National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Thursday, August 10, 2023


Hello Code friends, we have several workbenches in the production area of our facility. These workbenches have built in power strips that are “daisy-chained” together. I know this type of installation is not permitted per the NEC® so I am looking for a solution. Each workbench has one light and up to 12 outlets on it (7 gang power strip, and a 2-gang quad-receptacle outlet, and another 2-gang box with a duplex receptacle out and a switch). There can be up to 8 workbenches daisy-chained together. This means in some cases we have 100+ outlets/light in a workstation. I cannot find anything in the NEC® that limits how many outlets can be on a circuit. So, my questions are:

Can I daisy-chain these workbenches together as long as we do not use power strips?

Is it Code compliant to jump from the 2-gang box on one workbench to the 2-gang box on another table with SO cord using a female plug on each end?

Thanks in advance for your help, Gary Boone.


Hello Gary, thank you for your question. There are a few things at play in this question.

  1. The “daisy-chaining” of relocatable power taps (the official term for power strips) is a violation of the listing and manufacturers installation and use instructions. The NEC® covers this though Section 110.3(B). 
  2. Using SO cord as a connection between each workbench would also violate the NEC® for a couple of different reasons. Section 400.12(1) prohibits the use of SO cord as a substitute for fixed wiring. Additionally, by making a cord that has two female cord caps and then using said cord as a connection between two workbenches, would means that at least one of the male cord caps would be energized. When unplugged from the female cord cap you would then have an exposed energized metal male plug.
  3. As for how many outlets can be on a circuit, the NEC® does not specify a minimum or maximum number of outlets per branch-circuit. Section 210.11(A) states that the number of branch-circuits required shall be determined from the total calculated load and the size or rating of the circuits. The load is calculated per Sections 220.10, 220.11 and 220.14 based on the type of occupancy.

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