back to article Socket to the energy bill: 5-bed home with stupid number of power outlets leaves us asking... why?

Buying a house is a major ordeal. You go from door to door, months zip past and something's never quite right... then you find it, "the one". A five-bedroom home in Pinner, Harrow, northwest London. "I could see the girls growing up here," your partner utters with tears in their eyes. Indeed, the listing on Rightmove looks …

  1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Holy Swiss cheese, Batman!

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Socket to me

      1. Korev Silver badge
        IT Angle

        IT angle? Let's Plug'n'play

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Plug and pray, boyo, plug and pray.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            NEEDS MOAR POWER!

            1. Swarthy Silver badge

              YOU MUST CONSTRUCT ADDITIONAL PYLONS

      2. adds

        Socket to me?

        (Al a Laff In)

  2. Korev Silver badge

    As someone who has the opposite problem, I'd appreciate having way too many plug sockets. It really cuts down on my toy purchases so maybe it's not such a bad thing...

    1. VinceH

      Yes. Ordinarily, I'd say you can never have enough sockets... but that's a bit OTT. (Also, it's not just about having enough sockets, but where they are placed, but that's another matter.)

      I notice in the very first picture, the leftmost group of three appear to be slightly wonky.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Yeah, better too many than too few, but this is OTT!

        When I rewired the house some years ago I started on the basis of a double in each corner of each room, plus a few extras where needed (by the TV/video/stereo area etc). These days I'd probably specify that a lot of them have a USB power socket as well. I hate having trailing cables and extension socket bars - they are the things that can be really dangerous. Kitchen has plenty above the worktops so I can plug the kettle/toaster/microwave/food mixer in where they are wanted, without trailing cables through the food.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Having socket outlets with USB ports means that an insulation resistance test can only be carried out at ~240v. Ideally it should be done at 500v (for a domestic install).

          1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            You can get USB outlets that are rated for the 500V test : 'Big Clive' recently featured one on his youtube channel.

            However, I'm not at all convinced of the wisdom of installing low-cost switching power supplies in semi-permanent installations. This sort of electronics tends to have a short life with a fiery ending. I'd much rather have additional BS sockets with a replaceable converter plugged in.

            1. Annihilator

              Agreed - I've previously been a fan of them, but given they have to be consuming *some* level of power consistently it feels like it's a step away from green-dom, and will naturally wear out.

              I'd be a lot happier if they could have trigger switches that only activate them when a USB cable is plugged in (similar to how shaver sockets work in bathrooms - the transformer is only energised when you plug something in).

              As an aside, that house in the article has just about the correct number of outlets for my liking.

              1. illiad

                *some* level of power consistently...

                I think you will find many, many homes already do that.. with the disadvantage of blocking a mains socket!!!

            2. Stuart Castle

              I was actually seriously considering getting these until Big Clive pointed it it's not a good idea to have something that could potentially catch fire stuck inside the wall..

    2. paulf Silver badge
      Alert

      I recall my dad rented a small farm house cottage in Cornwall some years ago. Despite being 1986 the whole house still had it's BS546 round pin sockets. This limited the number of things that could be plugged in due to the lack of adaptors to convert to square pin sockets. To put this in context the current BS1363 square pin plug system was introduced in 1947 so this house was monstrously out of date.

      Slightly off topic but recalled partly due to your comment, and partly because I'm partial to a pint of Korev too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I discovered Korev after visiting St Austell brewery whilst down that way on holiday. Love the stuff and recommend a visit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I prefer Coreff myself - English-style beer brewed in Brittany, as opposed to Continental-style beer brewed in Cornwall. Coreff / Korev means beer in Breton / Cornish.

          The Coreff brewey was set up by a couple of Breton lads who'd developed a taste for top-fermented beer whilst studying in England, and wanted a supply upon returning home.

          1. Steevee

            Discussions around beer are NEVER off-topic....

        2. Tom 7 Silver badge

          The do nice beer there too!

      2. CountCadaver Bronze badge

        They might actually have been Dorman and Smith

        (borrowed from wackypedia)

        Made by Dorman & Smith Ltd. (using patents applied for in 1943) the plugs and sockets were rated at 13 A and were one of the competing types for use on ring final circuits. They were never popular in private houses but were widely deployed in prefabricated houses, council housing and LCC schools. The BBC also used them. Some local authorities continued to use them in new installations until the late 1950s. Many D&S sockets were still in use until the early 1980s, although the difficulty in obtaining plugs for them after around 1970 often forced their users to replace them with BS 1363 sockets. The D&S plug suffered from a serious design fault: the line pin was a fuse which screwed into the plug body and tended to come unscrewed on its own in use. A fuse that worked loose could end up protruding from the socket, electrically live and posing a shock hazard, when the plug was removed.

      3. Baldrickk Silver badge

        My University room in 2008 still had one of those sockets. Not that I used it, I used the standard 3 pin on the other side of the room.

        I don't know if the old socket was even still connected.

        The only problem is that the network socket was by the old power socket, and not near the working power.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          A hotel I stayed in had two square pin 13A sockets on opposite sides of the room. One was under the bed and basically inaccessible. On closer inspection - the one on the opposite side of the room was an extension of that bed one. The connecting wire was routed along the top of the wooden skirting board - and appeared to be a single twisted-pair bell wire.

      4. Persona Bronze badge

        In addition to copious numbers of square pin sockets I also have BS546 round pin sockets in 4 rooms. They are used exclusively for lighting sockets and as such are compliant with IEE wiring regulations.

  3. Richard Boyce

    Mains gangs or wall sockets

    I suspect many families have quite a few mains gangs in the living toom. Those can be positioned close to the devices, and are usually less visible on the floor. So, it's not really the number of sockets, it's the visibility and immobility of them that's the main issue, especially for those who hate the sight of cables.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Mains gangs or wall sockets

      I'm wondering if there was a wireless surround system which needed powered speakers everywhere in the room. Seems a bit weird to run a shit load of cables for power sockets rather than for speaker cable, though.

      Alternatively, it was a home office that hosted a few workers - would check planning applications and/or companies house to see if anything interesting came up.

      Perhaps el reg have truly found Hacker House?

      1. Anomalous Custard

        Re: Mains gangs or wall sockets

        It's not just one room though - if you look at the listing every empty room has an abundance of sockets - including the conservatory and the loft extension!

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge

          Re: Mains gangs or wall sockets

          Indeed, that's why I added the home office bit. Weird house even for the most tech obsessed - although a bit surprised that none of the faceplates have 2x USB charging ports, too, from what I can tell from the pictures.

          Also, looking a bit closer, there does seem to be a sound system already installed, too (Sonos or equivalent).

      2. The Dogs Meevonks

        Re: Mains gangs or wall sockets

        I was thinking the same thing, a lot of those wall boxes don't look like plug sockets... so I suspect they're audio/video plugs for what look like ceiling speakers dotted about the room.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Mains gangs or wall sockets

      Visibility is an issue. Why did they go for bronze instead of white? Position too - I once lived in a house where all the sockets and lightswitches were at waist level. Odd at first, but made sense for disabled access. Could also switch lights on with a knee is holding stuff.

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: Mains gangs or wall sockets

        Actually, all new builds have to have lightswitches at disabled level - about 1.5m off the floor.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Mains gangs or wall sockets

          Ah, maybe that's why USB charging cables are slightly too short to allow the use of a phone when the charger close to floor level. Higher up wall sockets would bring the charger closer to the user.

      2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Mains gangs or wall sockets

        If I spot waist high sockets just downstairs, I would be checking the flood reports very closely.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge

          Re: Mains gangs or wall sockets

          Unless there's a fitted workbench/table (which there isn't here, admittedly)

          Doesn't look like it floods though:

          https://flood-map-for-planning.service.gov.uk/confirm-location?easting=511343&northing=188306&placeOrPostcode=ha5%201st

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Mains gangs or wall sockets

      Having heard of this before I suspect that the Twitter poster got it spot on: cannabis farm.

    4. CountCadaver Bronze badge

      Re: Mains gangs or wall sockets

      Looking at the lighting in the living room pic, some of it makes me think "art gallery" or display lighting...

  4. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    priorities

    "the sheer amount of electrical sockets festooning interior walls of the house. "

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

    1. Randolf McKinley
      Trollface

      Re: priorities

      It is a bad thing: it's a "number" of electrical sockets, not an "amount".

      1. rsole

        Re: priorities

        Finally, someone that understands the difference.

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: priorities

          Finally, someone that understands the difference.

          Sadly, these days there are less people with good grammar skills.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: priorities

            Trolling people by saying "less" when you mean "fewer" too easily slips under the radar. Reall trolls say "fewer" when they mean "less". It's far fewer easy to get away with...

            1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

              Re: priorities

              That observation is so profound - my head literally exploded when I read it.

            2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

              Re: priorities

              It's easy because it has never actually being wrong except in the mind of over-correcting pedants.

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: priorities

                Of course this whole subthread, from Hans down, was a series of jokes, which I suspect is why you were downvoted; but it's true that the earlier posts were unsupported prescriptivism. Using "amount" for discrete (countable) entities is well-established usage and perfectly comprehensible to English speakers. (It's also a question of diction, not grammar.)

                1. Baldrickk Silver badge

                  Re: priorities

                  It's used and is comprehensible, but it doesn't stop it from being and sounding wrong.

