Power strips last a long time – in fact, most of them don’t even last 10 years.
In this article, we will take a look at the lifespan of power strips and the factors that affect their aging.
Here’s How Long Power Strips Can Safely Be Used:
The lifespan of a power strip is directly related to the quality of its design and how often it is used. The average lifespan of a power strip is between five and 10 years, with some types lasting longer than others. The most important factor is quality.
How Long Do Power Strips Normally Last?
Power strips can be used for many years if they’re well-made and cared for. The average life expectancy of a power strip is four years, but this depends on how it’s used and stored.
The following factors can affect its lifespan:
- Dust and dirt build up over time, which can cause overheating and create fire hazards. Avoid leaving dust bunnies on your power strip or storing it in areas where there’s a lot of debris or dust accumulation.
- Heat is another factor that affects the longevity of power strips. If you have an older model, it may not have built-in thermal overload protection that could shut off the electricity during an overload situation. This makes them more likely to overheat and cause electrical fires than newer models that have this feature built in so they’ll automatically shut down when there’s a problem.
As we said the lifespan of a power strip depends on several factors, including the brand and model, how often it’s used, and how well you take care of it.
For example, if you have a cheap $5 power strip that you rarely use, then chances are good that it will outlive your computer and all other electronics in your home office. But if you have a $100 power strip that gets used frequently and never cleaned or maintained properly, then it might only last about 2 years before breaking down completely.
Read also: Is it best to avoid power strips altogether?
How Do You Know When a Power Strips Has Gone Bad?
The life of a power strip is determined by the quality of the materials used in its construction, how well it was built and how often it gets used.
- The first thing to look for when determining whether your power strip is still safe to use is for signs of wear and tear. If you have several outlets on your strip, check the condition of each one.
- If the metal prongs inside each outlet are bent or misshapen in any way, there’s a good chance that this could lead to short circuits or other electrical issues down the line.
- If you notice loose or damaged wires as well, it’s probably time to replace your strip with a new one.
Note also, that you should only use power strips outdoor that are intended for outdoor use.
Here’s how long different types can safely be used:
Basic Power Strips
Basic power strips are usually made from plastic and have no surge protection or circuit breaker. They are available at any local store for less than $10. You should not use them for more than three years.
Surge protectors have better build quality than basic power strips and provide protection against spikes in voltage, which can damage electronics within your home. A surge protector also has an indicator light that lets you know if there is an issue with your home’s electrical system.
These devices are designed to last up to seven years if they’re used properly — but they can also be damaged by surges in voltage, which leads to early failure.
Wall Mounted Surge Protectors
Wall mounted surge protectors are typically installed in between your outlet and device and provide the same type of protection as standard surge protectors but with more design options available.
Do Power Strips Have Expiration Dates?
The first step is checking the manufacturer date on the back of the product. This will usually be located underneath where the cord enters the device.
If there isn’t date there, try looking for an FCC stamp on the bottom of your power strip or outlet to see if there is any sign of when it was manufactured and tested for safety compliance.
If there’s no date, or it’s too worn down to read, then you should check online for reviews or ask friends who might have similar products and see what they have to say about their experiences with that specific brand or model over time.
Can You Use Really Old Power Strips?
The answer to this question depends on your age and the quality of the power strip. If you’re using an older strip, then it may have become worn from use and could be failing.
Most power strips are designed to last 10 years, but that’s under ideal conditions.
Most people don’t use their power strips very often, so they aren’t being used enough to wear them out. But in some cases, they are being used to the point where they will wear faster than others.
Power strips are also susceptible to damage from surges in voltage and electrical spikes.
The older they get, the more likely they are to fail in this way. And while these problems can occur at any time, they’re more likely when there is a storm or another natural disaster nearby that causes sudden increases in voltage levels.
What Can Cause Power Strips to Go Bad?
The most common reason for an older power strip to stop working is a loose connection between the outlet and the cord.
This can be caused by anything from a poor connection in the manufacturing process to wear and tear on the cord over time.
If you have an older power strip that still works, it’s probably okay for now, but if you’re looking for peace of mind, it’s best not to use it as your primary power source.
Instead, consider using it to connect less important devices like external hard drives or printers that don’t need constant access.
There are three other main ways that power strips can fail:
- Overheating: This is caused by too much current running through the strip. This causes heat buildup and can lead to fire or electrical damage to your devices if left unattended.
- Short Circuit: A short circuit occurs when electricity tries to travel through something other than its intended path—like through one wire instead of two wires in a connection point on the strip itself. This can also cause overheating because it adds extra resistance that increases power use and slows down connection speeds for all devices connected to the strip.
- Electrical Interference: Electrical interference can come from faulty wiring in your home or apartment building.
Here are some tips to help you keep your power strip safe and functional for as long as possible:
- Use them with caution and common sense.
- Avoid overloading them with too many items that draw high amounts of electricity, such as hair dryers or space heaters.
- Make sure there is at least one foot of clearance between the strip and other objects in order for it to work properly.
- Keep them away from water sources such as sinks or bathtubs because water can cause damage to internal components like wires and connections if they come into contact with liquid over time due to corrosion (this could lead to short circuits).
When Should You Replace Power Strips?
You should replace your power strips if they have any of the following conditions:
- They don’t work properly anymore; for example, the lights don’t come on when you flip the switch or there’s no power going through them at all.
- They have loose plugs or exposed wires at either end of the strip or between plugs in a row. These conditions could lead to fires or electrical shocks if they come in contact with water or moisture during use.
- They have thick layers of dust covering their cases; this could indicate that they haven’t been cleaned well enough over time or that they’ve been used in an environment where dust was common (a warehouse full of boxes, for example).
A power strip is an essential device for anyone who wants to save time by connecting multiple devices to one outlet. When shopping for a power strip, make sure that it comes with the right amount of outlets for your needs. You should also check the length of its cord so that you can plug it into an outlet that’s close to where you need it most.
If you plan on using a power strip regularly, consider investing in one that offers surge protection as well as other features like an indicator light or on/off switch.
Read our blog here about should you unplug extension cords when not in use?
- ETA-Safety: Don’t Overload Power Strips!
- Penny Electric: Basic Safety Guidelines for Using Power Strips.