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Exceeding current draw of adaptors: does it damage them?

This is both a specific and general electronics question.

I've about 10 or so Menards structures on my layout, and while most require 4.5 volt DC and draw less than 1000 mA, a few larger ones (with motors and/or lots of LEDs) require > 1000 mA, e.g., the York Hotel, Brewery, and Sash & Shutter.

I've had mixed results with Menards adaptors, and have replaced some of them with Lemax adaptors (which have switching (are power regulated) and are also rated at 4.5 V DC and 1000 mA. The Lemax adaptors seem like a quality product; and the instructions state that "ensure the combined current draw does not exceed 1000 mA, otherwise, it may cause damage to the adaptor.

The York Hotel requires 3200 mA, yet it lights fine with the Lemax 1000 mA adaptor. My question: if a building or combination of buildings lights fine with a 1000 mA adaptor; does this mean that damage to the adaptor is occurring because the buildings are drawing more current than the adaptor can put out? I would've thought the buildings just wouldn't light up?

Since I spend a good deal of time and energy drilling holes to accommodate power cables, soldering them back together, and arranging adaptors under the layout, I want to head-off future issues if at all possible, thus my question on these myriad and complicated-to-power buildings.


Last edited by Paul Kallus
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