Can I Make a Circuit that Plugs into a UPS?

Tom PultzDecember 1, 2009

I'm installing a Structured Media Cabinet in the laundry room and would like to wire the power supply to a couple of other receptacles in the family room for the computer and VoIP router, then install a male plug on the end of the NM-B wiring and plug that into the Uninterruptible Power Supply in the garage attic that currently supplies power to the tankless water heater.

Is this permitted?

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Ron Natalie

No, and that must be one hell of a UPS if it will drive a tankless.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 6:07PM
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If you have a monstrous UPS that could power a tankless water heater, there is no doubt a way to hardwire a circuit to it.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 6:24PM
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Tom Pultz

The tankless is a natural gas model so the load is at most about 135 W with the heater on and only 85 W without. The UPS just protects against getting a cold shower in case the power goes off for a few minutes at the wrong time :-)

I am just looking for a way to keep the power supply in the SMC, computer and router protected from surges and temporary power outages. Currently the computer and router get plugged into a small 1000VA UPS, but I'd like to find a way to hide that unit when we move everything to the remodeled family room.

Any ideas on how to do this with the SMC, which will contain another router, hi-speed switch, CATV splitter, etc?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 7:05PM
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I see.

I wanted to do the same thing. I have a 15 amp "Emergency Circuit" in my house that I wanted to put on a UPS, but even the cheapest hard wireable UPSs are very expensive.

Do you have any idea of what the current draw is with all the stuff you want on the UPS?

On another note, I wonder if you could power a circuit by using SJ cord and plug into a box, then splice to romex?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 9:18PM
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I presume hobby DIY electronic projects you build yourself are legal where you are?

I've planned to do the same thing, and figure the way around it is to make the media panel an 'appliance' and have the outlets run to a flex cord, that plugs into the UPS. You may want to consider a separate one, rather than go through the hassle of running the cable.

Take note, though, you don't want the surge-suppressor type outlets in the bottom of the media panel, you should never have a surge suppressor DOWNSTREAM of a UPS, but you can have one protecting the UPS itself, upstream.

Apparently you waste a lot of battery life with a surge suppressor downstream, I don't know if it harms anything...but of course the UPS is your surge suppressor.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 2:23AM
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Ron Natalie

Seems like it would be a whole lot easier to get a separate UPS for your equipment. I've got some small UPS's for under $100 that were specifically designed to power home entertainment equipment. They are power conditioners in addition to providing a short amount (20 minutes at full rated load) backup.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 8:13AM
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Plug on a NM cable is not allowed. However if you were to instal an inlet receptacle then you could use a cord from your UPS to the inlet. This would be the same asa generator connection.
A couple of examples of inlets.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 8:21AM
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So it would be legal to feed a normal circuit with an inlet connected to a UPS?

Do you know where I could find an inlet interior cover plate?

I haven't been able to find one locally so I'll have to order it online.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 9:12AM
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Ron Natalie

Make sure that circuit with the inlet is not connected to any other power (I don't think it would in this case, but I've seen screwier things done).

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 10:44AM
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Tom Pultz

Something like the Vanco Rapid-Link sounds exactly what I need. Thanks. I can use the input receptacle for the connection to the UPS and the recessed duplex receptacle for the plasma I may decide to hang on the wall.

As an aside: since this would be a non-powered circuit, energized only when plugged into another hot receptacle via cable, do I need to include it in the list of new/modified circuits to be inspected?

Here is a link that might be useful: Vanco Rapid-Link (Black)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 1:03PM
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tom_in_seattle, go down to the local home_depot_in_seattle and head on over to the section where generators and related hardware are sold. You'll find all of the gizmos and contraptions you'll need.

Treat your UPS as a generator.

joed and the others have the right answer, just don't over-think it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 1:23PM
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The problem with that Vanco Rpid Link and other similar setups is that they are pretty expensive. You can easily find the parts at any big box store for much cheaper except for the inlet.

That's why I'm trying to find a source for that inlet.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 4:24PM
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Tom Pultz

Go to Amazon and search on 'power inlet' and you'll come up with lots of options, one of which is the Leviton 4937 for $17.40. It has a cover I don't need, but it also doesn't come with other stuff I don't need like the boxes, etc.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 7:01PM
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I just checked on prices for inlets. Sheesh.

Cord-and-plug connection is considered a valid form of disconnect.


So why can't I just have a freakin piece of SO with an appropriate clamp hanging out of a handybox screwed to the wall, with a 3-prong plug on the end?!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 8:30PM
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the inlet method is the best, that is how we do it at E911 centers, with the outlet feeding the UPS having the same style connector as teh UPS end of the feed cord so that in the event the UPS fails we can bypass it easily.

i have also seen some install where SO or similar cable ran from teh wall to plug into the UPS. in the box at the wall this was attached to the in wall wiring, be it romex or THWN. they make box covers that have a clamp for the cable.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 10:05PM
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I know very well that the inlet solution is the best, but at $45 it's a little ridiculous for such a simple installation as the OP is suggesting. :P

Unrelated to OP: davidandkasie, regarding the ability to bypass the UPS easily, why not have a transfer switch?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 1:57PM
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Tom Pultz

I think I'm going to get the Leviton 5239, which is a commercial grade product. It's less than $11 from Amazon and I get free shipping. I don't know if I can find a faceplate with the correct hole size to accommodate this... if not I can cut a hole in a solid faceplate and attach the receptacle.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 2:22PM
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Yes, there are faceplates that'll fit on.

They have them at HD. Not sure where else. Probably all of the major sources, they're not rare.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 3:51AM
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