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Tips for Choosing the Right Power Strip

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What if there are only two power outlets in your bedroom and one is hidden behind the bed? This is a common issue faced by most homeowners. When the number of power outlets in your room is insufficient to fulfil your needs, it becomes necessary to rely on power strips. This is because you need to charge your mobile and laptop, as well as use the TV, lamp, sewing machine, and various other electronics.

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Using a power strip is the most convenient option but often people end up buying the wrong one. This results in fire hazards, as well as high energy bills. So, to help you avoid such mistakes, here we have listed some useful tips to choose the right power strip for your home. But before that, it’s necessary to distinguish between a power strip and surge protector.

Unlike a common belief, surge protector and power strips offer distinct functions. A power strip is designed with multiple electrical outlets so that you can plug in more electronic devices at a time. It has a long cable which extends the reach of your wall outlet to a few feet. A surge protector, on the other hand, is a device used to protect your electronic devices from power surges or spikes. These days you may also find power strips that are designed with built-in surge protectors.

Tips To Choose the Right Power Strip

1. Look for Maximum Amp Rating

The amount of electrical current you can draw through your power strip safely depends on the amp rating. This means higher the amp rating, the higher amount of electrical current you can safely draw. Always look for the maximum amp rating as it ensures that you can safely plug in multiple electronic devices at a time. Usually, you’ll find power strips with a rating of around 15A which are safe for using multiple electronics. But make sure not to exceed the maximum amp rating of your power strip as this may lead to electrical damages.

2. Consider Surge Protection

Some power strips come with in-built surge protection while others do not offer any protection against sudden power spikes. Surge protection is crucial to guard your electronics against power spikes. When looking for surge protectors, you need to consider its capacity for joules protection. This is because power surges are measured in Joules, a unit of energy. The best devices offer a maximum amount of protection from surges– at least 700 joules of protection. If you want a higher level of protection for your costly and delicate electronics, make sure to invest in a higher rated device.

3. Number of Outlets, Length, and Configuration

Depending on your needs, you should consider a few questions. You need to think about how many outlets you want and where this power strip is going to be plugged in. The power strips are available in numerous different types and you need to choose the one that fits your needs. You will find the number of outlets from 3 to 12. Make sure the strip you purchase has a sufficient number of sockets because daisy- chaining (plugging one strip into another) can be very dangerous. Next, you should think of how far your power strip will be from the wall outlet. If you’re going to use it a few feet away from your wall outlet, look for a longer cord length of at least 8-foot. In addition to this, you should also consider configurations such as standard, front-facing, rear-facing, side-facing, and end-mounted outlets.

4. Warranty

Nowadays, manufacturers are offering a warranty on power strips that have built-in surge protection. However, often these power strip manufacturing companies don’t honour the warranty. This happens when the device is not used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. So, before buying a power strip, look for the warranty and always follow the instructions provided to safely use the device.

 

About the author / 

Shirley D. McCormick

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