With the advancements in technology, we’re getting new and improved devices every day. One of these devices is the smart plug, which allows you to control all the wired appliances in your home with just a tap on your phone. With all this control in your hands, you might wonder whether you can use your smart plug in an extension lead or not. Read on to find out!
Yes, you can plug your smart plug into an extension lead, but its large size will cover some of the outlets and lessen the number of appliances that can be added to the extension lead. So, it is much more convenient to plug it into an independent switch.
However, plugging the smart plug into an independent switch would defeat the purpose of an extension lead in which you can plug different things.
If you have a 13A extension cord, then you can plug up to 2990W of plugs in it. Here’s a simple formula to calculate the total Wattage your extension lead can handle: Amps x Volts = Watts.
Different countries have extension cords with different amps that the cord can hold. Moreover, most devices mention the number of watts they can handle.
Can you plug an extension lead into a smart plug?
Yes, you can plug an extension lead into a smart plug. This way, Alexa can turn all of the appliances connected to the extension lead on or off at the same time. Just ensure that the total power of the attached appliances does not exceed 15A (1800 watts at 120 volts), i.e., the maximum power a smart plug can handle.
It depends on the breaker size. If the breaker is at 15 amps and supplying 120 volts, then the plug can support 1800 watts, and if it’s 20 amps supplying the same voltage, then 2400 watts. Both these wattages are the most common wattage supplies attributed to plugs.
Be sure not to exceed or reach the exact limit; a little margin is always good. Check the appliances’ watts before plugging them in.
If you add too many smart plugs in an extension lead, the lead will get overloaded, heat up, and lead to a fire. If your extension lead has four sockets, that does not mean it is always safe to plug four appliances into it.
Smart plugs are smart enough to handle exceeding wattages, but only in case of immediate damage. This does not mean that nothing will happen if you keep exceeding the Wattage over and over again. If your power cord, circuit, or plug keeps tripping, it’s a sign that you are exceeding the Wattage.
Moreover, if you plug an appliance into the smart plug (which is plugged into the extension cord), and the appliance exceeds the Wattage of the smart plug and the extension cord, you’ll have some trouble on your hands. You might trip the breaker and melt the plastic coating over the wires. The worst that could happen is an explosion, fire, or electric shock.
For safety purposes, you can look out for signs like:
- A smell of burning or melted plastic around the socket
- Black marks around a socket, appliance, or plug
- Smoke or sparks out of an appliance or plug
- Frayed leads
- Plastic melted around the leads of the appliance or the casing of the switch
- Exposed colored wires
- Blowing circuits for no obvious reason
- Circuit-breakers operating mysteriously
Checking watts with an overloads calculator can be useful to avoid overpowering a lead or socket.
Exceeding the Wattage can cause many hazards and also potential damage to your appliances and will definitely damage your extension lead. Some of the hazards are:
- Tripping the breaker and blowing the fuse
- Damage or failure to the appliance plugged in the extension lead
- Drainage of the appliances’ batteries
- An electrical circuit can blow up
- Shortage of power
- Minor electric explosion
- Electronic failure or malfunction
- The surface area can burn or melt
If you experience any of this, the best thing is to unplug the electronic device to avoid any further danger. You can also balance out the energy by shutting down plugs and getting power strips which will save you from electric damage.
A watt meter helps you determine the Wattage an appliance or device uses up. It has the ability to measure the voltage and the current as well. If you want to determine how much power your appliance is consuming before plugging it into a smart plug or an extension lead, follow the steps below:
- Select a watt meter that has easily readable buttons.
- Plug your wattage meter into the electrical outlet or extension lead.
- Press the button with a “W” or “Watt” on it. If you want to check the amperage or the voltage, you can press their respective buttons.
- Now, plug the device into the watt meter but do not turn the device on for a couple of minutes. If the watt meter shows a reading, then that device is taking up phantom power.
- Turn the device on and check the wattage reading on the watt meter. Keep the watt meter plugged in for a while to determine any power fluctuations.
These are the power readings most extension leads come in:
|12||16 amps||1920 watts|
|14||12 amps||1440 watts|
|16||7 amps||840 watts|
|18||5 amps||600 watts|
Does a plugged-in extension cord use electricity?
An extension cord by itself won’t be using any electricity, but it will be conducting the electricity if the switch is on. If there is an appliance plugged into that extension cord, the appliance will use some electricity regardless of it being powered off.
Yes, you can plug a smart plug into a surge protector. Just follow the wattage guidelines of the surge protector. Also, observe the amperage of the smart plug and the surge protector, and use the lowest value to calculate the maximum power.
Keeping in mind UK’s 230 volts mains power supply:
- Maximum power should be 2300 watts if the lower value is 10A.
- Maximum power should be 2990 watts if the lower value is 13A.
Yes, you can use the Alexa smart plug with an extension cord. However, you will only be able to turn the devices attached to the extension cord on or off through Alexa.
There are a few things that will help you avoid using too much Wattage in a single extension lead:
- Know the power your extension lead supports
- Read the power of your smart plug
- Avoid plugging too many things at the same time in the extension lead at all costs
- Unplug and turn off anything you are done using
- Plugging in extension leads into other extension leads does not work well
- Do not plug in numerous things in a single circuit
- Switch your extension lead off along with all other electronics after use
- Current balance is important, so plug your extension cords in your wall outlets
So, yes, smart plugs can be used in extension leads, but you must always keep the Wattage in mind to avoid danger.
Moreover, electricity should not be messed with. The best way to avoid circuit breaks and fires are by knowing the Wattage of any appliance you are using. Also, watch out for all kinds of signs that you think can lead to a hazard. Stay safe and be careful around electricity.
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