                  Yes, language does change over time, but lets do our part to avoid dumbing it down to the point where we no longer have discrete phrases to define discrete concepts.

                2. phuzz Silver badge

                  Re: priorities

                  Plus there's so many sockets, they're close to being uncountable, so "amount" is a perfectly cromulent word to use.

          2. Eeep !

            Re: priorities

            Perhaps the compainers about grammar are hoping to prove themselves worthy of something? Supporting the shibboleths around grammar (which often adds little to actual understand) helps their self esteme in a computing/science forum that is about facts rather then arbritary rules?

            1. Randolf McKinley
              Facepalm

              Re: priorities

              But , Shirley, computing is all about rules? Try making a single syntactic error in any programming language I'm aware of and the whole thing is spat out like a dummy. "Expected a semicolon before ..." Well, if you bloody expect a semicolon, just put one in there then!

            2. batfink Silver badge

              Re: priorities

              so you don't understand the difference between "Helping your uncle Jack off a horse" and "helping your uncle jack off a horse"?

              1. Def Silver badge
                Headmaster

                Re: priorities

                Would you like some commas to go with that example?

                1. j.bourne
                  FAIL

                  Re: priorities

                  No commas required, (but here's one) capitialising 'Jack' makes it a name, not an action.

                  1. Def Silver badge

                    Re: priorities

                    Commas are required under certain circumstances. For example, if Jack is the only uncle.

                    The writer of the sentence would know for sure, so in this case it can be inferred that the helpful person does actually have more than one uncle.

                    I was merely asking for clarity. ;)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: priorities

          It's only a small thing but it amounts to something.

        3. HelpfulJohn

          Re: priorities

          Sockets are quantum so get "number" and "fewer". Electricity is not, so gets "amount" and "less".

          That things like sugar and electricity really are made up of discrete particles is irrelevant, they don't look like a load of bricks so they are considered to be a fluid.

          English does have rules. Really, truly, she actually does. Honest.

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: priorities

        I'd say that in this case, they may well have gone from being discretely countable, to a mass...

      3. khjohansen

        Re: Re: priorities

        A number to me suggests a certain level of order; something that can be counted ...

        In this case I'd argue that it _is_ an amount, a riot, a horde, a flood; to be likened to the biblical plagues ;)

        1. Robert Sneddon

          Re: priorities

          I like the old-fashioned "sufficiency" when referring to available wall sockets.

      4. Mallorn

        Re: priorities

        It's even worse if the usage of 'amount' is correct. Although from the pictures it looks like they would need a few more sockets before they became uncountable.

  5. DailyLlama
    Flame

    Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

    and lets just talk about the sheer number of holes in the wall. Surely that must be a risk to the structural integrity of the building...

    1. RoboZombie

      Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

      Maybe the integrity of the walls, but the framing is what's holding up the house

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

        Not in the UK - we use bricks

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

          Only when we forget our keys.

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Trollface

          Not in the UK - we use bricks

          Quite often even as MPs.

        3. PhillW

          Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

          Try walking past ANY new build site in the UK....... Timber frames.

          1. Chloe Cresswell

            Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

            I see timber interior frame walls with brick exterior (load bearing) walls around here.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

              Mine's a timber frame with concrete render over the top of it (although it's supposed to be plaster of course).

              We maintain leaky windows so that the house can still breath.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

            For the interior stud walls, yes. Nothing structural - except the roof - is made of wood. I don't know what building sites you're looking at, but there are 3 around this office, all double skinned brick buildings.

            Even then, a lot of the buildings are moving towards metal stud work now too (lighter and easier to work with).

      2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

        Each of those plug sockets will have had brick chased out to fit the back box.

        1. rg287 Silver badge

          Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

          Looking at the rightmove, it looks a "newer" house. Most likely plasterboard over timber framing or plasterboard on batens offset from the brick wall for speed of installation leaving a cavity behind for the wires.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

      The walls are plasterboard which wouldn’t hold up anything.

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

        Not in my house its not, yes the walls are covered in plaster but behind that is some very sturdy victorian brick... Its problematic since I really want to network the house up without taking the walls apart or leaving the outside walls covered in network wires exposed to the elements.

        1. renniks

          Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

          Use 'powerline' adaptors to network stuff inside the home - no need to go running utp cables

          1. JetSetJim Silver badge

            Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

            Power line eth on Victorian house cabling can be problematic. Just had to run cat6 from virgin media hub to office to replace my power line kit. Thankfully doing remodeling so was easy for sparky to run it under the floor boards as would be a right ball ache otherwise

            1. Jean Le PHARMACIEN

              Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

              Agreed. Just wire Cat5e throughout when the house is rewired. We did. Best thing I ever did (in 2004). Most unrewired Vicorian props in UK have wiring dating from 1948 complete with round pin sockets in the skirting boards. No fire risk at all. Ever..

          2. uccsoundman

            Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

            You could go WiFi, OR do what a lot of retrofitters do; run the wires behind some fake crown molding. Then the only thing you have to do is groove the plaster to run the wire down to user level, and the patch over it.

        2. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

          There is something in building regs about not putting studding anywhere near where you wish to fit a toilet roll holder. I have given up using 'plasterboard' screws to fit bog roll holders now and wait until the holes from re-mounting attempts merge and create an opening bug enough to slide foot long planks that can be stuck on with Jesus' favourite glue and then at last one has a stable platform to fix the damn thing to!

          1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

            Plasterboard screws? Waste of time. But those clever spring fixings which open up inside the cavity are pretty sturdy.

            1. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

              But the bog roll holders aren't and after a while you cant get the bolts in for all he butterflies mounting up at the back.

        3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

          some very sturdy victorian brick

          Wimp! REAL houses are like Welsh cottages - 18 inch thick rough stone walls, inside and out, with a rubble/earth/crap fill in the cavity. Rough plaster on the inside. Almost impossible to drill holes in the stone where you want to put a rawlplug, chasing out is totally impossible, so it's surface mounted socket boxes and cables.

          Brick? You don't know you're born!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

            Brick? You don't know you're born!

            18 inch thick rough stone walls?

            Luxury! We dreamed of thick stone walls!

            We used to live in a prehistoric cave full of man-eating dinosaurs, the only way we could get mains power to the back was to hang our dear old dad off the nearest pylon and form a human chain to conduct the electricity!

            But you try telling that to young folk nowadays...

            1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

              > We used to live in a prehistoric cave full of man-eating dinosaurs, the only way we could get mains power to the back was to hang our dear old dad off the nearest pylon and form a human chain to conduct the electricity!

              Mains power?!? Luxury. We had to rub a balloon against a sabre-toothed tiger...

              1. Huw D Silver badge

                Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

                You had balloons? You lucky, lucky bastard. All we had were broken rubber bands and we 'ad to roll them into a ball and rub that against a vole pelt.

                1. Psmo Bronze badge

                  Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

                  You had a vole?

                  Luxury! Ours kept getting eaten by the tiger...

                  1. Huw D Silver badge

                    Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

                    So did ours. That's how we ended up with a vole pelt! ;)

                    1. I sound like Peter Griffin!!

                      Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

                      Tigers as pets?!?

                      Back in MY day the rules were simple!

                      If it grows, watch what eats it!

                      If you eat what eats it, what grows is safe to eat!!

                      If you don't eat what eats it, it may well eat you!!!

          2. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

            I lodged in a 1930s art deco house. No plaster board just a thing layer of plaster. Decided to put up some shelving and me and the landlord got through half a dozen masonry bits and his hammer drill before going and buying another hammer drill (as the old one was obviously shit) and finally got a hole deep enough for the first rawl plug, A handy man was called and he knocked on the door, asked what we wanted, said 'No, for some reason the houses here were made with 'blue' bricks and if you wanted to put up shelved you knocked off the plaster to find the mortar and fitted into that." So we pollyfillad over the rawl plug, got some standing shelving and watched Dr Strangelove knowing we were safe.

            1. AndyD 8-)₹

              Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

              A Rawldrill and a lump hammer - never fails

          3. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
            Terminator

            Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

            That's the cottages in my parents village, very cosy but absolutely tiny. Also amusing to note the mahossive stones at the bottom of the walls get progressively smaller as they move up to the roof.

            But that's what you get when you buy a house older than most countries. Most of them at least have some modcons. Like coal fires, an outside toilet or maybe even a stable.

            Only the best for the arse end of Yorkshire.

            Terminator because of traveling back in time...

          4. Jean Le PHARMACIEN

            Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

            Yup. French farmhouses just the same. You get expert at doing perfect mitred plastic conduit by eye

        4. G Olson

          Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

          With some modest carpentry skills and a router, you can add/modify baseboard trim, crown molding, and door trim with backside channels. To make cable installation easier, install smooth wall tubing in the channel. Run cable everywhere. Might increase the value of your dwelling if you add wood trim, wainscot, and such throughout the house.

        5. CountCadaver Bronze badge

          Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

          you do get exterior rated ethernet cabling, I did consider it for running networking to the garage

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

        >The walls are plasterboard which wouldn’t hold up anything.

        But plasterboard over studwork can be structural, and probably is in many new timber framed constructions. Whilst the main weight is carried by the timber frame, the plasterboard stiffens the frame.

        A relations house, dating from circa 1860 has a structural timber panel and frame internal wall holding the first floor landing up.

