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Power strips ( Our EHS department is asking if power strips are allowed )

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    Power strips ( Our EHS department is asking if power strips are allowed )

    Out in our manufacturing areas we have multiple work stations all over . We have 20 amp circuit , 120 volt pendent drops with a box and a duplex rec on each side . From the duplex rec we plug in 6ft power strip with a 15 amp breaker on it , We use this to feed computers , fans , lights , etc that are around the work stations . We don't allow power strip to power strip plug in's . Looking for your opinions on is this compliant with the electrical code .

    #2
    Others will disagree, I suspect. My opinion is that the premises wiring system ends at the pendant with the outlet box. What the tenant plugs into that outlet is not covered by the NEC.
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

    Comment


      #3
      People seem to think that a power strip is a substitute for permanent wiring and therefore not permitted. I don't agree with that assessment and as Charlie stated the NEC does not agree either.
      Rob

      Moderator

      All responses based on the 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Davebones View Post
        Out in our manufacturing areas we have multiple work stations all over . We have 20 amp circuit , 120 volt pendent drops with a box and a duplex rec on each side . From the duplex rec we plug in 6ft power strip with a 15 amp breaker on it , We use this to feed computers , fans , lights , etc that are around the work stations . We don't allow power strip to power strip plug in's . Looking for your opinions on is this compliant with the electrical code .
        As others have said NEC doesn't care. And that's what you asked.
        But I'll bet the fire marshal does.
        Sometimes I don't know whether I'm the boxer or the bag.

        Comment


          #5
          Fire marshalls like metal plug strips. I found a source for model with 15 ft cord, ul listed. What you can't do is attach plug strip cord to wall.
          correct name is temporary power tap.
          Moderator-Washington State
          Ancora Imparo

          Comment


            #6
            I never really understood why people dislike or flat out disallow power strips. If you're using a listed product within its listing why is there a problem?
            Rob

            Moderator

            All responses based on the 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by infinity View Post
              I never really understood why people dislike or flat out disallow power strips. If you're using a listed product within its listing why is there a problem?
              It is about money. Electricians want to sell you the labor to install receptacles so they tell people that is what they need and make up more or less plausible reasons why it is so.

              Bob

              Comment


                #8
                They're disallowed not only for money, but because people overload the power strips. Not all of them have circuit breakers. The best ones have a 15A breaker-- hard to overload a 20A circuit that way!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by PaulMmn View Post
                  They're disallowed not only for money, but because people overload the power strips. Not all of them have circuit breakers. The best ones have a 15A breaker-- hard to overload a 20A circuit that way!
                  I agree, I could see that being problematic. The OP did state that the ones in question had a 15 amp OCPD built in that's what I was referring to.
                  Rob

                  Moderator

                  All responses based on the 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by petersonra View Post

                    It is about money. Electricians want to sell you the labor to install receptacles so they tell people that is what they need and make up more or less plausible reasons why it is so.
                    If it were all about the money the Fire Marshall would expect a kickback for writing up those power strips.

                    The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      What are you supposed to do if, for example, you have a music studio with a bazillion electronic gizmos that draw tiny bits of current and not all that many are operational at the same time? Having a wall outlet for each of them isn't reasonable, IMO.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I think the main objection is that there are so many crap ones out there that do cause fires. Consumers have no idea how to tell what's good or bad. How many times have we seen stories of electrical fires and the cause was alleged to be an overloaded power strip? So they get a bad rap.

                        A few months ago I saw a story about the home of a noted musician that had a major fire. It originated in his studio which was obvious by the photos. I doubt there was anything left of any power strips to blame it on.

                        -Hal

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by charlie b View Post
                          Others will disagree, I suspect. My opinion is that the premises wiring system ends at the pendant with the outlet box. What the tenant plugs into that outlet is not covered by the NEC.
                          It seems that 250.114 is in conflict with your opinion. At least for cord and plug connected equipment.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by qcroanoke View Post


                            But I'll bet the fire marshal does.
                            Bingo. I run into this frequently where a facility gets a fire inspection. I do not know exactly what these "codes" or standards are that a fire marshal cites, however they seem to be quite specific. Outlet strips are ok, but daisy chaining them or using extension cords is generally not. There are also restrictions that things with over a certain size motor or certain load can not be plugged into an outlet strip.
                            Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

                            "You can't generalize"

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hoping this is related enough to ask here, and not start a new thread . . .

                              For a wall-mounted TV installation, I usually place a typical old-work box with a standard or recessed receptacle behind the TV, with a length of 14-2 NM fed from a second old-work box installed below, at normal receptacle height. In this box, I run a power cord through a 1-hole wall plate and wire-nut the conductors to the 14-2.

                              I have in effect constructed an in-wall extension cord made with code-compliant in-wall components. The customer then plugs the cord into whatever power strip or surge protector the rest of the audio/video equipment plugs into, providing the same protection and avoiding any chance of different-circuit electrical noise or currents.

                              My question is whether the NEC has jurisdiction over, or rules covering such an installation. Having no direct connection to the premises wiring, is it nonetheless an installation that, technically speaking, is subject to permitting and inspection requirements? I have seen similar in-wall kits that actually use a rubber extension cord.
                              Master Electrician
                              Electrical Contractor
                              Richmond, VA

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