No matter how many outlets we have installed at our house or workplace, there will come a time when we need to utilize a power strip. This is commonly the case near the entertainment center, in the home office or bedroom. When not enough outlets are nearby, this is when power strips and extension cords come in handy.
But contrary to the common misconception, did you know that power strips and extension cords are not the same? Both of them are designed to power multiple electronic devices simultaneously. However, while they may look and work almost similarly, there are a number of differences between them.
To put it simply, power strips enable you to plug in multiple devices and appliances at a time while also plugging itself into a wall outlet. Their cords all come typically shorter than extension cords, i.e. the 12-foot long, with sockets enclosed in a box on one end and a three-pin plug on the other end.
When it comes to design, although power strips and extension cords are mostly the same, the latter always have longer cords but can come with only a pair or three plugs. Compared to power strips, extension cords are less stable but can still come handy in unique situations. However, they are only best to use for an hour or less whereas power strips are meant for long-term uses.
Here are some power strips facts that make them superior over extension cords:
· Power strips can accommodate a lot of small loads simultaneously.
· Power strips have a variety of voltage ratings.
· Power strips are more stable and appropriate for long-term use than extension cords.
· Power strips are also known as TPT or Temporary Power Trap and mostly have six outlets that are overcurrent protected.
Power Strip Safety Tips
While power strips are indeed very useful, a simple misuse can already expose you and your family to electrical hazards which can be fatal at the worst. To ensure safety at all times, here are some tips to bear in mind:
1. Power strips cannot be connected with each other.
Daisy chaining or the process of connecting two or more power strips with each other is extremely dangerous as at least one of the strips might tend to overload which can lead to a spark. However, this is something a lot of people do to extend the cord’s length.
Do remember that daisy chaining for length extension is a big NO. If you need a longer one, finding a longer strip is always better and safer than dealing with hazards.
2. Do not use frayed cables.
Power strips may offer convenience but are at risk of creating electrical shocks over time. Fire risks are one of the leading factors caused by frayed, worn-out cables. Aside from fire, the frayed cords can also be damaging to your appliances.
If you’ve been shocked, call a local Colorado electrician right away. A seasoned electrical service company like ElectriCall will be able to easily spot what is wrong with your power strip or outlet and will immediately perform the repair.
3. Never plug space heaters into your power strip.
Space heaters are a glutton of electricity, thus with the limited load that power strips can provide, they will not be able to cater so much load and might only end up facing a meltdown.
4. By all means, do not overload your power strip.
That said, no matter how appropriate it is for heavy use, connecting multiple heavy appliances to it at a time is still a big no. Otherwise, overloading might occur, consequently blowing your fuse and damaging all the devices and appliances connected to it, or far worse can happen.
5. Proper and prompt disposal is important.
Power strips are only designed for short-term use. Using them beyond their advisable period of use can be hazardous. Once the indicated lifespan of your power strip is reached or it heats fast, it is best to discard it right away and properly and hire a licensed electrician to install new power outlets in your place instead. It is the safest way to access electricity.
If you’re looking for home electrical repair services nearby, then give us a call today!