Ground an AC 120v surge suppressor strip that has multiple power strips

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Cal Rico, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. Cal Rico

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 1, 2012
    Hi, I am so confused.. I posted this in "conversations" it felt wrong. Finally I found how to post a new thread, and can only hope I am in the correct sub-topic.
    Here it is:

    I am adding a Belkin power strip to a single 120v receptacle box. I already have a 6 plug adapter at the box. There are 4 more power strips, 2 have basic surge suppression. Each power strip is running from the 6 plug adapter. I am not over loading. The many power strips are for easy access to an outlet no matter what other consumer electronics units are sitting on the bench, The Belkin is both a surge suppressor and an AC filter, to provide filtering and protection to an oscilloscope and a function generator.
    The Belkin strip has an LED indicator that is lighted, telling me it is not grounded. I checked the receptacle box with the 6 plug adapter with nothing else connected. The DMM says the wiring is correct. I then begin adding each power strip one-by-one, the Belkin LED begins to light up and get brighter as more are connected.

    SO to Summarize, a 6 plug add-on box at the receptacle. 4 power strips running from the 6 plug add-on. 2 of the power strips are basic surge suppression. Finally, the 5th power strip is the Belkin with both surge suppression and line filtering.

    My questions are: Could the other 2 surge suppressor strips affect the proper grounding of the Belkin? Am I missing one of the 4 power strips being miswired? I tested with a DMM,h the 4 power strips all read as correctly wired. Could it be that some other appliance is miswired? If so, why would that affect the rest of the plugs and power strip?

    This is about safely wiring up an oscilloscope and a function generator, so it does qualify as ok in this forum, correct?
  2. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
    I'm guessing the various protection devices add up to provide a significant current path between the hot line and either ground or neutral, and the Belkin strip is interpreting that as a fault current and lighting the LED accordingly.
  3. MikeML

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 2, 2009
    Is the circuit GFI'ed? If it is, and there is a fault in something, the GFI would be tripping.

    Read the instructions on the Belkin thing. What, exactly, is the LED trying to tell you?

    Get a long heavy-duty three-wire extension cord, and temporarily power the whole mess from an outlet known to come through a differnt breaker in the main panel. See if the Belkin thing still complains.
  4. MaxHeadRoom


    Jul 18, 2013
    One thing you could do is confirm that all the outlets end up with the live conductor on the correct outlet pin, i.e. the smaller blade of the outlet.
    Test with a voltmeter.
    Next confirm the validity/sustainability of the earth ground path by using a 100w test lamp on each powered outlet between the live pin and the Earth Ground point or pin, providing a GFI is not in circuit..
    You should get a full light on each.