Gizmo Gadget is a blog about the safest way to plug in numerous gadgets.
This blog post was inspired by my experience with a power strip. I had bought this power strip from a store and it was rated for 1250 watts, which should have been more than enough for my computer and all its peripherals.
One day I wanted to vacuum under my desk and so I unplugged everything. After vacuuming, I reinserted the plugs into the power strip and turned the switch on. Immediately, the lights flickered, and when they came back on, there was a strange smell coming from my desktop PC.
I thought that perhaps it was a fluke and tried again. Once again, the lights flickered and the PC smelled funny. To be safe, I plugged all of the devices directly into outlets around my house; no flickering or strange odors after that.
I called up a friend who works in IT to ask him about this phenomenon. He said that sometimes if you plug too many devices into a single power strip with insufficient capacity, then all of the devices could be getting too much voltage or current than what they need, causing them to malfunction.
It’s an everyday occurrence in many households. You get up in the morning, get ready for work, and then proceed to plug all of your gadgets in for a quick charge before you leave.
But be careful! The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2011, 486,000 home electrical fires happened across the country. These fires caused $1.3 billion in property damage, 1,400 injuries, and 510 deaths.
It’s scary to think that with so many electronics out there, something as simple as plugging them in could result in a fire. But that’s exactly what happens.
So how can you avoid an electrical fire? First, pay attention to the number of devices you have plugged into a power strip or wall outlet at one time. Many devices draw a significant amount of electricity when charging or running and this can often exceed the amount of electricity your power strip or wall outlet is designed to handle – causing it to heat up and start a fire.
So i have been trying to figure out how many gadgets can I plug in at once when I am at home. I have a surge protector, but it has only 6 outlets in it. So i have been wondering if I need to buy a new surge protector or if there is a different way to do this?
Well the truth is that we all have multiple devices that need to be charged at the same time and for most of us – the more the better! All those gadgets are convenient but sometimes hard to charge when you don’t have enough outlets. One solution is to buy a new surge protector with more outlets than what you currently use. Another solution would be to get an extension cord and then plug your devices in through that.
The bottom line is that there are many solutions to this problem and they all depend on how many devices you are using.
The first question is this: How many devices can I plug into an outlet without blowing a fuse? This question is both simple and complex. The answer to this question depends on how many amps the circuit is and the voltage that is being run through it.
The second question is about how many devices can be plugged into a surge protector or power strip. Think of a power strip as a series of outlets connected together on the same circuit, with one wire running into each outlet.
Take three cords. Each cord has its own current draw, based on the wattage of the device at the other end. Add up all three wattages, then divide by the voltage from your wall outlet. This will give you the amount of amps required by those three cords. If it’s over 15 amps, you’ll need to use an outlet that supports that much current draw, such as a 20 amp outlet.
The third question is: Can I plug two power strips into each other? The short answer is no, unless your power strip has a switch on it to turn it on and off. Plugging one power strip into another could cause it to overheat and result in a fire hazard.
We have all seen this before. You plug in your phone to charge and then you try to plug in your laptop, but the laptop won’t work. What happened? The problem is that there are not enough outlets for all of our devices!
If you plug in a lot of devices, you may find that your appliances or lights flicker or even turn off. If you plug in too many devices into the same outlet, it can cause the circuit breaker to trip and lose power.
The solution to this problem is usually simple. Install new outlets into the walls where they are needed. This way, you will be able to charge your devices without having to worry about them interfering with other outlets and lights.
A couple of weeks ago, I left for work with a half-charged phone, not enough room in my backpack for my laptop charger, and a dying e-reader. My routine is to plug in all three devices in the car and let them charge while I drive. By the time I get to work, they should all be full.
Except this time it didn’t go as planned. While the phone and laptop were charging just fine, the e-reader shut off after only 5 minutes. Later on that day, my roommate let me know that he had also experienced some problems with his e-reader earlier when plugging it into our wall outlet. Apparently, only one device at a time can be plugged into our outlets without causing problems!
I was surprised by this finding since I had never run into this problem before. Being an electrical engineer by training, I decided to do a little investigating to better understand what was going on in our apartment and how many devices could actually be plugged in at once before we experienced any problems.
You may be surprised how many devices you can plug into one wall outlet. You could plug your phone charger, tablet charger, computer, and even your mini fridge into one wall outlet. Now you may be thinking, “Wow that’s great! I can put all of my chargers in one outlet.” However, this is a bad idea for many reasons.
This goes back to Ohm’s Law. Ohm’s Law states that the current is proportional to the voltage and inversely proportional to the resistance. This is usually written as simply V = IR. In other words, if the voltage increases by a factor of two then the current will increase by a factor of two as well. This means that a higher voltage will allow more current to flow through the same wire size.
The problem with most electronic devices is they are all designed to run off of 120 volts or around 110 volts. Because they are designed to run off of 110 volts they will start drawing more current than they should when plugged into 240V plugs. This could lead to short circuits and fires in worst cases.
What can you do? Well first off don’t plug multiple devices into one outlet unless it’s rated for high amperage or 20 amps or higher which most outlets in houses are not