        1. Dave K Silver badge

          Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

          The wooden frame should have bracing as/where required to ensure it is rigid. Plasterboard should never be used as a structural element in a house - mainly because it isn't a strong material. Also, the plasterboard is usually fitted considerably later in a house. You put the stud-work up, then all the utilities/insulation are sorted out before you put the plasterboard on. I certainly wouldn't want to work in a house if a major structural element of the walls was missing!

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

            >Plasterboard should never be used as a structural element in a house - mainly because it isn't a strong material.

            But it does, the ceiling of many modern houses and particularly those of the 1970~80's it performed a purpose in helping to stop the joists moving, as does the floor over the joists. Okay I note sometime in the 1990's the building regulations were revised to improve the size, spacing and number of noggings and the way the joists attached to the supporting walls. However, the floor without attached plasterboard ceiling and flooring boards is a lot less stiff than one with them attached.

            Not kept up with building regulations, but wouldn't be surprised if they do not expressly prohibit the use of plasterboard as a structural element...

        2. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

          Plasterboard would never do anything useful in stiffening the studwork.BR sandwiches would be better.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

            No chance of building any structural part of a house using digestive biscuit board.

            1. Psmo Bronze badge

              Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

              Well, you just had to careful with your cup of tea...

        3. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

          Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

          If it's from 1860 (and still standing), it has some structure.

          I expect some modern houses might still be standing 100 or even 160 years hence. Firmly away from today's mass-market builders, of course.

    3. Delta Oscar

      Re: Forget the risk of fire spreading through the holes in the wall

      Dry-lined non-weight bearing walls... if this is a modern house? if so, no bricks were removed for each socket installed?

  6. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    With the rooms devoid of furniture, it looks less like a living space and more like some sort of modern art installation.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Each socket appears isolated and I dividualiaed, with a switch that allows it to control the flow of energy and a clear sense of differentiation from it's neighoura. This satirises the contemporary illusion of endless choice all sourced from the same overarching monoculture, whilst also skewering the related belief that power is distributed amongst the plurality of people, when it can all be traced back to a single, or very few centres of distribution.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I literally came here to say the same thing

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Only with better spelling...

          1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

            The requirement for correct spelling is a means by which society others the non-western experiential existence of the oppressed minrity.

            1. RayG

              Cannot tell if serious or satire.

              1. Stoneshop Silver badge
              2. KBeee

                It is a nice tribute to Prof. Unsworth.

      2. Glen 1 Silver badge
        Happy

        I found your description empowering.

      3. Phil Endecott Silver badge

        Tis Poetry.

        Vogon Poetry.

        1. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

          'Tis

          FTFY

      4. Spanker

        Eugene, is that you?

        1. Steve K Silver badge

          Eugene?

          If it is, then tell him to be careful with that axe.

      5. The Rope

        You can always spot the Guardian reader.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      With the rooms devoid of furniture it looks like some kind of small call centre... Ah-ha!!!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        I once got sent to an address to fix a computer. The customer was a magazine publisher. I was a little surprised to find the address was one half of a semi-detached house in a leafy London suburb. I knocked on the door, expecting to be greeted by one of the company senior staff or the owner who lived there and maybe worked from home (that'd not be first time that happened to me). Imagine my surprise to find this was the actual offices of the business and about 20 staff worked there busily creating those industry-type magazines that get given away for free.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Back in the 80's, Myself and three others worked in a startup based out of the owners downstairs backroom (he worked in the upstairs backroom). It was amusing to watch the surprise on the faces of engineers delivering Unix/Xenix boxes when they realised that yes this nondescript N.London terrace house was the right address.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Mid '90's, small SW company. Premises were a standard 3-bedroom residential house; company owners lived elsewhere (but close by IIRC). A Novell file/print server and some i386 Unix box running UUCP were in the loft, with the network cabling running down the stairwell and through a few strategically placed holes in the walls.

            1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

              Mid 2000's, very small SW company. Premises was a 2 bed terrace. Company owner owned the house, his tenants moved out so he decided to move the company into it ( from the trailer in his back garden ) . Only five staff though.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        >With the rooms devoid of furniture it looks like some kind of small call centre...

        https://suite.endole.co.uk/insight/company/09812722-lan-constructions-group-ltd

        The status of filings give an indication of a possible reason for the sale...

        1. PhillW

          That's an awful lot of sockets for a bunch of brickies?

          (unless they were training up their sparkies)

          Nature of business (SIC)

          41201 - Construction of commercial buildings

          43120 - Site preparation

          43390 - Other building completion and finishing

          Dodgy call centre anyone?

        2. Neverwas

          The status of filings give an indication of a possible reason for the sale...or not

          The house has been let (and is available to rent now). So the company you linked to may well be the former tenant rather than the freeholder.

          PS

          The state of the garden fits a let property.

      3. tim 13

        I heard of one company that used the bathroom of their small terraced house headquarters as their server room. Planks across the bath with servers sitting on them. Toilet still in use...

  7. Dave 32
    Flame

    Now You've Done It

    Now you've done it. You know us geeks won't be satisfied until we can one-up each other to see who can build the house with the highest number of outlets. Oh, well, I knew there was a reason I installed a 400 Amp electrical service in mine (and, it's mostly used now, with not much room for expansion. Hmm, should have went with 600 Amp, no, 800 Amp, aww maybe I should have went with 1000 Amp?).

    Dave

    P.S. Heat dissipation issue? Oh, umm, err...

    1. RoboZombie

      Re: Now You've Done It

      Well, with all those devices running, you won't need a furnace in the winter....

      1. EVP

        Re: Now You've Done It

        Well, with all those plants growing, you won't need a furnace in the winter....

        There, I fixed it for you...

    2. War President

      Re: Now You've Done It

      Bah, just have a bus bar that wraps around the room. individual devices will need an adapter and breaker, and you might have a few safety issues, but that's a small price to pay for full power coverage.

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Now You've Done It

      I knew there was a reason I installed a 400 Amp electrical service in mine

      That's the great thing about ring mains, as many sockets as you like within 100 sq m, and one 30A breaker per ring.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Now You've Done It

      "aww maybe I should have went with 1000 Amp?)."

      Yes, you should. Then you could have a Tesla Supercharger in the garage :-)

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now You've Done It

      And 3 phase. Preferable at 440 or so. And to help you move in, put in bus bars as stair handrails and ditch the tin foil trailer...

    6. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Now You've Done It

      > You know us geeks won't be satisfied until we can one-up each other to see who can build the house with the highest number of outlets

      Just depends upon the surface area of your walls, floors and ceiling... should be a fairly easy Photoshop effort to Mick up the appearance of such a room. Or... Hey, would anyone here like to buy some wallpaper with representations of 13A sockets in a grid array?

    7. Happy Ranter

      Re: Now You've Done It

      Haa..

      3 Phase here...

      btw. My living room has:-

      2 table lamp

      2 electric recliner chairs

      bookcase with internal lights

      Wall unit with internal lights

      tv

      Sat box

      2 games unit

      Blu ray (I know, don't judge me)

      AV amp

      small computer running media server

      Smart meter head unit

      Also fish tank with a full 6 gang lead

      Wife complains there is no where to charge her phone.

      According to smart meter, typical power draw for the whole house is less than 400w

      When this house was built, guidelines were 2 sockets in living room in opposite corners. 2 sockets in Kitchen and one in each bedroom

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Now You've Done It

        I have 4 doubles behind the TV plus an 8 gang extension lead thats full, wish I'd put more sockets in tbh. (realised later the TV and couch should be on the opposite walls, albeit someone in the past stuck a radiator right under where the TV would go and I don't want to cook my TV with rising heat...)

        2 further doubles and 2 singles in the rest of the living room

        I think 4 doubles in the kitchen

        Added one to the downstairs cupboard to power a network switch

        double in downstairs hall, double top of stairs, 3 in back bedroom (found a junction box hidden under the floor with slack on cables, redirected into a 3rd socket so wife could dry her hair in front of the mirror....well until she moved her art materials in....now....access is....tricky

        2 in the master bedroom

        Garage has 6 doubles, 2 x 16 amp blue commando, 2 x 32amp blue commando

        Shed with a single socket

        exterior socket for radio on sunny days.

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    separate groups?

    That would cement the deal for me!

    I know what they were doing: The were mining coin to buy the gear to set up their home plantation to grow the weed to sell to pay the electric bill... all going on in the living room... Nicely done!

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: separate groups?

      Not just the living room, as there's at least one the upstairs rooms that has have joined in the fun.

  9. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    There are a lot of ceiling lights and from what I can see, it looks like some of those wall sockets could be network points. So I'm guessing that room was once used as an office.

    1. jonathan keith Silver badge

      Ain't no party like a LAN party!

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Note also the recessed wall lights in line with the wall outlets.

  10. Wellyboot Silver badge

    Show us the circuit breakers!

    If the wiring has been done properly there shouldn't be any issues, you can always hide the unused sockets behind a bookcase.

    My guess is the previous owner had cables made to length & didn't want to give the cable pixies any opportunity to tie knots.

    edit: having spotted the uplighters in all the dormer windows I'm now also thinking OCD

    1. Brian Miller

      Re: Show us the circuit breakers!

      Yes, the breaker panel would have to be a total beast to safely support all those sockets! And no, putting in more outlet holes in the drywall doesn't hurt the structure of the building. The safety aspect here is the condition of the breaker box.

      Each room has 15-20 lights in it, which is of course total overkill. So those probably are on dimmers. Then there's up to 25 sockets per wall, so if it was just low power gear, all of that still adds up.

