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HotLine1 #207757 11/24/12 03:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,418
Likes: 1
Cat Servant
Here's a pic of my modest aquarium, and it's attendant:

[Linked Image from]

Now, that aquarium has a light, a pump, a heater, and a UV sterilizing light. That's four plugs. Most aquariums also have an air pump (I don't need one because of that 'quite waterfall' you see).

It's kind of hard to put five plugs into a duplex receptacle. Most folks are not about to rip the walls apart to install additional receptacles- especially if they're renting. With 'starter' aquariums around $20, you can be sure plenty of renters have them.

My desk has 10 receptacles, and there have been times where every one was in use. Here's the count of current things plugged in:
Computer: 3 + printer = 4
Modem & router: 2 (located elsewhere)
Desk lamps: 2
Paper shredder: 1
Under desk heaters: 2 (becomes 1 fan in summer.
Cell phone charger: 1

Lucky for me I still use the old-fashioned manual pencil sharpener and stapler.

Face it: Power strips are here to stay.

Plus .... let's look at that desk again. 4 or 5 plugs under the desk, 4-5 above the desk. That's a situation just begging for two power strips ... meaning, regardless of what the "White book" says, you'll see the things daisy chained.

There are various experts' and parts of the listing standards that want to obstruct the use of power strips. They're not only tilting at windmills, they're also preventing QUALITY strips from being made. They've set their doctrine against the customers' wishes.

There are countless examples of what the result is when that happens: Doctrine fails, and bad things happen because of attempts to impose the doctrine. "Prohibition" is probably the grandest of such failed experiments.
Doctrine has to change.

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HotLine1 #207760 11/25/12 10:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,374
Likes: 7
Just to back up a little. My OP was not meant to trash power strips. My intent was/is to 'define' the fire cause.

Inproper use of electrical equipment, like zip cord extension cords, or power strips, usually result in the 'cause' being marked off as 'Electrical'. That's my intent!

HotLine1 #207782 11/26/12 02:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,418
Likes: 1
Cat Servant
You are correct. Lots of bad things happen when stuff is mis-used.

Frankly, no one is helped when a fire is called 'electrical' when 'abuse' or 'stupidity' are the real causes.

I'd like to see better, more substantial power strips. I'd like to see 'better' cord use. Yet, too often we find our 'rules' prevent us from doing these things 'better.'

There's also a mindset that considers all 'extension cords' the same - that treats a 4-wire #8 SO cord the same as a #18 zip cord, that treats a 3-ft cord for the desk the same as a 90-ft. cord that snakes through the house.

There's a 'snob factor' that sneers ar Wiremold ... which results in cords being used everywhere, forever.

It's particularly annoying when folks take pride in their abilities to pervert logic.

HotLine1 #207929 12/09/12 05:24 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,438
I have a Plugmold power strip I use at my nightstand for an alarm clock and a couple chargers. Under my desk is an APC UPS with a power strip from the back up side and one from the just surge suppressed side. 4 external drives, modem, router, stereo, 40" LED screen and a 22" LED screen, server unit, magicjack, cordless phone charger, X-Box 360... In all, there's around 900 watts if I run it all at once. I just needed more physical outlets.

HotLine1 #207930 12/09/12 05:28 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,438

There's always someone that knows enough to get into trouble...

[Linked Image from]

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 80
Originally Posted by renosteinke
There are various experts' and parts of the listing standards that want to obstruct the use of power strips. They're not only tilting at windmills, they're also preventing QUALITY strips from being made. They've set their doctrine against the customers' wishes.

I know, right? crazy

I've briefly seen (on YouTube) those transparently insincere PSAs against plugging heaters into (your) power strips. They might appear convincing enough to the layperson, but I ain't having them; I do still have a few older Australian power-boards (as we call them) with proper contacts, and they can sustain the full 10A through any one socket while keeping their cool.

Of course, the units available at modern "discount" stores are total junk (although to be fair, most electrical products sold there are); so given my past incident, I wouldn't even trust those with an office PC (much less any substantial load). Even they can survive full load initially, though; 10A is no big deal until the contacts are well and truly knackered, and that's exactly what happens in these cheaper power-boards (reportedly much like your "residential grade" wall outlets, which thankfully aren't a thing in Australia).

Indeed, it's my experience that products in general are way more reliable in the absence of such theoretically baseless cop-outs as have been mentioned, and this applies to high-tech products (e.g. hard disk drives) just as it does to low-tech items...

HotLine1 #220321 10/06/19 10:12 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 155
They were self generating power, the cord was plugged into itself, induction caused racing power loop, like a hadron accelerator.

HotLine1 #220362 11/07/19 08:39 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 334
I was wondering if I had anything to add to this conversation, and then wondered if I just like to hear myself talk and got rid of most of it.

I do want to add that it is important that power strips be used in a visible location. Fires can be stopped by just someone noting the browning/melting (or smelling, in one case, when it was hidden in a cabinet, good thing an employee trusted their nose).


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