Surge Protectors Vs Extension Cords: Which Do You Need?

Surge protectors are an inexpensive and easy way to help keep your electronics safe. They work by diverting the excess voltage away from your devices so they don’t get fried.

With a surge protector, you’ll never have to worry about replacing expensive electronics because of a power surge again! If you want peace of mind when it comes to protecting your equipment, then make sure you invest in the right one today.

Whereas extension cords can also be used as surge protectors, they’re not reliable or durable enough. As a result, they need to be replaced often, and they tend to wear out, sometimes within a year of use.

You can read 30 Amp Vs 50 Amp RV Surge Protector: What Are The Differences?

Surge Protectors Vs. Extension Cords: A Quick Things

Surge Protector

surge protector
  • A quality surge protector protects electrical devices from voltage spikes. A power surge can occur for several reasons, but it usually occurs during storms.
  • Consequently, a surge can happen when the power grid is compromised or overloaded or when electrical work is being done nearby.
  • Surge protectors can help reduce the effects of these power surges and can last for years if used properly.
  • Whenever you consider purchasing a surge protector, you should consider the number of electrical devices you will be plugging into it.

Consequently, a surge can occur when the power grid is compromised or overloaded or when electrical work is being done nearby.

Surge protectors can help reduce the effects of these power surges and can last for years if used properly.

Whenever you consider purchasing a surge protector, you should consider the number of electrical devices you will be plugging into it. If you have a lot of electronics or high-power electrical appliances, you might need more than one surge protector.

Extension Cord

Extension Cord
  • If you don’t have an outlet near the electrical device, you will need an extension cord. Homes are often built in a way that does not provide outlets. In this case, an extension cord lets you plug one electrical device into another.
  • Since extension cords come in various lengths and thicknesses, you may need to purchase several before finding the most suitable fit.
  • For high voltage devices, you may need an extension cord that’s thicker or has more electrical wiring than usual.

Note: When you use a surge protector or extension cord, you should first determine how many devices you want to use. So make a list of the devices connected to each surge protector or extension cord to figure which will suit you.

Key Differences Between a Surge Protector And Extension Cord

  Surge Protector Extension Cord
Outlets: Surge protectors have fewer outlets than extension cords, but multiple surge protectors can be connected together. Extension cords have a single outlet.
Voltage: Surge protectors can provide a safer voltage for your devices since they have a lower “clamping voltage.” This means the voltage won’t fluctuate too much, which is safer for your devices. Whereas an extension cord may not have a lower clamping voltage.
Cable: Surge protectors typically have shorter cables than extension cords. Therefore, your devices may not be as far away from the source. Extension cords can vary in length and may have a longer cable than a surge protector.
Protection: Both surge protectors and extension cords can protect devices from power surges. Surge protectors are designed to block voltage before it reaches your devices. In addition, surge protectors provide a warranty to replace any damaged devices. Extension cords do not have this type of warranty. Extension cords do not provide the same level of protection as a surge protector.
Cost: Surge protectors are typically more expensive than extension cords. Although surge protectors vary in price, you can normally find an affordable one for under $50. Extension cords are available for as little as $3 and go up from there.

Is a surge protector the same as an extension cord?

Some people use an extension cord when they are in a bind, but this is not advisable. Extension cords can carry more power than surge protectors, but they are not meant to be used in the same way.

Extension cords should only be used for short-term needs, while surge protectors are meant to be kept plugged in at all times.

Also, extension cords are built with thinner wires that do not safely carry the higher voltage of a surge protector, which can cause a fire or an electrical outage.

Which is more expensive: surge protectors or extension cords?

The price difference between Surge protectors and extension cords is negligible. While Surge protectors may be a little more expensive, they are well worth the investment to keep your electronics safe from power surges. On the other hand, wearer extension cords are less expensive; they do not protect your electronics from power surges and can actually be a fire hazard if not used correctly.

If you want to buy a surge protector, you can check the list of top rated wallmount surge protector for daily uses.

Is it advisable to plug a surge protector with an extension cord?

There is no definitive answer, as it depends on many factors. In general, you can plug a surge protector with an extension cord. However, it is usually best to plug surge protectors directly into an outlet whenever possible. This way, you can ensure that the protector will have maximum protection and coverage for your devices.

FAQs Related to Surge Protector & Extension Cord

Are surge protectors safer than extension cords?

Yes, a surge protector is safer than an extension cord. Why? Surge protectors have a fuse that cuts the power to the device plugged into it when there is a surge in electricity. Extension cords do not have this safety measure.

Which is the most suitable for surges?

Surge protectors are more effective in blocking surges than extension cords. Surge protectors contain components that block voltage before it reaches devices, while extension cords do not provide surges. So surge protectors are always suitable than power cords.

Is there a capacity limit on extension cords?

Most extension cords have a capacity limit of 13 amps (it can vary depending on the quality). Therefore, if you plug many devices into an extension cord, the voltage may drop to an unsafe level.

How long can an extension cord be used?

You can use an extension cord for short periods because too many devices plugged into it could cause power issues.

Can extension cords be used to Daisy-Chain?

The answer is yes, and you can use a daisy chain an extension cord and plug one into another. However, this isn’t the right option since it could cause your voltage to drop.

Surge Protectors Vs Extension Cords

Yes, they are. Extension cords can be susceptible to overloads because of the current that carries through them. The amount of current that flows through an extension cord is determined by the power used by the devices plugged into it.

If you have several devices plugged into one cord, all those devices will have less power available. This can cause the cord’s internal copper wire to overheat from being overloaded, which could ultimately lead to a fire. So it’s true that plugin in multiple devices in extension cord is susceptible to overload. Refer  CroppMetcalfe.

Read: Surge Protector Vs Power Strip: Comparison


People without power strips or surge protectors can use extension cords as a temporary solution. The downside is that it could result in a voltage drop.

With a surge protector, your devices can run at a lower voltage with less clamping pressure. Additionally, surge protectors offer a warranty to replace damaged devices if surges damage them. So I think you should always use an extension cord with a surge protector.

Hopefully, you have cleared all your queries by now. However, if you have any questions, leave a comment below.

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