      Seriously, even I, who has, ah, 64 switch ports at home (yes, I need more), find all of that quite interesting. How much can one pack into a household room?

      From the condition of the walls, I don't think it was a grow house. I have my doubts they were making EDM there, because really, that doesn't take a lot of space. *coin mining wouldn't make much sense in a residential neighborhood due to the price of electricity. You'd need industrial prices to make it worth your while.

      I'm guessing the previous owner was some kind of nutjob audiophile.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Show us the circuit breakers!

        "And no, putting in more outlet holes in the drywall doesn't hurt the structure of the building. "

        That's not likely to be drywall (or plasterboard as we right-pondians call it). Outside walls on a house like that are likely to be brick cavity walls. However, even that many are still unlikely to damage the structure of the build enough to worry about.

        Although now that I've looked at the listing for the house and seen the outside, it could be brick and stud, or whatever they call it. One course of brickwork then studs and plasterboard to form the inner part of the outer walls. There does seem to be a remarkable number of recessed spotlights at about knee height, even in the bath panel and behind the bog!!

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Show us the circuit breakers!

          Commonly called timber frame in the UK. The timber studwork, when combined with a sheet material such as plywood or OSB, forms the structure of the house and the bricks on the outside (or boards or tiles or render or whatever) is simply decorative. Likewise the internal face - almost invariably plasterboard - is purely decorative. Cutting holes in this plasterboard for sockets and switches does not affect the structural integrity of the building at all, though you may need to be careful if the wires to those sockets run in the insulation.

          The panels are usually built off-site so on-site construction can be very quick. The end product will not be any cheaper or more expensive (as a rule) than a more traditional block-built house and will enclose a very thermally "lightweight" space which heats up very quickly.

          Even in a block-built house, the internal skin is often covered with plasterboard. This is usually fixed using the "dot and dab" method where blobs of plaster are splatted onto the blocks and the board is pressed on top of these blobs. This has the severe disadvantage that if the details aren't done properly you risk a gale blowing through the cavity thus created, quite probably defeating any insulation in the wall itself.

          Our house? Traditional wet plaster on block. No plasterboard in sight. Even upstairs where the partitions are stud, the stuff is to be covered with Fermacell which is just better.

          M.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Show us the circuit breakers!

            Our house is early 1960s built, entirely brick including internal walls. Hearth and flue.

            Had to rewire because old standard wiring and not enough 13 amp outlets I wanted to increase to 2 per corner, So hired a spark and while he was making channels and had the floorboards up, I put in TV coax, alarm cable and 2 x cat 5 to every room. And I still use a rooftop antenna for freeview.

          2. Mark Ruit

            Re: Show us the circuit breakers!

            Fermacell is brilliant. You can screw straight into it as if it were wood, and (allegedly) you can put 60Kg on a sngle fixing. Dunno about that, quite, but out of interest one day I weighed the books/files/2500-sheet box of A4 paper/why in my study and it came to 71Kg . All stored on vertiical (adjustable) rail-mounted shelves, the rails simply screwed to the Fermacell. Wonderful.

            Even our floors are Fermacell. In fact there were no wet trades (except tilers - do they count?) inside the house at all.

            Rawplugs? Stud locating tool? Masonry bits? Only for exterior work.

      2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Show us the circuit breakers!

        > I'm guessing the previous owner was some kind of nutjob audiophile.

        Ah yes, the left socket must be filtered to allow only left-spin electrons through, thereby giving the wider-soundstage necessary for classical music. (The socket on the right is for Wagner, of course.)

      3. Neverwas

        Re: Show us the circuit breakers!

        AFAIK there is no limit to the number of sockets you can have on a ring final circuit (RFC) in the UK.

        So eg if the design calls for 200 sockets for wall warts, each drawing a maximum of 0.15A, a RFC in 2.5mm twin and earth, protected by a 32A RCBO, seems to me an OK solution (subject of course to the cable being derated for insultation etc). Of course it may not be a /sensible/ solution but that's a separate matter.

        The lights are potentially more problematical. Eg a lot of LED GU10s on one circuit may require a Type C breaker. And clear warning notices not to replace them all by 50W halogens ;)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Show us the circuit breakers!

          No outlet limit in the NEC of the Excited States either but Canada limits the number to 12 per 15A circuit (with variations).

      4. Criggie
        Angel

        Re: Show us the circuit breakers!

        I have 168 switchports at home, and no I don't run a business.

        Two 48Gig, 4SFP, 4QSFP port stacked junipers = 2x56 = 112

        Two 24 port POE HP Procurves with 4SFPs = 2x28 = 56

        Remember Maxim 37 - "there is no overkill...."

      5. Mark Ruit

        Re: Show us the circuit breakers!

        If the downlighters are the same LED luminaires as I I have, then they pull about 10W each wth PF~0.85. Twenty of them would barely pull 1 amp in the UK. That's a still a fair bit these days, but the room illustrated is large and it would be - to my way of thinking - grossly under-illuminated with less than 300W of Tungsten (pulling 2.7A).

        When Tungsten (or fluorescent tubes) was all you could get, my living room (about one-third that size or less) always had a 100W centre and a couple of table lanps.That was 220W (~ 2,400 lumens). My current livng room (probably a bit smaller than the illustration) has 14 downlighters (~6,000 lumens) and needs them all: but they are in 4 zones and not usually all on at once.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's to save money on double plugs and extension leads. It must add at least £39.96 to the value of the property.

  12. Sykowasp

    The main issue is they went for the chrome/metal plates and ceiling downlighters and not white, so it stands out even more.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      beat me to it!

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Also

      as they've used both bronze and plain metal-coloured plates I'm thinking part of the stuff was added later.

      "Oh noes, we've run out of sockets! We have to add more!"

  13. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Although the amount of sockets in this setup seems overkill, whoever wired up my kitchen also went OTT with the sockets. my kitchen only measures 10 ft x 7ft but has 10 power outlets. Plus a 'cooker' socket.

    I am not complaining though as it give me plenty of scope where to plug in my toaster, kettle etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Does your garden back onto a train line? I knew someone who lived in a house with the exact same setup, we just presumed the previous owner loved toast.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      (thinks) kettle, proper coffee machine, bread-maker, microwave, leccy tin opener, wifes "lazy" tea/coffee maker )pod type), 2 spare sockets. Oh, two by the door with a shelf above them. Phone chargers in both sockets. That's 10. The "spare" two will often have a food mixer, rice cooker, food processor or slow cooker plugged in as required.

      Oops, forgot the ones "inside" cupboards that power the electrics on the gas cooker and for the built in fridge/freezer. And the two low level ones used for the vaccuum cleaner etc. We could do with a few more quite easily.

    3. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Lots of sockets

      I was wondering where to put this comment.

      whoever wired up my kitchen also went OTT with the sockets. my kitchen only measures 10 ft x 7ft but has 10 power outlets. Plus a 'cooker' socket.

      Is that 10 doubles, or 10 sockets? Being in the middle of a house wire at the moment, the IET recommendations (table H7, p 192 in the current On Site Guide) for sockets do seem slightly overkill. Kitchens, for example? Up to 12m2 the recommendation is for a minimum of six double-socket outlets, not counting any socket on the cooker control unit. They seem to assume that appliances will have separate outlets, though this isn't mandated. Kitchens up to 25m2 should have at least eight double outlets and larger kitchens should have ten or more. Socket outlets above kitchen worktops should be spaced no more than 1m apart.

      Similar stories for other rooms. The living room is interesting - between 12 and 25m2 the recommendation is for a minimum of six double sockets, plus an additional two double sockets in the part of the room where the TV is to be placed. In other words, our 14.8m2 lounge - not a massive room - has ended up with a pair of double sockets (i.e. four sockets) in each corner and another double to make up the numbers.

      With a house built almost entirely of block, and no plasterboard anywhere to be seen, that was a whole load of back boxes to sink. Still doing it in fact.

      M.

      1. Tom Wood

        Re: Lots of sockets

        You can never have too many sockets in a kitchen, even with a moderate number of middle-class appliances (coffee grinder, coffee maker, breadmaker, slow cooker, food mixer, blender...as well as the usual kettle, toaster and microwave)

        Our kitchen definitely doesn't have enough, it's a pain to unplug the toaster if you want to use the blender for example.

        When I had my last house rewired, the electrician thought I was weird for wanting two double sockets fitted on either side of the double bed in the bedroom, but it definitely proved useful (if you just have the one then it's full with a lamp and a phone charger, it's nice to have one for a second kind of charger and a free one to plug the hoover in...).

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Lots of sockets

          Yes, smaller houses in UK that don't have a utility room use their kitchen area to accommodate a washer and dryer, so a double at each end of the counter, another pair for fridge/freezer if separate. Dishwasher, microwave so 10 is not a large number at all.

      2. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Lots of sockets

        If you are fitting metal back boxes then I suggest you put silicon grease on the threads of the socket screws. I had to trace a fault in an old stone house lined with plasterboard and most of the screws were rusted into the back boxes. It depends on how damp your walls are. Humans emit a lot of water vapour!

        1. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Lots of sockets

          If you are fitting metal back boxes then I suggest you put silicon grease on the threads of the socket screws.

          Plus one billion for this! (complete with sharks with frikken lasers!)

          I learned this doing aerial installation work decades ago. It's helped me out a lot where I'm dismantling something I built maybe 10 years or more ago, and the threads are still in pristine condition even when exposed to the elements. And the stuff comes off so nicely when you need it to!

