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Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 24
Hey, those recepticals are mounted soley by the center screws! I thought that wasn't allowed anymore.

Seems like a double standard to me. Electricians are not allowed to mount recpticals in this manner but UL approves a consumer product that does?

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Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
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Wow! Good eye, Gus!

[Linked Image]

Residential/Commercial Inspector
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 29
I took one of those apart and there not "real" recepticals per say. It is a plastic block shaped like them with the 3 wires attach at the beggining and then there are 3 "buss" bars that provide the 3 conductors

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
However the one pictured (and the one that had the switch fall apart on me) has real receptacles that theoretically can be replaced if they crack or wear out. You can tell because of the middle screw that Gus mentioned.

The receptacles are hard to find in the aftermarket though...I saw a lot of them at a job-lot store. (Obviously they probably haven't sold them in years [Linked Image] )

The wiring to these with the individual receptacles is backstabbed instead of attached to screw terminals. That should say a lot....

The difference between the sockets in these strips and the ones we put in walls is that there isn't a back-strap with plaster ears that bolt the device to the box (because of space concerns).

Rong Feng ( Taiwan makes the receptacles:

[Linked Image from]

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 11-15-2004).]

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,498
Likes: 1
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I don't understand this obsession with outlet strips and extension cords. The user must be assumed to be completly ignorant. If it's possible to plug something in, it shall be safe to do so. You can't expect the user to know that there is a limit to how much current can be taken from a outlet strip, let alone calculate the connected load.

(Home made extension cords often pose a significant risk of fire and/or electrocution, but if you are stupid enough to mess around with something you don't understand you deserve a Darwin Award.)

I don't see any problem with daisy chaining outlet strips. Try to find a computer connected directly to a wall socket: I doubt there are more than a dozen in the whole world [Linked Image] Outlet strips are almost always used. Adding more wall receptacles won't change that: They'll just sit there unused, with a outlet strip on the floor below...

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 360
We had this secretary at the railroad that would have made some kid a good gramma. However...
She was in charge of lunch for a special "do" we had going at the 'road, and couldn't understand why, with 2 of those 100 cup coffee pots, four crock pots, and who knows what else going, kept popping the curciut breaker.
When told that there was no way any single curciut was going to handle that load, her reply was,
"but I plugged them into a surge arrestor"
(with surge arrestor being her term for outlet strip)
[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 518
Until the late '70's, such outlet strips were common in UL's own lab- yet none were listed by UL.
UL was in a quandry: these things were obviously useful, but there was some concern as to how the standards would be set. Several basic NEC issues arose:
-what kind of mounting was proper?
-Did the use of SO cord and a plug conflic with the NEC prohibition on the use of temporary methods in place of permanent wiring?
-What about the NEC stipulation of 90 watts per plug for load calculations? The limitation of the number of receptacles per circuit in non-residential applications?

This was not entirely new ground; UL already listed many outlet assemblies that had been listed as components of appliances.
Eventually, UL decided to consider them as "temporary power taps." As such, UL determined that there could be no easy way to permanently mount the device- or it was obviously intended for permanent use.

Since then, technology has advanced to the point that power quality is very important for many things, such as computers. We have also seen entire families of appliances that are intended to be used together (TV/VHS/Stereo, Computer/printer/monitor, etc.). These outlet strips have become a very easy way to incorporate surge suppression.

Can anything be mis-used, over-used, or mishandled by fools? Yes. No code change will ever protect against such things. Nor will we ever eliminate the temptation to cut corners, plan poorly, or failures to predict future needs.

A lot of things would be nice. It would be nice if applianced were made to plug into each other; it ould be nice if enouch receptacles were installed in appropriate locations; it would be nice if desks had their own power distribution centers built in. It would also be nice if management would admit that one microwave isn't enough for 100 people, that setting the thermostat at 60 only means the secretaries will smuggle in space heaters, etc.

The American way is to let the individual, through market actions, make his own informed choices. We, in the trade, have to not only try to anticipate the customers' real needs, but also to educate the customer as to the importance of his decisions.

Let's be careful that we don't let "ideal" or "perfect" become the enemy of "barely adequate."

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081
How 'bout wiring in more of these

[Linked Image from]

(From Hubbell)

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 642
You will never get rid of these strips. All you can do is limit the number of outlets they can plug these into. eg installing only 4 outlets on a circuit instead of 8 outlets. Of course it is a very rare owner who will assume that cost. All we can do is give the customer a safe instalation per code. What they do with it afterwards is thier problem. [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by nesparky (edited 12-16-2002).]

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
good post John.

i wonder if these strips have had such a low incident of hazard as to warrant little attention?

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