Can You Plug a Space Heater Into a Surge Protector?

can you plug a space heater into a surge protector

Smart Home Protector is reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases when you buy through links on our site.

Surge protectors are a staple of any household. They’re designed to prevent electrical surges from damaging your electronics. But what about using them with space heaters? Can you plug a space heater into a surge protector, or do they need to be plugged directly into the wall?

You should never use a low-power surge protector with a space heater. It is very dangerous to use any other than how it’s intended to be used. The reason is that the space heater can create too much electricity and will cause spikes throughout your home. In some cases, this could even start a fire causing property damage.

Almost every surge protector is built with an internal spike suppressor, also known as a metal oxide varistor (MOV), which absorbs the lightning surge and protects your devices. This is why you should not use a surge protector with a space heater.

A typical surge suppressor is designed to absorb between 300 and 750 joules. But a space heater can create up to 5,000 joules (depending on the heater). That’s why it’s dangerous to plug a space heater into a surge protector.

Although, different devices need different joules of surge protectors, for clearing your confusion you can read both the joules rating of your surge protector and device before buying one. You can read Is 1000 joules surge protector enough for your home?

What Can Happen When You Plug A Space Heater Into A Surge Protector?

During the winter, you always want comfort. Needless to say, a space heater can help you to get the ultimate level of comfort during the winter season. But, under any circumstances, you should never plug a space heater into a surge protector.

When a power supply voltage fluctuates, the ground wire in a surge protector helps control the voltage. But faulty ground wires in surge protectors can cause electric shock if the wiring in your home is old.

If you want to use a space heater in your home surge protector power strip, make sure the unit is plugged directly into a wall outlet and not through an extension cord.

When a power surge occurs, surge protectors are intended to stop the flow of electricity. If the device is connected to an extension cord, it may not provide the level of protection needed to prevent electric shock or appliance damage.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, you should use a space heater correctly to ensure the maximum level of safety. A space heater will need much more wattage which is why you should try to connect it directly to the wall outlet.

If you plug it into a surge protector, during the power surge, the space heater will overheat the surge protector and may cause a serious fire hazard at your home. That’s why you should try to avoid this at any cost.

What Do You Need to Do?

It would be good if you plug your space heater into your wall outlet protector. It will work perfectly and save you money. If you have a lot of electronics, you can use a high-power surge protector that can easily be compatible with your space heater power requirements.

As a word of caution, if your house is experiencing some power surges, you should not use a space heater until all the power problems are resolved by the electric company.

As space heaters require much electricity which can’t be handled by a surge protector, you must ensure that it is plugged into a wall outlet directly. Also, confirm that no other electronics are connected to that particular electric outlet.

Some Exclusive Tips If You Need to Use a Surge Protector for a Space Heater

Everyone knows that safety comes first. And, when you need to work with space heaters and electricity, here are some tips for ensuring safety.

  • The wire that goes into the wall sockets has a fuse inside of it. If the wire is too thin it can overheat and cause a fire. The surge protector helps to protect against that happening.
  • Stick the heater’s plug in the socket of the same line, if you use an extension cord.
  • Try not to overload your power strip, or you could end up with a fire on your hands.
  • Don’t use a power strip for multiple heaters.
  • Keep the space heater away from flammable materials like curtains or furniture, and make sure that no one is sleeping too close to it.
  • If you are worried about the safety of your heater, just unplug it when you’re not using it.
  • If you are not using your space heater for an extended period of time, unplug it from the wall.
  • Do not ever leave a space heater burning when you leave the room or go to sleep.

Is It Safe To Leave A Space Heater Plugged In?

If you choose to use a space heater, make sure the cords don’t run across doorways or under rugs. Do not plug the cord into a space heater if it is frayed or broken.

Last but not least, never leave a space heater running while you’re asleep or when you leave your home.

As I already mentioned above that a space heater requires much more electricity, so it will never be a wise decision to leave it running unattended. Otherwise, a sudden power surge may occur which may lead you to a dangerous house fire situation.

According to the US fire administration, during 2017-2019, there were 165 deaths, 600 injuries, and $367 million of property loss due to heating fires.

What Are The Best Space Heater Surge Protector Power Strips?

There are many options available in the market when it comes to buying a product. But all are not capable of working with space heaters. That way you can try the Etekcity 3-Outlet Surge Protector which is capable of protecting your space heater against any type of electric surge or power fluctuation.

It provides total protection for your valuable equipment at the home, office, or in a professional workplace. This product is ideal for providing protection from voltage fluctuations, over current/short circuits, and more with 5610 joules of surge suppression.

Alternatively, you can try the Pluggable surge protector power strip which is another high power/joules surge protector. Again, I advise you to check the power compatibility of a surge protector that is compatible with your space heater. Otherwise don’t buy one. Instead, use a space heater in your wall outlet.

Are Space Heaters Safe To Leave On All Night?

A question that has come up quite frequently over the past few years is whether or not it’s safe to leave space heaters on all night. It really depends on the specific space heater. But there are some general guidelines you can follow.

In short, if it’s a modern, oil-filled radiator type of space heater, then yes – those are generally safe to leave on all night. If it’s a convection space heater (often called ceramic, fan-forced, or quartz) then no. These are not safe to leave on all night.

In a nutshell, you should always try to check with the manufacturer’s guidelines when it comes to using a space heater the whole night.

Final Words

There is no denying of the fact that a space heater is very useful equipment, especially during the winter season. But, when it comes to using it, you should always be pretty much careful. To be more specific, it is an unwise decision to plug a space heater into a surge protector to ensure safety. Instead, you should plug space heaters directly into the wall electric outlet. Otherwise, you may fall into a very dangerous fire hazard situation.

Palash is an entrepreneur in the tech industry and the author of the Smart Home Protector. As a tech entrepreneur & reviewer of a home safety gadget store, his job helps customers remain on top of what's coming next in our rapidly changing world.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.