11

My flat is fitted with switchable sockets as per below:

British socket

Please settle an argument a friend and I are having: if a socket is switched "on", is it wasting electricity if nothing is actually plugged into it? If so, any idea how much?

Thank you!

  • 1
    I think it would be a fun thing to calculate, though. The combination of radiative losses and capacitive losses is likely to be small for a whole house full of wiring (less than a watt), so the marginal effect of the extra 1-5cm in the switch would also be low. I'd be surprised if it was even a microwatt. – Móż Oct 26 '14 at 0:22
11

No. With nothing plugged in there is no circuit, so no current can flow.

An exception to this is if the socket or the switch has an indicator light - usually a neon one - that is illuminated when the switch is on. In that case the light will use a (very small) amount of power.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.