Need advice on buying a switch!!!

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  #1  
Old 07-21-05, 01:01 PM
pluviosilla
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Need advice on buying a switch!!!

I just had a piece of furniture built to hold all of my computing equipment: computers, routers, printer server, ethernet hub, USB hub, modems, etc., etc. etc. I had the carpinter who built this piece put 30 AC outlets inside, with 15 contacts on one circuit and another 15 contacts on another circuit. The next step is to install two switches, one for each circuit. My problem is I do not know what kind of switch to use or where to shop for one. How much amperage would be reasonable, for instance? Is the current (amp) usage of the various devices cumulative? In other words, suppose, I have 30 devices that use 1 amp each. Does that mean that I need a switch that can handle 30 amperes? That's what I assumed at first, but when I asked for a 30 ampere switch at a local supply store they showed me a $150 breaker switch!!!! I have an AC strip that was made for power equipment like chain saws, etc., and even that power strip has a little dinky plastic switch. So in short, I suspect that amperage is not cumulative & what I need ought to be simple. Could someone recommend a switch, and if possible, a location where I can buy switches on-line?
Thanks,
- John Strong ([email protected])
 
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  #2  
Old 07-21-05, 01:06 PM
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You want 20 ampere switches, since the maximum current on the circuits (in the US and Canada anyway) can be 20 amps.

However, you would have been better off with four circuits, so you could use two actual circuits, run through two UPS devices, and then using the battery backed up and not battery backed up outputs of each UPS.
 
  #3  
Old 07-21-05, 01:09 PM
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Did he use #12 or #14 wire? If you don't know and he didn't say, it's probably #14 (cheaper). What did he leave you to connect to?

Yes, amperage is definitely cumulative.

Do you know how much current all this takes? Do you know if two circuits are enough?

Why do you want switches? You do not want a 30-amp switch. You either need two 15-amp switches or two 20-amp switches, depending on answers to other questions. Ordinary wall switches will do, unless you're talking about circuit breakers rather than switches.

Will you be using surge suppression?
 
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Old 07-21-05, 02:41 PM
pluviosilla
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Thanks!

An ordinary wall switch!! That's exactly the advice I needed. I suppose that solution would be obvious to most people who read this forum, but it wasn't to me!! I'd like to piggyback another question, if I may. The wires I'm using will run along the wooden wall of the piece of the furniture. The wires themselves appear to be well insolated, but perhaps I need to wrap them in some further insolation to prevent an electric fire. Any comments, suggestions, or warnings would be welcome.
Thanks,
- John Strong ([email protected])
 
  #5  
Old 07-22-05, 10:52 AM
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I'd like to piggyback another question, if I may. The wires I'm using will run along the wooden wall of the piece of the furniture. The wires themselves appear to be well insolated, but perhaps I need to wrap them in some further insolation to prevent an electric fire. Any comments, suggestions, or warnings would be welcome.
Depends a lot on the type of the wire and of the cabinet. These cannot be individual wires exposed, under any circumstances. If there are individual wires, they must be in a flexible or surface mount conduit. If the wires are in a cable assembly such as romex (white, black, bare in a plastic sheath), they are probably okay in the back of a cabinet. Some people still say that conduit is required for protection of the wire in case something with sharp edges was jammed into the cabinet and cut the wires.

Also, electrical junctions cannot be made up against wood. All junctions and splices must be made inside an accessible plastic or metal electrical box/enclosure.

You may be interested in Wiremold brand products or pre-fabricated plug strip. Both are surface mount metal raceways which can provide a lot of plugs.

So I assume none of these machines will be running Linux?
 
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