Do Powerline Adapters Get Hot?

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Powerline adapters plug directly into mains outlets and so will generate some heat, but it is enough for them to actually get hot?

Powerline adapters should not get hot, but can be warm to the touch. Powerline adapters that are faulty or use poor quality components are more likely to overheat and affect the powerline network, but not become so hot that they are considered to be a hazard.

Thanks to them not using very much electricity at all, powerline adapters won’t get so hot that you cannot touch them. They will be warm to the touch just like anything else that is plugged into an electrical outlet, but this shouldn’t be a concern.

There are a few ways you can help reduce the likelihood of your powerline adapters overheating if this is a worry, which we will discuss further in the article.

How Do Powerline Adapters Work?

To get a sense of how little electricity powerline adapters use and as a result, don’t get hot, it helps to know how they work in the first place.

Powerline adapters are used to form a powerline network, which is a quick, easy and pretty affordable way of being able to extend your network connection to areas of your home where the Wi-Fi signal may not reach, or where it isn’t convenient to be using Ethernet cables.

They make use of the existing electrical wiring found within the walls of your home to transmit the signal needed.

It really is as simple as plugging a pair of adapters into available mains outlets in the rooms of your home where you are looking to extend your network.

They can be particularly useful if you only have a single router and the Wi-Fi doesn’t reach where you need it to, you don’t want the hassle of having to run Ethernet cable, or if you have devices you wish to connect to your network that for whatever reason don’t support Wi-Fi.

powerline adapter

What Is the Operating Temperature of a Powerline Adapter?

Just like any other piece of networking hardware, powerline adapters will have an operating temperature range in which the manufacturer has tested it and confirmed that it continues to function as intended.

I did some research into a few different powerline adapters all from different manufacturers to find out what their operating temperature is.

As you’ll see, they are all pretty much the same, so I wouldn’t recommend using this metric to influence which you should buy if you are looking to purchase a powerline adapter or two.

ManufacturerModelOperating Temperature (°F)Operating Temperature (°C)
TP-LinkTL-PA4010KIT32°F – 104°F0°C – 40°C
NetgearPL120032°F – 104°F0°C – 40°C
TendaAV100032°F – 104°F0°C – 40°C
ZyXelPLA520632°F – 104°F0°C – 40°C

Can Powerline Adapters Overheat?

Some people have experienced issues with their powerline adapters overheating, and as a result, interrupting their connection to the powerline network.

That being said, this isn’t a common issue that a lot of people face.

If a powerline adapter is overheating, it generally indicates a fault with the device itself or even the ventilation.

The likelihood of a powerline adapter overheating is largely influenced by the quality of components that are used within the unit itself, and whether it is being exposed to heat from other sources.

How to Keep a Powerline Adapter Cool

If you are experiencing issues with your powerline adapter overheating and affecting your powerline connection, there are a few ways you can help keep it cool.

Before moving on to these tips, I would suggest that if you have only recently purchased a powerline adapter and begin experience overheating issues, you return it for a refund or a replacement.

The quality of components found within the adapter itself will vary from one manufacturer to another, so if you do have problems with one particular brand, it is probably worth trying another rather than asking for a replacement of the same make and model.

When it comes to positioning the powerline adapter in your home, there are a few things to keep in  mind.

Firstly, you will want to make sure the adapter is not placed somewhere where it is exposed to direct sunlight and the sun will naturally heat it up.

You also should avoid placing it directly next to other devices that are also producing heat.

This is actually another reason as to why you should avoid using extension cords with powerline adapters.

Not only can some extension cords prevent the adapter from working, but they will naturally become a source of heat when they have several devices plugged into them.

If you can, plug your adapter into an outlet that is not being used and is positioned further away from your other devices.

The final tip to help keep your powerline adapters from overheating is actually in regards to ventilation.

You will want to make sure the adapters have sufficient ventilations that allows the heat to escape and not build up within itself.

Before you actually plug it into an outlet, check the outside casing and you should see ventilation slots.

These are usually positioned on the top and sides of the unit, meaning the adapter needs to be plugged in vertically.

Heat rises, so make sure the ventilation slots are not positioned down towards the ground.

Final Thoughts

Like anything plugged into a mains outlet, powerline adapters will get warm to the touch. This is especially true when they are powered on for most of the time during which they are drawing an electrical current.

That being said, they shouldn’t get so hot that you are unable to comfortably touch them. 

If your powerline adapter does get hot, or is overheating which can cause issues on a powerline network, the adapter itself could be faulty or simply isn’t receiving the ventilation that it needs.

Recommended Powerline Adapters

If you are looking for some powerline adapters for your own home network, here are some recommendations.

  • D-Link DHP-P701AV – These powerline adapters offer the best speeds and built-in noise filtering whilst remaining very easy to setup
  • TRENDnet TPL-407E2K – This is your budget option that includes two powerline adapters in a bundle and has useful features such as a power-saving mode