Can power strips be used to power permanent fixtures?
Remember some of these do not have the best construction. You should not be powering refrigerators, or other appliances that are pulling loads. appliances that should be plugged directly into an outlet, should not be plugged into a strip.
JDPE (Electrical) 20 Sep 06 15:52
Thanks for your response. I really appreciate it.
The fixtures I am referring to are commercial displays (lighting fixtures). These displays are intended to be installed in commercial applications and remain there for an unspecified time exceeding 90 days.
I would say in your example
No not allowed
why is it not allowed? What specifically in that scenario is not within the guidelines of approved/applicable RPT usage?
Thanks for responding Nick.
I think they all summed it up.
Not trying to be argumentative Nick, but I don't see anything in the above described scenario that violates the code pertaining to usage of RPTs. Unless the lighting fixtures mentioned are high load devices (which is not said). I too have a similar situation and as I interpret the code, this is allowed. PLEASE educate me as to why it is not allowed. The only answers I see to the posed question simply say "No not allowed" but do not explain why it is not allowed or what within the code prevents it from being allowed.
Thanks in advance for a meaningful response.
While the code may allow for the use for greater than 90 days, OSHA would not. The answer is no because OSHA says they can only be used for temporary wiring.
JDPE from UL explained it well, I thought. They can be used but they can't be used "in lieu of fixed wiring." It's a condition of the listing of the product.
110.3(B) Installation and Use. Listed or labeled equipment shall beinstalled and used in accordance with any instructions includedin the listing or labeling.
Thank you for the response Nick. Just to make sure my understanding is correct, if the end device is a low load device such as a led television monitor, display lighting, etc. and that device came from the manufacturer with a grounded cord attached as part of it's design and is UL approved then that device CAN be connected to a RPT assuming the RPT is connected to a permanent fixed receptacle EVEN IF the situation is for long term use (greater than 90 days). In your opinion am I correct?
It's a situation I don't want to put myself into, being an AHJ. If I tell you "yes" than I've indirectly sanctioned what can be interpreted as the use of extension cords, a leading cause of house fires. So if I'm prompted to provide an answer on the forum, I'd say "no."
I'd only sanction a product if it has the same gauge wiring as the house branch circuit, a built-in overprotective device, and surge protection, in the situation that you are describing.
Thanks again Nick for the continued dialogue. I appreciate your hesitance to give an "official" opinion on the matter due to the "rock and hard place" it might place you between professionally and the need to err on the side of caution. Extension cords and RPTs are defined as different things and coded differently. I agree an extension cord would not meet code requirements in the scenario mentioned but an RTP does and should be allowed. Obviously the more robust the RTP the better. I guess my point is that if the installation meets code then it meets code and should be deemed acceptable by a code inspector. That is the whole point of there being a written code. It should not be up to the code inspector to add their own personal opinion or agenda on top of the code and deem things to be violations although code is being met but the inspector doesn't agree with it. The next inspector might have a different opinion and therefore a moving target is created.
I truly do appreciate you taking the time to discuss the matter with me! Now off to my next soap box.
I've been in this game a long time. Not everything is what it may appear to be. UL is a funny bird. If someone manufactures a "temporary portable power tap device" and can't get it listed, UL basically creates a new category. Then UL lists it. So I don't argue the fact that some inspectors see these devices as glorified extension cords. It's all UL elf magic.
You said you were plugging in a TV. So - are you relocating the TV every 90-days? Probably not. So the "doohickey" is installed permanently and therein lies the problem. I've seen a lot of fire inspectors come down hard on power taps. I can't say I blame them, though. Don't fall for the elf magic. If there is a product and it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck...
it's probably a duck (putting all magic wands aside).
This is an interesting topic from face value and there have been good arguments however, something doesn't sound right! If it has a 120V AC Standard Plug … looking for an Outlet, say - on a Surge Protected Outlet Strip, then by definition - it's Portable. If YOU install a Standard 120V AC Plug onto a Cord of YOUR selection, that assembly did not come from the Manufacturer of the Device or Equipment. Your Extension Cord is connecting to Terminals on the Equipment meant for hard wiring.
It's an issue that is old as dirt. This issue comes up again and again, primarily from yearly fire inspections.
I agree with cda - what does OP mean by "permanent fixtures?" Lighting fixtures? If so, then the answer should be clear as a bell. It's another case of a question that can be interpreted 100 different ways, for 100 different answers (we never have that happen here in the forum)!
With todays integration of Computer Systems, there needs to be a practical solution to Ethernet Switches, Display Terminals, and USB Ports (which are limited in functional length from the Port connection). Therefore, Power Strips, when correctly selected, can provide failure isolation along with localized protection. Usually, Outlets are on a 20A CB. A Power Strip has a 15A CB localizing a fault without taking out the entire run. In addition, noise is significantly reduced by the use of TVSS where not only protecting the equipment plugged in, but minimizing the noise kicking out on the rest of the circuit. Note: (permanent) Installation Instructions and LED Indicator for TVSS Status.
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