Surge protectors can be a fantastic way to keep your electronics safe in case of any emergencies, but can you use them in tandem with smart plugs? I have existing surge protectors laying around don’t want to blow up it up by accidently plugging it into my Smart Plug.
Can you plug a surge protector into a smart plug? Surge protectors can be safely plugged into the outlet of a smart plug if the total wattage of all the connected devices does not exceed the electrical limit of the smart plug.
I’m no electrician but as long as you don’t go over the wattage of your smart plug, you should be good to go. Definitely consult with a professional if you still have questions.
What if you want to do the opposite and plug the smart plug into a surge protector? And are there simpler alternatives than using a surge protector and smart plug? There sure are, stay tuned and we’ll cover it all.
Plugging a Surge Protectors into a Smart Plug
Plugging a Surge Protector in a Smart Plug is completely safe as long as you follow the wattage specifications. Many people are already plugging their surge protectors into their smart plugs without any issues.
Before we dive too far, let’s quickly define what a Surge protector and a Smart plug is.
- Smart Plugs allow you to remotely control what device is plugged in through WiFi via communication through the app on your smartphone.
- Surge Protectors protect your plugged in devices from power outages and other incidents where surges of power would damage them.
The first thing you’ll need to do is look up the wattage specifications for your exact smart plug. You can accomplish this in a few ways:
- Read your Manual Guide that came with it
- Look it up online on the manufacturer’s website
- 1800w Max
- 15a Max
- 120v U.S.
- 1800w Max
- 15a Max
- 120v U.S.
- Support for up to 1/2hp Motor
So, 1800w is the max it can handle. All you have to do is make sure whatever is plugged into your surge protector, doesn’t exceed that! Pretty simple right?
It’s best to use some common sense here and not plug 5 space heaters into a surge protector. Then plug that into a smart plug, and expect everything to be dandy.
Every smart plug should have an indication of how much power they are able to sustain at one time, and all of the devices that are connected to it at one time should not exceed this maximum power draw limit.
If the devices in the smart plug are taking too much power to where the plug doesn’t have any more electricity to supply, the smart plug can burn out and there could also be an increased risk of safety hazards. Please call the appropriate emergency services if necessary.
If you’d like to hear more on safety around smart plugs, check out our article here for some clever tips.
So, what if you want to do the opposite? And plug a Smart Plug into a Surge Protector instead?
Can You Plug a Smart Plug Into a Surge Protector?
Yes, you can plug a smart plug into a surge protector as long as you follow the wattage specifications on the surge protector.
However, this is uncommon because Smart Plugs are generally bulkier and take up more space. In result, it can cover up outlets on your power strip. Most people can find a nearby wall outlet if they want to use 1 single smart plug.
Let’s say you’re still on board for the plan. What next? It’s best to look at an example.
Here the Amazons Basic 6 Outlet Surge Protector has these specifications:
- AC 15A
As long as everything plugged into the surge protector (including that toaster you plugged into the Smart Plug) doesn’t exceed 1875W, you’re good to go. You’ve stayed within the wattage specifications of the surge protector, thus allowing you to plug a smart plug into a surge protector.
Alright, so you have two devices:
- Smart Plug
- Surge Protector
Is there anyway you can downsize this to 1 device?
Smart Surge Protectors and Smart Power Strips
As with every device, Surge Protectors and Power Strips have been “Smartened” too.
(FYI – Normal Power Strips don’t protect your electronics, Surge ‘Protectors’ do)
There are tons of these devices on the market most will include “Power Strip” or “Surge Protector” in their names. If they mention both in their name, they’re the same thing.
What is a Smart Surge Protector Power Strip? A smart surge protector power strip allows the devices plugged in to be controlled remote via smart phone app with additional features. These can include Alexa/Google voice assistant, scheduling On/Off of each plugged in device, and more.
The features vary depending on how much money you can fork up.
Owning one of these bad boys can be pretty awesome. Minimizing the devices you own is always a good idea when you can. Less things to trip over, right?
Most of these surge protectors are able to connect to a wireless internet connection and can be controlled from a smartphone app just like the smart plugs can. It does not require a WiFi connection to work as an ordinary power strip. But you’ll probably connect it, because that’s why you bought it. To control it wirelessly via the app.
Some of these surge protectors might also indicate that they are compatible with specific smart plugs, and these guidelines can be followed in order to avoid any potential safety risks.
How do Surge Protectors Work?
Surge Protectors (or Surge Suppressors) protect all of the devices that are plugged in if there is ever a power spike that goes through the circuit. It suppresses that power from getting to the rest of your devices. If the devices experience a power spike without being plugged into a surge protector, there could be significant damage done. Power spikes usually occur in the event of power outages, issues with the circuits, and occasionally a direct lightning strike.
Power Strips simply just work. No protection included. Do not fret though, it’s best practice to plug in the expensive valuable electronics in surge protectors like an expensive TV or computer setup. No need to plug in a 12 dollar toaster into a Surge Protector. That’s fine going in the wall outlet.
How much does it cost to purchase a smart plug?
There are various different models and types of smart plugs that exist on the market today with a variety of features and characteristics. Some of the most popular smart plugs that are available for purchase fall within a price range of anywhere from $20 to $50.
However more technologically advanced devices that are able to carry out more functions will have a higher price tag. Although homeowners can pay a large price to purchase smart plugs for every outlet in their home, the investment can be well worth it when the electricity bill drops in price for the months to come after the energy-saving plugs are put to use.
What is the exact price difference between a power strip and a surge protector?
The cost to purchase the average power strip at any major retailer will most likely be around $10 or less. Since surge protectors offer an additional layer of protection in comparison to the traditional power strip, the price tag for these devices will naturally be higher. Although the exact price will vary between stores, surge protectors usually have a base price of anywhere from $10 to $20.
If you are unable to tell the difference between a power strip and surge protector due to their similar designs, it can be concluded that the more expensive device is most likely the surge protector you are looking for.
How can I tell the difference between a power strip and a surge protector in the store?
Although power strips and surge protectors look almost identical, there are a few differentiating factors that will help you locate the device you are looking for in the store. First of all, surge protectors can also be called “surge suppressors”, which might be indicated somewhere on the packaging. Surge protectors use a unit of measurement called Joules, which will reflect on the energy rating on the packaging.
This information will also include the maximum amount of voltage the surge protector will be able to sustain in the event of a power spike. If both of these specifications are listed on the device or its packaging, it is definitely a surge protector. Otherwise, you might be looking at a power strip that will not provide the extra protection that the use of a surge protector can.