Power Strips & Extension Cords


Even a brand new house doesn't have enough wall outlets to connect all the devices in a computer system or home entertainment system. Thus power strips have become very common. Surge suppressors look similar to power strips but have varying amounts of transient voltage spike protection.

Power Strips

While power strips add 4-8 additional receptacle connections, they do not add to the capacity of the house wiring that they are connected to. Typical wall outlets are rated at 15 amps and should not have more than 12 amps current drawn regularly.

These in turn are connected to 15 or 20 amp circuits that may have lighting already connected to them. A typical modern computer system requires 500-600 watts (4-5 amps), and a home theater system can easily require 1500 watts (12 amps). Just because power strips have their own circuit breakers doesn't mean its acceptable to put them on as many outlets as needed and run as much current as they can individually handle.

Something to Consider

You must consider the house circuit limitations and ultimately the rating of the house electric service.