It doesn’t matter in what corner of the world does one reside; there never seems to be enough power outlets in the households. This quarantine has got us using our gadgets more than usual. As a result, every socket gets occupied by a charging device, and sometimes, you can’t find an empty socket to charge your laptop.
Thankfully, we don’t have to go through that inconvenience anymore because of the invention of power strips. It is an extension cord that has multiple power outlets. This means that you can simultaneously use or charge various gadgets.
Like any other electrical appliances, power cords have their own sets of dos and don’ts. They are meant to carry small loads, as they divide the power received directly from the outlet. This is why you should never use certain appliances with power cords. Read ahead to know more.
Another Power Strip
Power strips are made to divide the electricity from outlets equally. While it may sound like an efficient idea to multiply outlets, this idea will do more harm than good. If you chain a power strip to another, it could result in short circuits. Also known as daisy-chaining, this is one of the most common newbie mistakes made by people, and many of them don’t realise the harm chaining power strips can do due to the risk of short circuits.
Refrigerators are a necessity, and almost every household owns one. Since they are frequently used, they need more electricity to operate. A power strip cannot fulfill this requirement and can easily overload as a result. Large and needy appliances like refrigerators should only be plugged into wall sockets. If you’re confused, consider investing your money in a surge protector or a power strip. Remember always to check the voltage ratings of the flat cord power strip. That way, you can know precisely the amount of power your strip can handle.
Like a refrigerator, space heaters also continuously keep cycling on and off. That results in a flow of current that is too drastic for a little power strip to handle. They’re just not made for it. It drains too much electricity out of a strip that was only made for charging phones, laptops, or alarm clocks. If you’re still persistent enough to try, remember that the tremendous amount of current will cause overheating and then lead to a fire.
Can you plug a Hair dryer into a power strip?
Yes, you can plug a hair dryer into a power strip, but it’s important to consider the power requirements. Hair dryers typically draw a significant amount of power, so it’s crucial to ensure that the power strip is rated for the hair dryer’s wattage. Check the specifications on both the hair dryer and the power strip to make sure they are compatible.
Can you plug LED lights into a power strip?
Yes, you can typically plug LED lights into a power strip. LED lights generally have lower power consumption compared to other types of lighting, making them suitable for use with power strips.
Should a fridge be plugged into a surge protector?
In general, it is not recommended to plug a refrigerator into a surge protector. Refrigerators have a high starting current and can draw a significant amount of power when the compressor kicks in. Plugging a refrigerator into a surge protector with a lower amp rating than the refrigerator itself may lead to the surge protector overheating or even tripping.
Moreover, refrigerators are typically designed to be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Plugging them into a surge protector could potentially interfere with the appliance’s proper functioning or override safety features.
If you’re concerned about power surges damaging your refrigerator or other appliances, it’s better to invest in a whole-house surge protector installed at the electrical panel. This provides protection for all appliances and electronics connected to the electrical system of your home.
The power strip could handle the microscopic units required for a slow cooker. The problem here is not the quantity, but the amount of time needed.
Power strips are there to work for long intervals of time. A slow cooker needs continuous power for extended intervals. The strips cannot efficiently deliver the electricity that a slow cooker needs for proper functioning. So, just set a timer, plug the cooker into a wall socket and forget about it till your meal is made.
Microwaves and Ovens
They may seem like small appliances, but they are very frequently used in a household. The continuous heating, reheating, baking, defrosting, and cooking requires a tremendous amount of uninterrupted energy. This is something that power strips cannot handle.
Coffee Maker or Toasters
They may seem like small appliances, but all that roasting the coffee beans and heating rods for toasting the bread requires a lot of electricity. A power strip cannot provide this, and too much usage could lead to overloading or a potential fire.
Why is daisy chaining extension cords dangerous?
Daisy chaining extension cords is dangerous due to the risk of overloading, voltage drop, and fire hazards. The practice increases electrical resistance, leading to inadequate voltage for devices and potential damage. Overloaded or damaged cords can overheat, posing a fire risk, and the maze of cables created can cause tripping hazards. Additionally, daisy chaining can compromise grounding features, increasing the risk of electric shock, and reducing the efficiency of surge protectors in protecting against power surges. To mitigate these risks, it is safer to use a single, high-quality extension cord or a designated power strip designed for the intended purpose, following manufacturer recommendations for safe use.
What about plugging a power board into an extension cord?
