Can You Plug A Surge Protector Into An Extension Cord?

Ever wondered about plugging a surge protector into an extension cord? Let's explore the safety of this common question.

Surge protectors are utilized to protect you and your equipment from unexpected electrical surges. These surges often occur due to faulty wiring, restoration of power after a power outage, or lightning strikes. But can you plug a surge protector into an extension cord?

People often wonder if it is safe to plug a surge protector into an extension cord. (Or a surge protector into another surge protector!) The answer is both yes and no as to whether or not you can plug a surge protector into an extension cord.

While they are technically compatible, experts do not recommend using them together. That’s because there are some safety issues that come with extension-cord-and-surge-protector use. In fact, you could run the risk of starting a fire — or even electrocuting yourself.

Surge protection is critical for many homes, especially older homes, that are affected by power surges, have inadequate power outlets (electrical outlets, wall outlets), or circuit breakers, and that use multiple power strips (or so-called daisy chains of them) to provide lots of power to space heaters and other appliances.

Safety Considerations

There are some ways of connecting a surge protector so that your appliances receive the right amount of power and avoid fire hazards and other dangers.

For example, if you have a surge protector that has a gauge size of 16 and the extension cord is also 16, then you can use them together.

However, if the extension cord is 14 and the surge protector is 16, the amps will not match and there could be a fire risk.

So if you do have to use the two together, make sure the amps match each other.

In addition, if you are using a surge protector, do not plug a high-wattage appliance or device into it. Doing this could mean you overload the surge protector, and it could overheat and start a fire.

Find Permanent Solutions

Lastly, do not use a surge protector and extension cord as a long-term solution. Doing so will increase your chances of an accident that could damage your home, appliances, electronic devices, and your family.

Instead, think of the surge-protector-and-extension-cord combo as a temporary or emergency solution. Use it sparingly — and only until you can get a qualified, licensed electrician to come and look at some permanent, safer options.

At Prairie Electric, we are committed to helping each customer with safe electrical solutions for their homes and businesses. Call us today to get your appointment scheduled for repair or installation. We look forward to working with you on your electrical project!

We’ve been in business for a long time now. We are proud to be one of the region’s premier electrical service contractors. In fact, we were named the 2018 Subcontractor of the Year by The Daily Journal of Commerce.

Our work includes projects as varied as Hockinson Middle School and the Faubion School at Concordia University, as well as the T-6 Marine Reserve Site expansion facilities.

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