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Power strip causing electronic damage?

  1. May 26, 2014 #1
    This is a very basic electronics question, so I hope this is an appropriate forum.

    When an electronic device is plugged into a power strip, does it make any difference to the device whether it is unplugged and re-plugged from the power strip or if the power strip is switched on or off. I have someone telling me that the life of a piece of electronic equipment is being shortened by switching the power strip on and off. They insist that I should only unplug and re-plug the power adapter of this piece of equipment. Is there a real difference with a relatively new power strip?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2014 #2


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    Greetings :smile:

    Switching the power strip on and or compared to plugging and unplugging a plugpack should not make any difference in the way being suggested.

    Any damage to any device plugged into the power strip via a plugpack "should" under normal circumstances be protected from power spikes by the power supply circuitry in the plugpack

    That being said ... personally I would always make a habit of switching off the device or unplugging it from the plugpack before switching off the power strip or unplugging the plug pack

    as an aside ... out of curiosity .... power strip ... is that a Nth American slang term ?
    in Australia they are called power boards, In New Zealand ( when I lived there) we used to call them multi-boxes. Then when I moved to Australia, I had to get used to a new term :smile:

  4. May 27, 2014 #3


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    Is there something more you haven't told us? Maybe your advisor was talking about the case where there are multiple devices plugged into the one strip, and switching the strip OFF before unplugging one means all the other devices are repeatedly subjected to needless ON/OFF stresses?
  5. May 27, 2014 #4


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    I reckon you have it sussed, N.O.
  6. May 27, 2014 #5


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    If the device has its own on/off switch, if would be good practice to switch that off before unplugging it, to avoid somebody getting a surprise (or an injury) when they plug it in again!

    In the UK it is quite common and legal for household power sockets to have no switch on the socket (e.g.
    http://www.wickes.co.uk/MK-13A-Unswitched-Dbl-Socket-K781PPK/p/195081 from a UK nationwide chain of DIY shops), and there is no logical difference between that type of socket and plugging into a live power strip.
  7. May 27, 2014 #6


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    Yes, but apparently it isn't universal here: my girlfriend grew up 40 miles from where I grew up and calls it a strip-of-plugs. Descriptive, but sounds vaguely dirty if you say it too fast.
  8. May 27, 2014 #7
    You're telling me nobody commonly calls them a relocatable power tap???
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