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Power Strip Related Questions

How do you know if a power strip is defective? What load can be placed on a strip on a 20 amp circuit? If electrical issues are not resolved correctly there is a danger to the circuit and the risk of injury or damage. If you are having problems with a power strip, getting your questions answered by Experts will help you find the correct solutions. Continue reading to see a few of the questions Experts have answered.

Could a power strip or breaker issue cause a loud bang to be heard and the power to go off when a computer is turned on?

Case Details: The problem is intermittent and the power returns after the breaker is flipped off and then on again.

One computer is not going to overload a circuit. Since the breaker has to be turned off and on again to restart power supply that means that it has not tripped, so there has been no overload. This leaves the power strip as the likely cause. While these strips are in common use, they can cause problems because of their internal components. A lot depends on the make and model. There are many foreign made ones that are not UL approved. Additionally, there is a black market on them and these often carry a false UL approved label. A visit to the UL website will show if the strip being used is UL approved or if it has been recalled. If the problem does not occur when the strip is removed, then that is the cause. Many people prefer to use a multi-receptacle surge protection unit that plugs into both the top and bottom receptacles and has extra plug ins in the front instead of a power strip.

Is it correct that it is dangerous to use a power strip when a generator is supplying electricity?

When a power strip is used with a generator the chances of overloading the circuit increases. In addition, if the strip is “looking for ground” the possibilities of problems is greater. The basic issue that the use of a generator should not exceed the manufacturers’ recommendations and this is more likely to happen when a strip is used.

Could a defect in a power strip be the reason for all the appliances connected on it to intermittently lose power for a few seconds before it returns?

Case Details: There is no overload and the breaker is not tripping.

While there could be an internal issue in the power strip, it is more likely that the problem is due to a bad connection in the circuit. Either the hot or the neutral are making and breaking on a device or a wirenut connection. If the building is an old one the failure of the push back connections on the receptacles is a common problem. In such cases the connections arc and break under load and reconnect when the wire cools off. This issue needs to be investigated by a professional electrician as there is a possibility of fire occurring if the problem is not rectified.

How many 275 watt appliances can be connected to a power strip on an electrical circuit with a 20 amp breaker?

As per the National Electrical Code, a 20 amp circuit using cord and plug connected loads should not exceed 80% of the circuit rating. In the case of a 20 amp circuit the load calculation is to be done in this manner: Using Watts Law where P = I x E, solve for P = 20 amps x 120 volts = 2,400 watts is the circuit rating. Thus 2,00 watts X 80% = 1920 watts which is the code approved load on a 20 amp circuit. When 1920 watts is divided by 275 watts per appliance on the strip the result is 6.98 appliances which can be rounded off to 7. This is the number of appliances that can be connected to the strip.

Could a faulty power strip be the reason that when the surge protector on a work bench is turned off?

Case Details: The bench strip is still getting 120 V AC between neutral and ground. The circuit on the surge protector shows hot to neutral = 120; hot to ground = 0; neutral to ground = 120.

The readings are wrong and indicate that the work bench is wired in reverse. It should be hot to neutral = 120; hot to ground = 120; neutral to ground = 0. The bench strip should be the same. Correcting the circuit wiring should fix the problem.

Could a faulty power strip be the reason for the room lights to flicker when a TV on the strip is turned on?

The problem could be caused by either a faulty power strip or receptacle. The receptacle could have a loose hot or neutral wire splice or connection at the wall receptacle. The strip could also have an internal loose wire. If plugging the TV directly into the all receptacle removes the problem then the issue is with the strip. If the problem remains, then the receptacle needs to be checked.

Is it safe to use a 30 amp power strip with a 17,500 watt portable generator?

As long as nothing is connected to the electrical service and nothing is back fed in the building without a transfer switch, there should be no issue in connecting the power strip. It should be ensured that everything is properly rated and UL listed.

While a power strip makes powering multiple devices simple, overloading or wrong use can cause damage to an electrical circuit. The insights of Experts can help to ensure that they are used correctly and to resolve any problems that may occur. Experts can be contacted online to answer all your questions.

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