Can You Plug a Power Strip Into a Surge Protector?

power strip surge protectors

Can you plug a power strip into a surge protector?

Yes, you can plug a power strip into a surge protector. Consumers do so all the time. But experts hate the practice because overloading is more likely to occur. They also want consumers to realize that the practice contravenes several laws and guidelines.

Power strips and surge protectors are not the same.

Power strips provide multiple outlets. They are also inexpensive. Surge protectors cost more because they provide surge protection mechanisms.

If you have to choose between the two, you are better off using a surge protector, especially if you want to power sensitive gadgets like computers. But if your surge protector doesn’t have enough outlets, can you solve the problem by plugging a power strip into the surge protector?

At the end of the day, it isn’t a question of whether or not you can plug a power strip into a surge protector but, rather, whether or not it is a safe and acceptable solution. Experts tend to frown upon this practice, and for reasons that make a lot of sense, as you will soon see.

Can You Plug A Power Strip Into A Surge Protector?

Yes, you can. Experts keep warning against this practice but they cannot stop you. People daisy-chain power strips and surge protectors for two primary reasons:

1). To Increase the number of Outlets

Attaching a power strip to a surge protector allows you to multiply the number of outlets at your disposal. If the surge protector has six outlets, plugging a power strip with six additional outlets into the surge protector gives you a total of 12 outlets. This allows you to power 11 different devices using a single wall receptacle.

2). To Prevent Surges

A surge protector is designed to defend your gadgets from surges and spikes that can occur as a result of faulty wiring, lightning strikes, and the presence of high-powered appliances like refrigerators.

When you attach a power strip to the outlet of a surge protector, all the appliances connected to the power strip can take advantage of the protection the surge protector offers. This practice enables you to defend multiple appliances from surges and spikes.

Is It Okay To Plug Power Strips Into Surge Protectors?

You can plug power strips into surge protectors but

  • If their total load exceeds the rating of the power strip, it can overload the power strips causing a fire!
  • Daisy-chaining is prohibited by NFPA, NEC, and UL Guidelines.
  • If assets are damaged and people are injured as a result of an accident, they can sue you!
  • It can void your warranty.

Daisy-chaining is generally frowned upon, regardless of the devices being daisy-chained. 

Praire Electric blames

20 percent of all accidents in the US related to surge protectors on daisy-chaining.

Experts associate the practice with fires and electrocutions. However, people daisy-chain power strips and surge, protectors, all the time and most of them will tell you that they have never encountered any negative consequences as a result.

If you ask them to tell you whether it is okay to connect power strips to surge protectors, they will answer with an enthusiastic ‘Yes’. If you ask the experts to explain why they hate daisy-chaining so much, they will point to two primary issues:

1). Overloading Can Cause Fire

Daisy-chaining makes overloads far more likely. Alarm New England believes that homeowners can avoid accidents related to power strips by knowing the limits of their power strips. A power strip can only draw a certain amount of electricity.

You can overload the power strip by forcing it to exceed that limit. This is why manufacturers emphasize the capacity of each power strip by printing it on the packaging. Surge protectors have the same limitations.

If a consumer plugs multiple appliances into a power strip, and if their total load exceeds the rating of the power strip, the consumer will overload the power strip. If that power strip is attached to a surge protector, the total load of the devices connected to the power strip can overload the surge protector. This can start fires.

2). Law – Daisy Chaining is Prohibited

Even if the average consumer is too smart to overload their power strips and surge protectors, experts do not want you to fall afoul of the law. Daisy-chaining is prohibited by NFPA, NEC, and UL Guidelines.

What does this mean? If assets are damaged and people are injured as a result of an accident that occurred because you daisy-chained power strips and surge protectors, they can sue you.

Another concern is the warranties attached to your devices. Some manufacturers will void your warranty if their product is damaged because you daisy-chained power trips and surge protectors. In other words, the practice forces you to carry hefty repair and replacement costs that you would normally avoid by using the warranty.

Plugging Power Strips into Surge Protectors – How?

If you want to daisy-chain power strips and surge protectors without causing any accidents, take the following factors into account:

1). Check the rating of your Power Strip

Consider the rating of your power strips and surge protectors. Look at their packaging to determine the amount of electricity they can safely draw. This will keep you from accidentally overloading them.

2). Check the rating of your Appliances

It isn’t enough to determine the rating of the strips and surge protectors. You have to do the same for the appliances they will power. Their total load shouldn’t exceed the capacity of the strips and surge protectors. Avoid power-hungry appliances like space heaters and dehumidifiers.

3). Use the greatest Gauge Possible

Use surge protectors and power strips with the greatest possible gauge. The higher the gauge, the smaller the risk. This is because the gauge affects the amount of current a power strip can carry. A power strip (or surge protector) with a decent gauge can power problematic appliances like refrigerators without overloading.

Look for 14-gauge power strips or better.

BrinksHome also expects you to invest in appliance surge protectors with a greater joule rating that can handle the strain of large appliances like washers.

Best Power Strip Surge Protector

Identifying the best power strip surge protector isn’t all that difficult. You just have to account for the following:

1). Higher Joule Rating

The joule rating shows the amount of energy a power strip can absorb before losing its surge protection. The higher the joule rating, the better.

The average homeowner requires a joule rating of 600 or more.

2). UL Certification

The most reliable surge protectors have a UL rating which shows that an independent organization tested them and determined that they are safe and effective. Do not use power strips and surge protectors that lack UL ratings. They are risky.

3). Use Clamping Voltage of 400v

This is the voltage that causes a surge protector to respond. If a power strip with surge protection has a lower clamping voltage, the power strip will respond earlier and faster. If it has a higher clamping voltage, it will respond later. Most homes require a clamping voltage of 400V or less.


Yes, you can plug a power strip into a surge protector.

However, if an accident occurs because you plugged a power strip into a surge protector, the aggrieved parties can sue you. Additionally, daisy-chaining power strips and surge protectors will void the warranties of your devices. You have to weigh the risks against the benefits before you decide to plug power strips into surge protectors.

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