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#4474957 - 07/30/17 07:47 PM Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords
tony1679 Offline


Registered: 06/08/14
Posts: 617
Loc: Central Oklahoma
So let me start by stating, I'm not a complete noob. Daisy-chaining, using multiple extension cords or multiple surge protectors, is a no-no. But here's my problem. I live in an older house ('61). The main portion of my house is not properly grounded. The newer, added-on portion of the house is. I rent this house, therefore I do not want to spend the $5-8k to upgrade the electrical equipment. I purchased a pricey new router and don't want it without surge protection. I also wish to hook up a TV, PS4, and a powered external hard drive on the same grounded outlet (these aren't currently grounded and I wish to move them and change that). I have a very good surge protector which has a 6' cord, 14AWG, but it won't quite reach from my closest grounded outlet in a hallway to my living room where I need the surge protection. I am short by about 8 feet.

So my question is, considering the surge protector is built with a 6' 14AWG cord, could I buy a 10' 12AWG extension cord, plug the extension cord into the wall outlet, then plug the surge protector into the extension cord? This would make the weakest link the surge protector (current-wise), and I know it can hold it's own weight plus the load I'm putting on it. I'm just not sure about compromising the surge protection with the extension...

I know the shorter the cord, the better off I'll be, however I may have to go up to 25' on the 12AWG extension cord for availability reasons (even though I really don't want to). But if there is something I'm missing, I'd rather err to the side of safety and abandon this idea. If I have to abandon it, my next best option is running about 100' of various CAT5E ethernet cables across my house, and leaving my TV, PS4 and hard drive ungrounded. That's not exactly ideal either. Any thoughts or input? Thanks in advance!
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#4474962 - 07/30/17 08:04 PM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: tony1679]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 12638
Loc: NE,Ohio
What would the load be? if under 10 amps it should be fine.. infinitely.

A led/lcd tv should be 50-130w depending on model router 15-30w? ps4 150w(while gaming) HDD 10-15w

seems like maybe 3amps total..

The main thing to remember is buy a good extension cord.. and if you have to run it under a door 12 gauge likely wont fit.

You should be fine with a 50ft length and 14gauge.
Obviously 12gauge and 25ft is superior.
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#4474966 - 07/30/17 08:09 PM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: tony1679]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32632
Loc: ME
You'd be fine even with a 14 AWG cord. The stuff you're running will have universal power supplies that take 100-250 volts so a slight voltage drop won't do it in... and you won't even get that slight drop due to low current demands.

Are you worried about lightning directly striking your house, or??? Having cords snaking all over the place and that ethernet cable too could cause trouble.

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#4474969 - 07/30/17 08:16 PM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: tony1679]
pkunk Offline


Registered: 03/19/11
Posts: 257
Loc: NM, USA
Why not just splice a 12g cord of the desired length to the surge and not depend on the weak link - the extra plug.
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#4474970 - 07/30/17 08:16 PM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: tony1679]
y_p_w Offline


Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 3650
Loc: SF Bay Area
Surge protection is really about providing protection against small spikes that may cumulatively damage equipment. However, for the most part I think it's overrated. The most important function of these things are the better ones with lighting protection (it will literally sacrifice itself) and that requires a proper ground.

I do remember buying an APC surge protector. They had guarantee to replace anything damaged, but in order to keep the guarantee the only extension that could be used was another APC device. They did allow them to be daisy chained, but of course the limit would be the enough current to max the limit of any device. I don't think that particular kills one because they typically have local circuit breakers.

I doubt you have much of an issue provided you use a good quality commercial-grade extension.

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#4474988 - 07/30/17 08:45 PM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: Rand]
tony1679 Offline


Registered: 06/08/14
Posts: 617
Loc: Central Oklahoma
Originally Posted By: Rand
What would the load be? if under 10 amps it should be fine.. infinitely.

A led/lcd tv should be 50-130w depending on model router 15-30w? ps4 150w(while gaming) HDD 10-15w

seems like maybe 3amps total..

