5 Steps to Choosing the Right Power Strip

Common energy concerns can include finding your cheapest energy supplier, commercial energy prices, and how to reduce your electric bill. Don’t let choosing a power strip be yet another concern. Selecting the right power strip can be intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with your choices, so use the guidelines below to help you while looking.

  1. Number of outlets. Get a power strip that will permit at least as many items as you want to plug in. Transformer plugs are larger than standard plugs, and many power strips have space to use transformer plugs without blocking adjacent outlets. Do not plug a power strip into another power strip. Doing so is an electrical hazard which can lead to a fire.
  2. Length and configuration. Decide how far your power strip will be from the outlet, and choose a power strip that is at least as long as that distance. Configurations range from standard, front-facing, rear-facing, side-facing, and end-mounted outlets.
  3. Type of equipment. Select a power strip that fits with the equipment you’ll use and environment you’re in. A power strip for workbench tools is different than those used with office equipment, a laptop workstation, A/V equipment, or medical equipment.
  4. Consider extra safety. Consider if your use needs extra safety features. All-metal housings are virtually indestructible and are a feature of many power strips. Another safety feature includes 15- or 20-amp circuit breakers that prevents a system overload. There are also models, like GFCI, that are used around water to prevent shock; if equipment shorts the electrical circuit is instantly disconnected.
  5. Surge protection. Another option is to choose a surge protector instead of a power strip. While they may appear the same, they have different functions. A power strip gives multiple ports from one outlet while a surge protector protects your plug-ins against power surges or any interference from you power line.

Let these guidelines steer you in the right direction for your own electrical outlet needs. Doing so will keep choosing a power strip from becoming a stress point like finding your cheapest energy supplier, getting the lowest commercial energy prices, and finding ways to reduce your electric bill. The right power strip can take some searching to find, but it’s not as elusive as finding who fits Cinderella’s slipper.