          Its one of the best tech tips I will ever give.

    4. batfink Silver badge

      That was the oddest thing in this report for me. Apparently the OTT socket installations didn't extend to the kitchen, where extra sockets are generally the most useful.

      YMMV of course.

  14. JohnFen Silver badge

    I made a room like that once

    I used to throw rather large and elaborate annual parties, and installed multiple outlets not so different from that picture in the room I used for music and dancing, to allow the easy installation/rearranging/removal of the various lighting and special effects.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: I made a room like that once

      Let's see, my hobby room (6m x 3m) has 13 power outlets spread over three circuits, plus a 3-phase outlet fused at 16A per phase. And 26 network sockets leading to a patch panel in a wall enclosure together with the gigabit PoE switches and a small server.

  15. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    WTF?

    WHY ARE THERE DOWNLIGHTERS UNDER THE WINDOW SILLS

    What was wrong with the man! (and surely it was a man)

    Never has the WTF icon been more needed.

    ps sorry for shouting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WHY ARE THERE DOWNLIGHTERS UNDER THE WINDOW SILLS

      As people have posted.

      Growing Cannabis.

      Room full of bunk bends (individual lights + sockets for each occupant and their phone/laptop).

      DJ who took the entire setup home to play with.

      Bitcoin mining.

      Etc.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: WHY ARE THERE DOWNLIGHTERS UNDER THE WINDOW SILLS

        At least three of those suggestions are the things done by people who don't consider safety a prime factor. They use multi-gang extension leads, often daisy chained. Way cheaper and they care more about costs and profits than anything else.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: WHY ARE THERE DOWNLIGHTERS UNDER THE WINDOW SILLS

          At least three of those suggestions are the things done by people who don't consider safety a prime factor. They use multi-gang extension leads, often daisy chained. Way cheaper and they care more about costs and profits than anything else.

          The growers I've known (not many of course, honest, and only anecdotal tales long after they've paid their debt to society, honest!) were very considerate when it came to safety. Anything but the best could damage their product and thus their income, and of course one of the quickest ways to let cops etc know the location a growing op was to set fire to it.

          Grow well, sell well, play well....

          (Besides, they had to spend their money on something. With all sorts of laws in place to detect people using lots of cash for things, might as well spend it on decent electrical fittings, it's not like they were short... Mines the one with "propagating for beginners" in the pocket)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The most curious part of this is what are the blanking plate boxes for or what was in them before they were blanked off?

  17. FuzzyWuzzys
    Facepalm

    Kids!

    Must have teenagers! They love leaving every possible adapter plugged into every socket in the house so you have to ask your own kids what you can unplug in your own house else risk a load of moaning!

  18. Alister Silver badge

    I positively won't entertain a living room without underfloor cable trays and 32Amp IP44 outlets, so sorry, it's not for me.

  19. Chris G Silver badge

    So the Estate Agent's blarb says nothing about the graphite blocks and rods in the cellar, or the circular tunnel underneath that with the syncrotron?

    My workshop is 8M X 4M and at the moment has 14 double sockets, I did however think ahead and it has the potential for double that number

  20. Don The Elder
    Angel

    Grow lights?

    Get a police sniffer dog in for an inspection before making an offering.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: before making an offering.

      Solicitors won't accept religious ceremonies in lieu of signing on the dotted line.

  21. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Seems fine to me

    I have a shortage of built-in sockets in my front room so have to rely on trailing distribution boards and other Heath Robinson nightmares. I have an 18-way socket set-up behind the TV and Hi-Fi, a six way under the table, and more to plug various chargers into.

    I have never found a property which has sockets where one would actually like them. And the more kit one has the more one needs, either built-in or added. If I had my way I'd replace the skirting boards with a continuous linear run of sockets.

    I would guess they are in the same situation as me, perhaps having a larger family with even more kit. Possibly they bought a vacuum with a short lead, or really like to have working lamps on coffee tables next to every chair and sofa.

    In fact, it makes a lot of sense if it was used as an office with desks around the room. A couple of PCs, a Raspberry Pi, monitors, speakers, powered hub, backup drive, VOIP phone, and a couple of spares soon adds up to a dozen or more things which needs mains power.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Seems fine to me

      You can in fact get a skirting board that has exactly that feature. And a separate data trunk.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Seems fine to me

      "I have never found a property which has sockets where one would actually like them."

      My mother once completely renovated her house, and while the walls were all opened, she had an electrical outlet installed on literally every stud along the walls. As she put it -- once the walls are open, it's cheap and easy to install the things, so why not ensure that you always have enough?

      1. cosymart
        Pirate

        Re: Seems fine to me

        So how many studs does your mother have?

        I thought the icon entirely appropriate :-)

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Seems fine to me

          Enough to line the walls!

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Seems fine to me

          So how many studs does your mother have?

          And are they male or female sockets?

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Seems fine to me

        Reminds me of rewiring my old home before we had lots of things that needed plugging in so only a few sockets per room and a few lights. Managed to pay for the whole thing by flogging of the old lead cable for more than the replacement copper. Purely lucky timing as for some reason lead prices went astronomical at the time and many churches and public buildings were water damaged at the time as roofs and flashing disappeared in overnight waves.

        A friend rented a house in the remote westcountry and I swear it must have been 'rewired' twenty times and all the old cables just left. You could get lead poisoning if you didnt duck going into the kitchen where a collection of lead cables some 20 across and seven or 8 thick had accumulated over the years made there way from the fuse box or nearby to 7 rooms in what was probably some kind of Faraday cage.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Seems fine to me

          "flogging of the old lead cable for more than the replacement copper. "

          Lead cable? Was that a thing?

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Seems fine to me

            Lead sheathed. The conductor is probably Copper. The Copper conductor is rubber insulated, and then there will be waxed paper or cotton covering that with a Lead sheath on the outside. Quite a common wiring system in the first half of the 20th century in the UK, possibly into the 1950s.

            I have a very interesting book that not only tells you how to maintain a "small gas engine", build a dolls' house, construct a chest of drawers, install a long-wire radio aerial and develop film, but also how to "install the electric light", with a discussion of the different types of supply available including accumulators - and how to recharge them - d.c. and a.c. systems with various frequencies and pressures.

            It's a fascinating read.

            M.

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: Seems fine to me

              I have a very interesting book

              Not a Newnes "Everything Within" by any chance? I still have my Grandfather's copy.

              1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                Re: Seems fine to me

                It belonged to my wife's grandfather. One of a set of three; The Universal Home Lawyer Illustrated, The Universal Home Doctor Illustrated and The Handy Man and Home Mechanic, subtitle Home Repairs Decoration and Construction Illustrated by Odhams Press Limited. Can't see an obvious date but it "feels" like it was written between the wars, possibly some time in the 1930s. It's not earlier than WWI because it mentions gas-filled Tungsten filament bulbs which I believe were not available until the mid 1910s. It's probably not mid 1920s, during WWII or immediately after WWII because books of those periods tend to have heavy emphasis on economy and "making do". It can't be later than the early 1950s because domestic electrical systems are not standardised in fittings nor in supply parameters.

                There is no author named, only a foreword by "The Editor". It may be a collection of articles previously published in other formats, and a quick web search seems to imply that there were other editions of the book with the same or similar titles. Most of those I found bear little cosmetic similarity to the book on my shelf, but I did find images of the book here, or at least there were at the time of writing.

                M.

          2. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Re: Seems fine to me

            I know of telephone and doorbell cables consisting of wires isolated with rubber and cotton, with a lead mantle. Mains wiring has been rubber + cotton isolated, but I've only seen that run in metal conduit, not similar (though beefier) to those telephone cables.

          3. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

            Re: Seems fine to me

            Yes, found some in my basement after I moved in. Would have been very early stuff (think late Victorian or Edwardian). No earth on it, just live and neutral insulated with gutta-percha wrapped in a lead sleeve.

            Also meant you could shape it how you wanted and it just stay there with very little spring back.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Seems fine to me

              "No earth on it, just live and neutral insulated with gutta-percha wrapped in a lead sleeve."

              Gutta-percha? You had the hi-tech version. We bought a house which had lead-sheathed with paper insulation. The paper was looking well-perished as well.

              1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
                Pirate

                Re: Seems fine to me

                The original owner was a literal victorian plumber, so I'm pretty sure it'll have been wired up by a mate with the best stuff they could get away with not fitting to someone else's house.

                We've still got the original victorian mains line coming into the house in the basement, which I'm pretty sure was more of the same since the coating looks good all these years later and I've seen thinner cable used in factories. (same can't be said for what's left of the original fuse board after we got a smart meter fitted and it pretty much rotted off the wall. Mains cable is now holding said meter to the wall due to how overspec it is).

                1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

                  Re: Seems fine to me

                  We've still got the original victorian mains line coming into the house

                  When I moved into my house about 20 years ago, the incoming power came via bare copper wires fixed to steel brackets on the gable-end. Whoever converted the village to underground cabling just cut down the overhead cables in the street, and hitched the bare wires to a cable that they routed across my neighbour's roof.

          4. Alister Silver badge

            Re: Seems fine to me

            Lead sheathed. The conductors were still copper, with rubber insulation.

          5. Jan 0

            Re: Seems fine to me

            > Lead cable? Was that a thing?

