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Power Strips Testing and Certification

Testing and certifying furniture power distribution units, multioutlet assemblies and relocatable power taps

Power strip

Overview

A power strip is a block of electrical sockets that attaches to the branch circuit enabling multiple electrical devices to be powered from a single location. Power strips are often used when many electrical devices are in proximity, such as computer, video, audio and other cord-and-plug-connected equipment. Power strips often include a circuit breaker to interrupt the electric current in case of an overload or a short circuit. Some power strips provide protection against electrical power surges. Typical styles may include basic strip, rack-mount, under-monitor or direct plug-in types.

There are numerous types of power strips including, but not limited to:  furniture power distribution units, multioutlet assemblies and relocatable power taps.

Furniture Power Distribution Units (FPDU) are rated 250 V AC or less, 20 A AC or less and are intended for indoor use when secured to a furnishing. They are comprised of an electrical enclosure with an attached power-supply cord and plug, with a mounting means for attachment to a furnishing, and receptacle outlets having a 15 or 20 A, 125 or 250 V rating. The receptacle outlets of a FPDU must comply with UL 498, the Standard for Attachment Plugs and Receptacles, or be additionally evaluated. 

These units may also employ:

  • Nonelectrical decorative features
  • Surge suppression components (TVSS) when three or more receptacle outlets are provided
  • Electromagnetic interference (EMI) filter components when three or more receptacle outlets are provided and/or uninterruptible power-supply components
  • Universal serial bus (USB) charging outlets 
  • LED lighting when three or more receptacle outlets are provided

These products are intended to be directly connected to a permanently installed branch-circuit receptacle outlet. They may be provided with:

  • Telephone equipment
  • Communication circuit protectors
  • Antenna discharge units
  • Antenna connections for televisions and video products
  • LED luminaires
  • Wireless charging circuits
  • Isolated secondary circuits
  • Integral Class 2 lead and mating Class 2 separable interface
  • Integral power supply with one or more Class 2 output connectors,
  • Provided with receptacles with integral power supplies with Class 2 output connectors

Furniture power distribution units have not been investigated and are not intended for use with general patient care areas or critical patient care areas of health care facilities as defined in Article 517 of ANSI/NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.

Certification of FPDU by a trusted, independent, third party helps minimize safety risks and also helps to differentiate your products from your competitors’ in the market place.

A multioutlet assembly is a surface, flush or freestanding assembly consisting of a raceway and fittings or other enclosure provided with one or more receptacles for the purpose of supplying power to utilization equipment.

Multioutlet assemblies may be provided with:

  • Fuses or other supplementary overcurrent protection
  • Switches
  • Suppression components
  • EMI filters
  • LED drivers
  • Luminaires
  • Ballasts
  • Motors
  • Control circuits
  • Transformers
  • Relays
  • Indicator lights and other similar equipment

Multioutlet assemblies consist of either a metallic or nonmetallic enclosure or raceway and outlet wiring devices that provide power for connection of utilization equipment. Multioutlet assemblies are intended for use in dry locations, other than hazardous (classified) locations, in accordance with ANSI/NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC). They are intended to be connected to permanently installed branch circuits operating at frequencies between 50 and 400 Hz and DC circuits.

A multioutlet assembly may be provided with channels for additional power circuits, control circuits, power-limited circuits and communication-circuit wiring for audio, video and data.

A modular floor-mounted multioutlet assembly consists of a permanently installed metal-enclosed raceway intended for securement to the floor in pedestrian traffic areas. The system may be suitable for use under carpet, left exposed, or both, as specified in the individual certifications.

Certification by a trusted independent third party will help ensure that your products are ready for code authority acceptance when installed in accordance with your installation instructions.

Relocatable power taps (RPTs) are movable indoor-use cord-connected electrical enclosures that extend a branch circuit receptacle, allowing multiple products to be powered from a single outlet. They are rated 250 V AC or less, 20 A or less, and they may only employ temporary mounting means, when mounting is provided.

They may be supplied with additional components aside from receptacles/cord connectors, such as:

  • Automatic switch
  • Integral appliance timer
  • Indicator light
  • Wireless charging circuit
  • Surge protective device (must additionally comply with UL 1449, the Standard for Surge Protective Devices)
  • EMI filter
  • A storage compartment to store handheld electronic devices and charging equipment when not in use
  • Nonelectrical decorative features
  • Integral cord reel for the power supply cord and attachment plug (must also comply with UL 355, the Standard for Cord Reels)
  • Telephone equipment
  • Communication circuit protectors
  • Antenna discharge unit
  • Antenna connections for televisions and video
  • When three or more receptacle outlets are present, the RPT may be provided with LEDs

If an RPT is for use in general patient care areas or critical patient care areas of health care facilities as defined in Article 517 of ANSI/NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, they must comply with UL 1363A, Outline for Special Purpose Relocatable Power Taps.

Certification of RPT by a trusted, independent third party helps minimize safety risks and also helps to differentiate your products from your competitors in the marketplace.

Powerstrip

Furniture power distribution units

Multioutlet assemblies at an airport

Multioutlet assemblies

powerstrip

Relocatable power taps

Services

We can help you to determine the applicable requirements for your complex, innovative or basic furniture power distribution units, multioutlet assemblies or relocatable power taps regardless of your intended market. Our years of expertise with safety standards, independence, integrity and attention to detail helps us to meet all of your safety certification needs.

Furniture power distribution units

The U.S. basic standard used to investigate FPDU products is UL 962A, the Standard for Furniture Power Distribution Units, and the Canadian basic standard is CSA-C22.2 No. 308, Cord Reels and Multi-Outlet Assemblies.

See also UL 962A Supplement SA - Furniture Power Distribution Units Incorporating Batteries.

Multioutlet assemblies

The U.S. basic standard used to investigate multioutlet assemblies in this category are contained in UL 111, Outline of Investigation for Multioutlet Assemblies. They are intended for installation in accordance with Article 380 of the NEC. A UL certification will help ensure ready code authority acceptance when installed in accordance with your installation instructions.

The Canadian basic standards to investigate products in this category include:

  • CSA-C22.2 No. 62, Surface Raceway Systems
  • CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 62.1, Nonmetallic Surface Raceways and Fittings
  • CSA-C22.2 No. 42, General Use Receptacles, Attachment Plugs, and Similar Wiring Devices
  • CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 0, General Requirements - Canadian Electrical Code, Part II – they are intended for installation in accordance with CAN/CSA-C22.1, Canadian Electrical Code, Part I (CE Code)
Relocatable power taps

The U.S. basic Standard used to investigate products in this category is UL 1363,the Standard for Relocatable Power Taps.

The Canadian basic standard to investigate products in this category is CSA-C22.2 No. 308, Cord Reels and Multi-Outlet Assemblies.

Benefits

With combined testing of power strips, UL can simultaneously provide U.S. and Canada access for the UL Mark in North America. One certification process allows you to profit from faster speed to global markets.

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