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    Could be a silly question.. but I don't know the answer!

    If I were to have a wall socket that's turned on, would it use any electricity?
    There's nothing plugged into the socket.

    A bit random, but might spark some debate!

    18 Comments

    stick a fork in it and see.

    No. It's an open circuit, impossible for current to flow.

    No it wouldnt

    Ps , liked your 'spark debate' comment

    surely no as you not using any electric, its not going anywhere?

    I'd say no too.

    No, unless it's one of those sockets with a light indicator :thumbsup:

    Original Poster

    skusey;6205131

    No it wouldntPs , liked your 'spark debate' comment



    haha, not even intentional !! :lol:

    Suppose you leave the boiler on but no hot water running, are you still paying for gas?

    Abvance;6205222

    Suppose you leave the boiler on but no hot water running, are you still … Suppose you leave the boiler on but no hot water running, are you still paying for gas?



    Yes, there is a pilot light. What does that have to do with this though?

    starsparkle2311;6205110

    yes it would



    It will use an unmeasurably small amount. Even with a neon indicator it will use a tiny amount, but without any sort of light you could consider it to use nothing. The switch being on or off will have no effect.

    Things are different though if its something like a shaver adapter, where a transformer coil is connected to the mains when the switch is on...

    jah128;6205259

    Yes, there is a pilot light. What does that have to do with this though?


    +2

    No current will flow, no electricity 'used'.

    starsparkle2311;6205124

    :?



    Well, it's true. 240VAC isn't enough to bridge the airgap in the socket, so nothing can go through. Someone mentioned neons, which I admit I didn't think of, but since they weren't mentioned I assume they aren't there.

    Switched on and nothing plugged in?
    The electricity will leak out of the socket and run down the skirting board. You can prevent this by shoving your fingers in the holes to bung them up.:shock:

    What about if something's plugged in, but not turned on?

    Something without a stand-by light obviously, like a kettle or toaster

    sancho1983;6205622

    What about if something's plugged in, but not turned on? Something … What about if something's plugged in, but not turned on? Something without a stand-by light obviously, like a kettle or toaster



    Varies widely from appliance to appliance. Simple things like kettles and toasters, as you mentioned, draw negligible power when not actually in use, but there is most likely some leakage. TVs and monitors draw a bit more; but even then it varies between manufacturers and models.

    sancho1983;6205622

    What about if something's plugged in, but not turned on? Something … What about if something's plugged in, but not turned on? Something without a stand-by light obviously, like a kettle or toaster



    Same principle applies for a kettle and a toaster, and most other AC items...

    doberman;6205520

    Switched on and nothing plugged in?The electricity will leak out of the … Switched on and nothing plugged in?The electricity will leak out of the socket and run down the skirting board. You can prevent this by shoving your fingers in the holes to bung them up.:shock:



    You joke about this but I knew a house where all the plugs has dummy plugs fitted to stop the electricity leaking out and couldn't be convinced otherwise

    John
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