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Why are power inlets so expensive?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
This perplexes me. Things like PowerBridge are $50+. Even the monoprice version is almost $50. You can go grab a box, outlet, and faceplate for $1 or less each, retail. The whole kit should be possible to build for $10, but it's not possible to find just a single unmounted inlet for that price. Get a mounted one and the price jumps up to like $30. I don't get it. It's just 3 solid metal prongs. It's not like we're talking about sensitive electronic components here. What's with the 10x+ markup on these things? Am I missing something?
post #2 of 14
http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-5278-C-Receptacle-Industrial-Grounding/dp/B0017SOZ8C/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=30A02IJ393GT3&coliid=I1XG34FRW9JUQK
post #3 of 14
This is the one I have used to extend power from a low voltage enclosure to my rack UPS, $20, Decora style.

http://www.amazon.com/Midlite-MDT4642W-Single-Gang-Decor-Recessed/dp/B002XDQAA6


Edited by Neurorad - 7/28/13 at 1:07pm
post #4 of 14
post #5 of 14
this solution for a power inlet has been around for quite some time.

DSCN0488.jpg
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jitspoe View Post

This perplexes me. Things like PowerBridge are $50+. Even the monoprice version is almost $50. You can go grab a box, outlet, and faceplate for $1 or less each, retail. The whole kit should be possible to build for $10, but it's not possible to find just a single unmounted inlet for that price. Get a mounted one and the price jumps up to like $30. I don't get it. It's just 3 solid metal prongs. It's not like we're talking about sensitive electronic components here. What's with the 10x+ markup on these things? Am I missing something?

Three things right off the bat:

1) How many standard outlets are manufactured vs power inlet jacks? Economies of manufacturing scale.

2) Power inlet jacks are in the class of "specification grade" components. That is they are typically only used in commercial settings and therefore have tighter UL specifications. You can by a bottom line duplex AC outlet for less than a dollar. But the spec grade outlets also available at most home centers cost $4 and up. Just better quality.

3) You can buy power inlet jacks from industrial suppliers for about $10 retail. But not everybody knows that and many industrial suppliers won't sell retail. So some companies buy these products in bulk, put them in a shiny consumer package, and mark it up 300%.
post #7 of 14
Its all about scale, how many inlets are sold vs everything else, if 1 is sold for every 1000 of something else, producing that 1 item takes production time away from producing something your going to sell 1000 more of. Same things goes for every single step down the line, sourcing, distribution, marketing, and so on. That all adds up and the end result is a $50 kit from monoprice for what looks like $10 worth of stuff, its basic economics.
post #8 of 14
Here is what I am using.

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Schurter/61003100/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMv1TUPJeFpwblxZ%252bgbqW48rTcpqmxrhhmE%3d

I needed to get power on a wall that had no outlets. This was in a daylight basement so I couldn't bring power through a crawlspace or attic. I installed this jack to a blank wall plate, ran romex from the back side of this to an outlet up on the wall and use a standard power cable to plug into the jack. It turned out to be a budget DIY power bridge for under $10.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
http://www.amazon.com/home-improvement/dp/B00074USHY

$10, $15 shipped - finally found something reasonably priced! The first time I saw it, I thought it was just the plate and the inlet had to be purchased separately
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

this solution for a power inlet has been around for quite some time.

DSCN0488.jpg

That's what I would have done too. smile.gif
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

this solution for a power inlet has been around for quite some time.

DSCN0488.jpg

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't electrical code say that you shouldn't run cords through walls? I think the code says any cords have to be visible so that the user can see damage, whereas heavier romex type cords are ok inside walls.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn_Law View Post

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't electrical code say that you shouldn't run cords through walls? I think the code says any cords have to be visible so that the user can see damage, whereas heavier romex type cords are ok inside walls.

The cords are actually tails tied to a similar gauge Romex in a proper receptacle box. The face plate has a strain relief clamp to prevent any harm to the electrical connection in the box if the cord happens to get yanked.
post #13 of 14
The sheath of the chords should be rated for in wall use.
post #14 of 14
The cord is not in the wall it is in the box, it transitions to in-wall rated cable before it enters the wall. It isn't much different than a lot of chandelier designs which are UL approved. If you look at most pendants and chandeliers the wire from the ceiling box to the lights is generally not in-wall rated they connect with twister nuts up in the box to Romex.

This design has passed inspection but YMMV
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