What is a Power Board?

A power board is an electrical device designed to distribute electricity from one power outlet to multiple devices. Typically, it features multiple sockets to connect various appliances or electronic equipment.

Experienced Cairns electricians know that understanding what a power board is is essential for safely managing multiple electrical connections in both domestic and commercial settings.

This blog will discuss the role, parts, and common questions related to power boards.

What is the Role of a Power Board?

The role of a power board is to expand the capacity of a single electrical outlet, allowing multiple devices to be powered simultaneously. This is particularly useful in areas where electrical outlets are limited but the demand for power is high. Power boards are commonly used in homes and offices to connect various electrical appliances and devices.

Power boards provide a convenient solution for connecting several devices in close proximity to one another. They are designed to handle various electrical loads, making them suitable for a wide range of appliances. It’s important to select a power board with the appropriate rating for the devices being connected to ensure safety and efficiency.

In essence, these boards play a critical role in enhancing the usability and flexibility of existing electrical infrastructure.

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4 Main Parts of a Power Board

The 4 main parts of a power board are the outlets, on/off switch, circuit breaker, and power cord. Let’s take a closer look at each one below:


Outlets are the most visible part of a power board, where appliances and devices are plugged in. Each outlet allows for the connection of a plug, facilitating the use of multiple devices from a single power source.

The number of outlets on a power board can vary, offering flexibility based on the user’s needs.

On/Off Switch

The on/off switch on a power board provides a convenient way to control the power supply to all connected devices. This switch allows users to quickly cut off or restore power without unplugging the power board or switching off the main power.

It’s an essential feature for managing power usage and ensuring safety.

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Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker is a critical safety component in a power board. If an overload or short circuit is detected, it automatically cuts off the electrical current. This helps to prevent damage to connected devices and reduces the risk of electrical fires.

Understanding how electrical switchboards work with circuit breakers is essential. Find out what is an electrical switchboard by reading our blog here.

Power Cord

The power cord connects the power board to the main electrical outlet, providing electricity to the board. It’s typically designed to be durable and flexible, allowing for safe and convenient placement of the power board.

The length of the power cord can vary, offering different levels of accessibility depending on the intended use.

Can I Plug Any Appliance Into a Power Board?

No, you can’t plug just about any appliance into a power board as it might not be designed to handle high-power appliances. Appliances that typically should not be plugged into a power board include the following:

  • Air Conditioners: Similar to heaters, air conditioners require a lot of power and should be plugged directly into a wall outlet.
  • Refrigerators and Freezers: Due to their high power consumption and continuous operation, connecting them directly to a wall outlet is safer.
  • Microwaves: The high power draw of microwaves can exceed the limits of many power boards.
  • Washing Machines: These are high power appliances and should have a dedicated outlet.
  • Dishwashers: Like washing machines, dishwashers also draw significant power and should be plugged into a wall outlet.
  • Ovens and Cooktops: The large amount of electricity required by these appliances can be too much for a standard power board.

Always check the power board’s rating and the appliance’s power requirements before plugging in. This ensures safety and prevents potential electrical hazards.

What Can I Plug Into a Power Board?

You can plug lower power-consuming devices into a power board safely. Examples of suitable appliances include laptops, phone chargers, desktop computers, small desk lamps, and printers.

These devices generally have lower electrical demands and are typically safe to use with a power board.

Is It Safe to Plug a Power Board Into Another Power Board?

No, it’s not safe to plug a power board into another power board. This practice, known as ‘daisy chaining,’ can lead to overloading and electrical hazards.

Connecting multiple power boards together increases the risk of exceeding the current capacity of the initial power outlet.