One may think that connecting an extension cord to a surge protector is a good idea. But can I plug an extension cord into a surge protector?
Technically yes, you can. But in most cases, you shouldn’t do so. A lot of factors come into play. Such as the gauge and the length of the cord. It is important to use the same gauge or a better one in the extension cord in the surge protector.
Throughout this article, the main target will be to educate you properly on this topic as much as possible.
How Does a Surge Protector Work?
Surge protectors work by passing the load current through it. So, when there is a surge in voltage, it directs the extra electricity to the ground keeping the appliances unharmed.
A surge protector is an electrical protection device. It provides protection to a circuit from sudden voltage surges or spikes.
Surge protectors are installed separately in most cases. But there are many power strips that have built-in surge protectors.
Let me give a brief description of this that you may find helpful.
There is a particular part in a surge protector that is called MOV or Metal Oxide Varistor. It is a kind of sensor-type valve that can sense the pressure of the voltage.
When there is high pressure, it diverts the extra voltages to the ground. The MOV has a variable resistance also. When it senses high voltage pressure it reduces the resistance, so that the spike may decrease.
On the other hand, when it senses low voltage pressure it increases the resistance to give a stable output to the appliance.
Can You Plug a Surge Protector into an Extension Cord?
As I have said earlier, yes you can. But you must keep certain factors in mind. In this section, I am going to discuss those factors with you.
Factors to Consider:
- The amperage of the wires used must be taken seriously. If the current capacity of the surge protector is handled by a 14-gauge wire, then the extension cord must be 14-gauge or lower. To learn more about the handling power of a 14-gauge cord see the article
- The length of the extension cord is an important factor. Every gauge value has its length limitations. The extension cord must not exceed it is permitted length.
- It is better not to ‘daisy chain’ any cords or surges protectors.
Should I Plug a Surge Protector or an Extension Cord into Another One?
Technically speaking, yes you can. But you should not. If you do so, several problems will arise. Such as plugging an air conditioner into an extension cord.
If you plug a surge protector into another one, the load current in the first one can be exceedingly high if many high-consuming devices are plugged into the second one. This can make the first trip.
And plugging an extension cord into another one has many risks. And due to the hazards, it can bring, it is against the regulations of the authority.
What are the problems?
Mainly the problems are related to the amperage and the length of the cords. Every extension cord has a gauge rating. The amperage and the length depend on the gauge rating of the cord.
So, if one cord can transmit 15 Amps while the other has a limit of 10 Amps, the latter one will be damaged due to the overflow of currents.
The length is another issue here. We know that with the increase in length the resistance of the wire also increases. This results in decreased electric energy to the supply end.
So, it is recommended not to plug an extension cord into an extension cord. It is wise to use one cord with the desired length if it is within its capacity.
What are the Safety Considerations when Plugging an Extension Cord into a Surge Protector?
There are a few safety considerations that you must take into account before opting to plug an extension cord into a surge protector.
These not only help your appliances receive the right amount of power, but they also help you avoid electrical fires and other electrical hazards.
For instance, if your extension cord and surge protector both have gauge sizes of 16, you may use them together.
But the amps won’t match if the extension cable is 14 and the surge protector is 16, which might result in a fire hazard.
Make sure the amps are compatible if you do need to utilize the two together. Also keep an eye out for the best extension cords with multiple outlets on the market.
Additionally, avoid plugging a high-wattage appliance or gadget into a surge protector if you are using one. By doing this, you run the risk of overloading the surge protector, which could cause it to overheat and catch fire.
So, can I plug an extension cord into a surge protector? You should have the necessary knowledge to answer this question yourself if you have read through the entire article properly.
However, try your best to avoid such situations where you have to plug an extension cord into a surge protector. If it is unavoidable, make sure that the gauge, length, and capacity are compatible.