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Questions about Differences in Receptacle grades and other things

Questions about Differences in Receptacle grades and other things

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  #1  
Old 06-01-11, 03:16 PM
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Questions about Differences in Receptacle grades and other things

I am building a home built power strip. (Not a surge protector or GFCI) I am sick of those cheap ones that I keep replacing and don't exactly stay where you mount them so I am going to use one of These the RBS16 to be exact as the place where I want to mount it is exactly 16" across (My computer desk shelf space)
So I went to the big box store and I asked about receptacles and they said buy a bunch of the $0.59 ones (I need 6 duplex outlets for my project) but I really don't want those as this is for my office & workshop so I will be unplugging and replugging devices alot so I want a receptacle that will last and not break apart or loose tension in the blades.

So I see the Industrial grade for $3.50 a piece the hospital grade $5.50 a piece and commercial Specification grade for $1.50 and the el-chepPOS for the low price of $0.59 a piece (I obviously don't want those ones) So other then price is there a big difference in Commercial Specification and the industrial ones? I am thinking of buying the industrial ones for $3.50 but does anyone have a suggestion for a good quality receptacle for under $5 a piece? I need 15A (I don't have any 20A devices or receptacles anyway in my Apartment)

One last thing is what is the appropriate method for wiring in between the boxes I was going to use single conductors (Thhn/Thwn I think that's what it is called anyway ) I was then going to use a SO type cord to the wall receptacle
two for two different circuits (One for battery backup and the other for the surge protected only outlets) I am going to be plugging this into my UPS system for Surge Protection and battery backup as right now I have a mess of the cheap power strips back there (The outlets are not overloaded just alot of devices that use practically no power like my router/Modem/Cell charger)

Thanks all and sorry for the length of this post
 
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  #2  
Old 06-01-11, 04:37 PM
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I believe Cooper and Leviton make the pressure plate type receptacles where you strip your wire back (no hook) and stick in a hole in the back of the receptacle. Then you tighten down the corresponding screw to hold it all together. Some will accept up to 3 conductors per screw. They will be in your $3.50 range, but well worth it, considering you don't have to crook the wires and make pigtails for the most part.
Wiring between the boxes using THWN can only be done if you use conduit. If this thing is built into the wall, you can't use SO cable, but if it is like built into a box, then it would be appropriate with proper strain relief. Again, if built into the wall, you can hardwire it from an existing receptacle and between the boxes using NM cable and strain reliefs in the box or built in hickeys.
 
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Old 06-01-11, 04:47 PM
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Thanks this is going to be mounted in/on a desk In-between the two support posts (not in a wall) Can I use SO cord between the boxes?

Also do you know a part number off hand for a Cooper or leviton receptacle that has the pressure plates?

Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 06-01-11, 06:33 PM
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Commercial Spec Grade Receptacles, Side Wire, 15A, 125V, White, CR15W

Get the BR15W (for 15 amp, white, pressure plate). Working with SO (stranded wire), the pressure plates are a good idea. SO cordage, OK for non-building wire.
 
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Old 06-01-11, 07:06 PM
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I don't have a part number, but typically the "commercial grade" receptacles at HD have the pressure plate. IMO, any receptacle you choose (other than the $0.59 ones) will be sufficient.

I would use 4" metal boxes mounted to a 1x4 or 1x6. I'd use short nipples to connect them to each other and use THHN between them. To me, that would end up easier and nicer than the plates intended to be mounted in the wall. Of course, you can do either. If possible, mount the finished power strip in so the receptacles are in a vertical position. Dust tends to collect if the receptacles are facing up.

Also, be sure to use a quality plug into your UPS and surge protector.
 
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Old 06-01-11, 07:20 PM
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I also suggest short pieces of EMT between each box and THHN wire.
 
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Old 06-01-11, 08:02 PM
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I actually have one of These in the wall where the UPS is plugged in connected to a 20A Semi-Dedicated breaker with 12AWG I had a cheap 15A outlet in there but that was broken when I moved in my furniture (I had a drill plugged and I hit it with my desk and it shattered into alot of pieces)
I will probably use the idea that Zorfdt gave me with the wood plate instead of that RBS16 thing
a couple last questions in wood measurements in the 1 x 6 1 Foot by 6 Feet (I assume?) or is there another measurement for wood? and for the THHN wire I would use 14AWG with 3 wires (White , Black, Green) and I can use SO cords for the power wires to the UPS

Also what is the right way to strip the round SO cord? I use a utility knife but I Always end up nicking the insulation of the inner conductors is there a better way?
Thanks
 
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Old 06-02-11, 04:09 AM
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A 1x6 will measure 3/4" wide and 5 1/2" across, and any length you want. Probably for 3 boxes, you would need a 3' section to include the face, 4 sides and back. I would make the face piece removable via screws in the corners for servicing.
I would carry forward the 12 gauge wiring, since you have a 20 amp circuit supplying it. I know it is like an appliance, but it really is an addition to your circuit to power other items. W,Bk, Gn are good to go, as well as SJO for the power line to the ups. Right way to strip SJO?? Carefully and not with a razor blade. Use a knife and roll it carefully on your thumb, or table if you don't feel froggy! After a round, bend it to see how close you are to coming through. The final bit of outer coating will usually split as you bend it, so it is trial and error. Just get it right before you run out of cable
 
  #9  
Old 06-02-11, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by telecom guy View Post

Get the BR15W (for 15 amp, white, pressure plate). Working with SO (stranded wire), the pressure plates are a good idea. SO cordage, OK for non-building wire.
As usual the question is, "What's it worth to you?"

I have a house full of 2000-vintage BR15s, but in the last box I bought they had changed the design significantly. They used to have molded inserts for backwiring, but now you just insert the wire under the plate from the back. The screws seemed to be the same but I am guessing they have reduced the mass of the body brass where the holes are tapped, as they seemed easier to screw in and more prone to over-torqueing. There were a couple of other differences that I don't recall at the moment.

The bottom line is they're still meeting the specs but they are shaving the features that make them easier to work with.

I recently grabbed a couple of hospital-grade Hubbells from my "used" box, to install in the garage. Although they take up a lot more room, there's no question they're easier to work with and will probably last longer than I will.

Buy one of each (Cheapo, Spec, Industrial, Hospital) and look at them side-by-side.
 
  #10  
Old 06-02-11, 09:02 AM
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Have you considered just buying a length of Plugmold instead of putting all the pieces together yourself? It's an ideal product for workbenches, desktops, computer labs, etc.
 
  #11  
Old 06-03-11, 05:49 PM
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A compression clamp would probably work better where the cords enter than a two-screw romex clamp. I usually use the hubbell 20A commercial backwire receptacles that my supply house carries. They're like 2.88 or something. I mount them in a 2-gang bell box with a compression clamp and a sealing ring. If I use them outside, I also install bubble covers.
 
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