You already know that surge protectors and extension cords are both useful devices for protecting the sensitive electronics in your home from unexpected voltage spikes. While surge protectors are designed to be directly connected to wall outlets, extending their reach with an extension cord is a great way to make using them more convenient. However, you may have heard that you can’t plug a surge protector into an extension cord and vice versa, which may lead you to wonder if you need two different kinds of protection instead of just one. After all, wouldn’t combining these two things just weaken them both? Well, it turns out that it’s not so simple as yes or no. There are a few factors to consider before making the decision on how best to arrange your home’s protection from power surges. Let’s take a closer look at why we advise against this common arrangement and some better alternatives instead.
Can You Plug A Surge Protector Into An Extension Cord?
No, you can’t plug a surge protector into an extension cord. If a surge protector is connected to an extension cord through the main power source, it will be overloaded and could burn up.
Why You Should Not Plug A Surge Protector Into An Extension Cord
1. Don’t Mix and Match Devices
If you have a surge protector connected directly to your wall outlet, but you also have an extension cord plugged into it, it will be overloaded and could overheat. If the surge protector is designed to be connected directly to a wall outlet, then it is designed for that purpose. It was not designed to be used with an extension cord.
2. Extension Cord Overload
If you connect a surge protector to an extension cord, the surge protector will now try to protect something that was not protected before; in this case, all of your electronic devices. This can overload the surge protector and cause damage or even meltdowns of your electronics if they are not properly protected from voltage spikes by other means (such as a proper grounding system).
3. Overloading Surge Protector
If you have a surge protector that is not designed to be connected to an extension cord and you plug it into an extension cord, the surge protector will now try to protect something that was not protected before; in this case, all of your electronic devices. This can overload the surge protector and cause damage or even meltdowns of your electronics if they are not properly protected from voltage spikes by other means (such as a proper grounding system).
4. Connection Problems
People often get confused about how a surge protector ought to be connected, because different models have different connections. For example, some models have only one connection point and others have three or more. Not understanding this can lead people to connect the wrong way.
5. Extension Cords Can Be Overloaded
Overloading an extension cord with too many devices plugged into it can cause it to overheat and possibly catch fire. In addition, overloaded extension cords can actually damage the power lines they are attached to because they can overheat while carrying loads that they weren’t designed for.
6. Extension Cords Are Only Good for Some Things
Extension cords are only good for certain things; typically things like small appliances and light fixtures don’t need an electrical supply as strong as a wall outlet does, and should use extension cords instead of wall outlets for their power needs (they should also be used sparingly so that their ability to handle excess current doesn’t diminish).
7. Extension Cord Overloading Can Cause Damage to Your Electronics
An extension cord can be overloaded and cause damage to your electronics if they are not properly protected from voltage spikes by other means (such as a proper grounding system). Overloaded extension cords can melt down or even catch fire.
8. Extension Cords Can Cause Electrical Fires
An extension cord that is overloaded with too many devices plugged into it can cause it to overheat and possibly catch fire. In addition, overloaded extension cords can actually damage the power lines they are attached to because they can overheat while carrying loads that they weren’t designed for.
How Surge Protectors And Extension Cords Work
1. Voltage spikes can damage your electronics
Electrical power surges are caused by voltage spikes. These spikes can either be caused by lightning strikes or by power company equipment (called circuit breakers) that malfunction, causing a surge of electricity to flow.
2. Extension cords and surge protectors work together to protect your electronics from voltage spikes
Surge protectors (also called line conditioners) are devices that absorb the energy from voltage spikes and redirect it to the ground, which dissipates it as heat instead of causing damage to your electronics and appliances.
3. Surge protectors do not provide power protection for everything
Surge protectors cannot provide power protection for everything; they only redirect the energy from voltage spikes away from sensitive electronic devices like computers, televisions, and other appliances. To provide true power protection you need a proper grounding system (such as a proper grounding system).
4. Proper grounding is the best way to protect sensitive electronics from voltage spikes
The best way to protect sensitive electronics from voltage spikes is by using a proper grounding system that connects all of your sensitive electronics together. This will ensure that they are all grounded together and will not experience damage from voltage spikes.
5. A proper grounding system is a must for every home
A proper grounding system should be installed in every home to ensure that sensitive electronics are properly protected from voltage spikes and will not experience damage from voltage spikes.
To plug a surge protector into an extension cord, simply plug it into the top outlet of the extension cord, then plug the extension cord into the wall. While this arrangement is not ideal, it is better than plugging a surge protector directly into a wall outlet. When it comes to protecting the sensitive electronics in your home from unexpected voltage spikes, it’s best to rely on one protection method. Using two different kinds of protection often leads to an overloaded circuit, which causes more problems than it solves.
Q: What happens if I plug in a surge protector in the wrong way?
A: A surge protector can be plugged into any outlet, but it should be plugged into the outlet closest to the power strip or other device that you want to protect. For example, if you are protecting your computer, you should plug the surge protector into the wall outlet closest to your computer. If you plug it in incorrectly, it will not protect your computer and will instead cause damage to it.
Q: How do I know if my surge protector is working?
A: The first thing you should check after you install a surge protector is a light on the surge protector. The light should be on and it should be flashing, or there should be some sort of noise from the surge protector. If that is not the case, you need to contact a professional to have it checked.
Q: Do I have to unplug my surge protectors for them to work?
A: No, unless the instructions state otherwise. Some surge protectors will require that you unplug them when they are not in use (such as when they are plugged into a wall outlet). Other surge protectors will only need that you unplug them when they are no longer in use (such as when they are plugged into an extension cord). Some surge protectors will even allow you to turn them off without unplugging them (for example, if your computer has an electrical cord with two prongs).
Q: Can I buy surge protectors with an on/off switch?
A: No, surge protectors cannot have an on/off switch. However, you can buy surge protectors with a reset button. A reset button is a small button that you can press to reset the protection circuit and turn it back on after the power has been turned off.