Charging devices faster is a common need in today's world of power-hungry smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Upgrading electrical wiring to support more power can be costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are easier ways to supercharge your outlets for faster charging without a full rewiring.
Understanding Electricity Delivery to Your Outlets
The first step is understanding how electricity gets delivered to your outlets.
Home electrical systems in the US and Canada supply 120 volt, 15 to 20 amp electrical circuits to outlets. This limits most household outlets to deliver around 1500 to 1800 watts (120v x 15a).
Many devices today like laptops come with power adapters over 60 watts. Charging multiple devices on one outlet can easily exceed the outlet's capacity.
Upgrading wiring and breakers to supply more power to outlets is possible but can cost thousands of dollars.
There are simpler upgrades that work by optimizing power delivery within the existing electrical constraints.
Using Higher Wattage Outlets
A quick way to supply more power capacity is upgrading to higher wattage outlets.
Standard outlets are often 15 amps (1800 watts). Replacing with 20 amp (2400 watt) outlets can provide an extra 600 watts without rewiring.
This allows charging up to 3 laptops (3 x 90W) simultaneously versus only 2 on 15 amp outlets.
The key is to check your home's circuit breaker supports 20 amps first. A qualified electrician can install 20 amp outlets on those circuits.
"Upgrading from 15 amp to 20 amp outlets gave me more charging capacity without expensive electrical work." - Alex T., Boston MA
Installing USB Wall Outlets
Another option is USB wall outlets that build USB charging ports directly into the outlet.
These provide faster charging speeds by using the wall outlet's full power capacity just for USB.
They also avoid conversion loss from power bricks since they use the outlet's 120v AC and convert to USB charging voltages internally.
I installed USB-C outlets providing up to 60W per port. This powered my laptop and tablet at full speed simultaneously, something the regular outlets couldn't deliver.
Pro Tip: Get USB outlets with power delivery to charge larger devices like laptops at higher wattages.
Using a Smart Power Strip
Power strips with auto-switching technology, called smart strips, can also help optimize charging.
They monitor power usage across plugged-in devices. When something is fully charged, the strip shuts off power to that device.
It then redirects the freed up power to other devices still charging. This keeps high priority devices charging at max speed.
I use a smart strip to fast charge my phone, tablet and Bluetooth speaker together in one room without tripping the breaker.
The Bottom Line
With simple upgrades like these, I was able to supercharge my home's outlets to deliver enough power to fast charge multiple devices simultaneously.
The best solutions avoid the high cost and disruption of rewiring electrical circuits. Smart outlet upgrades let you charge devices faster while working within your existing electrical system's capacity.