Today’s Poke-Through Devices Charging Ahead with More Connection Options

In my 50-plus-year-old home, finding an electrical outlet can mean 
trying to remember which sofa, bed or bookcase the closest connection 
might be hiding behind. And a dying smartphone battery can mean a 
reprioritization of whatever other devices might be plugged into the 
closest power strip. Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems

Chuck Ross

In my 50-plus-year-old home, finding an electrical outlet can mean trying to remember which sofa, bed or bookcase the closest connection might be hiding behind. And a dying smartphone battery can mean a reprioritization of whatever other devices might be plugged into the closest power strip. Such scrambling for charging options is annoyance when I’m at home, but can be significantly more aggravating when I’m traveling for work – when a dead cellphone battery could mean an inability to return an important call or access critical emails.

This increased dependence on access to charging options is leading manufacturers of poke-through devices to add USB connections to the growing list of connection types housed within their products. Adding a couple USB ports to a poke-through unit that already includes two or more standard outlets can double the number of smartphones and tablets that device can charge.

Poke-through products come in standard and fire-rated varieties. Standard offerings offer a retrofit option, especially where raised floors are involved, and designs also are available to feed power, data and communications cabling to systems furniture in commercial office spaces.

Fire-rated poke through devices are intended for new construction and installed in concrete flooring. They are designed to provide a fire-rated seal between floors, so their housing doesn’t create a pathway for flames should a fire occur on a lower floor. To make installation easier, some manufacturers offer tubes sized to the devices’ diameter that can be placed prior to concrete pouring. The tubes then can be easily knocked out, saving the need for drilling out an opening during the electrical system’s installation.


Photo courtesy of Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems