People use power strips when they don’t have enough outlets in the vicinity of their appliances. However, while power strips can handle simple items like phone chargers and laptops, can they accommodate freezers?
Can You Plug A Freezer Into A Power Strip?
Freezers and refrigerators pull too much electricity, especially when they cycle ON and OFF. Therefore, they will eventually overload the power strip. Thus, you can’t plug a freezer into a power strip.
I suggest you plug freezers directly into a wall outlet. If your freezer is particularly powerful, you should use a dedicated circuit, one the freezer doesn’t have to share with any other appliance.
Is It Safe To Plug A Freezer Into Power Strip?
No, it is not safe. You have two primary concerns:
1). Tripping Hazard
Power strips are a tripping hazard. This is part of the reason why you have to use them as a temporary solution. You cannot afford to deploy the devices for several weeks or months at a time. The chances of someone tripping over the cord will rise the longer the power strip stays in place.
Admittedly, people that want to run freezers tend to prioritize power strips with the shortest cords. But that doesn’t eliminate the threat of tripping.
The cord of a power strip can easily overheat. Once this happens, the device will start a fire. Power strips and extension cords can overheat because you cover them with objects like carpets and blankets or because they are carrying more electricity than they can handle.
Conductors have a resistance that opposes the flow of electricity. If large volumes of current flow through an unsuitable conductor, the increased resistance will generate dangerous amounts of heat. That heat can start a fire.
This is why I discourage consumers from plugging high-capacity appliances like microwaves into power strips. Thousands of fires in the US started because someone misused an extension cord or power strip.
People are more likely to use power strips because they are cheap and easy to come by. Some of them think that buying a powerful power strip with a thick cord is enough to protect them.
They do not realize that the power usage of a freezer spikes considerably when it cycles on.
In other words, even if your power strip is powerful enough to accommodate the electrical requirements of the freezer during normal operations, the freezer can still overload the power strip when it cycles on.
What Gauge Power Strip Is Best For Freezer?
12AWG is adequate for appliances that use 16 to 20 amps. The rating of the freezer should guide you. For instance, if you have a 12-15-amp freezer, 14AWG is adequate for your needs.
The gauge reveals the capacity of a power strip. Power strips with the highest gauges are the safest because they can transmit more current than power strips with a lower gauge without overheating. You can also use them safely over long distances.
However, the highest gauges are also the most expensive, which is why consumers are always looking for the lowest gauge that can still accommodate the needs of their appliances.
Does Power Strip Cable Length Matter While Using With The Freezer?
The cable length matters when you use the freezer. You have two significant concerns, namely:
1). Voltage Drop
When a current runs through a wire, it encounters resistance. That resistance increases as the length grow. This is a problem because increasing the resistance also raises the voltage drop.
Appliances require a specific amperage and voltage to run efficiently. If the resistance is too high, the amount of current reaching the other end of the cable will fall drastically, preventing the power strip from meeting the electrical requirements of the appliance.
Spruce expects severe voltage drops to prevent the appliance from running. If the freezer can work despite the electrical deficiency, the motor could overheat. This is because the appliance is trying to draw more current than it usually uses to compensate for the voltage drop.
You can compensate for the voltage drop by increasing the cable’s gauge. A thick cord reduces the resistance, which minimizes the voltage drop despite the length.
Because a longer cable provides greater resistance, increasing the length will also elevate the amount of heat the freezer generates when it pulls electricity through the wires. You could set the power strip on fire, a development that can destroy your home if you’re not careful.
How To Use Freezer With A Power Strip?
If you want to reduce the chances of a freezer overwhelming a power strip, you have to take certain precautions, including:
1). Use the power strip as a temporary solution. It can keep your freezer running until a professional comes along and installs an extra wall outlet. If the freezer’s cord is too short to reach the new outlet, ask the electrician to install a longer cable. Where possible, bring the freezer closer to the wall outlet.
2). Before using the power strip, check your local code. Does it permit consumers to pair power strips with freezers? The NEC prohibits the use of extension cords and power strips for running heavy-duty appliances. But the police don’t perform home inspections to determine whether or not you’ve adhered to the NEC’s requirements.
Nonetheless, if you operate out of a commercial building, you may attract a hefty fine if the authorities learn that you have a freezer plugged into a power strip.
3). Use the correct gauge. A freezer uses roughly 15 amps. To accommodate the appliance, you need at least 14AWG. 12AWG is the best option. The thicker the cable, the better. Don’t forget: freezers use more electricity when they cycle on.
Therefore, you need a power strip whose capacity exceeds the rating of the freezer.
4). Get the shortest power strip you can find. A short cord reduces the resistance. It will also reduce the risk of tripping.
5). I don’t want you to daisy-chain the power strips. Daisy-chaining refers to the practice of plugging one power strip into another. The habit increases the risk of overloading and overheating.
Can You Plug A Deep/Chest Freezer Into A Power Strip?
You can’t plug a deep/chest freezer into a power strip. If the deep/chest freezer’s rating exceeds the capacity of the power strip, you could start a fire. Plug the deep freezer into a wall outlet.
Best Power Strip For Freezer
If you want to operate your freezer without overloading the power strip, you need a model that can withstand the electrical demands of the appliance. If you don’t know where to find reliable power strips, these are some of the best options on the market:
This power strip is special because it has surge protection mechanisms. It has a rugged construction that includes six outlets, four compact outlets, two wide-spacing outlets, and a 14AWG power cord. The item is ETL listed. You can return it within the first twelve months if it fails to satisfy your needs.
This power strip doubles as a surge protector. It offers 2700J of protection. The ETL listed product is sturdy, boasting overload protection, fire protection coating, and a 15A circuit breaker. The item has an industrial design, which is why you can trust it to stand the test of time. It is strong enough to run heavy-duty appliances and power tools.
This power strip offers 4320 joules of protection. It weighs just 2.45 pounds. The compact design is one of this product’s most appealing attributes, along with the 12AC outlets that can rotate to provide room for large charger bricks.
The power strip includes RJ11 telephone and fax protection and a 300,000-dollar warranty for connected equipment.
This ETL-certified product has 20 AC outlets and a 15-foot long heavy-duty cable. Because it has an aluminum casing, you can trust the power strip to survive in unsafe settings such as workshops and garages.
It has a rating of 15 amps and a gauge of 14AWG, which is more than adequate for freezers and refrigerators. It comes with a 12-month warranty, which should put financially constrained individuals at ease. The power strip doesn’t look like much, but it will stand the test of time.