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General Chat Thread, Daisy Chaining electrical extension/multiboxes etc in General; Originally Posted by Joedetic God what have I started. @crc- ict : I've seen someone powering several guitar amps, one ...
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    Re: Daisy Chaining electrical extension/multiboxes etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Joedetic
    God what have I started.

    @crc-ict: I've seen someone powering several guitar amps, one of those big Yamaha electric pianos, some PA kit and some lighting from one 13A socket through the help of daisy chained splitter sockets so that's why I really don't like the idea. It was really getting very hot and I'm not exaggerating! . .
    Sounds like the stage at my previous school! I'm not joking either when I say there was only 1 single 13a socket available by the stage. Regulalry it ran a high powered PA system, CD player, digital piano, mixing desk, amps, some lighting bits, smoke machine and other items. They only changed this after one of the governors expressed his concern after attending a performance where the electrics tripped halfway through.

    Silly thing is all they did was expand this 1 socket into 4, which was still on the same ring main and still regulalry tripped! And because they were all in one place, they still used miles of extension cords!

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    Re: Daisy Chaining electrical extension/multiboxes etc

    Well i've seen what happens when you overload and chain them, and the ocupents in the house are now 6ft under. Its a scary thing the fire service use the lead from the fire as well as actualy footage from the fire as part of Fire Awareness course that I did, its scary, they instantly spotted the 4 gangs in the room they were running the course in and flagged them up as not good as they were chained.

    Some LEAs may have rules on them, I believe that North Yorks are wanting to ban the use of them except for temporary installs EG laptop and projector for vising speaker in the hall (clearly kick strip on the trailing lead and other H&S needs meeting still) that kind of setup. But not for the computer on a trolley to be used in a classroom for weeks on end, they are frowned upon, I know one place I deal with had them all taken out of the IT area and loads of sockets put all down the wall (why on earth the sparkies didnt put electrical daedo on I've no idea just strips of sockets! But hey ho!) its a lot nicer and safer.

    One thing I do at home is i use Server Cabinet grade 12 gangs etc as they often are rated at a much higher rating than the cheap DIY store leads, fine they may cost £60 instead of £6 but I just feel they are safer, if the lead is rated for 16amp I know that with my PC kit I won't be over-loading it at all.

    I am sure there is some form of H&S Rule on chaining them together though, I will email my H&S Adviser who works with me and ask him, he works for places like Olympia doing the show Health and Safety, infact I think he may be H&S lead for Bett this year....

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    Re: Daisy Chaining electrical extension/multiboxes etc

    Quote Originally Posted by john
    I am sure there is some form of H&S Rule on chaining them together though, I will email my H&S Adviser who works with me and ask him, he works for places like Olympia doing the show Health and Safety, infact I think he may be H&S lead for Bett this year....
    Thanks. I look forward to hearing the response.

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    Re: Daisy Chaining electrical extension/multiboxes etc

    Ok I asked my friend who is a Health and Safety consultant, they work for places like The NEC Group, Olympia, Excel (big exhibition halls), various small businesses, some schools and charities, below I have summarised what they have said relating to trailing leads / 4 gangs etc

    There is no rule at present stating that you can't trail from one to another or use them, but its highly discouraged principally due to the trip hazard they they present as a lot of people don't bother to fasten them down etc.

    BUT Daisy Chaining / linking together however you wish to term it, is a bit more of an issue as you are introducing the chance of it becoming unstable (they mention that its worth reading up on Ohms Law as that kicks into play).

    In a very simple level a lot of people tend to think each socket on the 4 carry's the same capacity as the actual entire unit, which is incorrect as it diminishes the more you have, so the more you add the less stable it can become. They certainly would NEVER advise that they are used in Permanent Installations (server cabinets are excluded as you should be using real server grade ones due to the currents they can pull on startup, were talking more DIY store ones here) but for a temporary setup such as a projector, laptop, small speakers etc in the lecture hall etc for a lecture, temp setup etc is ok so long as the trip hazard is dealt with and you do the risk assessment on it as you should be doing anyway.

    One thing they have said to me is that the Fire Service disapprove of these type of leads in general, especially when daisy chained, and IF there was a fire, they would obviously investigate the cause and, they would be examining this kind of thing.

    If its used in a more permanent level (temporary is a short term measure such as a couple of weeks at the most really) not a long term such as this year Mr Jones moves into Room 4321 with 3 other office staff and there is one single socket to power everyones computer, copier and fax so we will put in 5 x 4 ways and chain them together, if you had a fire in that room, and its investigated and the cause is pointed to electrical issue, many insurance firms would regard that kind of setup as contributory negligence which is something that should be avoided.

    They did say some company's / Schools / Businesses H&S policies they have may stipulate other rules on them such as they must not be used, may state that temporary use is 24hrs only and you should check if there is anything specified in your H&S policy, so may be worth checking with your LEAs H&S People just to make sure.

    So to summarise:

    • They are legal, but should always be avoided
    • Never really used in fixed installation,
    • To be safe never daisy chained due to the units rating being diminished by each item on it (read up on Ohms Law)
    • Lastly, don't forget the gaffa tape to stick the cable down to remove the trip hazard & risk assess!

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    Re: Daisy Chaining electrical extension/multiboxes etc

    We use them in school because of the combination of laptop/computer, VCR/DVD and audio amp. All low power devices. I have a current meter and check the total load. If the teachers would find a permanent position for their desks then I'd consider having proper mains outlets but I believe the National Curriculum insists that the classroom layout must be changed monthly to prevent the kids getting bored I try and use extension blocks with the right number of outlets but if not, I cover the spare sockets with red gaffer tape.

    Recently, I found a socket with three neat rectangular holes punched in it. The teacher had plugged a 2KW kettle in to boil some water for a science lesson. This is the main reason for stringent regulations, to cover against stupidity.

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    Re: Daisy Chaining electrical extension/multiboxes etc

    Quote Originally Posted by laserblazer
    Recently, I found a socket with three neat rectangular holes punched in it. The teacher had plugged a 2KW kettle in to boil some water for a science lesson. This is the main reason for stringent regulations, to cover against stupidity.
    As I suggest above; change the 13A fuse in the plug for a 5A. Write on the socket in BIG letters "NO HEATERS/KETTLES ETC"

    Kettle blows fuse, teacher has to 'fes up, and no trashed 4-ways/buildings. 5A is PLENTY for normal classroom use.

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    Re: Daisy Chaining electrical extension/multiboxes etc

    And who has to drop everything to go and replace the fuse But I take your point.

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    As far as legality is concerned, daisy-chaining extension cords runs afoul of OSHA's rule 1910.305 (Electrical Wiring Methods). That would be for employers though, not sure about home offices or sole proprietors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by apolito View Post
    As far as legality is concerned, daisy-chaining extension cords runs afoul of OSHA's rule 1910.305 (Electrical Wiring Methods). That would be for employers though, not sure about home offices or sole proprietors.
    Only on the left side of the pond!

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