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#84604 - 04/14/03 11:59 PM Does the Code Keep Up With Technology?  
ThinkGood  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081
Milwaukee, WI
First, I will state that I am not an electrician.

I do know that electrical codes specify how many receptacles are required in rooms within a dwelling, based on the usage of the room, whether it's "finished,” etc.

If you have a computer at home, and you're not there right now, picture the "computer room" for a moment. If you're at home reading this, take a look at how many "appliances" need to be plugged in.

Some of the systems advertised in the circulars from the Sunday newspaper require an outlet for:

DSL/Cable Modem

Even if you have an Uninterruptible Power Supply ("UPS"), which usually has about four, most likely you need more outlets.

If you have a second computer, add on:
Network Hub/Router/Switch

Maybe you have a:

Throw in a lamp (don't throw it too hard), etc. and next thing you know, you need 15 outlets. (So, 8 duplexes should cover that.)

My guess is that almost every person has a "temporary power tap" or something else that is listed for "temporary" use to increase the number of outlets. These "temporary" measures are most likely "permanent."

Is this something that can/should be addressed by the NEC and/or local codes?

Can you cite examples of where codes were updated to keep up with technology?

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides

#84605 - 04/15/03 01:48 PM Re: Does the Code Keep Up With Technology?  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Minor aside: Seems as though a few years ago the term changed from ”temporary power tap” to “relocatable power tap”. See: A search for ”temporary power tap” points to the UL1363 information.

#84606 - 04/15/03 09:57 PM Re: Does the Code Keep Up With Technology?  
The Watt Doctor  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 435
Mont Belvieu, TX
Actually, ThinkGood,
IMHO technology drives the code. There are manufactures out there who are submitting requests for changes in the code, as well as building equipment to meet the code. This is all for the purpose of getting their products out in the market place. If you take a look at the say, an early 50's code, and compare it to today's code, you'll see. The question may be, how well does the NEC keep up with technology?
The particular situation that you are talking about above, really has to do with planning. If I was going to build a house, and I knew that I was going to put a lot of equipment in one location, I would make provisions for it.
The NEC is limited in what it can do. Notice: 90.1 (B) Adequacy. This Code contains provisions that are considered necessary for safety. Compliance therewith and proper maintenance will result in an installation that is essentially free from hazard but not necessarily efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service or future expansion of electrical use.
FPN:Hazards often occur because of overloading of wiring systems by methods or usage not in conformity with this Code. This occurs because initial wiring did not provide for increases in the use of electricity. An initial adequate installation and reasonable provisions for system changes will provide for future increases in the use of electricity.

The moderator here can shed much more light on this subject than I can. Don knows a lot about the code making process. I hope he will chime in on this thread.


The Watt Doctor
Altura Cogen
Channelview, TX

#84607 - 04/15/03 10:11 PM Re: Does the Code Keep Up With Technology?  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,872
Brick, NJ USA
Twice in one night???
Important thing to remember, as an electrician, ec, or a good intention guy who is looking to "get-in"......


It is not intended as a design tool.

A residential room could have a duplex receptacle every 6", as long as the circuitry meets code requirements.

Yes, I have "power strips"; matter of fact, I have a power strip connected to my UPS, as I need "space" to plug the answering machine, fax, comm port to it. The PC has a power station under the monitor, and the five outlets are "full". Next offica area reno, I'll put 6" O/C plugmold in, powered from the UPS.

Be Good...


#84608 - 04/15/03 11:58 PM Re: Does the Code Keep Up With Technology?  
ga.sparky56  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 558
young harris georgia usa
This is why I feel it's good to walk thru with the homeowner and try to have them envision every possible gadget they might have in a particular room. It's a tough call, but I've found that more is better sometimes. For example,with the advent of digital tv in our area,I always pull a phone with every coax.Cat 5 is a standard with me these days,and quadshield rg6.And no looping,everything is a homerun.If there's an entertainment center,I'll put at least one 2g for receps and sometimes 2. Same for a computer location. Still hard to think of everything though. Russell

#84609 - 04/16/03 02:52 PM Re: Does the Code Keep Up With Technology?  
kale  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 174
When I remodeled my teenage son's bedroom, I knew he was a computer nut, so I put in a double duplex for that. Didn't help. He added a surge strip (for protection)and now all four spots are used as well as having a full surge strip.

As I posted in another thread on this subject, a duplex surge protected receptacle lists for about $50.00, and then you only get 2 outlets. A reasonable surge strip runs about $30 and you get 6-7 outlets.

The UPS and plugmold solution sounds the best to me.

#84610 - 04/18/03 08:05 PM Re: Does the Code Keep Up With Technology?  
The Watt Doctor  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 435
Mont Belvieu, TX
hotline, ga, kale,
Guys, you've demonstrated very well how even the best intentions, and fore thought can still lead to an installation that doesn't fill the needs of the end user. That's life, and we move on. Every customer, every EC, electrician, etc. will attack the problem differently, and we (because we are the above listed people) can only hope that we make the right choices.

With good intentions,

The Watt Doctor
Altura Cogen
Channelview, TX

#84611 - 04/18/03 08:26 PM Re: Does the Code Keep Up With Technology?  
txsparky  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 552
Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
Topic: Does the Code Keep Up With Technology?



#84612 - 05/06/03 02:30 PM Re: Does the Code Keep Up With Technology?  
JCooper  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 228
Kendall Park, NJ USA
Hello all,
When I moved into the house I am in now I planned where everything was going to be laid out and did a bit of electrical work before I put the desk together, move the tv into place, etc. I ended up putting in a 20 amp circ with 4 double gang (quads) boxes to end up with 16 recipticles, unfortunatly I only have one left... I also ran all new data/phone cabling to each room, I used bundled CAT5E, 4 indv. cables, to each drop, two to the computer desk. Now if I need a phone line somewhere I can simply cross connect it in the basement. Is there any need for structured cabling people in new construction? Always kicked around the idea of my own business....


#84613 - 05/07/03 06:38 AM Re: Does the Code Keep Up With Technology?  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
well Jim,
if the 'code' were to address all the power strip abuse ( assuming it will be seen as such), then every dwelling built would need to have a similar setup as you've described.

the 16 receptacles would also need to be desktop level, as most computer cords , and the multitudes of appliances have short cords.

Maybe a new reference {210.52-I ?} may need to address this with reference to art 645?

All that is needed is a body count from OSHA per computer power strip mishaps that would humble any power strip lobbyists sitting on a CMP right?

so who's gonna write the 05' ROP ?

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