On 24 Sep 2006 23:14:54 -0700 firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
| As I look around my house I see many multi-outlets that are messy. A
| receptacle every 12 feet as now required by the NEC is absolutely too
| few. This requirement has been in the NEC for as many years as I have
| been around. Today with all the electronic equipment we have we need a
| receptacle every foot or so. Yet a proposal for a receeptacle every 6
| feet was rejected. When I look under my computer desk it is nothing
| less than a rat's nest of cables. I really think the engineers in
| this field have let us down. Of course there is the blue tooth
| wireless technology, but it has been twenty years in the making and is
| too little too late.
I would not want to plug every device in my computer room into a wall
receptacle individually. Instead, I have everything daisy chained on
3 power strips going into a single plug. When I need to unplug it all,
it's easy to do.
I did see that one of the proposals referred to the issue of furniture.
The panel rejected it. But I find it is a very real issue. In their
effort to keep the number of receptacles to an absolute minimum, home
builders just spread them as evenly as they can at the 12 foot requirement
between points where things stop (e.g. doors). No consideration goes into
the issue of receptacles that end up behind heavy furniture or even beds,
and then are the only ones to use. I have an extension cord running back
behind my 2 bookcases in my bedroom because the receptacles were located
where it was optimal to put the bookcases. So there is a risk of damage
(e.g. someone pushing back on the bookcase) to the extension cord plug,
as well as the usual risks of more cords on the floor and cheap sockets
on them to plug things in to.
There are plenty of cases of fires that start from extension cord damage.
Of course arc-fault protection will help, and I don't want to dismiss that
idea. But I do believe the NFPA needs to consider _why_
get used even in recently build homes that are in compliance with current
code. Eliminating the reason behind their use will further reduce the
total fire and tragedy hazards that exist. Even reducing them to every 6
feet would be substantially better than the 12 foot requirment we have
In my house design (whenever I finalize the floor plan layout, which is
not really progressing very well, yet) I will be specifying exactly where
receptacles must be placed. I will put them where I expect to need them
and where they will be unblocked by expected furniture. Then if it turns
out there is a gap between any two that is longer than the code allows,
I'll just toss sufficient "useless" receptacles in between to make the
overbuild. The NEC doesn't prohibit you from putting a receptacle
every foot if you so desire. A common question I've seen asked is what is
the maximum number of receptacles on a circuit. The answer I usually see
is "there is no such limit". So you could have 40 duplex receptacles in
your bedroom and it would comply.
| Phil Howard KA9WGN (ka9wgn.ham.org) / Do not send to the address below |
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