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Can You Plug a Surge Protector Into an Extension Cord?

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

can you plug a surge protector into an extension cord

When it comes to electrical connections, surge protectors are extremely handy items. When discussing these devices, one question always comes up: “Can you plug a surge protector into an extension cord?”

Technically, the answer to this question is yes. However, there are certain significant details that you should consider to make this electrical connection safe and risk-free. As a result, let us discuss this setup quickly below.

Is It Safe to Plug a Surge Protector Into an Extension Cord?


We all know that extension cords are very useful for supplying electricity in an area with no nearby outlet.

However, when talking about a surge protector, some of us may not know what it is and what it can do. In this case, to have a solid understanding of this topic, let me briefly describe surge protectors.

So, what is a surge protector?

A surge protector is a device that can protect the electrical device from a damageable surge. This power surge is the sudden increase of electrical current in a circuit and usually comes during lighting strikes.

  • Now, when plugging surge protector into extension cord, the electrical rating of both devices is very important to consider. An extension cord should always need to have the same or higher rating than the surge protector.
    This means that with a 12-gauge surge protector plugged into extension cord, you should use a minimum size of 12 gauge for the extension cord. Using low-rating extension cables with smaller diameters creates a risk of electrical hazards, which can cause fires.
  • Additionally, having a grounded extension cord also helps to keep the connection safe from a ground fault.
    However, even though you can plug a surge protector into a heavy duty extension cord, you have to understand that it is not recommended. This is due to the fact that the extension cords are only for temporary use and not for a permanent circuit.

How about in a situation where you plug an extension cord into a surge protector and outlet? Is it possible?

  • Yes, it is also possible to plug an extension cord into a power strip and wall. However, the same factors should be considered, and most importantly, you should not exceed the surge protector’s electrical capacity.
    If any of these conditions are not met, it can create a potential hazard that can cause damage to your electronic device or electrical fire. On the other hand, if you still think that this electrical connection is unsafe, you should think of another alternative.

Alternative Solution for Plugging a Surge Protector Into an Extension Cord


You have several options if you want surge protection for your electronic equipment without using an extension cord. A way to accomplish this is by using a surge protector extension cord.

Another option is to install a whole-house surge diverter. This device is excellent for the entire circuit rather than just a few electronic devices.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Kind of Extension Cord Can I Use With a Surge Protector?

If you are using an extension cord with a surge protector, the extension cord size should be the same or more than the rating of the surge protection device. Try not to use excessively long cables as well. This will provide a good flow of electricity, preventing the risk of electrical hazards.


What Should You Never Plug Into a Surge Protector?

While surge protection is designed to safeguard electronic devices, we must note that not all home electronics can be connected to it.

Some of the devices that cannot be plugged into surge protectors are such as space heaters, refrigerators, power tools, and any high-powered devices. Kitchen appliances, hair styling tools, and water pumps are a no-no as well.

Can You Plug an Extension Cord Into Another Extension Cord?

Plugging a power strip into an extension cord or daisy chaining is not recommended. This electrical connection can cause overloads, creating fire hazards. Furthermore, this type of electrical connection is against NEC electrical code and OSH regulations.


Knowing the answer to the question, “Can you plug a surge protector into an extension cord?” can give you confidence that your electronics are safe. Simply ensure that the extension cords and device loads you use are in the proper size.

Always consult a professional before doing any DIYing with your surge protection system. You can get advice from community forums such as Reddit, preserve the device’s warranty, and make a safe connection that meets NEC and OSHA standards.

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