Power Strips & Surge Protectors

We answer many of the most common questions from the internet and our customers about power strips and surge protectors

What is a Power Strip? 

A power strip is a device that converts one power receptacle into multiple outlets. Power strips offer a convenient way to add extra power sockets where there would only be a couple to choose from, if any. 

Power strips are also used to bring power where no outlets are installed.

What is a surge protector and What does a surge protectors do? 

A surge protector is an electrical device that protects your equipment from sudden power surges and electrical spikes. A surge protector will keep your device safe by blocking voltage over a safe threshold, typically 120 volts.

What is the advantage of a surge protector over a power strip? 

Surge protectors add a layer of protection between your device and the electrical grid. 

It is recommended to use a power strip with surge protection to protect expensive or critical electronic devices.

How to tell a surge protector from a power strip 

It may not be obvious that a power strip has surge protection, but the best way to tell is to look for indicators and markings. 

It is quite common for there to be a ‘Surge’ indicator, while others may not have them. 

Look at the back and see if it mentions anything about surge protection, or has a ‘Surge Rating’

What is a power surge? 

A power surge is a sudden spike in electrical current. While it only last for microseconds, the damage it can cause to electrical devices can be costly.

What does a surge protector do? 

A surge protector sits between your device and your power source. Its sole job is to detect a sudden increase in current and prevent the power surge from destroying or interfering with your plugged-in device.

Do I need a surge protector? 

Yes, if you have electrical components or electronic device that you depend on, having a surge protector is going to protect you against sudden spikes in electricity that could potentially damage or destroy your equipment. 

It is highly recommended to have a surge protector connected to devices that store valuable information, such as customer information, financial information etc.

What kind of surge protector do I need? 

The average surge protector protects electrical devices between 300 – 600 joules. 

The higher the joules rating the more protection the device offers. We recommend to always go for the higher joule rating for sensitive equipment.

What does joules mean in surge protection?

A surge protector joule rating indicates how much energy it can absorb before it fails.

Can you plug a surge protector or power strip into an extension cord? 

Yes, make sure that your extension cord is rated for the same amount of current or more as your surge protector. 

Do surge protectors work? 

Yes, surge protectors do work and save many electronic devices every year. 

It is important to pick the right surge protector for your application. While choosing a surge protector with 750 joules of protection will serve most needs, having a higher rated surge protector will be able to protect more expensive equipment more effectively.

How to tell if a surge protector is bad 

Most surge protectors usually come with an indicator light, if the indicator light is on then it is protecting, if not, then it is time to replace it. 

How long do surge protectors last? 

Most surge protectors have a life span of three to five years. Surge protectors typically come with an indicator light that lets you know it is protecting, if the lights on your protected, if not, it is time to replace it.

How many joules does a surge protector protect? 

A typical surge protector is designed to protect between 300 to 750 joules. 

There are more expensive options that offer a greater protection threshold, but most applications will be suited within that range. 

If you have high end equipment you want to protect, it is recommended to get a protector with a higher joule rating.

Can I plug 2 surge protectors into one outlet? 

Yes, it is safe to use two surge protectors at once on the same outlet. However, it is not safe to power heavy electricity consuming devices, such as heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators, etc. 

Overloading a surge protector is bad and can cause costly damage, including fire.

What to look for in a surge protector? 

We recommend you look for a surge protector with a decent joule rating, at least 650 Joules of protection. 


How to buy a surge protector 

Our favorite brand of surge protectors is Weltron WSP-600PLF series, it is wall/rack/desk mountable. 

However, surge protectors can be bought anywhere, we chose Weltron because of the speed it saves our customers at installation. 

How does a surge protector work? 


What not to plug into a surge protector? 

We recommend not plug in any of the following into a power strip with surge protection. 


  • Space heaters 
  • Refrigerators 
  • Heavy electrical tools, skill saws, drills. 
  • Industrial Equipment 
  • Microwaves 


Can you plug fridge into surge protector? 

 If you are plugging a fridge into a surge protector make sure it is high rated for it's application. Do not plug a refridgerator into a power strip with surge protection. 


Can you plug an electric blanket into a power strip? 

No, you should never plug a heated blanket into a power strip. This could cause overloading of the power strip and lead to damaging of the strip, blanket or can even cause an electrical fire. 


Can you plug a space heater into a power strip? 

No, it is NOT RECOMMENDED to plug a space heater into a low-power surge protector. This can cause an electrical fire from overloading the power strip or heater itself.

Can you plug an electric fireplace into a surge protector? 

If you are just using the lighting features of an electric fireplace then sure, but if you plan to run the heating feature it is not recommended. 

Be careful if you plan on just using the lighting feature, accidentally turning on the heater could cause the power strip to fail.

Is there a surge protector for heat producing devices? 

It is never recommended to plug in products the pull a lot of electricity. Products like space heaters and heating blankets pull a lot of power. Power strips are often not designed to allow for so much current to pass through. 

Plugging in these types of products could cause the power strip to overheat and catch on fire. 


Can you plug an air conditioner into a power strip? 

No, it is not recommended to plug in an air conditioner into a power strip or surge protector. 

A window AC unit can consume between 500 to 1,500 watts of electricity to run. 

The average power strip is max rated for about 600 watts, this means that an AC unit would overload the power strip causing the power strip to fail, or worse catch fire. 


Will surge protector work if not grounded? 

Yes, surge protectors will protect your equipment even if it is not grounded.  


