Multiport USB Chargers

We are starting to see more wall-plugged multiport USB chargers. These chargers meet the 2012 edition of NFPA 99’s definition of a Multiple Outlet Connection, under the requirements. Multiple Outlet Connection. Two or more power receptacles supplied by a flexible cord shall be permitted to be used to supply power to plug-connected components of a movable equipment assembly that is rack-, table-, pedestal-, or cart-mounted, provided that all of the following conditions are met:

  • The receptacles are permanently attached to the equipment assembly.
  • The sum of the ampacity of all appliances connected to the outlets does not exceed 75 percent of the ampacity of the flexible cord supplying the outlets.
  • The ampacity of the flexible cord is in accordance with NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.
  • The electrical and mechanical integrity of the assembly is regularly verified and documented.
  • Means are employed to ensure that additional devices or non medical equipment cannot be connected to the multiple outlet extension cord after leakage currents have been verified as safe.

NFPA 70, 2011 edition; Definitions: Receptacle. A receptacle is a contact device installed at the outlet for the connection of an attachment plug. A single receptacle is a single contact device with no other contact device on the same yoke. A multiple receptacle is two or more contact devices on the same yoke.

NFPA 70, 2011 edition; Definitions: Plug (Listed as attachment plug and called a plug cap). A device that, by insertion in a receptacle, establishes connection between the conductors of the attached flexible cord and the conductors connected permanently to the receptacle.

*This means multiport USB charges should be treated the same as a power tap/power strip. They must be mounted and/or secured and plugged directly into an outlet. Multiport USB chargers should not be plugged into a power strip or surge protector in a long-term care facility.