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Posted: 1/2/2021 3:16:57 PM EST
Hey guys, had a question regarding an existing outlet in the basement and a 6 outlet power strip.

The outlet in question is behind my reloading bench. The power strip itself has a there prong connector. I wanted to know if it were permissible to cut the connector and wire it directly to the outlet (as if I were running another outlet off the existing one).

Are there any problems I should be aware of before I start hacking things apart? Obviously, I don't want to do anything that would become a safety issue.

I can't find the exact model I got on Home Depot's website but it was similar to this one. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Legrand-Wiremold-Plugmold-52-in-8-Outlet-Power-Strip-with-Circuit-Breaker-Ivory-6-ft-Cord-PM48C/202320916
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 3:32:41 PM EST
Why?  There is the NEC to tell you why not.   It would work, but it is nothing I would do.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 3:44:08 PM EST
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Originally Posted By DVCER:
Why?  There is the NEC to tell you why not.   It would work, but it is nothing I would do.
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Link Posted: 1/2/2021 3:45:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/2/2021 3:45:29 PM EST by SuperMoose]
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Originally Posted By DVCER:
Why?  There is the NEC to tell you why not.   It would work, but it is nothing I would do.
View Quote


Honestly, was just trying to cut down on the amount of cord. I'm obviously not an electrician, otherwise I wouldn't be asking the question. I'll just figure out how to tether the cord to the wall behind and plug it in.

Appreciate the insight.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 3:46:49 PM EST
Why?
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 3:48:46 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SuperMoose:


Honestly, was just trying to cut down on the amount of cord. I'm obviously not an electrician, otherwise I wouldn't be asking the question. I'll just figure out how to tether the cord to the wall behind and plug it in.

Appreciate the insight.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SuperMoose:
Originally Posted By DVCER:
Why?  There is the NEC to tell you why not.   It would work, but it is nothing I would do.


Honestly, was just trying to cut down on the amount of cord. I'm obviously not an electrician, otherwise I wouldn't be asking the question. I'll just figure out how to tether the cord to the wall behind and plug it in.

Appreciate the insight.


If I have an outlet behind something, I usually buy a powerstrip with a 90 degree flat sided plug.  Zip tie any excess cord if needed.

There are way to be neat and clean without creating fire hazards.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 3:57:09 PM EST
There are hard wired power strips available.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 4:09:21 PM EST
why not just add to the circuit and jump off the existing hot outlet and add a 3 gang box next to it
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 4:46:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/2/2021 4:48:35 PM EST by SuperMoose]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By micmacman:
why not just add to the circuit and jump off the existing hot outlet and add a 3 gang box next to it
View Quote


Two things. Here is what the bench looks like (ignore the mess finally stated to get it cleaned off to actually set it up). Could I run a three gang off that and then perhaps a single all the way towards the end?

Attachment Attached File


And is it possible to put a box at the top (of the metal conduit) to plug the light into in order to avoid having this giant plug sticking out down low? It was just plugged into the extension cord to test since it's mounted in a manner that I can't plug it in to the existing box. The conduit goes to the top of the block and then is the wire itself with room to do something (if it is possible).

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 5:58:36 PM EST
Yes, that's easy peasy.

Add a box up top for the light to plug into, and put in a bigger box down low for more outlets.  I'd probably wire in a switch in that same box to control the outlet up top, and daisy chain a set of good LED lights off that.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 6:04:40 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FALARAK:
Yes, that's easy peasy.

Add a box up top for the light to plug into, and put in a bigger box down low for more outlets.  I'd probably wire in a switch in that same box to control the outlet up top, and daisy chain a set of good LED lights off that.
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Ok. I'll do that then.

I just bought that led light and have one other that is linked to it over my workbench to the left which isn't in the picture.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 6:09:09 PM EST
Easy fix now that you have pics.

First figure out what breaker that outlet is on.   It’ll probably kill all the power down there, so figure out some lighting while you work.

Ensure that power is off, take the outlet box off the end of the conduit, don’t nick or cut the wires feeding it.   Replace it with a metal deep 4S box.    From that point you can do a lot with what you want.   You could put a switch and outlet in there and wire that light off the switch.   Run more conduit horizontally to more outlets.

