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Wiring multiple outlets powerbridge style

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm currently building a media closet below my stairs where I'm installing a Leviton structured media panel into the wall next to some built in shelves. The idea is to have all of my wiring from the house run into the panel, and then locate my router, network switch, etc on the shelves next to the panel. I'm planning on installing an outlet both within the panel to power those items, and in the back of the shelves to power those items. I'd like to wire them together, and then have both outlets fed from a single inlet (I'll probably use the Leviton inlet that has been mentioned on all of the DIY powerbridge threads) at the bottom of the wall so that I can power everything off of my UPS. Am I going to run into any issues (code violations or otherwise) by wiring two separate outlets in series to a single inlet (UPS -> inlet -> shelf outlet -> panel outlet)?
post #2 of 10
I've done a similar setup in my theater - the inlet feeds the projector outlet and outlets at the front of the room for speakers/subs. No reason two outlets would be any different code-wise from one, assuming the outlets are wired correctly in the first place...

Jeff
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

I've done a similar setup in my theater - the inlet feeds the projector outlet and outlets at the front of the room for speakers/subs. No reason two outlets would be any different code-wise from one, assuming the outlets are wired correctly in the first place...
Jeff

Great! Thanks, Jeff. And one more code question: My entire house is wired with 20 amp circuits, so I plan on running the yellow romex. However, I should be ok with running a 15amp inlet since this isn't directly tied to the house wiring, correct? I have 20amp outlets, so that's not a big deal, but I can't find a standard plug 20amp inlet anywhere. Nothing plugged into this will draw much power, and it will be fed from a 15amp UPS.
post #4 of 10
I'm not sure about that. If you have a 15 amp circuit, you can't put 20 amp outlets on the circuit (if you have a 20 amp circuit, you CAN put 15 amp outlets on the circuit, unless you only have one outlet, then that has to be 20 amp). So, I'd say you have to put 15 amp outlets on this circuit if the input can only handle 15 amps.
post #5 of 10
That the UPS itself plugs into a 20A socket doesn't really matter with regard to the extension you're considering.

Can't see where you'd 'have to' put a 20A plug on the extender bridge. You're expecting to to extend connection to a 15A UPS as the source. So it would be reasonable to assume use of 15A connections, otherwise you'd be setting up a circuit that could be mistaken for supporting a higher load. That you might use 20A yellow wire inside the wall isn't likely to make much of a difference, certainly not electrically. I'd guess code would suggest using only the correct gauge wire for the sockets involved. Mainly to avoid someone at a later date seeing the wire and thinking it's connected to a 20A breaker. Stranger things have happened, so using the correct gauge and color would be worth doing.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks folks for the responses so far. One question that I've been thinking about is how a future owner will treat this setup. I suppose I have to assume that they might just take an extension cord and plug the inlet directly to an existing wall outlet in order to power the media panel. Does that change any of the advice given thus far if the 15amp UPS is removed from the equation and everything is powered directly from the wall?
post #7 of 10
Conceivably, if you wanted to set it up to prevent future screwups like that, you could use a different inlet plug entirely. Like the kind on a boat or RV. And then make (or have made) a patch cord just long enough to go from the back of your UPS to the inlet. This way you'd prevent them from using just any old cord, or your patch to some other outlet, assuming your patch cord is shorter than the distance to the next nearest live outlet.

But honestly stuff like automation, more often than not, usually scares away buyers. They'd be more likely to rip it out rather than use it, let alone mis-use it.

For your setup you're looking at putting only two outlets off it; one inside the box and another way up on a shelf. Even if they did something stupid like used a lamp extension cord to bridge the connection there's still only going to to be whatever's in the box and on the shelf connected to it. If they're willing to then plug more stuff into those, well, they'd already be well-past the limits of reasonable assumptions and on their way to the Darwin Awards. That you used 20A plugs/sockets ain't gonna matter much at that point...

Me, I'd put a label on the inlet clearly stating it's for connection to the UPS only and NOT to a wall outlet, and leave it at that. Maybe find a way to put a permanent diagram explaining the circuit. Laminated onto the box cover, or inside a picture frame hard-mounted (not just hung on a hook) to the nearby wall.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
OK - I think I have this figured out. I'm just going to completely model this like a Powerbridge. I plan to use 14ga wire and a 15amp inlet and outlets.

This is what the Powerbridge website says:
" Many newer homes today are wired with 20-amp circuit breakers and wired with 12/2 gauge wire. PowerBridge is not wired directly to the premise circuit wiring, it is not necessary to use 12/2 wire, as it is not part of the 20-amp connection. PowerBridge only plugs into the existing power receptacle to be energized.
The existing outlet receptacle which you plug the PowerBridge PowerConnect cord to the PowerIN, can be either a 15-amp or 20 amp circuit."

So, even if the next homeowner were to plug my outlets directly into the 20amp circuit without the UPS, it sounds like it would be fine.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Bill. I must have posted my last comment at the same time you did. Mounting a wiring diagram is a great idea.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavalier240 View Post

Mounting a wiring diagram is a great idea.
I'm thinking something like how they screw down the fire escape route maps in hotel rooms, or the permits in elevators. Something "meant to stay put and on display". Could be as simple as just putting a few screws through the sides of a picture frame, or perhaps using some mirror clamps with a sheet of acrylic.
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