Yes, as long as the wiring is the correct size and the installation meets the requirements of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Most people use temporary wiring at one time or another as with Christmas lights, or party lights in the yard. Extension cords are an application of temporary wiring. But temporary wiring is for a temporary purpose and must be removed immediately after use.
Besides the tripping hazard, you may damage the internals of the wire, e.g., break strands of conductors, which could cause overheating and a fire, or damage the insulation causing an electrical shock hazard.
We all have wires on the floor of our offices, but you should have the wire protected from being stepped on and also the tripping hazard by running the wire along the baseboard or under desks. In laboratories and work areas, if you have to run the wire where it is subject to damage, you should protect it with commercial wire covers.
Power strips, 6 outlet power taps, or temporary power taps are listed by UL under standard UL1363 titled, “Relocatable Power Taps” (RPT’s). They are designed for high concentration of low ampere loads. RPT’s are described by UL as a relocatable multiple outlet extension of the branch circuit to supply laboratory equipment, home workshops, and to provide outlet receptacles for computers, audio and video equipment and other low power equipment. They are not to be used as extension cords, connected to extension cords, daisy chained together, for high power demand equipment, or used outdoors or in wet locations.
The distance for running an extension cord is dependent on the power requirements of the utilization equipment and the wire size of the extension cord. For light loads, say a radio or lamp with 60 watt bulb you could easily use a light duty extension cord for 12 feet, however, for an air conditioner you might only be able to use a heavy duty extension cord of 8 foot. The length of the extension cord depends on the application, for example some outdoor electric hedge trimmers and weed whackers allow 100 foot of 12 gauge wire.
No, extension cords are rated by the manufacturer for the load being attached at the end of the cord. Also, depending on the load, the connection of the plug and receptacle is the weakest part of the circuit and is the most likely section to overheat. Therefore, adding additional plugs and receptacles increases the chance for overheating.
The answer to this question is no, but all small appliances should be located on non-combustible surfaces and away from flammable materials such as paper towels, drapes, etc. UL and most manufacturers of these type appliances advise that all counter-top heat-generating devices be unplugged when not in use. A way to assure the equipment is not energized would be to use a spring-wound count-down timer to energize the equipment.
Basically the requirements are: a) that the electrical circuit be evaluated by Plant Engineering, b) UL listed, c) have tip-over protection, d) users instructed in safe operation (unplugged when not in use, keep combustibles at least 3 feet away, and ensure the unit is off at the end of day) and d) Plant Engineering attaches a review label to the heater demonstrating that the equipment, power supplies, and arrangements are adequate.
Only if trained and only if you know why the breaker tripped, otherwise contact your Building Manager or Plant Engineering.
Electrical Safety Equipment can be purchased from any Safety and Industrial Supplier, such as MSC, LSS, Grainger, etc. For testing voltage rate gloves you can contact Bodine Business Products (610) 827-0138, Salisbury (800) 549-1477, or Brenco Powerline Tools (800) 247-5442.
Energized conductive components. A live part could be a terminal, screw, exposed conductor, or any part of a circuit that a person could touch and get a shock.
A GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) constantly monitors electricity flowing in a circuit, to sense any loss of current to ground. If the current flowing through the hot wire differs by a small amount from that returning in the neutral, the GFCI quickly switches off power to the circuit. The GFCI interrupts power fast enough to prevent a lethal dose of electricity. You may receive a painful shock, but you should not be electrocuted or receive a serious shock injury. A GFCI may be a duplex receptacle, a circuit breaker, attached to an extension cord, or a temporary plug-in adapter.
GFCI’s are required in different locations for houses and for industrial locations. In houses they are required in: 1) bathrooms, 2) garages and accessory buildings, 3) outdoors, 4) crawl spaces, 5) unfinished basements, 6) Kitchens, 7) 6 ft from Laundry, utility, and wet bar sinks, and 8) boathouses. In other than dwelling units: 1) bathrooms, 2) commercial and institutional kitchens, 3) rooftops, and 4) outdoors. The National Electrical Code also has other requirements in specific sections of the Code like commercial garages, swimming pools, decorative fountains, etc.
At BNL, only persons who are trained and allowed by their Department/Division. If you don’t know if you are allowed to operate circuit breakers, then you probably are not. Contact your Building Manager or ESH Coordinator for help.
One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.