Depends on how handy you are.   I’m guessing that light is just hanging and has a short cord?
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 6:12:24 PM EST
Yeah, like he FAL said , easy.  I’d probably run a second conduit up to a box/outlet to power lights.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 6:25:39 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DVCER:
Easy fix now that you have pics.

First figure out what breaker that outlet is on.   It’ll probably kill all the power down there, so figure out some lighting while you work.

Ensure that power is off, take the outlet box off the end of the conduit, don’t nick or cut the wires feeding it.   Replace it with a metal deep 4S box.    From that point you can do a lot with what you want.   You could put a switch and outlet in there and wire that light off the switch.   Run more conduit horizontally to more outlets.

Depends on how handy you are.   I’m guessing that light is just hanging and has a short cord?
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I'm fairly handy, this isn't outside the realm of something I feel comfortable with, I just wanted to make sure I was doing it correctly as to not cause potential electrical hazards.

Sounds like I have a plan...just need wire, more boxes, etc.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 6:28:44 PM EST
Dang man you got EMT on a concrete wall in a shop type situation. You literally couldn't ask for a better situation as far as options go.

Sit back, plan exactly what you would choose if a wizard could grant you a wish, and make it happen! Don't limit yourself to trying to hardwire a power strip.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 6:41:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/2/2021 6:43:25 PM EST by SigOwner_P229]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By dangus:
Dang man you got EMT on a concrete wall in a shop type situation. You literally couldn't ask for a better situation as far as options go.

Sit back, plan exactly what you would choose if a wizard could grant you a wish, and make it happen! Don't limit yourself to trying to hardwire a power strip.
View Quote

+1

A piece of emt, some surface mount boxes, box connectors, and THHN wire and a whole row of outlets across that wall can happen pretty quickly!
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 7:56:02 PM EST
Just check what amp breaker is protecting that and buy the right size wire.    No reason to deal with 12g wire if you don’t need it.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 8:12:57 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DVCER:
Just check what amp breaker is protecting that and buy the right size wire.    No reason to deal with 12g wire if you don’t need it.
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What size wire do you recommend? I think most of the breakers are 15 amp if I recall (not home to look at it).
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 9:41:20 PM EST
15 amp breakers, 14 ga wire.  20 amp, 12 ga.    Big box stores will have everything, including short lengths of whatever wire you need.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 9:53:58 PM EST
UAttachment Attached File


Pull that little box off the end of that conduit, install this.    Use the far left knockout for the existing conduit, the far right to go up with 1\2” to the new outlet to plug the lights into.    Control that with a switch from where you started.   Questions?
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 9:55:32 PM EST
Zero reason to not use #12 wire and a 20a circuit.  It should also be gfci protected. Just make the first one gfci and use the pass through connection to the rest.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 10:00:56 PM EST
And get one of these to cover that 4S.

Attachment Attached File


Link Posted: 1/2/2021 10:07:43 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By icecold1:
Zero reason to not use #12 wire and a 20a circuit.  It should also be gfci protected. Just make the first one gfci and use the pass through connection to the rest.
View Quote


   If it is already on a 15 amp breaker, it is 14 ga.    No reason to snake a new 20a circuit in for some very low draw lighting.

Just follow what I am saying OP.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 10:25:45 PM EST
Just checked...it's on a 15 amp breaker.

Now as far as wiring...if I want to put the outlet at the top of the wall (for the light) and have that switched but run other outlets down the wall (where the current one is located and then across as discussed) is this the correct manner to wire it in order accomplish that?

If so, based on my rudimentary reading of the diagram, I'd need to run a 3 wire from the switch to the outlet I want to switch on and off and a 2 wire from that outlet to any of the others down stream, correct?

I appreciate all the help you guys have given so far.
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 11:32:20 PM EST
So the pic I posted of the 4S box, I would bring the existing conduit into the far left opening.  That will power up your outlets and light switch.   Just run a short length of conduit up from the far right opening to the outlet box feeding the lights.  Only need a switched hot/neutral/ground up there.  