The main thing to remember is buy a good extension cord.. and if you have to run it under a door 12 gauge likely wont fit.

You should be fine with a 50ft length and 14gauge.
Obviously 12gauge and 25ft is superior.

What would the load be? Idk how it technically adds up (which is why I never do this [censored]).

TV is a Nov. 2011 46" Sony Bravia LCD, not LED (KDL-46BX420, states "210W" on it's info decal).

The PS4 is the original version (model CUH-1115A, states "250W" on it's decal fwiw).

HDD power supply: "Input:100-240V~ 50-60Hz 0.5A Max. Output: 12V 1.5A".

Forgot to mention there will also probably be a Roku device too on a 1A charger.

Yes, this does cross a doorway with a 10' cord, but if I use a 25' cord, I could go up and around it. I'm debating which is the lesser evil: longer cord length or walking over the cord. If I'm walking over it, obviously I'll buy the appropriate protector/cover.
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#4474996 - 07/30/17 08:58 PM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: tony1679]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41772
Loc: New Jersey
IIRC you want the surge protection closest to the source. So Id plug the surge strip to the outlet, and then run an extension cord to the load. Because the router will pull next to no current, the IR drop will be minimal, and you don't need a heavy cord. How much other load you'll pull through the surge strip will be defined by ampacity of the cord between the strip and the wall, and/or the rest of the circuit/breaker/etc.

Another option, possibly better even, would be a surge suppressor that plugs directly to the outlet, like the isobar 2 then just run an appropriately sized extension cord to the load.

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#4475003 - 07/30/17 09:04 PM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: tony1679]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13466
Loc: Chicago, IL
None of those electronics are going to come close to maxing out a household circuit, so I think you'll be fine just as long as the extension cord isn't some hilariously cheap POS.

The only thing I will caution is not to turn all of those electronics on at the same instant as some of those power supplies may spike briefly.
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#4475073 - 07/30/17 10:13 PM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: Rand]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Rand
What would the load be? if under 10 amps it should be fine.. infinitely.
You should be fine with a 50ft length and 14gauge.
Obviously 12gauge and 25ft is superior.


Correct. 14 gauge is PLENTY.

Come back and ask us if it's OK once you start plugging in coffee makers, window unit A/C's, and toaster ovens.
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#4475105 - 07/30/17 10:45 PM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: JHZR2]
tony1679 Offline


Registered: 06/08/14
Posts: 617
Loc: Central Oklahoma
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
IIRC you want the surge protection closest to the source. So Id plug the surge strip to the outlet, and then run an extension cord to the load. Because the router will pull next to no current, the IR drop will be minimal, and you don't need a heavy cord. How much other load you'll pull through the surge strip will be defined by ampacity of the cord between the strip and the wall, and/or the rest of the circuit/breaker/etc.

Another option, possibly better even, would be a surge suppressor that plugs directly to the outlet, like the isobar 2 then just run an appropriately sized extension cord to the load.
Interesting, I do also have a surge protector that attaches directly to the outlet and has 5 outlets on it, although the joule rating is not as good as the 6' cord, but I'll take wjat I can get at this point. Even if I did this, and used a quality 12 AWG cable (even if overkill, would give peace of mind knowing it's superior), how would I go about plugging 5 devices into the extension cord? I would need another power tap of some sort, which would lead to more problems. That is why my mind went to the opposite way with outlet->extension->surge(with 6 outlets). Am I missing something? Thanks for the input though. Sorry if this post made it sound like I was being critical. I genuinely appreciate the help. If anything, I want you guys to be critical!
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#4475131 - 07/30/17 11:37 PM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: tony1679]
tony1679 Offline


Registered: 06/08/14
Posts: 617
Loc: Central Oklahoma
Wow, I think I was missing something, and I think I solved my own problem.
There are surge protectors that have 15+ foot cords... duh duh duh

The cost of one is worth the peace of mind. Thanks guys!
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2003 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Ultimate Edition
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#4475139 - 07/30/17 11:47 PM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: tony1679]
NO2 Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 281
Loc: Michigan
Many houses in '61 grounded the metal outlet box, but still installed 2 prong adapters. I'd check to see if you have a ground wire. It should be easy to see. If so, just switch out the plugs to the 3 prong variety and connect the plugs to the metal box with a small ground wire. You should be able to see the ground wire on the old Romex. It should take about 10 min max to shut off the circuit breaker, strip and size the ground wire, replace the plugs, and restore power.