You must avoid connecting a power board to the end of an extension cord. Instead, plug it directly into a wall socket. Refrain from plugging multiple high-power-consuming appliances into the power board at the same time.
Can you plug a surge protector into an extension cord?
While it is technically possible to plug a surge protector into an extension cord, it’s generally not recommended due to potential safety concerns. Surge protectors are designed to handle the electrical load and provide protection against power surges. Plugging them into an extension cord might exceed the capacity of the extension cord and compromise the surge protector’s effectiveness.
Do extension leads use electricity when not in use?
They do indeed! They can consume a small amount of electricity even when not in use. This is often referred to as standby power or phantom power. The reason for this energy consumption is that many extension leads have components like indicator lights, surge protection circuits, or switches that remain active even when the connected devices are turned off.
Can I plug an iron into the extension cord?
Yes, you can plug an iron into an extension cord. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the extension cord is rated for the power requirements of the iron. Irons typically draw a significant amount of power, so the extension cord should have the appropriate wattage or amperage rating to handle the load safely.
Can you use an extension cord with an Iron?
The answer is Yes! Using an extension cord with an iron can be done safely, but it requires careful consideration and adherence to safety guidelines. That’s why we have provided below a list of safe steps you can take when it comes to plugging an iron into an extension cord.
Choosing the Right Extension Cord for Your Iron
A heavy-duty extension cord made specifically for such high-wattage appliances should be used instead.
These specialised extension cables are designed to power heavy-duty appliances like irons with plenty of electricity. Any extension cable can be used for this purpose, but doing so risks dangerous situations that could endanger the safety of the entire home.
Avoid using a conventional extension cable while using an iron since it is unable to manage the high electrical current requirements of an iron.
Safety Tips for using extension cords with irons
Select the Right Extension Cord: When using an extension cord with an iron, it’s crucial to choose the right type of extension cord. Look for an extension cord that is designed for high-power appliances and has an amp rating that matches or exceeds the iron’s power requirements. Typically, irons require a significant amount of power, so a heavy-duty extension cord is essential.
Check the Gauge: The gauge of the extension cord’s wire is essential. A thicker gauge wire is better for high-power devices like irons because it ensures efficient power transmission and reduces the risk of overheating. It’s recommended to use an extension cord with a gauge of at least 14 or 12 for irons.
Inspect the Extension Cord: Before plugging in your iron, thoroughly inspect the extension cord. Look for any visible damage, such as cuts, frayed wires, or exposed conductors. If you notice any issues, do not use the cord, as damaged cords can be hazardous.
Proper Connection: Make sure to plug the extension cord securely into a grounded outlet. Avoid overloading the extension cord by connecting multiple high-power devices to it simultaneously. An iron should ideally be the only appliance connected to the extension cord to prevent overloading.
Unplug Safely: When you’re finished using the iron, always unplug it by grasping the plug itself and not the cord. Pulling on the cord can lead to wear and tear over time.
Regular Maintenance: Periodically inspect both the extension cord and the iron’s power cord for any signs of wear or damage. Replace any damaged cords immediately to maintain safety.
Can you plug a straightener into an extension cord?
Plugging a hair straightener into an extension cord can be done safely if certain precautions are taken into consideration. You can take a look below at the recommended safety tips you can take when plugging a straighter into an extension cord.
Safety Tips for using extension cords with straighteners
Choose the Right Extension Cord: Select an extension cord that is appropriate for the power requirements of your hair straightener. Look for an extension cord with an amp rating that matches or exceeds the wattage of your straightener. This information can typically be found in the straightener’s user manual or on its label.
Inspect the Extension Cord: Before using the extension cord, examine it for any visible damage, such as cuts, frayed wires, or exposed conductors. Damaged cords should not be used, as they can pose a safety hazard.
Use a Heavy-Duty Cord: Opt for a heavy-duty extension cord with a thicker gauge wire. Thicker wires are better equipped to handle the electrical load generated by high-power devices like hair straighteners. A cord with a gauge of 14 or lower is typically suitable for this purpose.
Plug in Securely: Ensure that the extension cord’s plug fits snugly into a grounded outlet. Loose connections can lead to overheating and pose a fire risk. Always insert the plug fully to establish a secure electrical connection.
Avoid Overloading: Never overload the extension cord by plugging in multiple high-power devices at the same time. Using the cord exclusively for your hair straightener reduces the risk of overloading and potential electrical issues.
Unplug Safely: When you’re finished using the straightener, unplug it by grasping the plug itself and not the cord. Pulling on the cord can cause wear and tear over time.
