20 Amp powers strips are a common Amp rating used in domestic electrical devices such as outlets. When your power strip is labeled 20-amp, it doesn’t mean its current power flow is 20-amp. This rating only indicates the amount of power that can safely pass through the circuit.
A 20 Amp power strip can only handle 120 volts. This translates to approximately 2400 watts. This wattage output isn’t exactly 2400 Watts as it would in the case of direct current due to different interactions between capacitance and resistance.
Understanding Power Strips
Power strips ensure efficient power utilization by extending the power from the wall socket. A typical 20 Amp power strip has an extension cable, sockets, and a power switch. While it does not improve power quality, power strips provide a dedicated circuit to prevent electrical load on the wall sockets.
The first step in buying a power strip is knowing the amps, voltage, and wattage rating. In most cases, an average household needs require a few Amps to run. However, heavy electrical appliances such as fridges and dryers may require higher Amp levels, meaning you’ll need special circuits designed for them.
If you’re buying a power trip for your essential appliances like TVs and computers, 20 Amp powers trips will still suffice. These provide enough outlets and wattage output to address the supply needs without causing the circuit breaker to trip. This also works as long as you don’t exceed the overall outlet of 2400 watts.
Sometimes the devices may go on and off if the available power strip doesn’t provide enough wattage output. But as long as the total Amps needed by all devices plugged into a power strip is less than the 20 Amp rating, you’ll have all the power you need for your appliances.
Outlets on a 20 Amp Power Strip
You can place as many outlets as possible on a 20 Amp power strip provided you don’t exceed the standard wattage supply. It’s even recommended to have multiple outlets for uniform power distribution.
A single outlet draws a maximum of 1.5 Amps or 180 watts. This is little, considering a 20-Amp power strip reaches its peak with 2400 watts. So this means you can go with as high as 13 outlets to get the most out of your 20 Amp power strip.
That’ll be 1.5-amp × 13 outlets (devices) = 19.5 amps. This is slightly lower than the maximum 20 Amps. However, it may not be practical, given most devices require more power than others to start up.
Besides, the National Electricity Council recommends limiting the circuit and breaker load to 80% or less. This is because of the unexpected power surges from other appliances that consume the remaining 20%.
So to abide by these recommendations, you should limit your 20 Amp Power Strip to ten outlets. There are also things you should avoid plugging into your power strip for efficient use. This is a standard application, regardless of the wattage output or the equipment’s overall power consumption.
Key Differences Between Power Strips and Surge Protectors
Most people confuse these two due to their similar appearances. Power strips act as extension cords with multiple outlets to plug into. They have strict recommendations on the amount of load to carry. If you overload the strip, the circuit breaker in your home will trip off, putting your devices at considerable risk.
A surge protector works differently compared to all power strips. It often has its circuitry to detect power surges and cut off the power to the strip before it damages connected equipment. Surge protectors also have a joules rating on their packaging to measure how long they can protect your appliances.
Depending on the level of a voltage spike, it may only take one power surge to surpass the number of joules that your appliances are protected against. This is so because the number of joules your power strip protects against diminishes each time the surge protector takes a hit.
Why 20 Amp Power Strips?
Most modern residential and commercial buildings only have two wall sockets, which is not always enough. A 20 Amp power Strip will serve big time if you’re using multiple types of home appliances within proximity.
Unlike Surge protectors, these strips also have several outlets, a circuit breaker, and an on/off switch. They are a great addition to your home or business premises if you’re seeking long-term power conservation.
However, a 20 Amp power strip will serve you better if you create a safe environment and practice essential handling tips. Similarly, there are things you should avoid doing to your power strip, such as plugging it into another power strip.
Power strips are essential electrical equipment that ensures efficient power utilization in our homes. 20 Amp power strips are one of the standard power strips you should try in your home, thanks to their sufficient wattage supply. These power strips also provide enough outlets to cater to all common domestic electrical appliances.