HOW SAFE ARE POWER STRIPS?
Many homes in Northern Virginia are running out of power. There are so many electronic devices that new houses often run out of power sockets. This may seem exaggerated, but when you need to charge your phone, you find that the only outlet available is behind the couch…into the attic.
It seems like power strips and adapters are a simple solution. Just stick them on the wall and you’ll have all the juice that you need.
But, is this a good idea? Is this safe? It is possible to feel nervous about using multi-prong outlets. However, it is best to have all your devices working at once.
Let’s look at some of the safety features behind our shortcuts to power.
What is a POWER STRIP?
A power strip is an electrical block that connects to a cord and plugs into a wall socket. These power strips are used when there are not enough outlets to supply your electrical needs. You likely have one or several of these in your home at any given moment.
A multi-outlet adapter (sometimes called an outlet tap) is another common electrical device you may have in your home. They work in the same way as power strips, but they have a different appearance.
A power strip is a set of outlets that are attached to a cord. A multi-outlet adapter, on the other hand, is a set of outlets that you plug into the wall receptacle.
Power strips do not surge protectors. A power strip is an extension cord with multiple sockets. An internal circuit breaker is used to protect appliances in the event of an overload. A power strip does not have one. To find out if your surge protector or power strip is included, check the appropriate UL label.
HOW DO I USE A POWER STRAP?
Power strips are a useful tool for providing additional electrical access to light-load appliances such as computers and lamps, provided they are used sparingly. Power strips are intended to be temporary solutions that can be used as temporary electrical fixtures.
COMMON POWER STRIP MISSUSES
Overloading a wall receptacle
If an electrical overload results in a blown fuse, you’re lucky. Although blown fuses are less common than blown fuses in overloading, an electrical fire is another possibility.
There are many mistakes that you can make to overload your outlets.
- You shouldn’t use a power strip to charge too many appliances at once. You should only use one socket at a time, even if you have six outlets on your power strip.
- Using multiple outlets to power a power strip in a single wall receptacle.
- A power strip is used to power high-voltage devices such as space heaters and refrigerators.
- Daisy-chaining. We’ll be back in a moment.
Overloading can be detected by flickering lights, blown fuses, crackling sounds from outlets, and discolored outlet plates. You should immediately have your home checked by a five-star technician if you notice any of these symptoms.
Power strips for Daisy-chaining
Daisy-chaining refers to the practice of plugging one power strip into another. This can be dangerous as too much power is being drawn from a single wall outlet. The power strip or wall socket could overload.
A Warrenton electrician can help you install more outlets if you don’t have enough or dead outlets.
Use a power strip not tested for safety
To ensure that the unit has been tested properly, look for the correct UL label on the power strip. Defective items that are not listed could cause serious injury or damage.
Secure a power cord to another surface such as a table or wall, or route a power cable through walls, ceilings, and floors
Because they draw high amounts of electricity from the wall, power strips produce heat. This heat can be created by attaching the smart power strip to another surface or routing it through an enclosed space.
Cords that are tangled or covered
As we have already mentioned, running power strips through walls can pose a serious safety risk. You’re effectively trapping heat from the power strip and could set off a fire. The same principle applies when covering power cords or power strips with a rug or carpet.
Covering power strips can pose a danger because the cords beneath could be stepped on. This could lead to frayed wires. Tangled cords can also cause frayed or split wires. Exposed wires can cause electrocution and house fires.
Throw away power strip cords that are damaged or frayed immediately.
Use a power strip when the environment is damp
This one is pretty obvious! In a wet environment an electrical current = electrocution. Do not use power strips in bathrooms or near sinks.
To fit the power strip into an unground outlet, remove the ground wire
You should not touch electrical wiring unless you are an electrician. Contact a 5-star technician if your outlets are not up-to-date and cannot accommodate your plugs. This outlet problem is not a quick fix. Ground plug adapters, which we’ll discuss next, are not a good solution.
What is a GROUND PLUG APTER?
Ground plug adapter allows three-prong plugs to fit in a two-slot outlet. The device’s front has three slots: a narrow, neutral-sized slot at the base, and a larger, more wide slot for the hot slot. The back is designed to accept a two-slot wall outlet. Two-slotted outlets only have the “hot”, and “neutral”, which are more common in older homes.
WHY GROUND PLUG ADAPTERS ARE NOT SUITABLE
Two-slotted outlets are a sign that the house has an older electrical system. One that does not have a ground path is considered to be wired. Ground pathways are an important safety feature in new systems. They allow electricity to flow from your device to your breaker box in the event of an electrical fault.
This pathway is essential because the electric current will not return to the outlet but instead flow through the device and, worst-case scenario, into your body.
Ground plug adapters can trick you into thinking you have a grounded connection, when in fact you don’t. This puts you at risk for electrocution.