Regular Inspections: Periodically inspect both the extension cord and the straightener’s power cord for signs of wear, damage, or aging. Replace any cords that show signs of deterioration promptly to maintain safety.
Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your hair straightener. They may provide specific recommendations for using extension cords with the device. Following these guidelines can help ensure safe and effective operation.
Use a Grounded Outlet: Whenever possible, plug the extension cord into a grounded outlet. Grounding provides an additional layer of safety in case of electrical faults.
Keep Away from Water: Keep the extension cord, outlet, and straightener away from water to prevent electrical shock. If any liquid spills, make sure everything is completely dry before use.
Proper Storage:Avoid tightly coiling or bending the extension cord when storing it. This can lead to internal damage over time. Instead, loosely coil the cord and store it in a cool, dry place.
Direct Connection to Outlet: If possible, plug the hair straightener directly into a wall outlet rather than using an extension cord. This eliminates potential points of failure and reduces the risk of overheating.
Can you plug an extension cord into a power strip?
Yes, you can typically plug an extension cord into a power strip, but it’s important to do so safely and with some considerations in mind:
Check the Power Strip Rating: First, ensure that the power strip has a rating that can handle the combined load of the devices plugged into it, including the extension cord and any appliances or electronics connected to the extension cord. Look at the power strip’s amp or wattage rating to verify this.
Avoid Daisy Chaining: It’s generally not recommended to daisy chain multiple extension cords or power strips together. Daisy chaining increases the risk of overloading the electrical circuit, which can lead to overheating and electrical hazards. If you need additional outlets, consider using a power strip with more outlets or using a heavy-duty extension cord with multiple outlets.
Use a High-Quality Extension Cord: If you need to use an extension cord with a power strip, choose a high-quality extension cord with an appropriate gauge and capacity for your devices. Avoid using a cheap or damaged extension cord, as this can increase the risk of electrical problems.
Properly Insert the Plug: When plugging the extension cord into the power strip, ensure that the plug is inserted securely and fully into one of the strip’s outlets. A loose connection can lead to overheating and potential safety hazards.
Don’t Overload: Be mindful not to overload the power strip or extension cord. Most power strips have a resettable circuit breaker or surge protector that can trip if the load becomes too high. If the circuit breaker trips repeatedly, it’s a sign that you’re overloading the power strip, and you should unplug some devices.
Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect both the power strip and the extension cord for any signs of wear, damage, or frayed wires. Replace any damaged components promptly.
Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Follow any specific guidelines or recommendations provided by the manufacturer of the power strip or extension cord regarding usage and safety.
Can I plug 2 extension leads into a double socket?
While it’s technically possible to plug two extension leads into a double socket, it’s important to exercise caution. Plugging in multiple extension leads may lead to an overload if the combined power usage of the connected devices exceeds the socket’s capacity. This can pose a fire hazard.
Can you plug a gaming computer into a power strip?
It’s acceptable to use a power strip for your gaming setup, but it’s crucial to be mindful of the number of components you connect to it. While your gaming computer might only consume around 500 watts, you’ll likely also plug in a monitor, speakers, lamps, and other accessories. Calculate the total power consumption by checking the labels on each device and ensure it doesn’t exceed the power strip’s wattage rating. Opt for a power strip that doubles as a surge protector to safeguard these sensitive devices from potential power surges.
Can you plug a space heater into an extension cord?
Many portable heaters use 1,500 watts of energy at their highest settings. Plugging one into a power strip poses potential hazards, especially if the heater runs for an extended period. While portable heaters often have safety features that shut off the unit when it overheats, these features do not protect the power strip from overheating, creating a risk of fire. Overall you should only plug a space heater into a wall outlet and not an extension cord or power strip.
What happens if you plug too many things into a power strip?
If too many devices overload a power strip, the circuit breaker will trip, increasing the risk of an electrical fire. In essence, if you’re uncertain about calculating what exceeds your power strip’s load rating, it’s safer to avoid the risk of a potential house fire.
Power strips are great, but just like every electric appliance, they have their limitations. Devices that require a significant amount of electricity to function are too harsh on the power cords and could cause them to malfunction. In the worst-case scenario, you might have to deal with a fire, or your appliances could get damaged from a short-circuit. Don’t use the power strips for what they aren’t made for. You could end up overusing them. Also, check the power wattage on the back of its package to see how much power it can handle. Keep yourself safe from any unwanted accidents this quarantine, and ensure to follow these essential tips.