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MusicMan_234 01-05-2009 06:42 PM

UPS powering remote devices using house wiring
 
I have what's probably a weird, and "why would you do it that way?" question for this group of brainiacs. Bear with me...there's a method to my madness...

A recent power outage showed me that, while my laptop lives for several hours on its battery, the internet connection leading out of my house is not on a battery (only the phone part of it is...frustrating!). So, I'd like to put a UPS (un-interruptible power supply) on my wireless router and internet connection.

The challenge is that the two devices are about 50 feet apart. The wireless router lives in a media panel in the middle of the house. The internet connection that I need to power is plugged-in to an outlet in the garage. I'd like to only have to buy one UPS, because it's spendy to buy two for the two separate locations.

So, the question: can I run 14/2 NMB through the walls & attic from the garage to the media panel, and power that run using the UPS? From strictly an electricians standpoint, I'd likely have an "inlet" (opposite of an outlet) in the garage, next to the UPS there. I'd run a cord from the UPS to the inlet, which would then power anything in the media box (a few watts, at best). Does code have anything to say about this? Would I need a circuit breaker on this thing? I hope not.

Thanks.

InPhase277 01-05-2009 07:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MusicMan_234 (Post 207603)
I have what's probably a weird, and "why would you do it that way?" question for this group of brainiacs. Bear with me...there's a method to my madness...

A recent power outage showed me that, while my laptop lives for several hours on its battery, the internet connection leading out of my house is not on a battery (only the phone part of it is...frustrating!). So, I'd like to put a UPS (un-interruptible power supply) on my wireless router and internet connection.

The challenge is that the two devices are about 50 feet apart. The wireless router lives in a media panel in the middle of the house. The internet connection that I need to power is plugged-in to an outlet in the garage. I'd like to only have to buy one UPS, because it's spendy to buy two for the two separate locations.

So, the question: can I run 14/2 NMB through the walls & attic from the garage to the media panel, and power that run using the UPS? From strictly an electricians standpoint, I'd likely have an "inlet" (opposite of an outlet) in the garage, next to the UPS there. I'd run a cord from the UPS to the inlet, which would then power anything in the media box (a few watts, at best). Does code have anything to say about this? Would I need a circuit breaker on this thing? I hope not.

Thanks.

As long as your inlet was terminated in an outlet box, and all wiring was run to code, and your receptacle was attached and grounded properly, I don't see why you couldn't do it. You might go the extra step and label the receptacle and inlet. Overcurrent protection should be provided by the UPS as a fuse or circuit breaker built in.

jamiedolan 01-05-2009 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MusicMan_234 (Post 207603)
I have what's probably a weird, and "why would you do it that way?" question for this group of brainiacs. Bear with me...there's a method to my madness...

A recent power outage showed me that, while my laptop lives for several hours on its battery, the internet connection leading out of my house is not on a battery (only the phone part of it is...frustrating!). So, I'd like to put a UPS (un-interruptible power supply) on my wireless router and internet connection.

The challenge is that the two devices are about 50 feet apart. The wireless router lives in a media panel in the middle of the house. The internet connection that I need to power is plugged-in to an outlet in the garage. I'd like to only have to buy one UPS, because it's spendy to buy two for the two separate locations.

So, the question: can I run 14/2 NMB through the walls & attic from the garage to the media panel, and power that run using the UPS? From strictly an electricians standpoint, I'd likely have an "inlet" (opposite of an outlet) in the garage, next to the UPS there. I'd run a cord from the UPS to the inlet, which would then power anything in the media box (a few watts, at best). Does code have anything to say about this? Would I need a circuit breaker on this thing? I hope not.

Thanks.

Why can't the Internet connection device (cable / DSL modem?) be in the same location?

It is much easier to extend a phone or coaxial cable than to extend a UPS.

Jamie

rgsgww 01-05-2009 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamiedolan (Post 207633)
Why can't the Internet connection device (cable / DSL modem?) be in the same location?

It is much easier to extend a phone or coaxial cable than to extend a UPS.

Jamie

Yeah, I would fish coax or phone to the location, much cheaper than 14/2.

AndrewF 01-05-2009 09:29 PM

I would either fish a new coax cable to that location...which must be feasible or else you wouldnt be talking about fishing a 14/2...or I would invest in a second UPS....which for what you need to accomplish would be about $30.

MusicMan_234 01-05-2009 10:41 PM

I certainly won't argue about the relative ease of extending coax or something. I agree with y'all on that point. BUT, it's not so simple...