Are all power strips surge protectors? 

No, not all power strips come with surge protection.  


Can you plug a surge protector into a surge protector? 

Can you daisy chain power strips? Is it safe to plug a power strip into another? 

No, never plug a surge protector into another surge protector.  

When you daisy chain surge protectors/power strips you create a hazardous electrical safety hazard. 

Most failures for a power strip is caused due to daisy chaining power strips together, these also cause about 20% of all fires associated with surge protectors.  


How many power strips per outlet? 

It is recommended to only use one power strip/surge protector per outlet. This will reduce the risk of overloading a circuit breaker. 


Are surge protectors necessary? 

Surge protectors are worth the investment but are typically not necessary. It is recommended to use a surge protector to protect your valuable electronics, for example your TV, Computers, Laptops, etc. 


Do surge protectors wear out? 

Surge protectors do wear out. The average life span of a surge protector is between 3-5 years. 


Do surge protectors go bad? 

Yes, eventually. Surge protectors typically have an expected life of 3 to 5 years. Once the surge protection feature is used or has eroded your protection is no longer there. You still can use the power strip but without having surge protection. 

Should I run my coax cable through a surge protector? 

If you are connecting your Television directly to your coaxial antenna cable you could be setting yourself up for costly replacement if a power surge or lightning strike ever occurs through it. 




Safety Tips for Surge Protectors 


Can you plug a refrigerator into a power strip? 

No, plugging a refrigerator into a power strip can cause many places of failure. One you could overload the power strip causing damage to the strip and to the refrigerator. Worst case scenario you overload the outlet and cause a fire. 


Do I need a surge protector for my refrigerator? 

Yes, we recommend that you have your refrigerator connected to a surge protector. Not to be confused with a power strip with surge protection, as you will still have to connect the refrigerator to the power strip. 

We recommend a standalone surge protector that acts as a surge pass through and usually only has 1 or 2 outlets on the device. 


Can you plug a toaster oven into a power strip? 

No, it is not recommended to plug a toaster into a power strip. Toasters use a lot of energy; this can cause the power strip to fail and may even lead to a fire if severely damaged enough. 


Can you plug a tv into a power strip? 

Yes, TV’s, especially newer TV’s can be plugged into a power strip. We recommend that your power strip include surge protection. 


How often should surge protectors be replaced? 

Replace your surge protector every 3 to 5 years, keep an eye out on the indicator light that most surge protectors come with. If the light is out, it’s time to replace the device. 



How many joules for tv surge protector?

At least 650 joules for smaller televisions, the higher the number the better the protection.


How many joules is good for a surge protector? 

We recommend having at least 650 joules of protection. You can go higher in joules of protection, but for most applications 


Can you use a power strip with a generator? 

Yes, it is safe to connect a surge protector to a generator, in fact, it is highly recommended. However, do not daisy chain surge protectors as this could cause an overload of the generator or power strip. 



Are power strips surge protectors? 

Not all power strips are surge protectors. 


Are power strips surge protectors? 

No, surge protectors can be stand alone with only one outlet. Power strips take one outlet and convert it into more. A power strip does not need surge protection or required to have. 


Does a router need to be plugged into a surge protector? 

A router has two points of entry for possible electrical surges. One is the power source, and two is the data cable source. 

Some surge protectors have built in coaxial surge protection and even phone line surge protection, to keep your router safest from electrical power surges is to make sure you are protecting both points of failure on the router. 


Can you plug a timer into a surge protector? 

Yes, if the device that you are passing through the timer does not exceed the abilities of the surge protector you should have no problems using a timer connected to a surge protector. 


What kind of screws do I need to mount a surge protector? 

You are going to want to use screws that are going to match the material you are trying to mount too. 

For example, if you are mounting to a desk that is would, you are going to want to use wood screws. 

If you are mounting to metal, metal screws, etc... 

Just a note, our WSP-600PLF Surge protector comes with two screws included. These work great with wood materials. 


How many things can be plugged into a surge protector? 

This answer depends, you should never add extra outlets to a power strip and should never exceed its voltage rating. If you are using normal electronics or electrical devices, like a lamp. You should be able to use however many outlets are built into the surge protector. 


Do I need a surge protector for my garage door opener? 

Yes, if you want to protect your garage from surges that could damage or destroy your garage opening equipment. 


How to mount a power strip to a wall 

We recommend you check out how easy it is to mount a surge protector using our easy mount product, it takes less than 60 seconds to install, and you do not have to worry about guide holes. 

Just place it where you want it and fasten securely with two screws that are included in the box. 


Do power strips save energy? 

No, the amount of energy that flows through the power cord is dependent on the devices in which you plug into it. 


How many watts can a power strip handle? 

The average power strip can handle around 600 – 1800 watts, depending on the number of amps the power strip supports, the higher the amps the higher the wattage it can support.

How to attach a power strip to a desk 

Many power strips come with a mounting solution on the back. We recommend you look at the WSP-600PLF series surge protector. It has two through the face screw holes that allow you to easily mount a power strip to a desk or other surfaces.

How to tell if a power strip is bad 

Nothing lasts forever, and that goes for power strips as well. The average power strip should last from 3 to 5 years, but many last much longer. 

Typically, power strips have an indicator light to let you know that the power strip is on. 

If you see an indicator light on your power strip and it’s glowing but you have no power flow, check the item you have plugged in first. If it works in other electrical outlets and not the power strip it is possible that your power strip is bad.

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