Is there anywhere in the IRC book that states about power strip cords, being used as outlets? This is above a bathroom sink. Iam looking for the proper wording to use.



Is it GFCI protected?


I hope this helps!

Yes it is GFCI protected.

IRC E3801.6 says the outlet must be within 36" of the bathroom sink. I can’t find anything that restricts an outlet being located directly above the sink. If the outlet (not the power strip) is W/I 36" of the sink and GFCI protected, I can’t think of anything that restricts the power strips use and I can’t think of a hazard.

I looked but couldn’t find anything in the IRC. But isn’t this really just an extension cord with multiple receptacles. Based on what I have read here, those aren’t allowed to be used as permanent wiring.

You better not look under most home Computer desks .

Roy Cooke

Why do you think this is permanent wiring

I agree. If this is plugged into a legallly placed GFI protected receptacle I see no problem other than the fact that it is kind of tacky.

I just checked. I have five!

Right, especially if there’s a leak under the desk !!!


UL White Book
following 110.3(B)

Rlocatable Power Taps (XBYS)

Relocatable power taps are not intended to be permanently secured to building structures, tables, work benches or similar structures, nor are they intended to be used as a substitute for fixed wiring. The cords of relocatable power taps are not intended to be routed through walls, windows, ceilings, floors or similar openings.

I would say this picture shows a violation, regardless of what it is plugged into.

I have a question.
Who considers the little keyhole slots on the back of these things a permanent mount?
I have heard the quote Pierre gave, but I question whether using these keyholes should be considered “permanently” mounted.

I would not consider ths a violation of the NEC unless it was used in place of a required outlet.

I guess I am looking at it the same way I would an extension cord being used to power a garage door opener. Is that something that can be done? Based on what I have read here, the answer is no.

However, by using the logic applied here, as long as it was plugged into a properly installed, protected, or otherwise code compliant receptacle, then it sounds like it would be ok.

I’ll concede to you and Speedy, as I am not an electrician. But what constitutes permanent? Is it the device or fixture? Whether the cord is attached to the structure or not? Expected level/type of use?

Roy, I puposefully avoided looking too closely under and around both my computers when I wrote that.:-;;

This was half hypothetical and half sincere.
I wanted to get other’s opinon on the word “permanent”.

IMO this is not permanent. Reading the whole text of that quote it is obvious as to the intent. They do not want you to use those strips and their wiring as permanent wiring.
Obviously, as we all look under our computer desk it is obvious that many times these things can not be avioded. Imagine the number of receptacles you would have to install to accomodate all the peripherals and wall wart power packs at one computer desk.
Like I said, in my home office for for my two full time computers, printers, fax, etc, I literally have five of those strips, all hanging from screws under my U-shaped counter.

Again, should they be using this strip to take the place of not having a receptacle in the bath? Of course not. If it is giving them needed extra receptacles or having those recetpacles in a more convenient spot, I’d say it is fine.
Basically, can they remove that strip and still function properly?

The strip is used to control the light above the sink. I recommend that the light be hard wire.


CYA!!! Tell them to get rid of them “nicely” and here is what you can cite in the USA!! Probably says the same in the CSA too.



This category covers relocatable power taps rated 250 V ac or less, 20 A or less. They are intended for indoor use as relocatable multiple outlet extensions of a single branch circuit to supply laboratory equipment, home workshops, home movie lighting controls, musical instrumentation, and to provide outlet receptacles for computers, audio and video equipment, and

other equipment. They consist of one attachment plug and a single length of flexible cord terminated in a single enclosure in which one or more receptacles are mounted. They may, in addition, be provided with fuses or other supplementary overcurrent protection, switches, suppression components and/or indicator lights in any combination, or connections for cable, communications, telephone and/or antenna.

Relocatable power taps are intended to be directly connected to a permanently installed branch circuit receptacle. Relocatable power taps are not intended to be series connected (daisy chained) to other relocatable power taps or to extension cords.

Relocatable power taps are not intended for use at construction sites and similar locations.

Relocatable power taps are not intended to be permanently secured to building structures, tables, work benches or similar structures, nor are they intended to be used as a substitute for fixed wiring. The cords of relocatable power taps are not intended to be routed through walls, windows, ceilings, floors or similar openings.

Relocatable power taps have not been investigated and are not intended for use with general patient care areas or critical patient care areas of health care facilities as defined in Article 517 of ANSI/NFPA 70, ‘‘National Electrical Code’’ (NEC).

Component power taps may be factory installed on relocatable equipment intended for use in general patient care areas or critical patient care areas as defined in the NEC. They are intended to comply with 60601-1, ‘‘Medical Electrical Equipment, Part 1: General Requirements,’’ and 60601-1-1, ‘‘Safety
Requirements for Medical Electrical Systems.’’ Refer to Medical Equipment (PIDF).


For relocatable power taps employing cord sets provided with leakage current detection and interruption, see Cord Sets with Leakage Current Detection and Interruption (ELGN).

For portable ground-fault circuit interrupters, see Ground-fault Circuit Interrupters (KCXS).


For additional information, see Electrical Equipment for Use in Ordinary Locations (AALZ).


The basic standard used to investigate products in this category is UL 1363, ‘‘Relocatable Power Taps.’’


[FONT=Arial][size=4]The Listing Mark of Underwriters Laboratories Inc. on the product is the only method provided by UL to identify products manufactured under its Listing and Follow-Up Service. The Listing Mark for these products includes the UL symbol (as illustrated in the Introduction of this Directory) together with the word ‘‘LISTED,’’ a control number, and the product name

‘‘Relocatable Power Tap,’’ ‘‘Power Tap’’ or ‘‘Outlet Strip.’’


That certainly changes things.
Definitely illegal then.

If these are not supposed to be attached to anything why DO they have the keyhole slots on the back. I think you have lawyers writing articles at U/L instead of engineers.
I have been in this code/inspection business for over a decade now and the longer I watch it the less enchanted I am with the process. It has simply become a marketing tool for the manufacturers on the CMPs, educators and the publishers of books.