Plugging a dryer into a power strip may be an easy option to provide power to the appliance; however, potential dangers associated with this practice.
Do Not attempt to plug a dryer into a power strip. Dryers require a high amount of power to operate, and power strips are designed for lower-voltage devices. Plugging a high-powered appliance like a dryer into a power strip can overload the circuit and can cause electrical hazards and fires.
Your home’s safety is a top priority; hence, understanding the risks involved in improper use of electrical appliances is crucial.
This article will explain why a power strip is not the best bet when trying to power up a dryer and will provide the necessary electrical infrastructure required for a dryer to operate safely.
Can You Plug a Dryer into a Power Strip?
No, a dryer should never be plugged into a power strip. This is because dryers require significant power to operate, often drawing 240 volts of electricity.
On the other hand, power strips are designed to handle lower-voltage devices such as computers, televisions, or small appliances.
Plugging a high-powered appliance like a dryer into a power strip can overload the strip and cause it to overheat or even catch fire.
Power strips have specific wattage limits that should not be exceeded, and using them with high-energy devices like dryers can exceed these limits.
Moreover, dryers have specialized plugs for direct connection to dedicated outlets, which should be GFCI protected.
These outlets are specifically wired and grounded to handle the dryer’s high voltage and current demands safely. Therefore, they must always be plugged into these dedicated outlets.
What are the Risks of Plugging a Dryer into a Power Strip
There are many hazards that “WiLL” arise if you try to run a dryer that’s plugged into a power strip that you may want to avoid.
Here are 5 of those hazards listed:
1. Fire Hazard
Dryers draw substantial electricity to generate heat and operate the motor, causing power strips to overload. This overload can lead to excessive heat buildup, ultimately increasing fire risk.
Fires sparked by overloaded power strips have the potential to cause extensive property damage, endanger lives, and lead to devastating consequences that could have been easily prevented.
Another risk associated with plugging a dryer into a power strip is the risk of electrocution.
Dryers are equipped with grounding plugs to prevent electric shock.
If you plug into a power strip, your safety is compromised, exposing individuals to the danger of coming into direct contact with live wires.
Power strips accommodate devices with lower power requirements, such as laptops and phone chargers. Plugging a dryer into a power strip forces the strip to operate at its maximum capacity, leading to overheating.
Overheating damages the power strip, rendering it ineffective and creating a breeding ground for potential fire hazards.
4. Loss of Warranty
Manufacturers design dryers and power strips with specific guidelines and usage instructions to ensure safety and optimal performance.
In the event of any malfunction or damage caused, individuals cannot claim manufacturer support or protection, leading to costly repairs or replacements.
5. Cause Lights to Dim
The current draw the dryer will produce will cause lights to dim that are connected to the same circuit as the power strip. Light bulbs, especially LEDs ones, will dim and even flicker as the dryer starts and runs.
Not only will lights dim, but other smaller appliances that are on the circuit will also begin to malfunction as they will be “starving” for current as well.
Is a Surge Protector or Power Strip Better for a Dryer?
Although both surge protectors and power strips can provide additional outlets for your appliances, they have distinct features and different purposes.
A surge protector is a better option than a power strip for a dryer.
This is because the main objective of a surge protector is to protect electronic devices from voltage spikes or surges.
It contains built-in circuitry that detects and diverts excess voltage away from your appliances, preventing damage caused by sudden power fluctuations.
They are equipped with multiple outlets and often come with a rating indicating the protection level they offer.
Surge protectors also contain additional safety features, such as circuit breakers or fuses that automatically shut off power in case of an overload or short circuit. These features provide an extra layer of protection against electrical hazards.
On the other hand, a power strip is primarily used to expand the number of available outlets in an area. It does not provide any surge protection capabilities unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Generally, power strips are extension cords with multiple sockets, allowing you to plug in multiple devices simultaneously.
Using just a regular power strip without surge protection may leave your dryer vulnerable to potential electrical hazards if there are any sudden voltage fluctuations or surges in your home’s electrical system.
Therefore, opting for a surge protector is safer than just a regular power strip without built-in surge protection capabilities.
How to Choose the Best Surge Protector for A Dryer?
You can use a surge protector for your dryer. However, it is essential to note that not all surge protectors are suitable for dryers. It is necessary to choose a proper surge protector for your dryer.
So, how can you make the best decision? Consider the following factors:
Firstly, it is essential to consider the joule rating of the surge protector. The joule rating indicates the energy the surge protector can absorb before it fails.
A higher joule rating means the surge protector can handle more significant power surges and provide better protection for your dryer.
A surge protector with 1000-2000 joules is best for dryers.
Secondly, you should look for a surge protector with multiple outlets.
This lets you connect various devices to the surge protector, including your dryer and other appliances. Ensure the surge protector has enough outlets to accommodate all your devices.
You should also ensure the surge protector has an appropriate cord length to reach your dryer’s power source comfortably.
The clamping voltage is the level at which the surge protector starts diverting excess voltage away from connected devices.
A lower clamping voltage indicates better protection as it will respond more quickly to power surges.
A maximum clamping voltage of 400 volts is considered best for the dryers.
Always look for surge protectors certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). This certification ensures that the device meets safety standards and has undergone rigorous testing.
You should also consider whether you need additional features, such as EMI/RFI noise filtering or USB ports on your surge protector. These features can provide added convenience and protection for your electrical devices.
Lastly, remember to check if the surge protector has a warranty or guarantee. This ensures that you are protected in case of any malfunctions or defects with the product.
So, these factors will guide you in choosing the best surge protection device for dryers.
Which Is the Best Surge Protector for Dryers?
Some of the best surge protectors for dryers with their distinct characteristics are:
|Surge Protection Energy Rating||2630 Joules|
|Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip||11 outlets|
|Power Cord||8-foot length, flat-end 90-degree plug|
|USB Ports||2 ports, 2.4 Amps charging power|
|Surge Protector Model||Tripp Lite Protect It 12-Outlet Surge Protector TLP1208SAT|
|Suitable for||Home office and entertainment setups|
|Key Features||Auto-shutoff, multiple outlets, coaxial and telephone connectors|
|Protection||Strong defense against household surges and power fluctuations|
|Cord Length||8-foot cord for enhanced flexibility|
|Design||Sturdy and robust design|
|Wireless Remote Switch||Control power to entire computer system with a single click|
|Power Control for Up to Six Devices||Turn off power to 6 devices simultaneously, including standby power|
|Included Devices||Computer, monitor|
|Always-On Outlets||2 outlets provide continuous power for devices like router, cordless phone|
|Cord Length||4 feet|
|Placement Options||Desk, shelf, or wall-mounted|
|Wireless Range||Up to 60 feet, no line of sight required|
|Transformer-Friendly Outlets||5 outlets designed to accommodate transformers|
|Housing Material||Durable and impact-resistant housing|
|Power Cord||3 ft / 1 m Heavy Duty Grounded Power Cord|
|Electrical Rating||120V, 15 Amps, 1800 Watts, 1080 joules surge protection|
|Circuit Breaker||15 Amp with noise reduction filter|
|Safety Certification||UL-certified for product safety and testing|
So, these were some of the best picks for dryer surge protection devices.
Power strips are extension cords or multi-outlet power bars designed to handle lower voltage and wattage loads for devices such as computers, televisions, and small appliances.
On the other hand, dryers are high-powered appliances that require a dedicated outlet with the appropriate voltage to handle the load safely.
Dryers shouldn’t be plugged into power strips due to the risk of overloading them, causing them to heat up or potentially catch fire. Instead, dryers should be plugged into dedicated outlets designed explicitly for such purposes.