11 Things to Never Plug Into a Power Strip
July 30, 2021
A shortage of electrical outlets is a challenging situation for anyone. But relying on power strips can create dangerous hazards. If you use one improperly, you can cause an overload or even a house fire. Whether you live in a house, apartment, mobile home, dorm room, or other dwelling, here are 11 things that should never be plugged in using a power strip:
Refrigerators use a great deal of current and cycle on and off continuously. They must be plugged directly into a dedicated wall outlet to operate safely. Never plug other appliances into the same outlet, even if there’s an extra socket.
2. Microwave Oven
The power needed to cook, thaw, or reheat food is too much for a power strip. A dedicated circuit is needed to manage the current that a microwave needs without causing a serious electrical problem.
3. Slow Cooker
Plugging a slow cooker into a power strip to increase your kitchen appliance inventory is a recipe for disaster. This appliance uses more juice for longer, which is something a power strip does not handle too well.
Toasters heat up using exposed wires that require a great deal of electrical current. A power strip can easily be overloaded by the juice needed for this. Any toaster or toaster oven should be plugged into its own outlet.
5. Coffee Maker
Heating up water seems like a basic task, but doing so and making a hot cup of coffee requires more electricity than you’d want going through a power strip. By not plugging the coffee machine into an outlet, you might be without a full cup of Joe in the morning.
6. Hairdressing Appliances
A hair dryer, flat iron, curling wand, or other hair care appliance produces a lot of heat, which needs a good amount of amperage. Whenever possible, plug it directly into a GFCI outlet for optimal safety.
7. Space Heater
Cycles on and off similar to a refrigerator/freezer. A substantial amount of current is needed to switch on a space heater, which can overheat a power strip quickly. Improper use of space heaters results in many house fires.
8. Portable A/C
A portable air conditioner draws lots of current when it turns on. This can easily overload a power strip not designed to handle this amount of electricity. The strip can overheat quickly and trip the circuit breaker.
9. Air Compressor
Portable air compressors are useful household devices, but draw huge amounts of energy. A compressor should only be used with a heavy-duty extension cord so air tools can be used safely.
10. Sump Pump
Using a power strip for a sump pump is a very bad idea. Power strips don’t mix with water or dampness very well. Plus, the power sump pumps use is best managed by a GFCI outlet, and preferably one well above floor level.
11. Second Power Strip
“Daisy-chaining” power strips is an effective way to overload your home electrical system. It can also be a fire safety code violation. Instead, play it safe by unplugging a device before plugging something else in.
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