What Is the Difference Between Power Strips and Extension Cords
In this day and age, our daily routine involves the use of many devices and appliances. Most of the things we use to make our work or living efficient require electricity. Often, though, there are not enough outlets in the house to plug them.
Power strips and extension cords are designed for temporary use. If you need an extra wall outlet to fit your needs, call us. Our seasoned and local Colorado electricians can help with any and all electrical upgrades.
But for now, learn the difference between power strips and extension cords and how to use them safely.
What is a Power Strip?
If you ever need a temporary socket, you need a power strip. This consists of multiple electrical sockets and is designed to power up multiple small appliances. Some power strips have automatic shut-off features to prevent power overload.
When is a Power Strip ideal to use?
Since it features many electrical sockets, it can handle many devices near or next to each other. It can accommodate charging phones and tablets, electric fans, digital clocks, and lamps. It is also ideal to plug in computer desktops, monitors, and stereos.
What is an Extension Cord?
An extension cord is an electrical cable that can be short as 2 feet or can be longer than 30 feet. It has a plug that connects to an outlet and at least one socket. Essentially, an extension cord is used to extend a home or workshop’s electrical circuit.
Extension cords come in various lengths, sizes, and types.
- Light-duty extension cord
This type has only two plug prongs and is often not grounded.
- Medium-duty extension cord
This is typically grounded and has slots for three-prong cords.
- Heavy-duty extension cord
This kind is always grounded and allows for up to 15 amp of power.
When is an Extension Cord ideal to use?
Extension cords can be used both outdoors and indoors. It can charge phones, and power up small appliances and electric fans. The most common outdoor application is plugging Christmas lights.
Extension cords are useful in a lot of situations, like when powering a drill or an oscillating saw when doing electrical work.
How to use a power strip or extension cord safely?
- Do not overfill the extension cord or power strip. They might overload and result in an accident or fire.
- Do not allow the power strip or extension cord to get wet, especially when in use.
- Store them indoors in a dry, safe place.
- Do not run them behind walls or under the floors. Accidents and fire hazards are more likely to happen if the heat from the power strip or extension cord cannot escape.
- Always tape down the extension cord or power strip when using in high-traffic areas.
- Never plug refrigerators, freezers, and other large electric appliances into a power strip or extension cord. Big appliances require more power to operate safely.
- Avoid plugging heat appliances like portable heaters and iron into an extension cord. These appliances draw more power and overload the cord.
- Never place the tension cord under a rug.
- Replace the old and damaged power strip or extension cord immediately. Do not use them again to avoid hazards.
- When using extension cords outdoors, use weather pods to cover multiple cords.
- Pull the plug from the socket. Do not pull the cord when removing the power strip or extension cord from the wall outlet.
- As much as possible, never plug over two appliances into an extension cord or power strip. Know the amps of your power strip or extension cord to prevent overloading.
- Do not cut off ground pins in order for them to fit with extension cords or power strips that only have two holes.
- Make sure to use an extension cord or power strip that matches the wattage of the appliance, tool, or device.
It is easy to confuse a power strip with an extension cord, but their major difference lies in their purpose. A power strip is normally used to add outlets for multiple devices. Extension cords, however, stretch the power source. It is best used when doing electrical work or reaching a distant appliance.
Have an Additional Outlet Installed in Your Colorado Home
Heavy reliance on either a power strip or an extension cord means that you have too few outlets in your home. If you need an electrical outlet upgrade or need to add extra outlets around the house, call us.
Need more outlets around your home? Installing an additional outlet will help lessen the use of extension cords. Thus, reducing trip hazards. For a job like this, ElectriCall is the experienced electrical company you need, providing excellent electrical services that meet the needs of all our clients.
We are a licensed and skilled team of local Colorado Electrician. Our expert electricians have done many electrical projects in and around the area, whether it’s home rewiring jobs or outlet installation. We can help to disconnect wires, repair ceiling fans, maintain electrical systems, and more!