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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my rack I have two Tripp Lite 1U units which include surge protection and other features. One has some advanced features (RS-232, USB etc) which I don't ever use. I'm out of outlets in these two units and so I need to add something to get more outlets. I'm looking to add something that will get me another 6-8 outlets. I have two main questions:


1) Assuming I want to get another 1U unit, there seem to be a ton out there at many different prices. Does it matter what I get or are they pretty much the same assuming I don't need any extra features and am just looking for basic surge protection? It seems like Middle Atlantic has some cheaper options than Tripp Lite so would those be fine or is there some other brand I should look at?


2) The two current units in the rack are each connected to a wall outlet and I don't have any more available outlets in the wall. This new unit is going to have to plug into one of the outlets on the Tripp Lite rack units. Is this a problem? Will I be jeopardizing the surge protection? If so I can plug cheaper components into this new unit I will be buying. Based on this am I better off getting just a cheap surge protector rather than a rack mounted one?


Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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You need to be very careful chaining power bars together. One of the main causes of fires in domestic properties is incorrect usage of power strips. The power bars you have now will be designed for a component to hang off each socket - not another bank of 6 sockets.


In my mind it is not worth the risk. If you insist on doing it you need to have your the devices with the lightest load and use on the new power strip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveChester /forum/post/19612651


You need to be very careful chaining power bars together. One of the main causes of fires in domestic properties is incorrect usage of power strips. The power bars you have now will be designed for a component to hang off each socket - not another bank of 6 sockets.


In my mind it is not worth the risk. If you insist on doing it you need to have your the devices with the lightest load and use on the new power strip.

I certainly don't want to do anything that is unsafe. What do people typically do when they need more outlets for their racks than they have wall outlets for? I have one UPS and one power conditioning center in my rack. Each have 7 outlets and probably cost at least $150. Each are plugged into the two available wall sockets. My rack can handle 14 power devices currently but I now need to add another and will certainly add more over time. What would most professionals do in this situation? I highly doubt that they would replace either the UPS or power bar (and even if they did that I'd guess these devices top out at 8-10 outlets). My rack is about half filled so I have to imagine some people with a filled rack could require 30-40 outlets.


Thank you for your help.
 

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The question is, how many amps can each circuit accomodate? What else is on that outlet's circuit? Is that a 20 or 15 amp circuit?


You need to calculate the power draw of each component, and check the rating of each Power Distribution Unit and the UPS. Read the PDU and UPS manuals.


Residential fires are often caused by overloaded circuits, e.g. too many strands of Christmas lights on one circuit.
 

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We would include power strips that ran the length of the rack and mounted to the rear of the rack, on racks over a certain height they were configured to run on two separate circuits and we would often split the load between them. Most of the full height ones had either 18 or 20 outlets spread between two circuits, and that's before you add a rackmount power conditioner/light unit if needed to make room for more light loads/wall warts.


Example-

http://www.middleatlantic.com/power/pdt.htm
 

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The issue is two-fold - if you overload the circuit, you're expecting the safety system (breaker) to save you from yourself. Not a good idea to expect the bumper to stop your car.



But the hidden danger is using power strips or extension cords that are not rated for the load put on them. Worse (as reported in a very interesting 60 Minutes piece earlier this year) are cheapo strips/cords that are counterfeit products (have a UL logo without passing tests) that have dangerously small wires. Less copper equals lower cost. Really, really bad, and certainly gives one pause about those 'great deal' $1.99 power strips...


That all said, if you're just "out of plugs", not "out of power", really shouldn't be anything wrong with moving the low-wattage devices onto a good quality power strip. In my rack, I'll likely have a bunch of wall-wart devices on a power strip, but in total they probably consume
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I do feel a little silly. I had been going on memory and I made a mistake with how things are at my rack. I actually have 2x2 outlets in the wall. Currently the two on the left are going to the rack for the aforementioned Tripp Lite units. One of the other two outlets is going to a power strip that handles the wall enclosure which includes my cable modem, wireless router, network switches and cable amplifier. The other wall outlet is empty. I wouldn't have a problem putting in another 1U surge protector like 39CentStamp mentioned and plugging it into the open wall outlet.


However, after reading some of the comments here I am now wondering if I still need to review my power issues. I believe this is all being handled on 1 15 amp circuit. If I look on my circuit breaker I see writing that says Audio/Video Rack and the number 15. I didn't flip the breaker to confirm that it turned all of that off, and didn't turn off anything else, but I vaguely remember when this was all installed I had an electrician set up a dedicated circuit. I actually thought we had discussed two dedicated circuits but looking at my breakers it appears that only one was installed.


Am I safe purchasing a 1U surge protector and plugging it into the open outlet or do I still need to calculate all the power usage and potentially bring in an electrician to evaluate all of this?


Thank you again for this help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I guess I really shouldn't do this stuff late at night when I'm tired. I looked again today at my circuit breaker and realize that I was referring to the Low Voltage circuit which may refer to my outdoor LV lighting. There are two 20 amp circuits called A/V Equipment for the rack. So I am pretty sure that I should be safe adding plenty of more equipment to my rack. Am I correct in assuming that 2x20 amp circuits should afford me plenty of power for my rack?


As I stated in an earlier post there is a open wall socket for a new 1U surge protector which I will use. I am still curious though about if I could chain two surge protectors together. I've noticed a couple of areas where this was done throughout my AV setup. Not in the rack but in the enclosure outside of the rack and also in another room. Is this dangerous? This was setup by a professional AV firm who I am no longer working with.
 

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2 20 amp circuits is good. It really depends on whats in your rack but if i had to make a guess and you told me you only had 1 rack full of gear and a few wall warts for modems/routers etc i would say you are fine.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by petemcn
As I stated in an earlier post there is a open wall socket for a new 1U surge protector which I will use. I am still curious though about if I could chain two surge protectors together. I've noticed a couple of areas where this was done throughout my AV setup. Not in the rack but in the enclosure outside of the rack and also in another room. Is this dangerous? This was setup by a professional AV firm who I am no longer working with.
What areas are they exceeding a typical power strip/surge protector? What make/model surge protector? Are they cheapo 6 outlet strips linked together?


I hate stuff like that but i assume it could be safe as long as they are not overloading the strips. You could replace them with something like this.

http://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-Iso...957833&sr=1-55

 
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