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#4475216 - 07/31/17 06:12 AM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: tony1679]
larryinnewyork Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 838
Loc: One Step Beyond
Along with Point-of-Use Surge Protection,
it's also recommended to use a Whole House Surge Protector.
Even if your renting, you could install one (if Landlord allows).
The Eaton (ULTRA) gets good reviews.
To install, you need (2) empty circuit breaker spots.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eaton-Whole-House-Surge-Protector-CHSPT2ULTRA-1/204761136?&cm_mmc=Shopping|THD|B|0|B-BASE-D27E+Electrical|&mid=ToCtD7GL|dc_mtid_8903vry57826_pcrid_73392414173109_pkw__pmt__

Here is another post about someone asking about surge protection.
https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/1393847/Surge_protectors


Edited by larryinnewyork (07/31/17 06:14 AM)

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#4475383 - 07/31/17 09:43 AM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: tony1679]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 9560
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: tony1679
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
IIRC you want the surge protection closest to the source. So Id plug the surge strip to the outlet, and then run an extension cord to the load. Because the router will pull next to no current, the IR drop will be minimal, and you don't need a heavy cord. How much other load you'll pull through the surge strip will be defined by ampacity of the cord between the strip and the wall, and/or the rest of the circuit/breaker/etc.

Another option, possibly better even, would be a surge suppressor that plugs directly to the outlet, like the isobar 2 then just run an appropriately sized extension cord to the load.
Interesting, I do also have a surge protector that attaches directly to the outlet and has 5 outlets on it, although the joule rating is not as good as the 6' cord, but I'll take wjat I can get at this point. Even if I did this, and used a quality 12 AWG cable (even if overkill, would give peace of mind knowing it's superior), how would I go about plugging 5 devices into the extension cord? I would need another power tap of some sort, which would lead to more problems. That is why my mind went to the opposite way with outlet->extension->surge(with 6 outlets). Am I missing something? Thanks for the input though. Sorry if this post made it sound like I was being critical. I genuinely appreciate the help. If anything, I want you guys to be critical!
A surge protector is only as good as the reference ground it sees at the breaker box. You need a good "house" ground to shunt the spike into and many houses have only a marginal one. A friend was blowing starter capacitors on his central air. I suggested we check the breaker box ground. It looked fine until I nudged it with my shoe and discovered that what should have been an 8 foot rod was only two feet long...just enough to fool the electrical inspector. There was a large rock under the rod and the contractor had simply cut the rod instead of spending the time and money to relocate it.

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#4476048 - 07/31/17 09:38 PM Re: Electrical - Surge Protectors and Extension Cords [Re: larryinnewyork]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41772
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: larryinnewyork
Along with Point-of-Use Surge Protection,
it's also recommended to use a Whole House Surge Protector.
Even if your renting, you could install one (if Landlord allows).
The Eaton (ULTRA) gets good reviews.
To install, you need (2) empty circuit breaker spots.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eaton-Whole-House-Surge-Protector-CHSPT2ULTRA-1/204761136?&cm_mmc=Shopping|THD|B|0|B-BASE-D27E+Electrical|&mid=ToCtD7GL|dc_mtid_8903vry57826_pcrid_73392414173109_pkw__pmt__

Here is another post about someone asking about surge protection.
https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/1393847/Surge_protectors


I installed one of those in my box and knock on wood all has been fine. It hasn't tripped yet, but I assume the LED in it goes off when the MOVs or whatever is in the circuit gets sufficiently eroded.

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