I can't extend the internet connection because (without getting into utility names & such, 'cause I don't remember if that's allowed here or not) the internet connection is fiber to the curb, and an OTE module (optical to electrical) on the side of my house; non-movable. That modules plugs in to a 120V outlet. Since I want to have it run when power is off, I want to put a UPS on it.

Now, the media panel in the middle of the house is the right place for the router, all the internet connections, video, etc. It's also not movable, as all the wiring throughout the house runs to that one central location (If I wanted to move it, I'd be moving the router to the garage, and pulling six new Cat5 wires).

So, since I have to provide backup power to both areas, and don't want to move either, I either get two UPS's, or I run power from one UPS to the other area. I'm thinking it's easier to pull one 14/2 than six Cat5.

Thanks especially to InPhase277. One followup question: for the grounding side of things, do you recommend tying the inlet to the main electrical panel's ground bus, or can I allow the UPS ground path to provide the grounding solution (which is how it is with a "normal" UPS installation)?

AllanJ 01-05-2009 10:43 PM

Is the garage attached to the house? If so, no problem running an isolated 120 volt circuit powered from a male receptacle (inlet). For example if you might power several devices from your UPS.

For an outbuilding such as a detached garage, only one power feed from the main panel in the (main) house to each outbuilding is permitted. But switch loops and lighting subcircuits back to the main house are permitted. This suggests that you could have the UPS out there feeding an isolated circuit serving both garage and house.

The cord and plug for the UPS normally provides adequate grounding, as does the normal daisy chaining of receptacles in an ordinary branch circuit. Still, some installations of electronics experience electrical noise that isn't alleviated unless a separate ground wire is strung from one piece of equipment to another, screwed to the chassis of each piece and with the far end connected to a known ground.

rgsgww 01-06-2009 07:11 AM

Then in this situation, if the garage is not detached, an inlet would work, and be the most practical.

MusicMan_234 01-06-2009 10:04 PM

Garage is attached.

Another follow-up question...sorta. Today I was searching around the internet, and found a "code compliant" Minilock inlet. http://www.hometech.com/hts/item.html?item=LE-80714WML2

What's the story on this thing? Is it required in my situation?

InPhase277 01-06-2009 10:30 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by MusicMan_234 (Post 208376)
Garage is attached.

Another follow-up question...sorta. Today I was searching around the internet, and found a "code compliant" Minilock inlet. http://www.hometech.com/hts/item.html?item=LE-80714WML2

What's the story on this thing? Is it required in my situation?

Not required. A standard 5-15 configuration would work.

vsheetz 01-06-2009 11:55 PM

Cable, boxes, connectors - plus labor and effort.
To save buying a $50-$100 second UPS?

Are you sure the economics here make sence?

I like to use UPS's and have multiple units in my house...
Powering computers, network devices, TV's, etc.

zpm 01-07-2009 08:57 AM

Most inexpensive UPS's only have female sockets in the body of the unit. A short cord would be needed to connect the UPS to the inlet. Would this cord be considered an "extension cord" (therefore in permanant use and a violation), or is the cord considered "something else"?

theatretch85 01-07-2009 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zpm (Post 208552)
Most inexpensive UPS's only have female sockets in the body of the unit. A short cord would be needed to connect the UPS to the inlet. Would this cord be considered an "extension cord" (therefore in permanant use and a violation), or is the cord considered "something else"?

Ah, thats a good point! I would be curious as to the response on that. Though I do know I have seen some of the older APC UPS's that have a short cord hanging out the back intended for like an ac adaptor to be plugged in. Though it is rather short, but if you planned it just right you could put a small shelf for the UPS to sit on right in front of/just next to the inlet and might be able to use the short cord off the back.

Gigs 01-07-2009 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zpm (Post 208552)
Most inexpensive UPS's only have female sockets in the body of the unit. A short cord would be needed to connect the UPS to the inlet. Would this cord be considered an "extension cord" (therefore in permanant use and a violation), or is the cord considered "something else"?

If the thing it hooks up to is portable, and it's not taking the place of regular wiring, it's not really permanent, IMHO.

Think about power strips under a desk for plugging a computer into. If that's a violation then everyone in the world is violating it. It's only semi-permanent and it's got built in overcurrent protection, like his UPS.

On a pragmatic level, I can't imagine any inspector having a problem with a properly wired inlet system with a UPS plugged into it. At work we'd use twist-lock plugs to plug semi-permanent wiring that was attached to computer rack frames in all the time, for comparison.

rgsgww 01-07-2009 02:40 PM

You've got that inlet right there, I don't see how you would violate code.


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