You could re use the existing box up there for the lights to plug into
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 11:33:42 PM EST
Just pull a ground wire in any conduit with your hot and neutral and you’ll be fine
Link Posted: 1/2/2021 11:39:41 PM EST
Be safe and bond the ground in any metal boxes you use.    10-32 ground screw will be helpful.
Link Posted: 1/3/2021 8:59:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/3/2021 8:59:55 AM EST by SuperMoose]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DVCER:
So the pic I posted of the 4S box, I would bring the existing conduit into the far left opening.  That will power up your outlets and light switch.   Just run a short length of conduit up from the far right opening to the outlet box feeding the lights.  Only need a switched hot/neutral/ground up there.  

You could re use the existing box up there for the lights to plug into
View Quote


Right, I got that much. I guess my question is what does the actual wiring look like.

I'm trying to sketch out a diagram but I'm not having the best of luck when it comes to visualizing what the wiring itself looks like. Here is what I'm thinking visually for how it'll physically look. The circles are outlets in case that wasn't clear. I guess the other question is where the GFI outlet goes.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 1/3/2021 9:27:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/3/2021 9:28:35 AM EST by SR712]
OP, you might consider, instead of those two quad boxes and conduit going horizontally across the wall, a hard wired electrical strip, much like this:

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Failed To Load Product Data



Link Posted: 1/3/2021 9:31:53 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SuperMoose:


Two things. Here is what the bench looks like (ignore the mess finally stated to get it cleaned off to actually set it up). Could I run a three gang off that and then perhaps a single all the way towards the end?

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/113377/PXL_20210102_214100884_jpg-1760694.JPG

And is it possible to put a box at the top (of the metal conduit) to plug the light into in order to avoid having this giant plug sticking out down low? It was just plugged into the extension cord to test since it's mounted in a manner that I can't plug it in to the existing box. The conduit goes to the top of the block and then is the wire itself with room to do something (if it is possible).

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/113377/PXL_20210102_214138995_jpg-1760696.JPG
View Quote

of course you can , get the correct box , tapcon to the block , and cover the jumper wire with the channel electricians use , the rest is just wiring the plugs together i the box , best of all ,no fire trap
Link Posted: 1/3/2021 12:22:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/3/2021 12:27:48 PM EST by DVCER]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SuperMoose:


Right, I got that much. I guess my question is what does the actual wiring look like.

I'm trying to sketch out a diagram but I'm not having the best of luck when it comes to visualizing what the wiring itself looks like. Here is what I'm thinking visually for how it'll physically look. The circles are outlets in case that wasn't clear. I guess the other question is where the GFI outlet goes.

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/113377/PXL_20210103_135918024_jpg-1761643.JPG
View Quote


That’s exactly what I was thinking, the power strip the other guy showed would work too, it would butt up to the 4S, connecting with a close nipple and they give you some straps that hold it to the wall .


When you pull off the existing box, there should be 3 wires.  Probably romex.  1 each of black/white/bare copper.  If it was done correctly those will be the Hot/neutral/ground.   If you have a meter you can verify.  

Once you have the new 4S mounted with the old wires in there you’ll be making pigtails (adding 7” lengths) of black/white/bare wires.  Use the same size wires as the existing, probably 14 ga romex.  Pull it out of the sheath.    Lemme see if I can find a pic,

Found, worth a thousand words.  The GFCI LOAD terminals will protect all the outlets wired to it.

Attachment Attached File

Link Posted: 1/3/2021 1:27:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/3/2021 1:29:16 PM EST by SuperMoose]
Got the EMT and boxes set up.

Attachment Attached File


I have to go back to home depot to get the right cover for the gfi outlet. I also forgot the ground clips or screws.
Link Posted: 1/3/2021 1:36:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By DVCER:


That’s exactly what I was thinking, the power strip the other guy showed would work too, it would butt up to the 4S, connecting with a close nipple and they give you some straps that hold it to the wall .


When you pull off the existing box, there should be 3 wires.  Probably romex.  1 each of black/white/bare copper.  If it was done correctly those will be the Hot/neutral/ground.   If you have a meter you can verify.  

Once you have the new 4S mounted with the old wires in there you’ll be making pigtails (adding 7” lengths) of black/white/bare wires.  Use the same size wires as the existing, probably 14 ga romex.  Pull it out of the sheath.    Lemme see if I can find a pic,

Found, worth a thousand words.  The GFCI LOAD terminals will protect all the outlets wired to it.

