Ten Things You Should Never Plug into a Power Strip

Refrigerators and freezers

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Large appliances like refrigerators require a lot of power and frequently cycle on and off, which can easily overload a power strip.  These devices should be plugged directly into a wall outlet dedicated solely to powering the appliance. If you try to plug additional appliances into the same outlet, you risk tripping the circuit. 

Microwaves

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The microwave is a marvel of modern food preparation. It can thaw, cook, and then reheat food in fractions of the time that it takes to a traditional oven. All that amazing activity takes more energy than a power strip. The microwave should be able to use its power outlet, just like an electric oven.

 

Coffee Makers

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Although you may not believe that your morning cup requires so much energy to brew, most coffee makers require quite a bit of power to make those roasted beans into a hot drink. You don’t want to wake up with a half-brewed cup of coffee if you plug your coffee maker directly into an outlet.

 

Toasters

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You’ve probably seen a toaster to remove a stubborn piece of crust and you know that its inside contains a lot of wires that heat the bread to a red-hot temperature. Overheating can be caused by the current draw of those wires. The same problem can also be found in electric skillets, waffle irons, and toaster ovens.

Slow cookers and hot plates

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Although you might believe you are a skilled cook, you could be mistaken when you plug your slow cooker into the power strip to make more space for countertop appliances. These cooking appliances use more juice for a longer time than a power strip can.

Hair-Care Apparatus

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To power hairdryers, curling irons, and flat irons it takes a lot of electricity. To prevent the circuit breaker from tripping, any hairdressing accessory that operates with heat should be plugged directly into a wall outlet.

 

Portable Heaters and Air Conditioners

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Air conditioners and portable heaters can cycle on and off and draw large currents when they turn on. This activity can overload a power strip and either 

Sump pumps

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Sump pumps are often the last line of defense in a basement that is not dry. Most power strips are not suitable for use in damp conditions and should therefore not be used with a sump pump. In case of flooding, you can plug a sump into a GFCI outlet.

 

 

Air Compressors

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While portable air compressors are useful household tools for ambitious DIYers, they require a lot of energy to start up. To get the most out of your air tools, avoid overloading your power strip. Instead, use a properly rated, heavy-duty extension cord.

 

Another Power Strip

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You should not use power strips in combination with each other. Plugging multiple power strips together is called “daisy-chaining” and is the fastest way to overload your electrical system. It’s also dangerous, violating most fire safety codes. Avoid using extension cords that have power strips. You can unplug one device first, then plug in another. Or you can cut the cord to find power-free options for your household appliances.

A power strip/surge protector with a plug.

Don’t be shocked

It’s better to unplug any items that are causing problems at the wall outlet than to plug them into a power strip. It might require some rearranging, but it is safer and smarter.

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