What Should You Not Plug Into A Surge Protector?

In this article, we are going to talk about what you should not plug into a surge protector. If you read the label on your surge protector, then you know that there are some specific items that they do not recommend plugging into them.

But if you don’t read the label on your surge protector, then this is the article for you. We will cover a few of the things that are off-limits to plug into your surge protectors, and why they are off-limits.


Microwave ovens are magic little boxes that can reheat leftovers, cook a cup of tea, or even bake a frozen pizza. They turn frozen lasagna into bubbling goodness in just minutes. Yet microwaves draw so much power that they need their own individual breaker switch.

Coffee Makers

There’s nothing quite like waking up to a freshly brewed pot of coffee. However, what happens if you plug your coffee maker into a surge protector that is overloaded? The coffee maker will take longer to brew and the end result will be a weaker cup of Joe. When in doubt, read the owner’s manual and make sure that your home’s electrical system can handle the power demands of your coffee maker before plugging it in.

Slow Cookers

A kitchen countertop is a cramped place for cooking appliances, so you may be tempted to plug your slow cooker into a surge protector or power strip to free up outlet space for other appliances. Resist this temptation; surge protectors can’t handle the extended duration of electricity that slow cookers need.

The appeal of a slow cooker is that it can operate without supervision. But to ensure your safety, make sure it’s plugged into a wall outlet.


Many appliances, such as toaster ovens, are topped off with a smooth glass bowl that not only looks nice but enhances the aesthetic qualities of the kitchen. But what you may not realize is that under that cozy exterior lies an intricate series of metal coils that heats up to red-hot temperatures to cook and prepare food.

A toaster oven draws the same amount of current as a coffee maker or stereo system, so even a small overload can cause your surge protector to overheat.


Your refrigerator is a large appliance that needs lots of electricity to run. If you use a surge protector to supply power to your refrigerator, as well as all the other appliances plugged into it, your refrigerator might not function correctly. It could be too cold or freeze food at the wrong times. Dedicate an outlet just for your refrigerator to ensure it gets enough electricity to operate as intended.

Another Surge Protector

Power strips and surge protectors are not designed to be used in conjunction with one another. Plugging multiple surge protectors into the same circuit can cause overload your electrical system—and it’s dangerous. Working in tandem, power strips and surge protectors provide a vital system of backup power. However, some electricians advise against using them in conjunction for safety reasons.

Hair Care Appliances

Using just a single hairdressing appliance can require so much power that it will trip the breaker. To avoid this, you should plug any hairdressing appliances directly into the wall. This is especially important in bathrooms and kitchens with an abundance of water.

Air Compressors

Electric air compressors are handy helpers for DIYers, but they draw so much power when starting up that it overloads the circuit and can cause a power surge. This causes your appliances to reset while turning on your air compressor. Instead of using a lighter extension cord to handle the stress, use an extension cord with thicker wires to handle the larger current flow.

Portable Air Conditioners and Heaters

When it comes to your home, investing in the proper equipment is key to having a safe and comfortable space. Most portable heaters and air conditioners require a dedicated outlet to power their on-off cycles. If you have an appliance that does not require a dedicated outlet, do not plug it into a surge protector with other appliances.

Safety Tips On How To Use Surge Protectors

I am sure you are already well-aware of the importance of using a surge protector for protection against unexpected power surges that can potentially damage your appliances, computer, or worse. This is why it is important to learn some tips on how to properly use your surge protector so that you will be more effective in preventing damages.

Avoid Plugging In Power Hungry Items

If you can’t plug in all of your devices at the same time, it might be time for a second surge protector. If that’s not an option, avoid plugging in power-hungry items on your surge protector. These items include hair dryers, energy monitors, lamps, microwaves, etc. Try to group those heavy users together in a different outlet strip or circuit if possible.

Don’t Plug In Too Many Things At Once

Convenience is one of the major benefits of using a surge protector. It allows you to plug many different devices into a single outlet to prevent any from tripping a breaker or causing an overload. However, convenience can be dangerous if you overload a surge protector or use an under-rated one for your application.

Only Plug Things Into A Surge Protector That You Know Will Be Damaged By A Power Surge

Surge protectors redirect damaging voltage to the ground wire, where it can be safely absorbed. This type of protection does not stop power surges from occurring but can help your appliances from sustaining damage. If your devices are plugged into a surge protector and there is still a power surge, your surge protector should have either basic or advanced circuitry that causes it to turn off automatically.

The bottom line is this: If you are going to buy a surge protector for your home office, then make sure those appliances are intended to be safe during a power surge and not all electronics that might just take up space on its plugs.

Ensure You Get The Proper Size Surge Protector

If you want to plug in more than one device at a time, ensure that your surge protector is rated for the correct amperage. For example, if you have three devices that can run off of one surge protector, ensure it has enough capacity to handle all three devices plus any future devices you may want to plug into it. A good surge protector will also have light indicators that let you know how much protection each outlet has left on its power source.

Make sure you aren’t using a small surge protector that can be easily overwhelmed by the amount of equipment plugged into it.