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/857/B98318B4-D86D-46BF-9B69-3818B1F5BD01_png-1761925.JPG
View Quote


Got it. So just to make sure I understand...all the outlets downstream are linked off the load portion of the GFCI outlet and the outlet that the switch controls runs off the line portion as show in the diagram...correct?
Link Posted: 1/3/2021 1:49:59 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SuperMoose:


Got it. So just to make sure I understand...all the outlets downstream are linked off the load portion of the GFCI outlet and the outlet that the switch controls runs off the line portion as show in the diagram...correct?
View Quote


Correct, well done.  The ground screws are easier, but anything that keeps the metal grounded works.    When you start wiring and have to fit everything back in the boxes folding the wire in works better than just squeezing.
Link Posted: 1/3/2021 3:50:58 PM EST
Looks like OP is on the right track.

Regarding power strips/surge protectors: if you paid less than 40 or $50.00 for a power strip, its likely junk. Some "surge protectors" - especially those sold at Dollar General and the like, don't even have any "surge protection" in them. If you've got a cheap one laying around, take it apart and look at how thin and chintzy the buss bars and connections are. Compare them to the thickness and durability of a hardwired outlet and romex conductors. It's no mystery why they cause fires all the time.

I try not to use power strips at all, and never for any high-draw or long-term appliances like heaters.

All of this applies equally to cheap or "household" extension cords.
Link Posted: 1/3/2021 3:52:04 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FALARAK:


If I have an outlet behind something, I usually buy a powerstrip with a 90 degree flat sided plug.  Zip tie any excess cord if needed.

There are way to be neat and clean without creating fire hazards.
View Quote


Zip tying a cord back on itself is CREATING a fire hazard.
Cordage is designed to be in free air for the most part.

Using a cord that still has a decent length on a reel is another fire hazard.
Cords should be visible allowing for easy inspection.
Link Posted: 1/3/2021 4:06:20 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By brickeyee:


Zip tying a cord back on itself is CREATING a fire hazard.
Cordage is designed to be in free air for the most part.

Using a cord that still has a decent length on a reel is another fire hazard.
Cords should be visible allowing for easy inspection.
View Quote

But draw enough load through it, and the round welded-together mess is memorable even before the fire.
Link Posted: 1/3/2021 7:59:48 PM EST
Finished. Thanks for all your help guys. I really appreciate it.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 1/3/2021 9:01:03 PM EST
The Moose is loose!  Well done again.
Link Posted: 1/3/2021 10:56:11 PM EST
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Originally Posted By SuperMoose:
Finished. Thanks for all your help guys. I really appreciate it.

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/113377/PXL_20210104_005836374_jpg-1762659.JPG
View Quote

If only we had a like button! Well done!
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 4:39:24 PM EST
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Originally Posted By SuperMoose:
Finished. Thanks for all your help guys. I really appreciate it.

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/113377/PXL_20210104_005836374_jpg-1762659.JPG
View Quote

Looks good. But I have to ask: What is that cord hanging off the front of your bench going to? It kinda defeats the purpose of adding receptacles if you still need a cord draped across the bench like that.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 8:37:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/12/2021 8:37:50 PM EST by SuperMoose]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RMG123:

Looks good. But I have to ask: What is that cord hanging off the front of your bench going to? It kinda defeats the purpose of adding receptacles if you still need a cord draped across the bench like that.
View Quote


@RMG123 it was going to a vacuum. Certainly not a permanent spot for that, just happened to be where I was standing when I wanted to plug it in.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 12:42:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/15/2021 2:30:24 PM EST by brickeyee]
One of my favorite hacks is to purchase a short extension cord of suitable size and duty and use its the power cord to a tool.

Cut off the female end (I usually cut off about 4 feet and save it for other purposes).
Wire the cut end into the connection box on the tool. A nice cord with a molded plug.
I have plenty of older pieces of equipment.
Drill press, grinders. etc.

Why chance old rubber cordage cracking?

The more I think about some of the stuff described here the more worried I get.
Power strips with a cord are NOT DESIGNED to be hard wired into a power source.

The cord and plug connection is there "final disconnect."
Cordage is NOT designed to be part of a "permanent installation."
The wiring inside the power strip is not likely to conform to the requirement to be permanent either.
Most power strips are not much more than glorified extension cords.
NOT DESIGNED for permanent installation and use.
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