It isn’t everyday that you need a 10-gang electrical box, but if you ever did, wouldn’t it be nice to know that you could snap one together in seconds, without any tools? I think it would be, especially after discovering the totally pieced-together hack job that was lurking beneath the 3 gang wallplate in the laundry room of my 90-something year old house. That’s why I wish that the home electrical noobs who threw together my 1-outlet, 2-switch combo had heard of Arlington Industries’ Gangable Plastic Electrical Boxes before they tried to be enterprising cheapskates.
Arlington’s gangable outlet boxes are an extremely affordable way for electrical contractors and around-the-house handy types to create multi-gang groupings of receptacles, switches, or low-voltage devices without the need to order specific-sized outlet boxes every time. What starts out as a double-gang box can be separated vertically down the middle, allowing you to snap in up to 8 side-free box extenders to create a gang box up to 10 devices across. When it’s wide enough, you have the option of sliding voltage separators between areas that will be housing power and low voltage, to help prevent interference between the two different types of wiring.
The expandable gang boxes are made of plastic, so they’re more flexible (in a good way) than steel boxes, which makes the parts easier to snap together manually and then install. The different components also take up far less storage space than traditional electrical boxes, so if you’re a busy contractor who prefers not to order for each individual job, you can keep a considerable amount of stock on hand without sacrificing your budget or shelf space, and have the freedom to snap together a custom solution at a moment’s notice whenever you need to.
Arlington Gangable Plastic Electrical Boxes can be used in new construction or retrofit projects, and are available in screw-on, nail-on or mounting wing screw styles to work with either wood or metal studs.
Yesterday, when I was blogging about the Fox™ cord cover, seeing its picture reminded me of another cable protector that has a similar general appearance, but is meant for almost unimaginably tough environments. This is one cord cover that isn’t on my mind often, but when it is, I almost can’t believe how massive it is and what it’s built to handle. It’s for mining and other extreme industrial applications, but you don’t have to be a miner or an engineer to be impressed: meet the Crossover™ Extreme Duty Cord Protector by Peterson Systems.
When I make this next statement, I’m in no way putting down standard heavy duty cable protectors (they’re designed to do a job of a specific size, and they’re great at what they do). But here’s the thing: hearing a weight impact capacity of 10 tons (around 20,000 lbs) just isn’t that impressive anymore when you see that the Peterson Crossover can handle regular vehicular impact loads of up to 350 tons. 350 tons. I don’t know about you, but that blows my mind. I’d love to get an up-close look at the vehicles and machinery these are designed to stand up to.
To accomplish such a monumental feat, you’ve probably guessed that they’re manufactured a just a little differently than your standard cast polyurethane cord cover. While the Crossover™ does incorporate two different grades of Peterson’s proprietary Hiperthane® high-performance polyurethane (one for abrasion resistance, the other for impact resistance), it also works graphite and encapsulated expanded steel into the design for good measure. Overall, the Crossover is nonconductive, non-sparking and self-extinguishing, so it’s safe around all types of machinery in a wide range of abusive conditions.
A few extra features include molded-in receptacles for stands or flags, a custom-molded cable cap that allows you to completely enclose cables or hoses that are dropped into the protective channel, and half-inch proof coil chains that make it easier to drag the Crossover out of mud or sand when it needs to be moved.
It’s not sly or sexy, so I’m not sure why they call it the Fox™, but you have to admit – this cord cover has a simple, straightforward design that just has a certain appeal. What makes the Fox different from other medium to heavy duty cable protectors? As I was reminded as I traipsed over an endless sea of cord covers at a local Fall festival a few days ago, the first obvious difference is that they don’t have the standard hinged, flip-open tops of most other rugged cable protectors on the market. And secondly, they don’t have the “easy-to-kick-out-of-place-if-it’s-not-actively-anchored-down” dropover design that’s characteristic of many medium capacity cord covers. It like a perfect best-of-both-worlds hybrid of the two. Let me tell you what I mean.
The Fox cable protector has a heavy duty polyurethane body that encloses cables all around and sits firmly on the ground, just like a high-capacity cord cover. But on the other hand, its interior is made up of a single, unsegmented channel, and it’s incredible simple to load, just like most medium-capacity cord covers. Mix those seemingly opposing attributes together, and you get a cable cover that can withstand just over 10 tons (per axle) of vehicle run-over weight and some pretty heavy pedestrian traffic, but is as easy to use as running your hoses and cables through the narrow, flexible open channel along the top.
Flexible, open channel? Of course – how else did you think you were going to get your cables in if there are no hinged lids? The Fox’s cable entry point is a narrow lengthwise channel with flexible sides that let you easily push in or pull out cabtles without the need to open and close covers – it’s really pretty cool, and a perfect solution if you don’t need multiple channels to keep several different cables separate along their path.