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Can You Plug a Space Heater into a Surge Protector? (Facts)

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

can you plug a space heater into a surge protector

During the colder months, space heaters are commonly used to warm rooms or supplement central heating. However, a question often arises: “Can you plug a space heater into a surge protector?”

In general, connecting a space heater to a surge protector is not recommended due to this setup’s various risks and safety concerns. To better understand the potential dangers and ensure your safety when using a space heater, read the brief explanation below.

What Happens If I Plug a Space Heater into a Surge Protector?


A surge protector is ideal for protecting electrical devices from harmful electrical surges or spikes. These surges mainly occur during lightning strikes, power outages, and other electrical disturbances. If an electronic device is connected to it, it does mean that it is protected from any power surges.

However, it is normal for a space heater to draw a significant amount of current. At the same time, most surge protectors are usually not designed to hold this power. As a result, it is possible for a space heater melted surge protector.

When this happens, it may cause potential hazards that can damage the unit or cause an electrical fire. This is why many professionals do not recommend using a surge protector with a space heater.

Can I Use a 15A Surge Protector with My Space Heater?

A portable heater is relatively low power. This allows you to use a surge protector with a specific power rating.

However, if you want to plug a heater into a surge protector with a 15-amp power rating, you should only consider a unit that is no more than 13 amps. This way, you can ensure that your surge protector does not get overloaded and cause an electrical hazard.

To know how much current a space heater can draw, you can conduct a simple calculation.

In this case, you can use the following formula to get the total current draw of a space heater:

\text{Current Draw} = \frac{\text{Space Heater Power Rating}}{\text{Outlet Voltage}}

For example, if you have an 800 watts space heater divided by 120 standard US outlets, you can get a total current draw of 6.6 amps. Also, note that the current draw of the unit may differ depending on the region where you live.

However, the same calculation can be used.

Below is a chart with a list of various space heaters and their current draw, which you can reference. Please note that any rating over 13-amp current draws cannot be used in a 15-amp surge protector.

Space Heater Power Rating 15 Amp Surge Protector in 120v Outlet

(US Standard Outlet)

15 Amp Surge Protector in 230v Outlet

(Europe / UK Standard Outlet)

800 Watts 6.6 Amps 3.47 Amps
1,000 Watts 8.3 Amps 4.34 Amps
1,200 Watts 12 Amps 5.22 Amps
1,500 Watts 12.5 Amps 6.52 Amps
2,000 Watts 16.66 Amps 8.69 Amps

Things to Consider When Using a Surge Protector for a Space Heater


Here are some safety precautions to take if you decide to utilize a surge protector with your space heater unit.

  • Only use a heavy duty surge protector with a power rating that can handle space heater rating.
  • If using a power surge that has a cord, use it as short as possible to prevent voltage loss.
  • Choose a surge protector with a faster response time for additional safety.
  • Always turn off the space heater when not in use or use a surge protector with an on off switch for quick access.
  • Don’t leave a space heater plugged in and running for a long time to prevent electrical risk.
  • Don’t connect the surge protector to an extension cord; it may increase resistance and cause an electrical hazard.

Please note that the space heater is still best to plug directly into the wall outlet. Using a surge protector for a space heater unit is not recommended as the system is not as sensitive as other electronics such as computers.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is It OK To Plug Space Heater into Extension Cord?

Is it safe to use a surge protector for a space heater? Well, it depends on the power ratings of both the surge protector and the space heater.

A surge protector can only be safely used if the space heater’s power rating is compatible with the surge protector’s rating. However, if the surge protector’s rating is lower than the space heater’s power rating, using a surge protector with the space heater is not safe.

Why Can’t You Plug a Space Heater into a Power Strip?

You should not use a power strip to plug in a space heater. Space heaters draw much power and can easily overload power strips, causing them to overheat and potentially start a fire.

Is a Space Heater Safe for Overnight Use?

It may be safe space heaters for overnight use, especially those newer models with automatic thermostat adjustments. Furthermore, adjusting its temperature adds safety and may help reduce its electrical consumption.


So, can you plug a space heater into a surge protector? Remember, it depends on the power rating of both the surge protector and the space heater. Everything will be good if the surge protector can safely handle the power rating of the space heater unit.

To ensure your electrical connection, it is recommended to use the best surge protector for space heater and follow its manufacturer’s instructions. Also, if possible, only plug your space heater directly into a wall outlet. These precautions allow you to stay safe and warm in your home during the colder months.

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