Can You Plug A Surge Protector Into An Extension Cord?

Are you looking for a way to protect your electronic devices while you’re away from home? Do you have an extension cord handy? If so, you may be wondering, can you plug a surge protector into it? Well, The answer is yes, you can!

While it is possible to plug a surge protector into an extension cord. But there are lots of factors about surge protectors and extension cords that I wanted to share with you. So read on for some useful information about these two handy items.

  • Ensure that the extension cord is heavy-duty enough to handle the added load.
  • Ensure that the surge protector is plugged into a proper outlet, not one close to other electrical equipment.
  • Never use a damaged or expired surge protector.

Also, the gauge is another factor to consider when using a surge protector in an extension cord. A higher gauge will help to protect against larger spikes in voltage, while a lower gauge may not be enough to protect your device from smaller surges.

For example, if your device is listed as compatible with a 3-phase, 15-amp surge protector, using an extension cord with a 2-gauge cable may not be enough to protect your device from surges.

So what can you do? Ensure that your extension cord is heavy-duty and of the right gauge, also ensure to plug your surge protector into a properly-outfitted outlet.

Why Plug Surge Protector Into Extension Cord?

Surge protectors are designed to protect electronic equipment from power spikes and other sudden fluctuations in voltage.

Extension cords are also designed for this purpose. However, they are not always capable of handling the surge of power that a surge protector can.

Also, the surge protector is not long enough to reach the outlet. So they do not have the same capability to protect your devices. But they have a long enough cord to reach the outlet. So that’s why you can use extension cords with a surge protector.

surge protector power strip

Can You Plug a Surge Protector Into Another Surge Protector?

Adding one surge protector into another does not increase the protection that either one provides. It can be confusing to try and figure out which outlet to use when more than one protector is needed.

But adding a second surge protector will not give you any added protection. Instead, it can be harmful to your devices.

Also, it can interfere with the operation of the other protector. As a result, adding a second surge protector into an existing electrical setup is not recommended.

Can You Plug Extension Cords Into Another Extension Cord?

Technically you can, but it’s not recommended. If one surge protector fails, the electricity will flow through both surge protectors, potentially harming your devices and appliances.

According to OSHA and NEC regulations, you should not connect extension cords together. Doing so can result in a risk of electrical shock and fire. Instead, use a power strip to plug in multiple devices.

Besides, the longer extension cord provides more electrical resistance, making it more difficult for an overload. So you can risk damaging your devices even if you plug them into the right outlet.

It would be best if you did not use multiple devices in one extension cord. Instead, use separate cords for every device when you only need to use the power of an extension cord.

What Is Safe To Plug Into A Surge Protector?

There are a few things to keep in mind when plugging in electronics. First and most importantly, always make sure the device you’re plugging in is safe to use with a surge protector.

This means that the device has been certified by the manufacturer as compliant with UL 1449, an industry standard for safety.

Next, it’s important to know what type of surge protector your devices can be plugged into. Most surge protectors have multiple ports that can accommodate different types of plugs.

Additionally, some protectors come with adapters to be used with extension cords. That way, you can protect your devices even if there’s no outlet nearby.

You can use any home appliances with a surge protector, as long as they are UL 1449-compliant and the device can be plugged into the appropriate port on the surge protector.

You can only use low-power consumption devices. Many devices that you can directly use with a well-rated surge protector include:

  • Computers
  • Televisions
  • Appliances such as microwaves and dishwashers
  • Game Consoles
  • Laptops
  • Portable Audio Players and more.

What Should You Never Plug Into A Surge Protector?

Don’t try to plug in any devices that generate large amounts of heat or electricity, like microwaves and electric cars. Not only will they fry the surge protector, but they’ll also give you an intense electric shock when you turn them on!

Suppose a device is not specifically designed to work with a surge protector. In that case, it could pull too much current from the outlet and damage the device or, worse yet, cause an electrical fire.

Also, if your device’s power exceeds your surge protector’s capability, it could damage the device or even start a fire. So always be sure to use the right type of surge protector for the device you’re plugging in to prevent any electrical fire!

Here are a few devices you should never plug into a surge protector directly:

  • A power strip
  • An extension cord
  • A microwave oven
  • A toaster oven
  • An electric car
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Gaming consoles
  • Fridge/freezers
  • Other surge protectors
  • Hair tools
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Sump pumps
  • Portable air conditioners or space heaters.

Note– Instead of directly using a surge protector for these devices,  can use a whole-house surge protector with ground outlets.

Safety Precaution While Using A Surge Protector Into An Extension Cord

Extension Cord

Use The Right Gauge And Ampacity

When plugging an extension cord into a surge protector outlet, it’s important to use the right gauge and ampacity. A too-thin extension cord will not carry enough current and could break. In contrast, a too-thick extension cord will not fit into some outlets and could be dangerous if it falls onto someone.

Extension cords should have a minimum of 16 AWG or 18 AWG wires and should be rated for at least the current that your appliances are likely to draw.

Don’t Let It Overload/Overheat

Extension cords can be a lifesaver when you need to plug something in but don’t have an outlet close. However, ensure you use a surge protector with your extension cord to avoid any potential damage or problems.

Suppose an extension cord overload or overheat. In that case, it can cause fire or electrical shock, so take precautions and stay safe!

Use Good Quality Cord

Not all extension cords are made equal. So make sure to choose a quality extension cord that is capable of carrying the load and has a UL or cUL certification.

Don’t Use Heavy Load Appliances

When using an extension cord, it’s important to be aware of the heavy load of the appliance being plugged into it. If the appliance is heavy, it may cause the cord to become overloaded and result in a fire.

Always use caution when plugging an appliance into an extension cord to avoid this. Also, I always advise using a quality extension cord rated for the amount of current your surge protector/appliances are likely to draw.

Never Use Extension Cords Permanently

Extension cords are convenient for power devices in tight spaces, but they’re not always the best option. Extension cords can be dangerous if they’re not used properly. They can also be a fire hazard if they’re plugged into an outlet that’s not properly grounded.

It’s important to use extension cords sparingly and only when necessary. Ensure that the cord is properly plugged into an outlet and adequately grounded.


At the end of the post, you now understand that you can plug a surge protector into an extension cord, but only if the extension cord has a matching surge protector’s power. 

Otherwise, your surge protector and the extension cord will be damaged. Also, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using a surge protector with an extension cord.

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