Find Out the Watt Capacity of Your 15 Amp Power Strip
At RackSolutions, we know how vital power strips are as an accessory to racks and mounts. Power strips are a convenient way to ensure you have enough outlets for all your equipment and these outlets are located where you need them. In most residential environments, power strips are used to power fans, phone chargers, TVs, video game systems, and other relatively small pieces of equipment. With this type of situation, most people won’t even need to think about how many watts a 15 amp (or even 20 amp) power strip is able to handle safely. When using a power strip for commercial-grade computer equipment, or larger types of appliances, however, it is important to keep close track of the electrical load on a power strip.
When determining how many watts a 15 amp power strip can handle, you must understand three key terms, which are watts, amps, and volts. An easy way to learn about these three terms is to describe them using more familiar concepts, such as water flowing through pipes:
- Watts – Watts can be compared to the total amount of ‘water’ that flows through a pipe at any given time.
- Amps – Amps are a measurement of how fast the ‘water’ is moving through the pipes.
- Volts – Volts are the amount of pressure that is present on the water.
To determine how many watts of power a power strip can handle, you simply multiply the volts by the amps. Most facilities will run on 120 or 240 volts. For a 15 amp power strip on a 120-volt circuit, the power strip can handle up to 1800 watts. If you are on a 240-volt circuit, the power strip can handle 3600 watts of power.
Remember, most electrical equipment, including computer equipment, doesn’t always use an even amount of power. For example, as the amount of processing required goes up, the system will draw a greater amount of electricity. Therefore, it is a good idea to calculate your capacity based on the maximum amount of electricity that each piece of equipment could draw. That way, you will be well within the safe range even during peak usage.
Power Strip vs Surge Protector
Another important point on this subject is the difference between a power strip and a surge protector. While they both allow you to plug multiple appliances into one device, they operate quite differently. A power strip is essentially just an extension cord with multiple outlets at the end. If you overload the power strip beyond its capacity, it can overheat and even cause a fire. A surge protector has its own internal circuitry that helps to protect against surges in electricity. If too much electricity is being drawn, it will trip the breaker, thus cutting off the power. While this may be inconvenient, it is much better than causing a fire hazard.
Choosing the right power strip, surge protector, or other device for your situation is very important. When buying this type of equipment, make sure you choose one that has the capacity needed for your equipment today and for any potential growth in the years to come. RackSolutions offers various types of power strips that can help ensure you have a convenient and reliable power source long into the future.