Can a standard power strip (when switched off) stop vampire power draw from electronics??

I'd rather not buy one of those new-fangled "smart" power strips for $30 - $40 if a standard one will do -- I don't have any problem flicking the switch.

I gave my father a Belkin watt-meter for Christmas, but it's about 650 miles away so I can't personally test it myself.

The cable modem, router and cable box will stay on to maintain wifi and cable programming guide. I'm mostly interested in completely shutting down other home theater equipment that isn't in use 90% of the day.

3 Answers 3


Yes, every "standard" (non UPS, non "smart") power strip that you buy, will stop that "vampire draw" when it is switched off. It's just as good as unplugging the appliance and one reason why power-strips are made in the first place.


By "vampire draw" I assume you mean the draw that certain electronics continue to have when "turned off", because really they're in a "low-power standby" that maintains things like satellite/WiFi hookups, software update monitoring, quick-start features, etc etc etc.

In these cases, yes, putting these devices on any power strip with a simple on-off switch and turning that switch off is the same as unplugging the devices from the wall; the switch will completely disconnect the "hot" and will not allow current to flow. This can be useful when going on vacation (but if you value those devices I'd really just unplug them, or their power strip, from the wall completely).

Understand this may mean that your devices take a while to power up after you turn the switch back on. The DVR/receiver for my dish TV system can take up to five minutes to reestablish the satellite connection after power to the DVR is cut (unplug, power failure). That's the main one, but others of my home entertainment devices take longer to start up after a power loss. Basically what you have in your home theater nowadays is a bunch of computers, and when you "turn them off" you're really putting them in a "sleep" mode from which they can return to "on" much faster. Turn them all the way off by unplugging them, and then they have to go through the full "bootup" process.

  • Thanks, my plan is to keep the modem, router and cable box in an 'always on' strip to maintain internet and cable programming guide. Other electronics (HDTV, surround sound system, PS3, HTPC) I'd like to keep (switched) off overnight and all day while I'm not at home. It helps me feel a little less guilty for the excessive number of peripherals I have hooked up to the TV!
    – Roy
    May 7, 2012 at 18:12

If you turn it off and hit allows no power to go thru it then yes, it will stop it. Worst case scenario you can always unplug the strip. I guarantee that will stop it. That of garlic.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.