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As someone who’s studied engineering, I should be able to answer this question. However, a quick search online has me confused.

Provided what I’m plugging in (a laptop drawing relatively little power) doesn’t exceed the extension cord rating, there should be no issue.

Advice online suggests otherwise. Is there something about consumer electronics I don’t know? Or, perhaps online advice is merely simplified (and presented inaccurately) to be foolproof.

I see a similar question here, but again I suspect those answers are inaccurate so as to be foolproof.

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Provided what I’m plugging in (a laptop drawing relatively little power) doesn’t exceed the extension cord rating, there should be no issue.

This is correct. If your load is well under 13A, you shouldn't see any issues.

The obvious counterargument is that with this setup, the 13A extension cord could fail before the surge protector kicks in to protect the system. Like, with a 14A load. So, generally, your setup is not recommended, especially for a long-term installation.

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A common Surge-Protected 15A Power Bar has 2 features: ( Voltage surge and current surge )

enter image description here

1: an induced transient surge absorber ( MOV,TVS Zener-like) (< 10 cents in volume)

enter image description here

2: a 15A breaker, separate or integrated in manual switch.

The extension cord current is based on local standards. For North America:

Conductor
gauge/wires     Max amps    Max length
16/2            13A 50'     10A 100'
16/3            13A 50'     10A 100'
14/3            15A 50'     13A 100'
12/3                        15A 100'
10/3                        15A 100'

enter image description here Using the Power Strip after the Extension cord means the the breaker will not protect the extension cord from an elevated temperature between 13A and 15A or if the extension cord is damaged.* Fire Risks increase from OVERUSE of ratings and damaged extensions cord that increase self-heating. (rodents, stress kinks etc) You use at your own risk.

European extension reel cables now include an automatic current cut-out to avoid misuse of the cable.

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