Surge protectors are similar to power strips. They multiply your outlets. But does it make sense to plug one surge protector into another? Is the practice safe? These are the questions you should answer before you daisy chain surge protectors.
Can You Plug A Surge Protector Into Another Surge Protector?
You cannot plug one surge protector into another unless the plug of the first surge protector has the same configuration as the outlets on the second surge protector. If the plug of the first surge protector cannot enter the slots of the second surge protector, you cannot daisy chain the two.
You have to remember that, like power strips, surge protectors come with different configurations. The plug of a surge protector made in one country may not fit the outlets of a surge protector made in a different country.
But if your surge protectors have similar configurations, you can connect them. It isn’t a good idea.
In fact, it is heavily discouraged by professional electricians and even the authorities. But unless your surge protectors are located in a commercial setting, most people won’t care that you have chosen to daisy chain them.
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What Happens If You Daisy Chain Surge Protectors?
Daisy chained surge protectors are controversial because daisy chaining is frowned upon. According to this research, 20 percent of all fires in the US are caused by daisy-chaining. This is why the practice is discouraged
But that is not the only concern. If you’re tempted to plug one surge protector into another, you have to keep the following in mind:
1). Lowers The Efficacy
Does daisy-chaining two surge protectors compromise their surge protection? Can you trust them both to protect you from a surge? This question confuses a lot of people because it doesn’t have a clear answer.
Plugging one surge protector into another will interfere with the surge protection of the first surge protector, lowering the efficacy of the item’s surge protection. However, many professional electricians disagree with that assessment.
Plugging one protector into another cannot compromise the surge protection of the first surge protector. If your circuit encounters a surge, the first surge protector (The one connected to the wall outlet) will stop it.
The first fuse or breaker that the surge encounters will receive the full brunt of that surge. If the surge protector is decent, it will protect everything downstream from the surge, including the second surge protector.
Daisy-chaining will neither increase nor decrease the surge protection capabilities of your surge protectors.
In other words, you cannot multiply your surge protection by using two or more surge protectors. The people on the internet who are convinced that daisy-chaining compromises surge protection may confuse you.
Who should you believe: the people who think that daisy-chaining reduces surge protection or the ones who argue that it doesn’t make a difference?
At the end of the day, the people who say that daisy-chaining affects a surge protector’s surge protection do not have any evidence to back their claims.
Until a study definitively proves that surge protectors become less effective when you daisy chain them, you can ignore this assumption.
Many consumers are convinced that daisy-chaining causes fires. They are not wrong. Daisy-chaining is a fire and electrocution hazard. But that is true for power strips and extension cords as well.
More importantly, fires will only occur if you overload the daisy-chained surge protectors. While this risk is real, it isn’t as prominent as people think.
3). Void Your Warranty
If daisy chaining cannot compromise the effectiveness of surge protectors, and if the risk of fires isn’t that great if the surge protectors are not overloaded, why do so many manufacturers include labels on their surge protectors warning people against daisy-chaining?
These manufacturers know that daisy-chaining can lead to disaster. They don’t want consumers to blame the fires that can result from daisy-chaining on their surge protectors. Their goal is to minimize insurance liability.
You should listen to those warning labels. From what Minnick’s has said, it looks like you can void your warranty if you daisy chain surge protectors made by certain manufacturers.
Additionally, OSHA and NEC regulations discourage daisy-chaining.
Is It Safe To Put A Surge Protector In A Surge Protector?
Daisy-chaining is safest when you use your surge protectors to operate smaller, light-duty appliances and devices. The more current an appliance uses, the greater the possibility of overloading the surge protector.
Many consumers will tell you that the practice is safe because they keep daisy-chaining surge protectors and they haven’t suffered any significant consequences.
But everyone agrees that daisy-chaining is a fire hazard, regardless of whether you are using surge protectors, power strips, or extension cords. You are more likely to overload daisy-chained surge protectors.
Because surge protectors provide additional outlets, people are normally tempted to fill all the extra outlets on their surge protectors with the plugs of every appliance and device they want to protect.
They do not realize that overloading both surge protectors by exceeding their capacity can start a fire. You can overload both the surge protectors and the wall outlet.
This is why I discourage homeowners from plugging heavy-duty appliances like space heaters into daisy-chained extension cords.
Why Do People Connect Two Surge Protectors Together?
- People daisy-chain surge protectors because they need more outlets. If you have one surge protector and all the outlets on that surge protector are in use but you have more devices that you want to protect from a surge, you may be tempted to multiply your outlets by adding a second surge protector to the equation, especially if you don’t have any other wall outlets in the area.
- You will also see daisy-chaining in situations where a consumer wants to extend the reach of the surge protector. For instance, if you want to provide surge protection to your laptop but the nearest wall outlet is several meters away and one surge protector isn’t enough to cross that distance. A second surge protector will solve this problem.