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GFCI Protected Plug Strips for Projects and Applications

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

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.

How to Provide GFCI Protection for Home Projects

GFCI Protection is Simple Using These Parts that are available from Your Local Hardware Store

  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. A UL Approved GFCI Receptacle.
  4. A electrical Cord Grip Fitting (1/2″, fits Cables .260″ – .350″).
  5. 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.

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!

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Dave.

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