I have a warehouse-type space with 14' ceilings, and am updating the electrical for my workshop. Right now, I've got four workbenches that I move and reconfigure depending on what I'm working on for a particular project. Each workbench has 20A of power (each one has one of those 4' multi-outlet power strips), which I'm currently supplying via extension cords from nearby outlets.

In a perfect world, I want to get these cable runs off the floor and use a ceiling drop to distribute power. At the moment, I've got 4 lines running to a box in the ceiling, and was about to hardwire some 25' entension cords (with strain relief, of course) for the drops. However, short of zip-tying a mess of cords or wires together, is there any way to combine these four separate circuits into a single cable, then breaking them out into four separate curcuits again at the bottom? It'd be awesome if I could just wire four 12/3 runs into a 2 or 3 gauge cable, then magically redirect the electrons to one of four 12/3 edison outlets at the other end. But I don't suspect that exists. :)

  • Is your only goal wire/cord management? If so, flexible conduit might be what you're looking for.
    – Tester101
    Nov 25, 2013 at 15:46
  • Yes, cord management. One drop point from which I can run extension cords to my muleiple bench-mounted power strips and get the cords off the floor. I'm using 12/3 extensions; four of these are pretty tight in 3/4" flex conduit, which is the largest I've seen.
    – dwwilson66
    Nov 25, 2013 at 16:01
  • 1
    You should be able to find flexible conduit in sizes up to 2". Though you might have to special order, order online, or go to an electrical supply shop to get it at that size.
    – Tester101
    Nov 25, 2013 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


I suggest doing exactly what TechShop does. They hang conduit in the ceiling, and above each expected workspace area is a 120/240V twist-lock power connector. From that, a cord drops down supplying power to the workbench. (In their case a 4-outlet box dangle on strain reliefs giving two 120V circuits in an MWBC configuration.) I have to believe that arrangement is code legal, since the facility is tip-top and generally a class act, and it leases space from Ford.

You say "warehouse type space" which means commercial rules may apply, mandating conduit not Romex. Be careful here, conduits can only hold 9 current-carrying conductors (hots or neutrals, except neutrals don't count in MWBCs) before you must derate amp capacity or use larger wire. That's because a stack of tightly packed wires at rating make a fair bit of heat. If I expect to be near limit, I'll hang 2 conduits instead of 1.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.