Power strips and extension cords make our lives easier. They help us with gardening, playing music, and reaching electricity when there’s not an available outlet to plug into. There are many things that you can plug into your power strip without consequence, but this article isn’t on those. Here’s a list on things never to plug into a power strip.

”We believe that electricity exists, because the electric company keeps sending us bills for it, but we cannot figure out how it travels inside wires.” - Dave Barry

General Appliances

Do not plug your toaster into an electrical cable
Keep the toaster plugged into the wall. 

It seems obvious to many people, but some homeowners either didn’t get the memo on wattage, or simply don’t give the warning credit. Home appliances above a certain wattage should never be plugged into a power cord or extension cable. It could short out the appliance, blow a fuze, or otherwise hurt the electrical work inside your home.

Even when using a surge protector, here’s a list of appliances that you should never plug into anything other than a wall outlet:

  • Hair dryers
  • Toasters
  • Hot plates
  • Curling wands
  • Flat irons
  • Televisions
  • Slow cooker
  • Microwaves

Any Air Compressors

Also another item to be plugged into an outlet
High power items like this should go into a wall outlet. Source: Instructables

Due to the massive power an air compressor needs on startup, it’s not a good idea to plug this into a power strip that could fail when such an immediate demand for electricity is required. Any kind of compressor makes a great case for what not to plug into a power strip.

Sump Pumps

Obviously, electricity and water don’t mix. Plugging a sump pump into a power strip might result in injury or worse. It’s better to have a GFCI outlet nearby. And the power that a sump pump requires is still a little high for most power strips. So even in dry climates, sump pumps make the list of things never to plug into a power strip.

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Air Conditioners

Air conditioner units, especially window-mounted ones, should never be plugged into a power strip. When they initially “kick” on to begin cooling, the power jump is too much for a strip to handle and can cause it to fail. This cycling process is best left to wall outlets. So portable air units fall under the category of “what not to plug into a power strip.”

Portable Heaters

Similar to air conditioners, portable heating units rely heavily on a cycling process which is just too much of a kick for power strips. It’s just safer to plug them into your wall outlet than risk blowing a fuze. Some people think that’s it’s fine as long as there’s a surge protector on carpet but it’s usually better not to risk it at all.

Freezers and Refrigerators

Above all else do not plug the fridge into a power cord
Due to the cycling process, the fridge needs to be plugged into a wall. Source: Appliance reports

You might be wondering, “can you plug a refrigerator into a power strip?” Unfortunately the answer is “no.” Not only do these appliances require a lot of constant power, they are frequently going through a cycle process that eats up more electrical capacity. If they are not plugged into a wall, there’s an almost guaranteed chance that you’ll at least trip the circuit. So be safe and avoid any unfreezing water in your kitchen and spoiled food.

Need some electrical advice? Or maybe some wiring help? Get in touch with a professional for a free estimate!

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