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Thread: Power Center

  1. #1
    Apprentice dfisch1's Avatar
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    CAUTION: This project like many of my others deals with electricity. You should be comfortable working with electricity as well as have a working knowledge of home wiring before attempting this.
    This project is designed to make a power center with four non-GFCI plugs and several GFCI plugs.

    Tools:
    Tape Measure
    Sharpie Marker
    PVC Cutters
    Wire Strippers
    Needle- nosed Pliers
    Phillips Screw Driver
    Appropriate sized Wire Nuts
    Black Electrition's Tape (optional)

    Materials:
    (all PVC can be either 1/2" or 3/4", I use 20 amp outlets because that is what my house is wired for, I also used 12/2 romex wire.)
    3 4X4 PVC Boxes with outlets on both ends
    1 4X4 PVC Box with an outlet on only one side
    1 2X4 PVC Box with outlets on both ends.
    4 Cover Plates with four outlets
    I GCFI 20 amp with cover plate
    8 outlets 20 amp
    1 8' 12 gauge extension cord
    1 PVC cap of appropriate size
    1 10' Stick of PVC (you will not need all of it)
    About 6' romex wire

    Step One;
    Cut 4 pieces of PVC 2" long
    Cut 1 piece of PVC 6" long
    Drill a 1/4" hole in the center of the PVC cap

    Aline the PVC boxes as shown in image 2, using the 2" pieces to go from box to box. The 6" piece goes on the first box with the cap on the terminal end of it. Once you are happy with the arrangement cement the boxes together. Now, cut the female end off of the cord and thread it through the hole in the cap (image 3).

    Step Two:
    Cut 4 pieces of romex 16" long

    Thread the romex through to each box and lock them into place as shown (image 4).

    Step Three:
    Cut 1 hot, 1 common, and 1 ground piece of wire for each of the regular plugs. Strip about 1/2" of the insulation from each end of the wire. Use the needle nose pliers to form a hook on one end and attach one of each wire the the plug. (image 5). Repeat the ground wire step on the GFCI plug.

    Step Four:
    Strip back all of the romex sheath, except that within the PVC connectors, from the wire connecting the boxes.

    Step Five:
    Now the fun begins. Twist the ends of the hot, common, and ground wires all together and place a wire nut to secure them. Then use electrical tape to secure the wire nuts to the wires. (image 1 and 2).

    Step Six: (Image 3)
    Time to hookup the GFCI place the leads from the first box into the supply side of the GFCI. The leads that go to the third box should be placed in the load side, the grounds need to be twisted together and wire nutted. All of the boxes that fallow the GFCI are now GFCI protected.

    Step Seven:
    Carfully pack the wires into the boxes and secure the outlets to the box and the covers to the outlets.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by lReef lKeeper; 02-21-2008 at 01:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Crispy Reef Monkey **MOD** Phurst's Avatar
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    Really need to get something like this together. The clutter under the tank is highly annoying and dangerous. Very nice work!
    **KEEP ME AWAY FROM SUPER GLUE ... i tend to glue my lips shut !!**

  3. #3
    Expert Reefer
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    that is a great DIY, i have quite a clutter of wires on the side of my tank stand, i have like, 3 power strips in a bunch all powering my tank, which include:

    2: 40 watt lights (main lights)
    1: 20 watt heater (in sump, since no light is down there)
    1: 110 watt heater (in DT, heating everything, since the small one is only made for 20 gallons...lol)
    1: mag drive pump (not sure on the wattage of it, but its rated 700gph..)

    and soon i will need make an outlet space for my 220 gallon skimmer.

    also, these power strips are the source of power for my gf's 5.5 gallon freshwater tropical tank, which includes:

    1: 20 watt heater (same kind i have in my sump.)
    1: 16 watt 50/50 bulb (light for her tank)
    1: no idea how many watts air pump.
    and 1 aquaclear filter, for i believe up to 10 gallons.

    also, these power strips include:

    1: xbox 360
    1: wii
    1: 15" lcd/dvd combo tv thingy...
    ................

    ....yea..thats a lot of wires over there in that corner....im definatley considering building one of these and attaching it to my wall. i have the strips (very very safely) place on my floor, in a pile, under a Fluval canister filter sponge box (the sponges i use for my sump.) and under that box is another box from my ps3...lol its very save under there. the only thing thats potentially keeping water out from there is the 2 shelves where i have my dvds and the 5.5 gallon tank on.
    not like i ever splash water out from that side, but maybe a fish will get angry cause i forgot to feed him and start spitting out water from that side........hey, im sure it happens.

    =\ lol


    and now im off to posibly buy a starfish. =] ttfn!

    and thanks for the tutorial! will def be taking a trip to HD or lowes sometime soon. =]

  4. #4
    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    Wow Doug! These are great instructions for this DIY project!
    Carmie


    Only disasters happen fast!





    Carmie's 54 Corner Tank
    Carmie's Cube


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  5. #5
    Master Reefer THEJRC's Avatar
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    awesome DIY, complete with GFCI and non GFCI outlets...
    ~J


  6. #6
    Grand Master Reefer PhotoJohn's Avatar
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    This question may exclude me from building this system, but anyway, how do you attack this entire system to the wall? Do you just pull the plate off the wall outlet (with the power off) and wire the new system into the watt wires? I have wired lights and fans and what not but this seems like a bit more complex. I would hate to kill myself

  7. #7
    Apprentice dfisch1's Avatar
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    you just plug in the male end of the extension cord into the desired wall outlet.
    When you think you know everything they give you a Bachelor's,
    When you realize that you know nothing they give you a Master's,
    When you realize you know nothing but it is ok because they don't ether then you get a Doctoral.

  8. #8
    Grand Master Reefer PhotoJohn's Avatar
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    oh ty lol...I missed that in the picture!

  9. #9
    Grand Master Reefer PhotoJohn's Avatar
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    is building a unit like this better than a GFI powerstrip? cheaper?

  10. #10
    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    I think it is probably more substantial but I am NOT super knowledgeable about electrical stuff. That is just how it looks to me.
    Carmie


    Only disasters happen fast!





    Carmie's 54 Corner Tank
    Carmie's Cube


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  11. #11
    Master Reefer poppin_fresh's Avatar
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    Definitely not cheaper, but way more flexible in terms of room to plug stuff in. Not nearly as crammed as your typical power strip. I would not assume that it would handle more load than decent power strip.
    I have Attention Defic...HEY LOOK, A FISH!

  12. #12
    Curious Reefer gumby007's Avatar
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    So would it be hard to replace a plug or 2 with a switch? I really like having the option to switch on and off outlets for maintenance, feeding and what not. Why are those dang switches with the plug already on it so dang expensive? Because that would be a great way to add some versatility to the setup. But great DIY anywho!

  13. #13
    Curious Reefer kgchampagne's Avatar
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    Another twist.

    Here is another twist. A dedicated cuircut from the main panel feeds this series, and the chiller. There is about a 5' lead off each switch which I plug in the "appliance". The reason I have all this stuff labeled is not for me, I know what the switches do, but for my wife or someone watching the house who would otherwise just stare at the maze of wires and "fish things" and say, I don't know, you come home now!

    DSC02834s.JPG

  14. #14
    Our Brotha Down Unda
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    where's KG gone. Im upset we've lost some good people to normal life. Dont they know talking to me in virtual cyberspace is all important



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