            Of course. It's a better than tarred or oiled paper for waterproofing cotton or rubber wrapped conductors.

            (see http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php/Historic_Mains_Cables)

        2. -tim
          Flame

          Re: Seems fine to me

          They used lead tubes for gas lights around here. The tube is about 1/4" or 6mm and quite heavy and surprisingly flexible. A foot long section dropped on my arm from about 6 inches would wrap around.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems fine to me

        Thats what I used to tell my customers, doddle to stick another socket in before the walls are boarded, you think you might need it, say now and the cost will be minimal extra...

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: Seems fine to me

          Friend of mine is a dentist, and when he was getting a new practice built I advised him to not only have more than sufficient power outlets and network sockets put into every room, but also run empty conduit from the utilities room to just about everywhere that didn't have sockets a meter away already.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Seems fine to me

            ...also run empty conduit from the utilities room to just about everywhere that didn't have sockets a meter away already.

            I remember advising several people of that in the 90's when I was a bit more involved in new construction work. In recent times a few who didn't have told me they wished they'd done so, as even back then you had at most a STB, TV and VCR in the lounge, plus maybe a spare for the vacuum. And who'd ever want more than one phone jack in the house?

    3. Dog Eatdog
      Alert

      Re: Seems fine to me

      240 V sockets are so 20th century!

      Why don't they start fitting houses with 5 V + 12 V systems and do away with those plugpaks?

      Or -48 V so you can run everything direct from the solar panels?

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Boffin

        240 V sockets are so 20th century!

        Because you don't want to power a piddling 600W gaming PC or a 50" TV, or even just more than a few LED lights off a 12V bus. Just from the power draw alone that PC would be pulling 50 amps and require 6mm^2 wire cores, and it would still require stepping down to the 5V, 3.3V and lower voltages it uses internally. Running 12V and 5V buses in addition to the 230/240V AC takes a lot of extra cabling for not much gain; better to fit appropriate low-voltage sockets (USB, and something else for 12V) with the power supplies built in next to your standard AC mains sockets.

        48V might look to be a better choice, but still requires step-down converters for just about anything. And solar panel output isn't some standard voltage anyway; for maximum efficiency there will be a MPPT fitted to each string, which already does quite a bit of voltage (and current) conversion again. There would also need to be a hefty central power supply for keeping stuff on at night and on overcast days, though creating an UPS would be somewhat easier because you can more or less just splice in a stack of batteries.

        And there's the bit that any DC power distribution at voltages higher than 42V requires specific safety measures.

      2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        Re: Seems fine to me

        A single 13A socket at 240V provides 3kW of power. At 12V, to get the same power, you'll be pulling 250A. That's a very large current and you'll be running into all sorts of heating & resistance issues. (There's a reason the National Grid runs at voltages in excess of 200kV)

        You may not be pulling a total of 3kW through your 12V system, but the current is not going to be negligible - and will also be very dangerous.

      3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Seems fine to me

        There's a reason power transmission is done with AC, not DC, and also why charger cables are generally no longer than a couple of metres at most.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: Seems fine to me

          There's a reason power transmission is done with AC, not DC,

          Domestic and medium-voltage power transmission, that is. There are a fair few HVDC links running at 500MW @ 100kV or more, for instance between the UK and France, UK and Belgium, Norway to the Netherlands, UK-NI and Greece to Italy to name some of the ones here in Europe. Offshore windfarms tend to have HVDC links to shore too.

          1. sebbb

            Re: Seems fine to me

            Mainland Italy to Sardegna as well, there's a big HVDC cable of 1MW @ 500kV.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAPEI

  22. TRT Silver badge

    Actually...

    It looks a lot like one of my jobs. You can never have enough mains sockets.

    Well, you can if you've effectively undercut the walls with 43mm back boxes every foot.

  23. Dwarf Silver badge

    OCD

    Some them aren’t even squarely mounted or lined up with their neighbours or evenly spaced.

    What were they thinking ?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: OCD

      Were they thinking?

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: OCD

        Could have Bean worse OCD, Electricity & Water Closets...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2b-wTJ8x3E

  24. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    "...array of modern inclusions..." so refreshing to find a truthful estate agent in this day and age.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: so refreshing to find a truthful estate agent in this day and age.

      Nah...

      The "array of modern inclusions" is to do with the legalese on the Contract.

  25. Giles C

    Ok an admission here, I have all 2 gang plugs

    6 sockets in the living room and 6 cat5 outlets

    5 in the kitchen

    2 in the hall and 2 cat5

    2 in one bedroom

    2 in the other bedroom

    6 in the office and 15 cat5

    6 in the garage

    1 in the shed

    And an outside socket on the house as well

    But I think that one room could rival my entire house - before you ask I did have it rewired when I bought the property.

    The worst thing is occasionally I do run out of sockets!

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Oh, the last time I moved I just put all the power blocks in one box.

      I think I had about 20 of them, couldn't believe it myself.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Boffin

        My partner is having the basement redone as two one bedroom suites with their own en-suite bathrooms.

        Guess who put in lots of Cat6 Network ports in handy locations for wall mounted TV's etc, she just went nutso on the number of light switches & power points....

    2. Oengus Silver badge

      1 in the shed

      1 in the shed. I couldn't survive with that. 10 in my shed plus 6 light fittings and 2 cat5.

      10 in the kitchen and 2 cat5.

      8 in the master bedroom and 4 cat5 plus 4 outlets in the ensuite.

      4 in each of the other 3 bedrooms and 2 cat5.

      4 in the main bathroom.

      6 in the living room and 6 cat5.

      4 in the dining room.

      8 in the main office and 4 cat5.

      4 in the back office and 4 cat5.

      4 in the rumpus room and 2 cat5.

      2 in the laundry.

      2 outside at the rear deck.

      2 outside in the carport.

      Even 2 in the pool shed with the pool filter.

      The cat5 concentrator is in the cavity under the steps (in a small rack) with a total of 64 cat5 outlets and 4 power sockets. The rack has 2 x 4 way power rails.

      Damn, when you add them up that is a lot of sockets. I would have never guessed I had so many. The scary thing though is the number of 4 or 6-way power boards plugged in to those sockets.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      >before you ask I did have it rewired when I bought the property.

      >6 sockets in the living room and 6 cat5 outlets

      >2 in the hall and 2 cat5

      Yes builders idea of structured cabling...

      Main fuse box directly under the ceiling and below an upstairs toilet - so no easy way to add new circuits...

      BT socket in hall has no trivial way of getting a mains socket near to it (modern house...).

      Sockets in living room are only in the right place if you put the TV etc. in the corner the builders decided, however, as that corner gets direct and reflected sun, you are not going to put your TV there.

      ...

      At some stage I'm going to have to face up to the task; a new circuit for solar panels etc. will require the fuse box to be tampered with, as it is plastic it does not satisfy the 2011 regulations and thus will need to be totally replaced with a metal one...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I could see the girls growing up here"

    ...be realistic. How many law-abiding young families with children could afford to live there?

  27. martinusher Silver badge

    Ring mains surely?

    I was under the impression that the size of a ring main was limited by the floor area it served, not the number of outlets. I'd question the taste of the people wiring the house, especially in the choice of socket fascias, but if you don't want to use the socket then just don't plug anything into it. As for power consumption, the comments sound like everyone's familiar with old-fashioned British wiring or US wiring or something like that and didn't understand how a ring main works.

    What was notable for me was the price tag for the house. I used to live in the UK but relocated to California back when doing this gave you serious house price sticker shock. The reverse seems to be the case now; I live in a fairly upscale part of the state, houses are expensive but they're nothing like as pricey as this one purports to be -- typically for that money you'd much more house, probably amenities like a pool and a decent garage. (OK, houses in the Bay Area are off the charts but then that's not comparing like with like -- this place is in Birmingham, not Cupertino....)

    1. SteveK

      Re: Ring mains surely?

      this place is in Birmingham, not Cupertino

      West London, not Birmingham. Just outside Harrow, which probably explains the price-tag.

    2. IGotOut

      Re: Ring mains surely?

      To put London Vs Birmingham (sorry Solihull)... prices in context.

      https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-73790749.html#_full-description

      1. SteveK

        Re: Ring mains surely?

        But I didn't see any power sockets?

    3. John 48

      Re: Ring mains surely?

      Yup the guideline for a 32A ring circuit is that it can serve up to 100 square meters of floor area. Obviously one needs to take into account the likely loading on the circuit, and also the impact of what would be affected should the circuit trip. A greater number of "smaller" circuits offeres better "discrimination" i.e. it contains the effects of a fault to the location of the fault with fewer unrelated items losing power.

      For modern usage patterns its common for socket circuits to support a large number of very small loads (small appliances / electronic gadgets) festooned all over the place, and the occasional larger one. So ring circuits are well suited for the task. Kitchens / utility rooms often benefit from their own dedicated ring circuit where the concentration of larger "white goods" can use much of the capacity of a 7kW circuit quite easily.

      So a good compromise for many places is one ring circuit per storey, plus a separate one for the kitchen. Plus additional dedicated radial circuits for individual high load items like cookers and hobs etc.

  28. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Property suitable for First Time...

    Cryptocurrency Miners

    1. batfink Silver badge

      Re: Property suitable for First Time...

      Crypto miners wouldn't have bothered with all the downlights, especially the ones level with the power sockets.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Property suitable for First Time...

