How Many Devices Can I Plug into One Electrical Socket with an Extension Cord?

Sometimes you may find yourself living in a room with limited outlets, forcing you to make tough choices. You might need to have your phone charger plugin. Still, it would be better if you had a hairdryer, electric razor, electric iron box, vacuum cleaner, space heater, and other electrical devices. Generally, the number of devices you can plug into a single outlet solely depends on the outlet’s capacity.

Is Overloading an Extension Cord Risky?

Is Overloading an Extension Cord Risky

Considering you have only two receptacles to plug something into, you will have to decide on the most crucial device at the moment. Or maybe, you can organize a workaround with a surge protector or two. 

If you have an extension cord, you may also need to plug in several devices to be used at the moment, but the space is not enough. Besides the available space, overloading a socket or extension cord is very risky, and the results are catastrophic. 

For instance, there is a greater risk of putting your house on fire. It is worthy and very crucial to understand and know the safety principles and precautions to take behind maximum wattage capacities. This would help you be on the safer side and escape the dangers involved. 

How Many Devices Can a Single Outlet Handle?

The number of devices you might plug into a single outlet depends on the circuit’s capacity and the number of outlets that receive their supply from the circuit. You must have the knowledge and better understanding of your house’s circuit. 

It is indeed safe to presume that you have 15-amp circuits. However, it is highly recommended to involve an electric technician to check. Suppose your house has been there for a very long time, the chances are that its electrical system is not modern. In other words, it was not mainly designed to withstand the demands of multiple modern power appliances. 

In brand new homes, electrical technicians mostly install 20-amp circuits or even higher to allow the home occupants to add more appliances later on without risking an overloaded outlet. 

One would not worry or stress themselves out about the impacts encountered. In addition, many extension cords accept 3 devices, but there are single device extension cords. The power taps enable you to plug three devices directly into a single outlet or even six in a duplex.

How Do you know the Number of Devices to Plug into One Outlet? 

As a compulsory rule, it is recommended to stick to a maximum load of 1500 watts per outlet or circuit. This is very safe, and no risks are involved at all. How many devices you are allowed to plug into one outlet automatically depends on the wattage of each device or an appliance that you want to plugin. 

It may be a blow-drier, iron box, charger, and many more devices. You may wonder, how can you determine the wattage? All you need to do is check the plug label or manufacturer’s manual instructions to evaluate the total combined wattage per outlet. 

For instance, large appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, air conditioners, fridges, water dispensers, and ovens normally exceed 1000 watts just on their own. Thus, these particular appliances should have their dedicated circuit.

Nonetheless, it is vital to remember that nothing else should be plugged into the same outlet apart from the specified ones. Still, if your home’s circuits have higher amperage, the spruce explains that you can use a straightforward principle called Ohm’s raw to calculate the capacity. 

You need to understand the amperage and voltage of your home’s circuit to use Ohm’s law to determine how much it can handle. It is elementary math, with only a few calculations and evaluations required. 

  • To calculate the wattage capacity, you must multiply the amperage by the voltage. Consider the two worked examples below; 
  • For a 15- or 20- amp circuit on 120 volts of electricity.
  • 15 amp × 120 volts =1,800 watts
  • 20 amp × 120 volts = 2,400 watts

Are There Dangers in an Overloaded Outlet?

Are There Dangers in an Overloaded Outlet

Overloaded outlets are a major cause of fire breakout in houses. When more appliances are plugged in than the circuit can handle, it causes it to overheat, resulting in ruined wiring. The heat combined with a damaged electric system is dangerous because it increases the chances of an electrical fire outbreak. 

If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, your fuses blow frequently, or your light flicker when you are not using many appliances. Do not hesitate to call an electric technician to assess and probably update your home’s electronic system to prevent a fire crisis. 

Can Two Surge Protectors be Plugged into One Outlet?

If one surge protector is not sufficient, you can decide to plug two surge protectors into a single outlet. Still, you must ensure you have not exceeded the circuit’s maximum wattage. 

When the second surge protector is added, it will not overload the circuit on its own. This means that you still have to add each device or appliance’s wattages to ensure that you are operating the circuit at a safer load.

How Much Can Be Plugged into a Power Strip?

Ohm’s law is fundamental in calculating amps multiplied by volts to work out its capacity. Still, there will be a limited number of outlets in your strip. In cases where you want to use the power strip to plug in low-wattage items such as phone chargers, you can plug in multiple devices safely without necessarily causing an overloaded outlet. 

Nonetheless, adding the wattage of each appliance and device is safer. Avoid plugging a strip into the same outlet that supplies a high-power appliance. Note that some appliances should never be plugged into a power strip. While they are the best for small appliances, you can alternatively use them to power at least one large device, such as refrigerators or dishwashers.


The number of devices you can plug into an electric socket with an extension code relies on the capacity of your extension cord. Knowing the voltage of the devices you want to connect is crucial to avoid overloading the socket. While connecting your appliances, remember that appliances with higher wattages, such as fridges, should be plugged to separate sockets.

Reference 1: How many things can you plug into an electrical outlet before it catches fire? | HowStuffWorks

Reference 2: Worried About Overloading Sockets? – Try This Calculator – Irvine Beat FM

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