DIY Power Bar

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Intro: DIY Power Bar

Build a high quality power bar that can be as basic or advanced as you want and it's module replaceable.

Step 1: Parts List

Parts list and sources.

My parts were bought and scrounged from other things.

2x receptacle's. this is where the grade and quality comes in. I used hospital grade 20 amp plugs with integrated surge protection and GFI protection on the circuit as well. Scored from ebay for 19 bucks each.

Wire......again pick and chose, something good quality that's meant for use as a portable appliance cord. i used a cord from a 800watt stage spotlight, over kill but heat resistant and uses 12 gauge wire.
(make sure to save a few pieces for jumpers between your plugs, about 6 inches. )

Male Plug - I used a hospital grade 20 amp plug, found in my parts bin. Shop around, home depot would have a basic version of this. Ebay if you want a nice hospital or audio grade plug. Make sure you get one that has the ground plug on it.

Box - I used a dual gang outdoor box with a 3/4" non threaded fitting.

Through tight vapor fitting.....not essential but acts as strain relief. Will be found in the home depot isle close to the box. NOTE: you will also need glue to attach it, your supposed to use pvc glue, but being that its not going outside i just used gorilla glue and its never coming outa there so im not worried about it.

Cover pate.. plastic, metal, whatever you want, i used stainless steel, was the most expensive one there but it looks nice when its all done.

Tools, wire cutters, strippers, and a few screwdrivers.

Step 2: Assembly of the Plug.

Assembling the plug is fairly straight forward.
- Strip one end of your chose cords cover off and strip about 1 cm of cord and curl it into a loop and attach your hot , neutral and ground to the cord cap and crew the cover on.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, mine was already assembled , i found it in the parts box , but there are sites that will explain this in greater detail if you need it.

-next feed the through tight fitting nut over the end of the wire followed by the rubber gasket and insert the end into the fitting on the box.

Don't tighten it down yet as you will need the slack to attach the wires to the plugs.

Step 3: Wiring

Start by laying your plugs out on the table and read any directions that may have come with them

Because i am using one GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) i am going to feed the second plug through the first one.

Make sure that you put that hot wire, ( if you wired you male plug right this should be the black one) on the hot line side of the plug. On the gfci its labeled on the bottom of the plug hot and white.

The line side means the side of the plug that your power comes into , so from the wall. On most plugs the hot screw is discolored making it visible and therefore less likely to be mistakenly connected in reverse.

The white wire, or the neutral will be attached to the white side or the side with the silver screw.

Hooking these up backwards is not a good thing, hot neutrals can cause shocks and can be dangerous. However some houses are wired wrong and sometimes just cant be helped.

The Load side on the gfci as seen in the picture will be attached to the second plug, in this case the TSS ( transient surge suppressor)

Ground - The gfci has a ground screw , and the second plug as a built in ground wire. Because its not permissible to attach two wires to the ground screw were going to attach the plug ground to the gfci , the box's ground terminal will be attached the second plug and the two will be bonded together by the metal strip shown in the picture

Step 4: Final Assembly

once your wiring connections are done double and triple check your polarity's (Hot and Neutral, Black and White) and your connections.

Line your receptacles up with the box and pull the cord out till its taunt getting any slack wire out of the inside of the box.

Tighten the screws of the plugs down till they are flat and the plugs are level with each other. you may have to loosen them later to adjust the position of the plug slightly to ensure a proper fit of the cover plate.

finally push the rubber gasket up to the bottom of the fitting and tighten the plastic nut onto the box.

Lastly , attach the cover plate and test.

Note: With the gfci it is shipped in the off or test tripped position. which meant you will have to push the reset button once you have the power connected. in my case i got two green lights on the box.

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    54 Discussions

    From what I have found rewiring homes, and doing remodels, the GFCI are mainly Circuit Breakers that are in the panel. Where as the GFI are just plugs and they control and kill the power to any receptacle that is after that plug, and keeping the remaining outlets alive. The main difference that I have found between the GIF and the GFCI are that when I was doing outlets outside they were attached to the circuit breaker, and the GFI were just installed in the kitchen, bathrooms, and basement where there was wet locations. So all in all I would say that both of you are right.

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    merlin2049er

    9 years ago on Step 4

    ok, I must have purchased the wrong outdoor carlon box. I picked up a dual gang outdoor box 1/2" (with non threaded fitting). The hospital grade wattgate receptacles I purchased are too big for this box (the holes don't line up). :( I got a strain relief kit too , hopefully that works.

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    Lftndbt

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Any chance of a residual current device? Not sure if that's the right term in the US.. You know the thing that stop's me getting Zapped when I do something stupid... Like ... fall in the pool with the blower/vac... ;P

    11 replies
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    tstraubLftndbt

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    That's what the GFI(ground fault interrupter) outlet dose. If there is a current imbalance between the hot and neutral sides it shuts off.

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    Cyberscann54tstraub

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    yes the GFI will shut off anything plugged into it but if it falls in the pool with you it will kill you the power going to the unit wont shut off until it overloads the circuit breaker and in most homes thats at least 20amps get a GFI male plug if you plan on using it outside or near water

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    You are right about getting zapped. A GFCI won't prevent you from getting shocked but it will prevent you from being shocked longer. Use a GFCI breaker before you jump into the pool with an extension cord. Stuie25 I always pigtail my power and hook the outlets in parallel not daisy chained, that way both loads won't go down at the same time when the first one trips.

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    stuie25concretepaul

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    i thought about that but i thought it might work better if they both tripped out, that and i use the test button as a power right now. v2.0 will have a power switch

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    concretepaulstuie25

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Just wondering, I made hundreds of these when I worked at a convention center, less the GFI. We simply called them quad boxes and they usually had 30ft. of #12(SO) cord attached.

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    staticCyberscann54

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    For use in outdoor or damp locations it may be best to build a simple quad box and plug it into a GFI protected recapticle . That way the entire assembly along with any thing plugged into it will be protected. A GFI plug in place of a standard plug on the cord would be trick and the most flexible, but they are expensive.

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    tstraubtstraub

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Looks like someone beat me to it. I guess I should have refreshed the page between singing up and posting.

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    FrenchCrawlerLftndbt

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    The orange/red colored outlet is GFI which will trip if you do something stupid and is easily reset.

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    gilbert2048

    10 years ago on Introduction

    looks great for a LAN hook up especially with the built in surge protection, no need to run a network cable with it you don't want them close to power. Maybe thinking about putting 3 of these together on a long cord.

    3 replies
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    stuie25gilbert2048

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    i dont think you can get a three gang surface mount pvc box cause i have 10 tvss plugs that want to be put into something and i was thiking about building a bigger version as well

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    gilbert2048stuie25

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I meant building 3 separate boxes and weiring them up along a single cord
    cord: = Box: ()() plug: (=

    ()()======()()======()()==========(=

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    jongscx

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Now, how do I add ethernet and AC in one cable, so that I can have all-in-one lan nodes for my gaming parties?