In a long term faciltity, when using surge protectors in resident rooms, do they have to be hospital grade?
I am not a NFPA representative or expert but this is the way i am looking at them. What are they using them for? Are they using them to multiply an outlet or to protect equipment? I would like it to only be used to protect equipment. A true surge protector is to protect equipment from an electrical surge from lightning, maybe a electrical transformer or some kind of surge of electricity. Many people are misusing them and using them as outlet multipliers. If they are going to use them they must actually say surge protector on them most surge protectors are also UL listed but be careful some powerstrips (which look identical to surge protectors) are also UL listed so look at the backs of the strips see what it says for me if Id doesnt say surge protector then it clearly isnt and ask them to try again. Hospital grade equipment is usually designed for oxygen enriched environments which can also be present in a resident room in a long term care facility. I try to encourage them not to overload them and try only to put sensitive equipment that needs surge protection and not to use them because there arent enough outlets.
By using the term "Surge Protector" are you meaning a device commonly called a "power strip" which plugs into a wall outlet?
If so then there are several UL standards which can provide you some guidance on their use and limitations. UL calls power strips "Relocatable Power Taps" (RPT) which are tested and certified under UL 1363. If the RPT has additional functions such as filtering for electromagnetic interference or transient voltage suppression then they are also tested to other UL standards such as UL1283 and UL1449 respectively. And if the RPT is intended for use with medical equipment as an assembly on a cart then Subject UL 1363A "Special Purpose Relocatable Power Taps" (SPRPT) provides additional information.
And if this isn't confusing enough, the UL White Book provides restrictions on how RPT's are to be used, such as not connecting one RPT to another RPT or extension cord, etc.
Anyway, let's looks at the basic information regarding RPT and hospitals and similar health care locations.
According to UL 1363 "Relocatable Power Taps" (RPT) dated September 20, 2012, and UL 1449 "Surge Protective Devices" (SPD) dated June 1, 2009.
Section 40.13 from UL 1363 and Section 64.23 from UL1449 both reads:
"An RPT and a type 3 SPD that incorporates a molded-on or assembled-on hospital grade attachment plug or receptacle shall be marked with the following or equivalent wording: "CAUTION: Risk of Electric Shock - Do not use in General Patient Care Areas or Critical Patient Care Areas. This surge protective device has not been evaluated for use where Article 517 of the National Electric Code requires Hospital Grade components."
So standard RPTs and SPDs have not been evaluated for use with medical equipment in health care facilities where patients are examined or treated. However they can be used in other areas of a medical care facility not designed for patient care such as office areas, waiting rooms, etc.
However if a UL listed wheeled medical cart which uses an RPT as "an integral part of the cart" then they're classified as Special Purpose Relocatable Power Taps (SPRPTs) and are normally mounted to the cart. These SPRPT would be covered by the Subject UL 1363A document.
Here's some information from UL which should shed some more light on this very confusing topic.
A Type 3 SPD that incorporates a molded-on or assembled-on hospital grade attachment plug orreceptacles shall be marked with the following or equivalent wording: ²CAUTION: Risk of Electric Shock– Do not use in General Patient Care Areas or Critical Patient Care Areas. This surge protective devicehas not been evaluated for use where Article 517 of the National Electrical Code requires Hospital Gradecomponents.²" _jive_internal="true">A Type 3 SPD that incorporates a molded-on or assembled-on hospital grade attachment plug orreceptacles shall be marked with the following or equivalent wording: ²CAUTION: Risk of Electric Shock– Do not use in General Patient Care Areas or Critical Patient Care Areas. This surge protective devicehas not been evaluated for use where Article 517 of the National Electrical Code requires Hospital Gradecomponents.²
Let's try to paste the UL hyperlink pdf again.
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