Skip to main content

I was just in a model RRers basement in S.E. PA where you had to crawl over the layout to reset a breaker.  Plus he went and troweled  plaster flush around the panel covering the wires in solid to blend the panel into the painted background.    (The wires need to be exposed to the air).

Something to consider when building your layout.

National code concerning access to your breaker panel is a clear walk up space of no less width than 30" and a working area depth of 36" and a height of 78".  No crawling under a layout to a pop up hole.

Some local codes state that the working space must be 36" square by 6'6" tall.

When I installed a new 200 amp service our electrical inspector  was satisfied with a pair of 36" lift out bridges.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Well said Tom. I've commented many times here on the forum about the subject. In my years as an electrical contractor I've seen some very creative ways to bury panels- none met code of course.

Along the same lines, watch your clearances around boilers, water heaters, furnaces, and air handlers.

Bob

What do folks do when an extension cord is required to get power to the layout? That’s my situation.

Layout is in the middle of a basement room away from wall outlets all the way around and I run an extension cord across the floor to power up the layout.  Three ZW’s several wall worts and 120 volt accessories(blogs, etc) are all powered from a single outlet via a power strip.

Am I safe or looking for a disaster???

@Geojr posted:

What do folks do when an extension cord is required to get power to the layout? That’s my situation.

Layout is in the middle of a basement room away from wall outlets all the way around and I run an extension cord across the floor to power up the layout.  Three ZW’s several wall worts and 120 volt accessories(blogs, etc) are all powered from a single outlet via a power strip.

Am I safe or looking for a disaster???

If it isn't otherwise blowing the breaker you likely are okay. If there are multiple circuits in the basement (on different breakers) then you may want to split it up, but you should be okay.

What kind of extension cord are you using? And how long is the run length? To be safe, I would use a super heavy duty extension cord (the ones rated for appliances or industrrial), the heaviest gauge you can find, 12 gauge is good (they usually are gray in color). Even if all your outlets are on the same branch circuit, you could split the load on the cords by running them from 2 different outlets and have a power strip at the end. I think 1 heavy duty will be fine, but 2 from 2 different outlets will keep the load on each cord smaller (it obviously doesn't help with load on the circuit the outlets are on, obviously, but they have a breaker if the load gets too strong).

If you are using power strips to distribute the load, buy heavy duty, better made ones, the typical strips you find in a store are light duty. Among other things, heavier duty one have better breakers in them and better surge protection as well.

If you run them on the floor, GRJ is right, you should cover them. They sell rubber panels that are designed just for this, they are sloped on the sides (to allow the cord to pass underneath without being pinched) and you can walk over it without pinching it.

Here are the covers. They are available in various colors and lengths. They help to protect the cord from physical damage too.

Cord Covers, Cable Cord Covers, Cord Safety Covers in Stock - ULINE

If the circuit you are plugged into is fed by a 15 amp breaker, then the cords and power strips would be fine at the same rating. Typically a good extension cord or power strip with 14/3 SJOW cable is fine.  Flexible cords cannot be run concealed in ceilings/ walls by code. Stringing it along the ceiling is acceptable as long as its visible.

Splitting the load on two different receptacles and cords is not a bad idea either.

You also cannot plug one power strip into another to daisy chain them.

Bob

@RSJB18 posted:

Here are the covers. They are available in various colors and lengths. They help to protect the cord from physical damage too.

Cord Covers, Cable Cord Covers, Cord Safety Covers in Stock - ULINE

If the circuit you are plugged into is fed by a 15 amp breaker, then the cords and power strips would be fine at the same rating. Typically a good extension cord or power strip with 14/3 SJOW cable is fine.  Flexible cords cannot be run concealed in ceilings/ walls by code. Stringing it along the ceiling is acceptable as long as its visible.

Splitting the load on two different receptacles and cords is not a bad idea either.

You also cannot plug one power strip into another to daisy chain them.

Bob

Product detail  Click on the underlined.

Add Reply

Post
The Track Planning and Layout Design Forum is sponsored by

AN OGR FORUM CHARTER SPONSOR
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×