Can You Plug A Smart Plug Into A Surge Protector?

Photo of different smart plugs

When you run the scenario of doing something a little weird in your head, you always worry about something exploding. Explosion potential aside, one of those questions comes to smart plugs and their flexibility. If they can fit, can you use your smart plugs to save more money? Can you plug a smart plug into a surge protector? 

The short answer: typically yes. Surge protectors can support a smart plug. Before you do this, be sure that whatever device you plug into the other side of your smart plug does not exceed the electrical limit of both the smart plug and the surge protector.

In the rest of this article, we will provide you with information on how you can determine whether your surge protector can handle what you plug into it. We will also compare this idea with smart surge protectors.

How To Determine Your Smart Plugs and Power Strips Will Work With Your Electrical Devices

With home electrical fires causing more than $1 billion in property damage each year, it’s understandable to be paranoid about this. However, you will find that smart plugs and surge protectors in combination account for almost none of that cost. 

To determine that you are following the proper process in determining your surge protector’s limitations, follow these steps:

  1. Check the power limitations of your surge protector.
  2. Check the highest consumption potential of your smart plug.
  3. Add the two together in combination with anything else you are using. 

#1: Checking What Your Surge Protector Can Handle

Some companies will include this information in their owner’s manual. However, those that are unspecific need to perform some math:

Without being an electrician, we can determine that a 10 amp power strip on a 120-volt wall outlet has the power to handle 1200 watts. So 10 times 120 equals 1200. Keep in mind that this applies to power strips which are not the same as surge protectors.

Surge Protectors vs. Power Strips 

A power strip is for the sole purpose of providing you extra space to plug things in. A surge protector prevents protects connected devices in the event of power surges. Surge protectors are also helpful during a power spike, which can happen when electronic utilities fail.  

Because surge protectors have internal circuitry, which takes up energy, you will need to add that to the overall load from electronics plugged into the protector. 

How To Find Out The Voltage Level of Your Outlet

When finding out the voltage level of an outlet, the most direct way of doing this is to use a multi-meter. The information is also typically located on your home’s breaker. However, there is a chance that the previous homeowner may not have updated this information.

#2: Checking The Power Consumption Potential of Your Smart Plug

Smart plugs are not known for taking up a large amount of power. Much like surge protectors, they typically display their limitations in the form of amps. For example, the Kasa Smart WiFi Plug that we review here handles 15 amps. 

Thankfully, Kasa makes it easy on us by telling us that the power strip or surge protector has to be at least 15 amps. If a smart plug is non-specific about the amps or volts, don’t buy the product. 

You can also go down in amps, but you can never go up. That means a 10-amp smart plug will never overload a 15-amp outlet. However, a 15-amp item won’t work in the opposite direction. 

#3: Adding Your Power Consumption To Your Current Electronic Components

The key to ensuring your surge protector won’t overload the system is to ensure amps and watts are below those energy requirements. Your goal should be to be well below the wattage requirements. 

Check the wattage levels of your devices on the owner’s manual or the packaging. If you plan on using all of the electronics at once, make sure the total wattage doesn’t go over these limitations. 

If you plan on using one or two, leave yourself a note to ensure you don’t overload the circuit. 

If you want to avoid the slight variance that comes with a smart plug into a surge protector, you have an option to include smart surge protectors. 

Why Should I Choose A Smart Power Strip or Surge Protector?

Smart surge protectors (or power strips) are like smart plugs but with extended outlets and protective circuitry. They follow all of the standard rules for surge protectors and sometimes include USB plugs

The convenience takes the need for simple math out of your hands. In many ways, they are far more convenient than smart plugs into surge protectors. 

That means in the event of a lightning strike, any devices plugged into a smart surge protector will receive dual benefits. It is a combination of energy-efficient tools with protective features.

Can You Plug A Surge Protector into Another Surge Protector?

Because surge protectors have specific protective components, you cannot plug a surge protector into another surge protector. You also cannot plug a surge protector into itself for infinite power. 

This rule applies regardless of the surge protector being smart or not. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to surge protection, you won’t lose much security from putting a smart plug into one. With a little bit of math and awareness of amps, you can comfortably ensure your smart plugs will work with surge protectors. 

If you are wondering about plugging power strips into smart plugs, we also have an article on that topic. Thanks for reading. 

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