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I bought this Belkin Surge Protector Single Power Outlet for my very digital Samsung washing machine. Unfortunately, the wall outlet doesn't have enough space to fit this thing since it's rather big.

Can I connect an extension cord to the wall outlet and then connect this surge protector to the extension cord?

This SE question kinda gave me an answer, but just wanted to post to make sure.

Thanks.

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    The wall outlet not having enough space is odd. Why does it not have enough space? Extensions are not recommended to be used for most appliances(legal mondo for SOA), but short heavy duty(12 gauge) with ground, should be safe enough if needed.
    – crip659
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 14:35
  • What do the markings and instructions say?
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 14:41
  • Given that a short 12AWG extension cord probably isn't cheap, it might be better to look at a power bar with surge protection (assuming that's allowed by your washer instructions). Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 14:54
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    Have you got two free spaces in the breaker panel? Consider an in-panel surge suppressor.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 15:58
  • You don't even need 2 free spaces, surge suppressors don't actually draw any current (at least none that matters for the amp rating), so they can share a breaker. They can share it even better on certain breakers rated for double tapping. Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 1:42

1 Answer 1

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There are a few different issues here:

  • Extension cord type

You must use a 3-prong extension cord. A 2-prong extension cord won't extend ground, which would defeat the surge protection, as well as violate product usage instructions of your washing machine.

You should use a 12 AWG cord, though technically 14 AWG should be enough for a 15A circuit. Definitely nothing smaller than 14 AWG.

  • Can the washing machine be used on an extension cord?

Check the instructions. It may say "be careful" or it may say "not at all". If it says "not at all" then you end up in a real mess. Because if something happens either despite the surge protection or unrelated to surge protection (e.g., a mechanical failure), the manufacturer could deny warranty coverage.

  • Capacity of the surge protector

First of all, the Amazon page is useless. Belkin is a real company with legitimate products. But the Amazon page says 240V when this is clearly a 120V product. So we can't go by any specifications on the Amazon page.

Unfortunately, the Belkin page and the Home Depot page for this product don't say anything useful about capacity. They do mention 885 joules, but that is nominally a measure of the surge protection capacity. What you really need to know is the safe usage of this surge protector. Many are rated for 15A - the same capacity as the receptacle they are plugged into. But not necessarily, so that is a real concern.

Consider that the typical use case for a single receptacle surge protector is with a laptop computer or a TV, both of which will use far less peak current than a washing machine. Plus a washing machine is primarily a motor load, which has very different characteristics from typical electronic device power supplies.

  • Water

One of the product pictures actually says "No water":

belkin warning label

which should include washing machines, dishwashers and similar appliances.

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    TL;DR: your washing machine may blow out the surge suppressor quite rapidly. Side note: Consider installing a whole house surge suppressor in the panel box instead.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 15:52
  • Specs on the Amazon page imply counterfeit direct-import product, TBH.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 16:08
  • @Ecnerwal The specs are messed up. But Shipped/Sold By Amazon and it is a legitimate Belkin product. Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 16:54

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