Most homeowners had to choose one of two electronic devices to occupy an electric outlet. This changed when power strips hit the market. Power strips allow you to plug several electronics into a single power source. But first, you have to choose the right power strip.
Power strips range from basic to flat cord. The basic strip is simply an extension box having six to twelve outlets. The flat cord power strip is flat, which makes it suitable for use under carpets. It is also good for food traffic. Some power strips double as surge protectors. Apart from supplying power, they prevent a surge in electrical energy in case of surplus.
Difference between a Surge Protector and a Power Strip
Both devices provide extra electrical outlets. However, unlike a power strip, a surge protector can protect your electrical gadgets from harmful power spikes or surges. You can use the basic power strip on electrical devices that do not consume a lot of energy. On the other hand, a surge protector is ideal for devices that consume lots of power and contain crucial information. These electrical devices include television, stereo, laptop, expensive gadgets, and electrical devices containing vital information. It would be best to use the surge protector on devices that will inconvenience you when a surge in electrical energy destroys them.
How to Choose the Right Power Strip
Now that you understand the fundamental difference between a power strip and a surge protector, you need to learn how to select the best power strip. The devices in your home should guide you during your search. Better yet, use these tips.
Number of Outlets and Unique Features
Find a power strip that will accommodate as many electrical devices as you would want to connect to a power source. Ensure the power strip has enough space to accommodate a transformer plug. Naturally, most strips come with enough space to fit the transformer plugs without inhibiting the adjacent outlets’ functions. As a precautionary measure, avoid connecting a power strip with another strip. Such a connection is an electrical miscalculation that can cause a fire.
Check if the power strip has a unique feature, such as automated moisture power off, energy efficiency, USB ports, and wall mounting.
Configuration, Length, and Electrical Rating
Power strips come in various configurations. It can be front-facing, standard, rear-facing, end-mounted outlets, and side-facing. Choose a configuration that suits your needs well.
Determine how far the strip will be from your power outlet before visiting the stores. Use this knowledge to find the right length of the strip.
The electrical rating will guide you on the amount of energy the power strip can take before failing. This information is essential as it will determine the devices you will plug in the power strip.
Additional Safety and Type of Equipment
In some cases, using the power strip might require extra safety. Some of the common power strip safety features include all-metal casing or housing. These casings are indestructible and are common among power strips. In addition to this, some power strips have a 20 or 15-amp circuit breaker, which prevents the system from overloading.
Close to safety is the type of equipment you will plug in the power strip. The device you get should be suitable for the environment you are in. Your equipment should also be able to fit in well. In essence, a power strip to use in an office is different from one to use on workbench tools.
In some cases, you might buy the wrong power strip for the job. This puts your electrical devices at risk. Therefore, you need to find a power strip with a warranty to protect yourself from unforeseen damages.
Protection from Moisture Dangers and Waste of Energy
Which power strips should you get for moist areas within your home? Water could be a danger in areas such as garages, bathrooms, and kitchen. Therefore, you need to protect yourself from electrical shocks by getting the right power strip. GFCI is the best power strip option to use in these areas. This power strip cuts out power once it detects a short circuit. In turn, it saves you from fire outbreaks and the risk of electrocution.
Get an advanced power strip to help you lower energy waste or vampire loads as your appliances are idle. APS technology provides advanced features like motion detectors and timers that make life easier. Some APS offer power surge protection, while some function like standard power strips.
Both the GFCI and APS are ideal for special cases. You can find these two at consumer-friendly prices in online stores as well as your local electric shop.
It would be best if you found the right power strip for your home or workplace. However, the process of selecting a good power strip is not always easy. But with these tips, you should be able to make an informed choice. Remember, the wrong selection might lead to the failure of the power strip. It would help if you did not load the standard power strip with electrical devices that consume a lot of energy. Only buy a power strip that is adapted for your environment and load.