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

Davebones

Senior Member
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 .
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
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.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
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.
 

qcroanoke

Sometimes I don't know if I'm the boxer or the bag
Location
Roanoke, VA.
Occupation
Engineering
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.
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
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.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
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? :?
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
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.
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
Location
Union, KY, USA
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!
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
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.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
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.
 

ggunn

PE (Electrical), NABCEP certified
Location
Austin, TX, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer - Photovoltaic Systems
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.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
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
 

packersparky

Senior Member
Location
Wisconsin
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.
 
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.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
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.
 

packersparky

Senior Member
Location
Wisconsin
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.
If i understand how you are doing this, I don't believe this is compliant. Flexible cords cannot be installed through holes in walls unless you meet the conditions in 400.10(A)(11).

400.12 Uses Not Permitted. Unless specifically permitted in 400.10, flexible cables, flexible cord sets, and power supply cords shall not be used for the following:
(2) Where run through holes in walls, structural ceilings, suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings, or floors

400.10 Uses Permitted. (A) Uses. Flexible cords and flexible cables shall be used only for the following:
(11) Between an existing receptacle outlet and an inlet, where the inlet provides power to an additional single receptacle outlet. The wiring interconnecting the inlet to the single receptacle outlet shall be a Chapter 3 wiring method. The inlet, receptacle outlet, and Chapter 3 wiring method, including the flexible cord and fittings, shall be a listed assembly specific for this application.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
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.
The problem is the power cord spliced in the box. Use an inlet in the wall box with a cord cap on the power cord as has been suggested. That should make it compliant.

There are kits for this that actually do that but it's probably cheaper to make your own.

-Hal
 
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