        Crypto miners wouldn't have bothered with all the downlights, especially the ones level with the power sockets.

        Ever tried fitting cables to a computer when the room is very well lit and the box is in shadow? Might explain some of the lights (me, I use a handy reflective surface (usually an old CD lying around) and a torch, then memory of the spot and a fingertip to find the hole)

  29. Superflu

    Looks like it might have been used as a recording studio of some sort. Along with ample electricity, putting the cable pathways in the walls keeps the cords off the floor.

    1. cdrcat

      I have a friend who just had some sockets added to his living room for jamming, installed by an electrician (with some audio chops apparently), with their own analogue earth to help reduce hum, and sockets in the floor for further convenience.

      I'm not sure how they manage ground loops.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        I'm not sure how they manage ground loops.

        Balanced audio and where that's not possible, liberal application of "DI" boxes.

        Absolutely never by "lifting" the earth wire in a mains plug, though it has to be noted that a lot of audio kit is double insulated these days and doesn't have an earth anyway.

        M.

        1. MrKrotos

          Ground Loops

          Best way is to use audio decoupling, you can use them on balanced and unbalanced cables :)

  30. LenG

    You can never have too many sockets.

    I got fed up with having about 8 power bars daisychained under my desk, so I mounted 15 double sockets on a chipboard shelf and mounted it on the wall above the desk with the sockets facing forward. The board hides the wiring and means I don't have to make holes in the walls. I have a switch at one end which cuts power to 10 doubles while the other five stay live, so I can leave routers and ethernet switches powered on while turning all the chargers etc off at once. A spur from the 30amp ring main goes to a 20amp RCD protectng the whole setup. Despite running 2 computers, several NAS devices and assorted USB accessories and chargers I've never had the 20amp breaker drop. And nowadays I no longer have to untangle the cats from the nest of power leads.

    1. EastFinchleyite

      Re: You can never have too many sockets.

      Yes, you can.

  31. SteveK

    Looking at the full set of pictures on the sellers site I also noted (at least) 4 double outdoor sockets in the garden along the outside wall of the conservatory.

    And as I commented elsewhere about the front photo, it's not a garage on the side of the house, that's the fusebox and meter cupboard.

  32. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Maybe the owner doesn't like to look for a socket?

    With that density of sockets you only have to vaguely aim at the wall to get a connection :)

    1. SteveK

      Re: Maybe the owner doesn't like to look for a socket?

      ..would suit family of androids with poor battery life..

    2. EastFinchleyite

      Re: Maybe the owner doesn't like to look for a socket?

      Previous owner was J R R Tolkien.

      Lord of the Rings.

      <I'll get me coat........>

  33. short a sandwich

    BOFH Amateur

    The quicklime storage facility in pic 11 looks inadequate and no sign of an old carpet store either. That's a no from me

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember reading an article online 10-15-ish years ago (back before wifi "worked") on someone rewiring a house in the US where they said their spec was power socket every 2 feet and ethernet socket every 6 feet on every wall. This house may have had the same spec but then may have been influenced by "accessibility" rules in UK building regs which means can't have (all) sockets at floor level so ended up duplicating many of them with a socket in the place where they'd use it plus another at the height that building regs required. As someone else had commented, the real issue is that all the sockets are different colour from the walls.

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      The "accessibility rules" as you put it (Part M of the Building Regulations - see section 8) don't mandate specifics as far as I can tell, but the regulations and IET guidance is to fit all accessories (e.g. socket outlets, switches etc.) in a band between 450mm and 1200mm above finished floor level. In practice in houses this means that for rooms without sockets above worktops, all sockets end up with the bottoms of their faceplates at 450mm and all switches end up with the tops of their faceplates at 1200mm :-)

      M.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    how the previous owners were using the property

    this is perfectly normal number of sockets and ceiling lights for an average sex addict & porn lover, don't see what's all that fuss about?

  36. Ian Johnston

    People, this isn't hard. From Zoopla, it's 41 Rushdene Road, Pinner. From companies house, that was the office of Lan Logistics Ltd, which does commercial building work (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09812722).

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Now Lan Constructions Group. A lot of freelancers have their home as registered office but a registered office isn't necessarily the same as an office from which a multi-employee business is run. I wonder if they had change of use permission.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        And, of course, the premises are now vacant but still the registered office of the company. The accounts are overdue. I don't think I'd be in a hurry to buy it if I had that money to spend on a house in Pinner.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've seen this kind of setup before.

    Bet you any money it was being used as an office for a small private company with probably half a dozen small computer desks, a printer or two and a fax machine.

    Wired efficiently with a couple of separate circuits (say left and right of the room) it shouldn't have caused any breaker problems.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Wired efficiently with a couple of separate circuits (say left and right of the room) it shouldn't have caused any breaker problems.

      Maybe explains the mix of colours.. One style of faceplates on one breaker (or phase if they've used more than one phase in that lot!), another on a different breaker... Helps if your local supply is prone to dropping a phase or two and you can quickly tell which one(s) are still operating and move plugs across.

  38. DrewKime
    Childcatcher

    Easy

    Porn set.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a former electrician, ESF talking utter pish as always.

    At worse one breaker is going to pop and only after a significant time (how many 3+Kw appliances do most people have now? I#m guessing the kettle and maybe the washing machine/dryer and they are all in the kitchen, most living room appliances are low wattage, barring any massive old school plasma screens) , not the whole "fusebox" - and they are meant to be the electrical safety "experts"....we are fucked well and truly if they are giving out advice to joe public....

    fire risk from holes in the walls....really? Its only recently intumescent seals have been mandated on domestic and tbh the UK has a REALLY low instance of domestic house fires especially compared to the USA and most of Europe...(Many parts of Spain would give ESF a heart attack)

    I'm guessing someone had either a home theatre or a serious audio visual setup going on.

    Also your meant to avoid power bars / extension cords due to the trip hazard / risk of overheating sockets, ideally you should have everything on its own socket, so again shows ESF are talking their usual nonsense.....most of them either have never worked as an electrician or if they have it was years ago.....

  40. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    The plug sockets are just a decoy...

    The plug sockets are just a decoy to stop buyers realising that the row of eight light switches in the second picture are behind the door when it is open. (Look at the alignment of the door stop.)

  41. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Bathrooms?

    Notice that the bathrooms have the weird lighting scheme but ZERO outlets? I also see no HVAC vents so this house so the temperature gradients must have been insane when all of that wiring was put to use. Oh, and the grow lamps are still hanging in the sun room. Should take those down before the photo session.

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Bathrooms?

      Of course there's zero outlets in the bathroom, it's in the UK, it's against building regs to have sockets in the bathroom.

      That said, if they had really wanted to carry on the theme they could have had 50 shaver sockets installed in there.

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Bathrooms?

      Never had a power socket in a bathroom in any UK house I have lived in.

      Fair enough: Don't want to encourage any muppets to use electrical items in a room where lots of water can be present (no wish to be even partially responsible for a radio plugged into mains falling into a bath scenario)

      Only cabling into current bathroom is lighting circuit (not a leccy shower before anyone asks)

    3. Corwin_X

      Re: Bathrooms?

      You don't put outlets in bathrooms except for specialized shaver outlets. Big no-no. This actually looks to me like a pretty professional, if messy looking, job to me.

  42. G R Goslin

    A very long time ago

    A very long time ago, but still in the 13 Amp era, someone came up with the bright idea of having , a deep skirting board, which held a power busbar system. When you needed a power point at a particular place, you simply plugged in a special socket. Intervening gaps were simply covered by trunking. Needless to say it never caught on and we have the present and getting on for a hundred year old system of wires poking out of the plaster

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: A very long time ago

      It's quite common in offices, and for home use there's a similar system, only without the bus bars, just standard wiring. So you have to wire in any added sockets, but changing the wiring is pretty easy.

    2. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge

      Re: A very long time ago

      In my last house I ended up constructing something similar.

      Wooden skirting with a void behind it to run wires, divider in the middle to separate network and power.

      I was surprised that I couldn't easily buy the equivalent off the shelf as it seemed such an obvious idea.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: A very long time ago

        I was surprised that I couldn't easily buy the equivalent off the shelf as it seemed such an obvious idea.

        Something like this? There are data and CATV sockets, empty mounting boxes as well as switches and (Schuko) outlets.

        May not be available in your country. Void where prohibited. No refunds or exchanges. Consult a qualified professional before applying.

  43. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    You are standing inside a large, empty dining room. On your left there is a fireplace, now dead. Ahead is a French Door, leading outside. Lots of wall sockets line the walls around you.

    A shiny nail lies forlornly on the floor.

    What do you want to do?

    > PICK UP NAIL

    With a grunt you bend down and pick up the nail, letting out a fart in the process. Whoopsy.

    What do you want to do?

    > EXAMINE WALL SOCKET

    It is the ubiquitious English wall socket.

    What do you want to do?

    . INSERT NAIL INTO SOCKET

    You insert the nail into the >KZERRRRRRRRRRRRRT<

    You are now dead.

    Want to have another go?

    1. dog_man

      @AnonSACoward

      British Socket in the UK - BS 1363:

      The nail will only fit in the where the Earth pin goes. Live and Neutral are shuttered. No electrocution!

      The standard has been around since 1947.

      But you guys in SA are probably using round pin sockets based on BS 546 which predates 1947 - so KZERRRRRRRRRRRRRT it is.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: @AnonSACoward

        The nail will only fit in the where the Earth pin goes. Live and Neutral are shuttered.!

