How I confused an Indian co-worker.
I noticed that his office desk was using a multi-outlet power strip connected to another one, and then one more after that, because the cable length was too short.
Me: pointing out that this is not allowed in our company.
Him: dafuq-look.
Me: yeah, electrical safety, we need to replace this. Gonna ask IT whether they have something (they did), replaced it.
Him: different dafuq-look.
Me: I guess that's the most German thing you've run into, right?
Him: uh, yes, but I can see the point. :)

  • 8
    I watched in a manufacturing clean room plant people trying to connect like 10 power strips daisy chained. I tried to warn them, but they were just like "you are a tech, not engineer" (was in school for electrical). Then I watched them hook computers and kept wondering why the breaker inside the first strip kept tripping. Then the Iranian engineer came in with his accent "What da fack u doin!?" to these geniuses. It was fun.
  • 2
    I suck at anything related to electricity. Can someone explain to me why this is a bad idea and what the danger is?
  • 4
    @Lensflare You may end up attaching too many devices so that it can overload the wire or connections. Actually, he had used eight final devices while the first of these outlets had only three plugs.

    Not actually an issue in this case because the total power draw was well within limits, but it's a potential hazard that is banned in our company on principal reasons.

    It's also why at home, you don't attach temporary high-power devices such as vacuum cleaners or pressing irons to anything but a direct wall power outlet.

    On a similar reasoning, when a bottle genie grants you a wish, you don't wish for more wishes because those won't have the full wish power anymore so that things will go sideways. :)
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop so if I daisy chain 10 of those strips just for length extension and plug in a single device at the end, it‘s fine?
  • 4
    @Lensflare In theory, more or less, but there's a catch. Any mechanical connection does have a small connection resistance, and if you have several of them in a row, that adds up.

    So you may not have the full voltage at the device unless it can compensate by drawing more current.
  • 0
    Think of the electricity as a signal instead of just a constant, because wall power is AC. The signal gets distorted if you magnify the effects of daisy-chaining outlets. Transformers in devices rely on clean sin-wave signal and can underperform enough to not work if the signal is distorted enough
  • 3
    @deeplearning That's not how it works because connections add Ohm resistance which doesn't cause distortion because distortion is the result of non-linear effects. At only 50Hz or 60Hz frequency, there is no other effect.
  • 2
    And there is also the case of not knowing that multiple outlets in the same room are still connected to the same phase!
  • 1
    @galena Yes, but that's not safety critical because the associated fuse would go off if the phase were overloaded.
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