I have two computers, one in the basement and one on the third floor,
which I would like to run off the same plug-in UPS (expensive, so I
don't want to purchase another one). There is already conduit going
up to the third floor. What do I need to properly (to-code) install a
UPS protected outlet on the third floor which shares the plug-in UPS
in the basement? Is there a code-compliant solution? Are you allowed
to plug a cord into a UPS which goes into a junction box, is spliced
to THHN, and then into the house wiring?
Thank you for your time,
PS: I am not asking for instructions on how to install an outlet. The
outlet that the UPS plugs into in the basement is already GFI
protected. There are enough spare cubic inches in the box to support
an additional device and wiring.
Assuming you only want the UPS to attach to one dedicated outlet on the
third floor. You could install a junction box on the existing conduit with
a three wire cord set to plug into the UPS, then attach those wires to three
conductors going through the existing conduit to the third floor, then from
another junction box up there, run those conductors to the PC outlet using
whatever wiring method is acceptable in your jurisdiction. This is all
contingent on having spare room in the conduit
Thank you but there are other issues?:
When someone turns off the main breaker there will still be a live
outlet in the attic. Aren't there additional rules about such things?
Does the three wire cord set have to have special properties?
a) Wire must be no more than X feet long?
b) Wire must be of special type?
When I am done using the setup (years from now) can I simply plug the
cord set into a basement receptacle?
In your first post you said "third floor". In your second you said
Since you seem to be concerned about safety, I'm curious about your
use of the attic. Will your proposed use meet codes as far as egress,
other electrical wiring, etc? While I commend you for tying to hook up
the UPS in a complaint manner, will it be the only code compliant item
in the space?
For all the trouble, I'd just get another UPS box. UPS is good when
power failure ocurs, as a protector it won't do much if lightning
strikes. I have seen it many time in my working days(~40 years in the
Nothing in your list of amenities tells us anything about whether it
meets the applicable codes for the space. I'm not saying it does or
doesn't...only you can tell us that. I was merely pointing out that
you are be very diligent as per the running of this particular
circuit, which made me curious about how compliant the rest of the
The additional rules are that the receptacle outlet and the equipment
served should be labeled as having more than one source of supply.
The cord may be of any length you find convenient but cords longer then
six feet are generally frowned on for permanent use.
If you do what I suggested in my other reply you will simply throw the
switch to the non alternate power position and walk away.
A new UPS for the third floor would cost $300-400, consume additional
electricity, and take up space. Then I would have to replace the
batteries in both of them every few years at an increased cost instead
of just the one. The upstairs UPS, replacement batteries, and power
consumption (including cooling power) would probably come to $750 or
more over its lifetime. If a 42U rack costs $1000 delivered then just
the space in the rack the new UPS would take up could be considered to
cost $100. The dual-UPS solution is NOT the most economical solution.
Just how much UPS capacity do you need up in the attic? If it is just
one or two PCs to control the server farm you seem to be keeping in the
basement, one of the <$200 baby UPS units will be fine.
I'm no UPS expert, but IIRC, there is a limit to how far the load can be
from the electronics, and still be considered protected.
I don't know. I"ve heard that electricity travels at the speed of
Of course that would be the speed of light in copper. I held a lamp
up to; one side of a copper sheet, and it hasn't gotten through to the
other side yet. Should I wait another hour?
That reminds me of "slow glass" which is physically the same as
regular glass, but optically it's 10 light-years thick. When you look
into it you see what was on the other side 10 years ago. :-)
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