        Only when insufficiently motivated.

      2. Corwin_X

        Re: @AnonSACoward

        They're only shuttered until you stick a screwdriver into the earth socket and open them.

        You can then insert a couple of live wires.

        This is a strictly temporary and emergency fix I've used a few times in extremis and not at home.

    2. Corwin_X

      It appears to be a human trait to want to insert things into other things.

      What if I poke it here, maybe it'll start working? BZZZZRT (or maybe not if you insert the correct device into the correct socket). ;-)

      And yes, I am punning here!

  44. zaax

    There is never enough sockets. Each of the sockets in my lounge has at least a 4 way extension cable on it

  45. steviebuk Silver badge

    Can you find...

    ...it on places like Rightmove? Most of the time, if a property wasn't cleared when photos were taken you can see what was in place. Used that feature for checking out my great aunts old house that we loved. Realise don't have any photos of inside back in the day so finding inside view of the house in rightmove was nice. Not perfect as doesn't show much of the grand stairs (i thought they were grand) and landing.

  46. Timmy B Silver badge

    Workplace of some kind?

    I've worked for a couple of very small companies that started in one room of a normal house. This could just be a step up - I can see 5 or 6 people working on desks in there.

  47. TheCynic

    Welcome to a home theatre install

    Looks very similar to a lot of home theatre installs.

    Separate sockets for each of the sources - the brush based plates for speaker cables - and the ones higher up the walls for the TV above it.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    small home office here, 2 people working with space for a third

    26 mains sockets (8 per desk + 2 away from desks), 12 network points and 4 telephone points (running back to an ancient norstar 616 unit that refuses to die)

    mains devices on my desk... 3 monitors, 1 pc, 1 printer, 1 speaker system, 1 phone charger and a 12v 45A psu.

    Still run out of sockets and have to use double adaptors

  49. iron Silver badge

    It's a porn webcam studio. Hence all the downlights and sockets, if the furniture was still present you'd see it was all beds with partitions in between...

  50. david skinner

    It was a business

    https://suite.endole.co.uk/insight/company/09812722-lan-constructions-group-ltd

    Lan Constructions Group LTD

  51. Real Ale is Best
    Boffin

    Trunking?

    I've installed trunking in my home office. Similar number of sockets, but moveable should I need to.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Luxury!

    I grew up in a newly built council house which had one single socket and one light fitting in each *room. The bedroom sockets were by the door so to have a bedside light we had to run cable over the door. The single light fittings were near the windows, odd you may think as that's usually the brightest part of the room. Years later I was told that the reason was to prevent someone's shadow, while undressing, to be cast onto the curtains.

    *The kitchen had a socket and a combined cooker outlet and single socket

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: Luxury!

      I grew up in a newly built council house which had one single socket and one light fitting in each *room.

      You had light? And sockets? Rooms? We couldn't even dream of rooms because we had to hand back the dreams we might have had to the council, along with any electrons that happened to come our way. Properly cleaned those had to be, all of them. For light and heat we had to make do with burning our navel fluff.

  53. Big_Boomer Bronze badge

    Awesome!

    Looks like a former Dentists or Doctors surgery. Someone needed to power a lot of equipment so had it fitted accordingly. Since it hasn't burned down, I would assume it was all done correctly by a certified Electrician and whilst it is ugly, it does have a certain symmetry to it. This is what happens when you cram all the equipment needed for a modern business into the living room of a house. Chances are the former owners moved into a building that was built for their needs when they outgrew that house.

  54. JohnG

    Consumer unit

    Electrical Safety First "One would imagine it would overload the fusebox, ..."

    .... and then it would not be possible to play gramophone records.

  55. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

    My new house

    No, not quite so many power points. But lots and lots of lights: recessed ceiling lights and spotlights all over the place.

    I never realised quite how useless they are. In my previous place I had a single old-fashioned ceiling light in each of the main rooms, and they did a better job than 8 or 12 recessed lights here. Worst is the kitchen, where despite nine recessed lights and four spots I struggle to find a spot with sufficient light for regular cooking tasks.

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: My new house

      "Worst is the kitchen, where despite nine recessed lights and four spots I struggle to find a spot with sufficient light for regular cooking tasks."

      I had the same issue but replaced the bulbs with decent quality led units. Far better.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When I look behind the TV at the birds-nest of extension leads and adapters I could be in competition for the number of devices plugged in - but many are for low power devices, increasingly for USB devices. Similarly my chandelier used to have 12x60 watt incandescent bulbs but has progressed first to 5 watt compact fluorescent then to 3 watt LED

  57. Goldmember

    Could it have been...

    ... full of Bitcoin mining rigs, perhaps?

    Whatever the reason, looking at the weirdness made me feel slightly queasy.

  58. SimonC

    Easier to just electrify the ceiling, not only can you just toss a hook upwards to connect new devices, but you can drive a dodgem around from room to room

  59. matt01

    Office?!

    Looks like it was used for office space, you wouldn't load the ring and a 16a rcbo will do 3.6kW, enough for a large number of computers.

    Also if it was used for growing weed cables would of been tacked to a wall and suspended across the room. Putting socket in like that would be too much time and effort.

    Its more likely that a health and safety nut told them they couldn't use extension leads when they rigged it for office space.

  60. Zarno

    I'm not buying it...

    I'm not buying it unless it has a fiber-port behind the loo.

    Cat-5 to the privy was the mark of a serious BOFH dwelling in the days before WiFi.

    All jokes aside, I do intend to run conduit for fiber if I ever do a gut-and-sheet on a property.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: I'm not buying it...

      Cat-5 to the privy was the mark of a serious BOFH dwelling in the days before WiFi.

      Actually no. The BOFH was very much against computers at home.

      [El Reg - when are we getting our BOFH icon back?]

  61. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Sockets absent in the kitchen? That's where you *need* sockets. I always put at least four twin-outlets in a kitchen. Fridge, freezer, washer, dryer, microwave, kettle, toaster, phone charger, radio, that's nine and you've already run out. And I always put at least two twin outlets in the TV "niche".

    And you'd only overdraw current if you simultaneously plug in high power appliances in every socket. Multiple sockets are mains for ease of access or for multiple low-power appliances where you don't want loads of trailing multi-way adapters. I've got a row of 20 sockets along the wall behind my computer desk, and even then I'm often scrambling for a spare socket for a soldering iron.

  62. confused73

    Absurdist / misguided interior decorator?

  63. mark4155
    Holmes

    All wrong!

    My money is on an amusement arcade with the room full of slots and shiny machines.... I should know I worked in one for a season in Morecambe. When we got to work the thrill of pulling down (or swinging) on this big f""k off size handle and lighting the whole arcade up was much better than the pay of £22 for 80 hours work. So amusement arcade it is. Toodle Pip.

  64. Kiwi Silver badge
    Alert

    Looking at the screens...

    Looking at the security screens on the windows, the "indoor botany hobbyist" comment may be very much right..

    But then, the arcade idea by mark4155 is also a good bet.

    Perhaps someone doing PC repair or a holdover from the "Lan party" days?

    As to the structure, oblig XKCD (apols if already posted), though I wonder if something a little more schlocking is appropriate.

    A few years back I was looking at other options and came across a bedsit with attached garage, and a mere 32 sockets in the garage. Not all the same, not exactly in line, not looking like a professional did the work. The place was cheap, but still on the rental market some 6 months later. Don't know if/when it was let or why it didn't go, but I didn't feel the power supply would be reliable. Some of my projects could be using a table saw, skill saw, jigsaw and repsaw, 3 drills (2x drill bits and 1x driver), a couple of lights, hot glue gun, chargers, laptop and external screen with powered USB hub.. Hell, lets throw in another dozen power tools all plugged in at once and I've still got a long way to go. Chuck in a fridge and kettle and still got plenty. Chuck in a microwav[BANG]. Chuck in a higher rated breaker, then chuck in the microwave...

    I'd want to know quite well what wire gauges were used, how well each point was fitted (a poor connection can lead to a meltdown), and where the breakers are.

  65. Blackjack

    Former bitcoin farm?

    I mean before they moved to Greenland or something?

  66. The Dark Side Of The Mind (TDSOTM)

    Off topic

    I just used the full-sized GPT-2 from https://talktotransformer.com/ on the opening paragraph... the result made me chuckle a bit.

    "Buying a house is a major ordeal. You go from door to door, months zip past and something's never quite right... then you find it, "the one". A five-bedroom home in Pinner, Harrow, northwest London. It's exactly the size you had hoped and dreamt it would be. The price? £1,395,000. You're a good man - you've made it.

    Or is it? The only way to find out is to buy it.

    The first thing you see when you knock on the front door is a man holding a broom handle in one hand.

    This is the house's "landlady", and she greets you with a smile as you step inside. But that smile is broken when you realise she's wearing a wig and a dress and you're wondering why she's so happy.

    Inside, everything is perfectly normal. It's a family home, but the children are not. In fact, they're probably all dead.

    And the family has left their home in a different part of London - the one you live in now.

    This is one of the most incredible real estate deals."

  67. JulieM Silver badge

    There is no such thing as enough power points

    It is a universal law that appliances multiply to exceed the number of power points available.

    I'd lay money that once someone has been living in that house for six months, they will be needing at least one multi-way extension lead.

  68. ShowMeYourWarFace

    Home Office?

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