Choosing the right power strip to buy is crucial. It will help you prevent electrical fire accidents and protect your property from damage. But finding the right strip can be hectic and time-consuming. You need to consider many things, from the wattage to the number of ports that it has.
This article gives you five easy steps to help you choose the best one for you. Read on to make the right choices when buying your power strip.
1. Consider the Equipment to Plug In
If you wonder how to choose a power strip, you need to consider all the equipment you want to plug into it. It will help you determine which one is the best for you, as there are many power strips for various equipment.
Also, there are electrical strips for various workplaces. Therefore, you need to consider where you will be using the strips. There are strips for household appliances, while others work well with hospital equipment. The specific use depends on the ratings of the power strip. If you plug equipment into the wrong power strip, you risk causing an overload in the system. The results will be damage to your extension and appliances or a fire outbreak.
Consider the environment in which you will be using it. Outdoor strips vary from indoor ones as they have a cover made of tougher materials to withstand weather effects.
2. Length of the Cable is Essential
When choosing an electrical strip, always measure the length of the cable. You also need to know the distance from the primary outlet to where your appliances will be. It will help you determine the correct cable length that you need.
Although longer power strips might seem appealing, this is not advisable. The reason is that they will become a hazard if someone tripped over them. Also, it will be challenging to use as the cable will coil together, causing the power strip to heat because the wires have an increased resistance to current flow. As a result, the insulation softens and may melt and cause flames if you continue using it.
The longer the cable, the higher the resistance, which leads to a power drop, reducing the amount of power reaching your appliances. It makes them work harder to draw electric power, reducing their life.
On the flip side, a short strip will be inefficient because you need multiple cables to get the power to your working desk. Measure the distance you would need to use the strip to pick an appropriate length.
3. Suitable Number of Ports and Switches
The number of ports the strip has will determine how many appliances you can plug into it. Therefore, it is necessary to buy one that has enough outlets for all your electronics.
Also, check the type of plugs that your equipment has. Some plugs like the transformer plugs are more significant than the standard ones. So, if your appliances have transformer plugs, you need to buy one with a sizable space between its outlets. It will prevent it from blocking the neighboring ports.
Remember that a power strip’s number of receptacles does not affect the power flowing through it. For example, if you buy a 1500 watt power strip, you can only insert appliances whose total power consumption is 1500 watts and no more. Therefore, if you have a 1500 watt appliance, you have to plug it alone on the strip. If you have 1000-watt, 300-watt, and 500-watt devices, you can only insert two at a time.
Also, consider the number of on and off switches the strip has. Get one with separate switches for each receptacle so you can power them off efficiently when not in use.
You also need to check the outlet configuration of the strip. They include right-angle, front-facing, standard, rear-facing, and end-mounted outlets.
4. Check The Electrical Power Output
The rating of the strip informs you of the amount of electricity that can pass through before it fails. It will help you know which type and number of equipment you can use with it.
Also, you cannot plug in a device that requires more power than the strip can support. It will cause damage to the strip as the wires will overheat.
To know the correct rating of the strip that can support your appliances, get the total wattage of the equipment that you will be using at the same time. It will help you choose the strip with the correct power output.
5. Consider the Safety Measures
Power strips can easily cause fires if you do not use them well. Therefore, before buying one, ensure it follows the necessary safety measures.
You need to check if the strip’s plug has a circuit breaker to cut off the power if it flows in excess. The step prevents heat build-up, which damages the power cord and your equipment.
You can also opt for power strips with surge protectors to protect your equipment from power surges.
When buying a power strip, take time to carefully check the features it has. Ensure it meets all your appliance’s needs and safety measures set by the government. Also, you do not want to buy another one after a short time, so look for one that will serve you for a long time. Do not go for a cheap one that gets damaged quickly.