GFCI Protected Plug Strips for Projects and Applications
GFCI Protection Made Easy for Home Electrical Projects: How to Provide GFCI Protection for Home Projects: GFCI Protection is Simple Using These Parts that are available from Your Local Hardware Store
GFCI Protection Made Easy for Home Electrical Projects
Electrical Question: I am building a piece of furniture (Fish tank stand) and have come into an electrical wiring question that I am not certain whether or not falls under a set of codes.
- I have reviewed the OSHA standards which I found online and still am not fully confident in whether or not I am doing this correctly.
- I am sure I have seen furniture such as beds, desks, etc provided “Store-bought” with an outlet or strip of outlets provided that users can plug into and use, after connecting the “main” plug. Of course one would have to watch their total circuit load.
- I would like to be able to include a GFCI outlet as a part of my fish tank stand, so that wherever I may move the stand to, it will be able to plug into an ordinary outlet and still provide GFCI protection to the rest of the equipment in the stand.
How to Provide GFCI Protection for Home Projects
GFCI Protection is Simple Using These Parts that are available from Your Local Hardware Store
- A 12-gauge, 3 conductor Replacement Cord which has 3 wire conductors at one end (strand type, soldered so they each end in a solid tip), and a male plug at the other end (Utilitech 6′ 14/3 Replacement Cord, or equivalent)
- One 1/2″-hole Metal Weatherproof Gang Box (2 hole or 3 hole, will only be using 1 hole and plug the others with included caps)
- A UL Approved GFCI Receptacle.
- A electrical Cord Grip Fitting (1/2″, fits Cables .260″ – .350″).
- A weatherproof Gasket / Receptacle Cover (Was a 6-in-1 variety of the same brand as the Gang box)
I would run the cable through the cord grip attached to the box, connect to receptacle and put together the box, and install this to the stand. The box is also connected to the ground.
This avoids the “finicky” GFI-plug in type items which kill fish if they “trip” after a power outage and/or ones that are supposed to resume power after a power outage do not, and also means that a GFI is always available without having to call landlord again and install a new outlet.
- Does this meet safety standards?
- Is the flexible “Replacement cable” (similar to an extension cord) ok to be used in this manner?
- I found an OSHA summary online which says flexible cables may be used for “Fixtures” but I am not sure what that means.
NOTE: I have used 16-gauge, a PVC box, no cord-grip, and not a weatherproof cover, so I will NOT be using that version and instead use the parts above.
Total load is approximately 325 Watts with heater, lighters, filters, after hooking up the surge protector to the GFI outlet.
If it is OK, is there a “preventive maintenance” I should perform involving opening the outlet to check for damage to the part of the flexible cord which is located inside the box?
Thank you so much!
This electrical question came from: Dave, from Union, New Jersey.
Additional Comments: very informative!
Thanks for your electrical question Dave.
Plug Strips and GFCI Protection
A GFCI Protected Plug Strip May be be the Best Protection for Many Projects and Applications
- The proposed setup for project sounds great.
- Consider purchasing a GFCI protected outlet strip this way you will have the convenience of multiple outlets for the various functions and the main unit GFCI protection.
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