A power strip (also known as an extension block, power board, power bar, plug board, pivot plug, trailing gang, trailing socket, plug bar, trailer lead, multi-socket, multi-box, socket board, super plug, multiple socket, multiple outlet, polysocket and by many other variations) is a block of electrical sockets that attaches to the end of a flexible cable (typically with a mains plug on the other end), allowing multiple electrical devices to be powered from a single electrical socket. Power strips are often used when many electrical devices are in proximity, such as for audio, video, computer systems, appliances, power tools, and lighting. Power strips often include a circuit breaker to interrupt the electric current in case of an overload or a short circuit. Some power strips provide protection against electrical power surges. Typical housing styles include strip, rack-mount, under-monitor and direct plug-in.
In some countries where multiple socket types are in use, a single power strip can have two or more kinds of sockets. Socket arrangement varies considerably, but for physical access reasons there are rarely more than two rows. In Europe, power strips without surge suppression are normally single row, but models with surge suppression are supplied both in single and double row configurations.
If sockets on a power strip are grouped closely together, a cable with a large “wall wart” transformer at its end may cover up multiple sockets. Various designs address this problem, some by simply increasing the spacing between outlets. Other designs include receptacles which rotate in their housing, or multiple short receptacle cords feeding from a central hub. A simple DIY method for adapting problematic power strips arrangements to large “wall warts” is to use a three-way socket adapter to extend the socket above its neighbors, providing the required clearance. The PowerCube adapter is arranged as a cube, meaning the adapters do not fight for space next to each other.