What NOT to plug into a powerboard

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What NOT to plug into a powerboard

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Powerboards (also known as power strips) are a great way to enable quick, easy access to many devices from more locations in your home or commercial space.

Many home and business owners don’t realise that powerboards aren’t the only way to gain this luxury, as our local reliable electricians in Melbourne can actually install additional outlets inside your home, ensuring a safer and more visually appealing electrical setting.

As convenient as they are, powerboards aren’t always safe – especially when they are misused.

Today, Briggs Electrical outlines the dangers of plugging certain items into a powerboard and how we can help you be safe in your home.

Are power strips safe?

Powerboards were created for the convenience of plugging in multiple appliances into one spot.

They are beneficial when there is no outlet present or not enough outlets for all your devices.

However, like any electrical aid – they come with risks.

You should always make sure that your powerboard is:

  • Modern
  • In excellent working condition
  • Has internal circuit breakers
  • Has individual switches for each outlet

Old powerboards can have frayed wires, no circuit breakers, and not function properly. This can create surges or trips which can trigger outages and sometimes even fires.

Even when you do use modern power strips, you should never place items over them like clothing, blankets, or doonas, and always switch it off at the wall when not in use.

If you can plug anything directly into the wall, we recommend you do, rather than relying on a powerboard.

What should you not plug into a power strip?

Even the most modern, up-to-date powerboards have their limits. There are certain things that you should never plug into them.

Appliances that shouldn’t’ be plugged into a powerboard include those that:

  • Have very high amperage
  • Generate a lot of heat
  • Require direct energy for a long period of time

Our electrical contractors take a closer look at specific devices you should avoid plugging into powerboards.

Hair appliances

Anything that you need to plug into a wall to use on your hair generally reaches high temperatures, such as hair curlers, blow dryers, and straighteners.

Generating high temperatures requires high amperages, which means that hair appliances tick off two of the three main things you shouldn’t plug into a powerboard: heated devices and high energy devices.

Another important reason why we don’t recommend using powerboards for hair appliances is that you generally use such appliances in the bathroom – one of a few ‘wet rooms’ in the home that may be susceptible to water damage.

Water and electrical appliances never mix, so should be kept separate; and this can become even riskier when there is a dangling powerboard between them.

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Many larger kitchen appliances

The kitchen can be a busy place for family members.

Mum is stacking the dishwasher while dad is making a toasted sandwich, meanwhile, the kids are trying to use the microwave.

Kitchen appliances that require excessive amperage shouldn’t be plugged into a powerboard. These can include:

  • Coffee maker
  • Toaster
  • Microwave

Your slow cooker and refrigerator also should not be plugged into a powerboard; as these appliances run for very long periods of time (or in the case of your fridge, 24/7!)

Just like in the bathroom, water in the kitchen is also a safety risk we must consider.

HVAC systems

Air conditioning and heating, including window/wall systems or portable HVACs shouldn’t get plugged in via a powerboard.

HVAC systems use the most amperage out of everything in your home, especially for large systems like multi-split or ducted air conditioning.

Most large systems have dedicated internal outlets that you can’t see, but just in case they don’t – don’t plug them into a power board.

So… what can I plug into a powerboard?

You’re probably thinking that we’ve covered a lot of things that can’t be plugged into powerboards, and want to know if there are any appliances left that actually can be plugged into one!

The following are items you can plug into powerboards – but always be cautious of tripping hazards:

  • Electric toothbrush
  • Electric shaver
  • Televisions and gaming
  • Anything needed to be charged like a smartphone, notebook, earbuds, etc.
  • A blender, food processor, or a juicer
  • Lamps

If you’re unsure if you can plug something into a power strip speak to an electrician in Brighton.

Can a power strip be plugged into a power strip?

You can’t plug another powerboard or extension cord into a powerboard.

The amount of outlets on a powerboard exists because that is the absolute limit of appliances you can use at any one time.

That being said, you can still overload it at any time, so should always be cautious of sparks, buzzing, and sporadic functionality to know if there’s an overload.

Therefore plugging a powerboard into another powerboard creates an excess of voltage that neither of the boards are made to handle.

You may think that an extension cord can be plugged in, but unfortunately, you can’t do this either because there are too many risks from the two circuits meeting.

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How can I make my home safe from powerboard accidents?

Briggs Electricians are qualified to take care of your electrical systems

Briggs Electrical and Data Solutions are 24 hr electricians who assist commercial and domestic properties with all things electrical.

In addition to assessing and improving your outlets, circuits, and electrical health, Briggs also provides a range of domestic and commercial electrical services, including:

Call Briggs Electrical anytime on 1300 300 222 or lodge a job  with us today!