Power strips can be a convenient solution for powering various gadgets and appliances. However, it’s important to know the potential dangers of plugging certain high-wattage devices into them.

To ensure your safety, it’s crucial to pay attention to the maximum wattage of your power strip and ensure you’re not exceeding that amount with the devices you plug into it. Most power strips are 15 amps, which can handle up to 1,800 watts. If you have higher wattage needs, consider using a heavy-duty 20-amp power strip instead, which can handle loads of up to 2,400 watts.

By being mindful of these guidelines, you can enjoy the convenience of power strips without harming yourself.

1. Refrigerators

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Refrigerators are large appliances that require a significant amount of power to operate. Due to their power consumption and frequent cycling on and off, they should always be plugged directly into a dedicated wall outlet. Trying to plug other appliances into the same outlet as your refrigerator can overload the circuit and cause it to trip. To prevent this, it is recommended that you use a dedicated outlet solely for your refrigerator.

2. Microwaves

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Microwaves are popular appliances for quick food preparation. They use electromagnetic radiation to heat food, which is absorbed by water, fat, and sugar molecules. However, microwaves require a significant amount of energy and should be plugged into their own dedicated power outlet, just like a conventional oven. It is important to note that using a power strip for a microwave can damage both the microwave and the power strip.

3. Coffee Makers

Coffee Makers
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When it comes to coffee makers, it’s important to plug them directly into an outlet to ensure they have enough power to brew your morning cup of coffee. Most coffee makers require a significant amount of amperage to heat the water and brew the coffee, so plugging them into a power strip or extension cord could result in a half-brewed pot of coffee. Keep in mind that coffee makers can also be used for tasks beyond brewing coffee, such as heating water for tea or cooking oatmeal.

4. Toasters

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Toasters are common kitchen appliances that are used to toast bread. The interior of a toaster consists of wires that heat up to high temperatures to toast the bread. However, the current draw required by these wires can cause a power strip to overheat. This can also be a problem for other kitchen appliances like toaster ovens, electric skillets, and waffle makers. It is important to use these appliances with caution and avoid overloading power strips.

5. Slow Cookers

Slow Cookers
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Slow cookers are a popular kitchen appliance for busy individuals who want to prepare meals ahead of time. However, it is important to note that slow cookers require a significant amount of power to operate over a long period of time. Therefore, it is not recommended to plug your slow cooker into a power strip, as it may not be able to handle the required power. Additionally, slow cookers are designed to operate without supervision, so it is crucial to ensure that they are safely plugged into a wall outlet to avoid any potential safety hazards. To maximize the benefits of your slow cooker, it is important to use it safely and correctly.

6. Hair-Care Appliances

Hair Care Appliances
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Hair-care appliances such as hair dryers, curling wands, and flat irons require a significant amount of electricity to operate. To avoid tripping the circuit breaker, it is recommended to plug these accessories directly into a wall outlet. It is also advisable to use a GFCI outlet to minimize the risk of accidental water exposure, which is a common bathroom hazard.

7. Air Conditioners

Air Conditioners
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When using portable air conditioners, it is important to plug them into a dedicated outlet to avoid overloading a power strip. These appliances cycle on and off and draw a large amount of current when they switch on, which can cause dangerous overheating or trip the circuit breaker. To prevent potential hazards, always use a dedicated outlet for your portable air conditioner.

8. Sump Pumps

Sump Pumps
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A sump pump is an essential tool to prevent water damage in your basement during floods. However, it is crucial to use a GFCI outlet instead of a power strip to power your sump pump. Power strips are not designed to withstand damp or wet conditions, making them unsuitable for use with a sump pump. Additionally, it is advisable to install the GFCI outlet a few feet above the floor to prevent water damage in case of flooding. Remember, always prioritize safety when dealing with electrical appliances.

9. Air Compressors

Air Compressors
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When using portable air compressors for DIY projects, it’s important to note that they require a significant amount of energy during start-up. To prevent overloading a power strip, it’s recommended to use a heavy-duty extension cord. This will ensure that you get maximum use and benefits from your air tools. Keep in mind the warning signs of outdated electrical wiring to ensure safe usage.

10. Another Power Strip

Another Power Strip
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Using multiple power strips together, also known as “daisy-chaining,” is a violation of most fire safety codes and can quickly overload your electrical system. It is important to avoid using extension cords with power strips for the same reason. If you find yourself short of outlets, try unplugging one device before you plug in another or consider finding power-free alternatives to your household gadgets. Remember to prioritize safety over convenience when it comes to electrical devices. For more information on proper power usage, check out our related article on extension cord safety.

11. Blenders

Another Power Strip 1
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When it comes to blenders, it’s important to be cautious about where you plug them in. While they may be small appliances, many blenders have powerful motors that can use up to 1500 watts of electricity, which is comparable to other high-powered appliances like space heaters and air conditioners. Plugging your blender into a power strip can be dangerous, as the liquid from blending can potentially spill onto the strip and cause a short circuit. To avoid this risk, always plug your blender directly into a kitchen GFCI outlet. Additionally, be sure to properly clean your blender after each use. Check out our article on “How to Clean a Blender” for more information.

12. Washing Machine

Washing Machine
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When it comes to using your washing machine, it’s important to be mindful of the power it consumes. Most washing machines use up to 1400 watts, which is dangerously close to the max load of most power strips. Additionally, washing machines are often left unattended and can take an hour or more to complete a cycle, which can cause them to overheat a power strip. To avoid any potential hazards, it’s recommended that you plug your washing machine directly into its intended wall outlet. This will ensure that your washing machine has the power it needs to function safely and efficiently.

13. Portable Heaters

Portable Heaters
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When using portable heaters, it’s important to note that most models use 1,500 watts of energy on their high settings. It’s also important to avoid plugging these heaters into power strips, as they can be especially dangerous when left running for extended periods of time. While portable heaters have built-in safeties that shut the unit off if it begins to overheat, it won’t prevent the power strip from overheating and potentially causing a fire. To ensure safe use, plug your portable heater directly into a wall outlet and never leave it unattended.

14. Power Tools

Power Tools
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When it comes to using power tools in your workshop, it’s important to use a power strip that can handle the load. A 220-volt power strip with grounded outlets is a safe choice. Make sure the power strip uses a 14-gauge wire between the strip and the plug, as this can carry a greater load without overheating. This is especially important if you’re using electric tools that consume higher wattages, such as table saws, circular saws, and chop saws. Using a higher-rated power strip will help prevent electrical hazards and keep your workspace safe.

15. Gaming Equipment

Gaming Equipment
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When it comes to gaming equipment, it’s important to pay attention to how many components you’re plugging into the power strip. While your gaming computer may only draw about 500 watts, you’ll also need to plug in a monitor, speakers, lamps, and other accessories. To ensure that you don’t overload your power strip, tally up how much you’re plugging in by consulting the stickers on each of these devices, and make sure the total is less than the power strip’s wattage rating.

It’s also important to protect these sensitive devices from power surges, so it’s recommended to use a power strip that functions as a surge protector. This will provide an extra layer of protection for your gaming equipment and help prevent damage from sudden power surges.