How would the use of power bars lead to overloading a circuit if the occupant is limited to 2 appliances?
My computer work station has 8 plugs yet its total current draw is probably less than 4A except for the 30secs it takes to scan or print a page.
The problem with extension cords and appliances is voltage drop caused by the typical 18-16AWG cords most people use. I have a "dorm" size refrigerator in my basement that says I can use it with an "appliance" rated extension cord.
Re: Opinion on Power Bars and Extension Cords#63160 03/08/0607:40 PM03/08/0607:40 PM
I see those used by the hundreds in the housing complexes we look after... Usually if its a good quality cord or power bar of the correct length, not overloaded or daisy chained, and not being used in place of permanent wiring (fastened to the wall or ceiling) we will not say anything... If its a cube tap or multi outlet tap being used in a kitchen, some cheap dollar store piece of junk, or being used as permanent wiring, the landlord gets notified and we remove it or have the tenant remove it... Personally I do not have a problem with using cords or power bars as long as they are good heavy quality items and not used as permanent wiring.. I usually make up cords or " splitters" for my own use out of heavy cabtire and Specification materials or devices.
[This message has been edited by Rewired (edited 03-08-2006).]
Re: Opinion on Power Bars and Extension Cords#63162 03/08/0609:09 PM03/08/0609:09 PM
I agree with the loading concept, as we understand what loads we are plugging in. But do the other have a clue? You place a power strip under a secretary’s desk for her computer, and other minor loads and then she plugs in a heater. In addition, OCPDs should never be intentionally overloaded. The though of that we can continually add things to the circuit and depend upon the OCPD to protect the circuit which is not an acceptable practice. And last, the fire inspectors the do the inspections in the counties where I live will not allow the use of an extension cord in a commercial/business complex only listed power strips with integral an OCPD. They will not allow power strips to be daisy chained either. Anyway you look at it extension cords by themselves don't have OCP and are susceptible to being damaged. You start daisy chaining power strips and now you are intentionally relying on their OCPDs to protect from overload, which is not acceptable. We would have not problem personally as we understand what loads are. But it's the others that don't have a clue.
Re: Opinion on Power Bars and Extension Cords#63165 03/09/0602:17 PM03/09/0602:17 PM
So instead of a plug strip would you mount 3-4 duplex receptacles under a desk? If they are all on the same circuit, what prevents it from being overloaded just like a power bar?
The problem comes in when people do not read instructions nor follow directions, on top of it they buy improper equipment.
In order to have the NEC prevent the misuse of cords and power bars, wouldn't the AHJ have to inspect each installation. I can see it now - pull a permit before you can plug anything in, but make sure you have performed a circuit loading study first.