A power strip is arguably the most beneficial electrical accessory. Missing these components in a typical home or office is almost impossible.
Among the top reasons power strips are so popular is that they’re incredibly pocket-friendly. Not only in the sense of their initial purchase price but also because they can help avoid costly damages to various electrical appliances.
In this article, we look at the top five reasons why power strips are considered pocket-friendly purchases. But first, let’s begin by introducing what these accessories are all about.
What Is A Power Strip?
A power strip is a block of electrical sockets that connects to the end of a flexible electrical cable, usually mains plug, allowing several electrical devices to be powered simultaneously from a single socket.
The primary function of a power strip is to allow the user to connect multiple appliances concurrently. These accessories are necessary where there’s only one or a few electrical sockets but several equipment to power.
Power strips eliminate the hassles of moving electrical appliances closer to the mains plug whenever you need to power them. This can go a long way in preventing undue mechanical damage to the equipment.
As with most electrical components, power strips come in various specifications. These accessories may differ in length, the number of sockets in the block, and their amperage.
A 30 amp power strip is one of the most popular power strips in terms of current-handling abilities. Such strips are designed to power several home appliances without getting overwhelmed by current fluctuations.
Reasons Power Strips Are a Pocket-friendly Investment
- Power Strips Let You Connect Multiple Appliances
As already mentioned, the primary reason to invest in a power strip is that it allows you to plug in several devices. These include audio systems like woofers, video systems like televisions, computer systems, lighting, power tools, and home appliances like refrigerators.
By allowing you to connect multiple electrical devices, a power strip essentially eliminates the cost of installing several main outlets. This cost can run into hundreds of dollars, depending on the structural design of your property and the type and number of extra sockets required.
Power strips also save you the hassles of bringing fragile electrical devices closer to the mains socket whenever you need to use them. That consequently eliminates any damage and associated repair costs.
- Power Strips Can Control Dangerous Electrical Current Surges
Many power strips nowadays come with mighty circuit breakers.
Circuit breakers are electromechanical devices that interrupt the flow of electric current in the event of a short circuit or overload. Their main role is to protect electrical systems and installations from the damage caused by current surges.
Note that any electrical system’s electric current flow is constantly changing. A circuit breaker interrupts that flow when the current exceeds design limitations. This prevents further current transmission and any damage from current overload.
- Power Strips Differ In Amperage Rating
We’ve already mentioned that power strips come in different specifications. These components may vary in socket number, cable length, and amperage. Expectedly, these differences will affect the initial purchase price.
However, it’s the amperage rating that you should be most concerned about when shopping for pocket-friendly power strips. Knowing your power strip’s amperage rating is critical to avoiding undue electrical overload.
Most 12-gauge power strips rated 16 – 20 amps are recommended for heavy-duty equipment like ovens and industrial machinery. On the other hand, 16-gauge strips rated 13 amps are ideal for lightweight electrical devices like lighting and portable fans.
- Power Strips Have Energy-saving Features
Another reason that makes power strips pocket-friendly is that they use a negligible amount of power. These components simply serve as a pathway for electric current between the mains socket and the devices to be powered.
Besides, some power strips have a “standby mode” feature that switches off a socket if the connected appliances register no activity for a given period.
Power strips designed with a standby power saving mode use advanced sensor circuits to detect if the amount of current flowing through the socket is less than a given amount (typically less than 30 watts). Suppose this current flow persists for a given period, usually 10, 20, or 30 minutes. In that case, the strip will switch that particular socket off.
- Power Strips Can Last Incredibly Long
Power strips are some of the longest-lasting electrical components. You only need to handle them with care.
One way to increase the durability of your power strips is to avoid daisy-chaining them. A daisy chain is a wiring technique where multiple strips are wired sequentially. While it may seem like an ingenious way to connect appliances located further from the mains socket, daisy chaining interferes with a power strip’s current-handling abilities.
Another best practice while using power strips is to plug them into a grounded wall outlet. Avoid plugging power strips into an extension cord or existing surge protector.
Needless to say, place your power strips away from direct foot traffic to prevent people from stumbling into them. Strips with longer cables must also be organized appropriately to avoid entanglements.