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10amp and 13 amp what is the difference?

Lucian 6 562
26 Jun 2013 3:47PM
I have set a photography studio up and due to the lack of sockets I am needing to use an extension lead for my elinchrom d-lites. I don't know if I should be using a 10 amp or 13 amp extension cable. can someone please advise. thanks

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The difference is 3 amps!

Check the fuse in the plugs, should let you know.
scottishphototours 12 2.6k 2
26 Jun 2013 5:21PM
The 10 amp extension will enable you to run up to 2300 Watts of power and the 13 amp will enable you to run just under 3000 Watts.

If you have 3 lights at 500 Watts (totalling 1500 Watts) then the 10amp will do the job. It's also slightly safer than the 13amp in that if one of your lights develops a fault then the extension cable fuse will pop quicker in the 10amp than it would in the 13amp.
cuffit Plus
9 263 3 England
26 Jun 2013 5:26PM
If your single wall socket is fused with a 13A fuse, then the currrent drawn from your supply (by whatever you may have already connected to the socket and in addition to the lights you want to connect) should not exceed 13A or the fuse will blow at the wall. If your extension socket(s) is rated at 10Amp, then whatever you connect to those sockets should not exceed 10A or that fuse will blow.

Each item of gear should have the correctly rated fuse attached, say 3A, 5A or 13A and each appliance will develop power (watts) when used (3A up to 500watts, 5A for 500 to 1200 watts, 13A anything up to 3000watts. So, if your lights were on and developed,say, 2000 Watts in total in 2 sockets of your extension cable) and you plugged the kettle in the third socket at 1000watts plus, the fuse would likely blow.

If your extension lead is only rated at 10 Watts, then as long as you don't load it beyond that you will be OK; however, if you do run it up the maximum then the circuit can develop heat and that can be dangerous too as many a fire has started with overloaded circuits where the fuse has not done it's job (for a variety of reasons).

I am sure your lights will have come with some guide to the 'electrical specs'.

Hope this helps

cuffit Plus
9 263 3 England
26 Jun 2013 5:27PM
Scottishphototours, you got there before me and more succinctly! Chris
Nick_w 9 4.3k 99 England
26 Jun 2013 5:39PM

Quote:10amp and 13 amp what is the difference?

cuffit Plus
9 263 3 England
26 Jun 2013 7:04PM

I think Christopher Hull beat you to that one!
scottishphototours 12 2.6k 2
26 Jun 2013 7:20PM

Quote:Scottishphototours, you got there before me and more succinctly! Chris

Thanks Chris!... one other thing Lucian - always unwind any extension lead (if on a reel) and use it that way. Keeping it wound up generates electromagnetic forces, which generates heat and reduces the current carrying capacity of the cable, making it more likely to do this.
thewilliam 8 5.8k
26 Jun 2013 7:46PM
Lucian, you should look at the rating plate of your D lights and it should tell you the wattage and current drawn by the unit.

Add up the current for the lights that you intend to use and make sure that the rating of the extension cable is higher than this. An ordinary square-pin UK mains plug is fused and the user can choose the value up to 13 Amp.

If the fuse in the plug of your extension cable keeps blowing, resist the temptation to fit a bolt or metal rod in its place.

Follow the advice above and fully unwind a reel of cable when in use. The resulting spaghetti doesn't look pretty but the cable is less likely to overheat and start a fire.


I think Christopher Hull beat you to that one!

It had to be done!
Nick_w 9 4.3k 99 England
26 Jun 2013 11:27PM
Sorry Chris, I didn't read the full thread
cuffit Plus
9 263 3 England
27 Jun 2013 9:58AM
Hi Nick, it's still a good line though from you both. It reminded me of a long stay in Italy many years ago and before the meteoric rise of coffee in the high street here. I asked (tongue in cheek) the cafe owner whom I had got to know very well, what was the difference between, apart from a bit of froth, a cafe latte and a cappuccino and without hesitation he answered - about 500 lire! As you say - it had to be done!

Lucian, were the answers helpful to you?

MikeA 11 1.3k England
27 Jun 2013 11:03AM
Strange........... no one has suggested the finger test........... Wink
keithh Plus
12 25.0k 33 Wallis And Futuna
27 Jun 2013 11:59AM
adrian_w Plus
9 3.6k 4 Scotland
27 Jun 2013 12:13PM

Quote:Strange........... no one has suggested the finger test........... Wink

A wet finger works better!

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