveMJ likes this.
  10. Bazza

    Bazza Well-Known Member

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  11. peter palmer

    peter palmer Well-Known Member

    I just don't get USB sockets, you can't plug your phone directly into them so you still need to toddle off and find a lead, so why not just grab the charger as well, or leave the charger plugged in where you are likely to use it, at east it can be moved to another point unlike a USB socket.
  12. BikerChris

    BikerChris Member

  13. BikerChris

    BikerChris Member

    No that's fair enough Peter, the thing I've found is that the plugs tend to go walkies and I'm getting sick of trying to find 'em! I quite like the idea of short cables as well. The only downside I see is that my phone charging plug does fast charging (incredible thing, probably bad for the battery though), and I haven't see any double sockets that do that yet?

    I actually like my wireless charger, in theory it's better for the battery as well, although I don't think it's so good if left on as I think it doesn't turn off when fully charged.
  14. Coloumb

    Coloumb Well-Known Member

    I've had few in my house for a few years, loads of makes. All fine n.p. The only causality was a low level socket with something plugged in got a bit of gbh form a chair which wrecked the ubs connections.
    BikerChris likes this.
  15. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    That is a definite update ... I have just pulled out old emails from mid-2016 which states there is constant standby power consumption on the twin socket version and only the Euromodule had the microswitch. It still does not overcome the habit of leaving leads fitted to the socket though. I will be meeting with MK in a couple of weeks and will ask why they have not really publicised it.

    With that change along with now fitting 25mm boxes, I may well install a couple of them for myself.
    BikerChris likes this.
  16. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Well-Known Member

    I’ve fitted a few BG USB sockets in my house recently. Got em off Amazon, the listing stated ‘Lifetime Guarantee’

    No mention of any guarantee terms on packaging or leaflet though when they arrived

    So I emailed BG to enquiry on the guarantee terms for these sockets and they replied ‘Lifetime’

    Wasn’t enough detail for me as I wondered what exactly the Lifetime Guarentee covered, ie, just the actual mains power part of the socket (not much to go wrong here), or including the USB charging ports (way more likely to fail)

    So I emailed them again and asked the question. They replied that the complete socket is covered under the Lifetime Guarentee

    So that’s rather good as have had a couple that have failed (usb ports) after a few years - not sure on make

    I’m just surprised that they don’t actually make this clear on the product and/or packaging (or maybe not surprised, dunno) ;)
    BikerChris likes this.
  17. Wayners

    Wayners Well-Known Member

    Because in some homes with 4+ people with say 4 devices each sockets get filled up. Also family members walk off with chargers. I haven't used a phone charger at home for 4 years for anything. We only have 2 sockets and I use the one as have 2 phones and the other family members use another socket. I could do with fitting another to give us 6 USB points, we currently have 2 sockets in the kitchen and would like to fit 1 more in lounge
    BikerChris likes this.
  18. spinlondon

    spinlondon Well-Known Member

    MK Logic sockets used to have a lifetime guarantee.
    Changed to 25 years when Logic Plus was introduced.
    Is now 15 years.
    BikerChris likes this.
  19. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Well-Known Member

    Actually I’ve just checked the reply from BG and it’s not actually ‘Lifetime’ but limited to 30 years !

    Even so, for a fairly budget brand, that’s good going innit
    KIAB and BikerChris like this.
  20. MGW

    MGW Well-Known Member

    I see two alternatives, one knock a larger hole in the wall and fit three 13 amp double sockets one above the next, or swap the existing 13A double sockets for one which also has 4 USB outlets, not rocket science to work out the easiest option. The USB socket frees up 13A outlets for other things.

    Yes there are some draw backs, like using a small amount of power when not in use. MK state 150 mA in standby mode, 1.314 kWh per year, so around 2p a year, so forget it.

    However even that is only valid if the wallmark USB chargers are unplugged when not in use, it does mean EICR has to test line and neutral to earth with no test line to neutral but unlikely to be a problem, and far less of a problem or cost to PAT testing 100's of little wallmart chargers. And it does mean your in control there are no dangerous Chinese chargers being used.

    Big gain for me, is less items which need to be plugged in 24/7 being unplugged by some one wanting to charge something, the hub for my central heating control is plugged into a USB outlet 24/7 and is not now unplugged to use vacuum cleaner. Wish lan hub and router were also USB powered.

    Output is another problem, some USB wallmarts are rated at 400 mA others a few amps, but they tend to all get mixed up, so plug in your phone to the USB wallmart that came with the hub and Oh dear phone not charged. OK still a problem getting good leads, but at least all socket USB outlets are 2A or more.

    I have to date this house only 6 fitted, plus 2 in caravan, and 3 in old house, want to fit more, it reduces multi 13A socket adaptors so must be seen as a safety feature.
    BikerChris likes this.

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