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Looking to replicate this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001PB7UVA

My reasoning is that there is a UPS battery backup in the basement that can't be moved upstairs (for wife reasons), but needs to provide backup power to 3 devices upstairs (modem, router, security system hub). My "idea" was add a 2gang receptacle upstairs, with each one wired to a corresponding inlet-receptacle in the basement. Then jump those over to the UPS. Am I setting myself up for a bad day? Is there a better way to do this without moving those devices to the basement (where they will be of little use)?

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  • I see no reason why the modem and security system hub can't live in the basement. And the main router likely as well. Then you just need small extenders (WiFi or gigE) in various other parts of the house (which you might need anyway depending on how large the house is).
    – Jon Custer
    Jan 3 at 15:07
  • 3
    Please embed some info from that link for when it goes dead. Also, many people are (rightly) unwilling to click shortened links to who knows where, so please post a full link - nobody likes to be Rick Rolled... ;)
    – FreeMan
    Jan 3 at 16:18
  • @joncuster It seems to me that the whole point of the setup is to keep internet going during brief power outages. How does your suggestion get UPS power to those essential extenders? Do they have battery backups internally? Jan 4 at 0:35
  • @JonCuster Won't be able to hear the security system alarm in the basement, I'd prefer it to me central to the house to avoid connection issues. WiFi is already mounted the way I'd like it, without requiring extra equipment
    – Tim
    Jan 4 at 1:36
  • @FreeMan - as requested - amazon.com/dp/…
    – Tim
    Jan 4 at 1:36

3 Answers 3

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I have an idea that is too much for a comment. I don't have the code knowledge to confirm if it is allowable, or the time to do the research. I hope more knowledgeable members of this community will either improve or downvote this answer as appropriate.

Tentative answer begins:

Don't extend the 120v wiring up through your walls. Instead, poke the low voltage wiring up through your walls.

Based on description, all of your devices appear to be low voltage electronics with wall adapters. They are probably all running on 6-28V downstream of their wall adapters. So extend that low voltage wall adapter wiring instead. It has much less stringent safety and code requirements.

Begin Rebel Mode:

Get a spool of quality stranded lamp cord. Without knowing the power draw of your devices, I would suggest 14AWG--bigger than almost any electronic device cord. Snip the low voltage power cords of your devices and splice in a suitable length of lamp cord for your application. Make it long enough that you can plug in the network devices in the basement, have the three extended power cords run up through the walls, and connect to your devices in the main floor living area. The theory is that the wiring is low voltage, and is current limited by the wall wart power supplies, and code is relatively lenient on low voltages.

How to splice? To be blunt, if you must ask how to do the splicing, this is probably not be a good option for you.

End Rebel Mode

I realize that many members of this community are knowledgeable in residential low voltage wiring requirements and I hope those members will either expand this answer if possible or vote it down into oblivion if necessary.

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  • I don't hate this idea even the slightest, and it is probably the cheapest option, assuming it is code compliant. Let's see what the rest of the Internet says!
    – Tim
    Jan 4 at 1:38
  • @TIM Thanks for the moral support! If this doesn't get downvoted to the negatives much, I'll remove the disclaimers in a few days. Jan 4 at 1:44
  • Bumbledore, do you have an example/link of the wiring you recommend?
    – Tim
    Jan 4 at 1:48
  • I'll feel ok about sharing something like that only if the code experts around here do not downvote my answer away, maybe over the next 12-24 hours or so. It involves a bunch of solder and electrical tape (gasp). Even though I never took a licensing exam, I believe in engineering ethics, and some of the things I do may not be safe for others--or myself! Jan 4 at 2:03
  • One potential problem with low voltage is the voltage drop, though it depends a lot on the actual wire used, the wire length, the current, the base voltage, and the tolerance of the device. Also, if the 3 devices use different voltages that may complicate things quite a bit (and it's probably difficult to future-proof it for new/replacement devices in a few years which may use different voltages).
    – jcaron
    Jan 4 at 14:02
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Inlet/outlet is perfectly reasonable here. A few things to consider:

  • The typical "kit" will be a fixed, relatively short, length. So the right way to do this between floors is full-fledged 120V wiring. Most of the parts will be totally standard. However, a 120V inlet may be harder to find. In a quick Home Depot search, the only true inlets I found for 120V circuits were for RV hookups and not designed to go in a standard box. Which means find a local electrical supply house, and even there it may be special order.
  • A typical large UPS will have several receptacles for convenience that are functionally identical. Often one batch "battery backup" + one batch "surge protection only". Since the concern here is battery backup, there is likely no reason to have multiple connections between the locations. But you can put a duplex - or even two duplex (quad) - receptacle upstairs, all wired to a single cable that goes downstairs to one inlet. No issue of overload - this would all normally be on one circuit anyway, and the UPS certainly wouldn't handle drawing 20+ amps for long.
  • If the receptacles upstairs will be in a readily accessible location, make sure to label it clearly. You don't want somebody plugging in a vacuum cleaner or other large appliance, even for a few minutes at a time, into a UPS.
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  • I'm glad you think it's reasonable, as I was starting to go crazy over the idea. I appreciate the additional idea on the quad setup, I'll give that additional thought.
    – Tim
    Jan 4 at 1:41
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Yes it's possible to carry out this idea in a safe and electrical code compliant way. One option is to buy a UL/ETL certified kit like the one you've linked to.

It can also be done with off-the-shelf parts you collect yourself: junction boxes, receptacles, inlet connector, cables, face plates, etc which seems to be the direction you're inclined to go. All the usual requirements for mains-voltage building wiring would apply.

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  • The kits average 30-50 a pop, where I think I can do it myself for approximately $75 all-in, assuming I'm not too off-base
    – Tim
    Jan 4 at 1:42

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