Thanks. Today I tore it all out and re-did it correctly:
- Each box grounded to both Romex's via a single pigtail to the
screw in the box and a wire nut joining pigtail and the two
Romex ground wires.
- Each cable into the box is secured with a stress reliever.
I shopped the 8' pans when I was in Home Depot getting the stress
relievers, green ground screws, and more Romex.
Two pans looked like about $130: $40 each for the pans, and $35 for
four bulbs. More expensive for parts than the bare bulbs, but
probably cheaper when man hours and parts are totaled up.
But I had the bulbs/boxes and there's nothing like doing a job
over and over until it's right to burn the right way into one's
If you are using fluorescents in a garage, and are in cold country, look
for a fixture (ballast) that will start at the coldest temperature you
want to use it. T12s may not get full brightness, don't know about T8s.
Plastic sleeves help T12s (after warmup).
At the risk of sounding inane - but just to be sure - the reason for
grounding the metal boxes is to protect somebody touching the box from
electrical shock in case one of the hot wires contacted the box.... have
I got it right?
A short in the box will trip the breaker. The primary reason to do so
is to prevent a fire. "You" creating a path to ground will not trip
a breaker. A GFI breaker on the other hand...
The NEC has different methods of protection. Not all are for a human,
is why the ground is required. A ground does virtually nothing to
prevent fires. It prevents shocks from touching the box even if there
is not enough leakage to blow the breaker. You could have a high
resistance short that could supply 1 amp of current to ground through
the box - if ungrounded and you (grounded) touched it, it could kill
you. With it grounded, even though there is not enough current to trip
the breaker, it is held to ground potential, ensuring you will not
recieve a dangerous shock should you inadvertently get between the box
On Friday, January 17, 2014 4:50:27 PM UTC-5, SteveF wrote:
Nit-pick CL's response? CL got it 100% right.
The question was if the reason for grounding a metal box
is to prevent someone from getting shocked if they touched
it and one of the hot wires was contacting it.
"A short in the box will trip the breaker. The primary reason to do so
is to prevent a fire. "You" creating a path to ground will not trip
Prevent a fire? Good grief. A hot wire could have a direct
or partial short to the metal box all day long and as long as it's
not grounded, nothing would happen, no heat would be generated,
no current would flow, there would be no fire. But it sure could
kill someone who walked up and touched it, thereby completing the
circuit through their body. The primary reason for grounding metal
boxes, conduit, appliances, etc has always been to avoid a shock
Remind me never to buy a house you have worked on. Whatever is installed in
a house should be up to the building/nec codes.
Would the insurance cover it if the house burns down and they find wiring
the home owner did that was not up to code ?
I can see why some areas require any wiring be done by licensed contractors
and inspected when people like you do a job like that.
When one sees wiring not up to code out in the open , it makes you really
wonder what kind of hack job is done behind the walls that can not be seen.
I am not sure, and need correcting on the exect part, but I am thinking the
NEC is part of the fire protection code (whatever the exect name of it
is),or an outgroth of it to prevent fires.
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On Friday, January 17, 2014 7:15:10 PM UTC-5, Ralph Mowery wrote:
The NEC comes from the National Fire Protection Association.
I've never seen so much discussion, bizarre concern about a "wasted" ground
wire in a 14-2 Romex that's 15 ft long, saving a few cents a foot by
using lamp cord, when it's obvious, simple, easy and code compliant
to use the Romex.
And if the house is ever sold, any half way competent home inspector
is going to see it and besides flagging it, make sure to look a lot
more closely at all the other electrical stuff in the house. Probably
more closely at everything, not just electrical.
Definitely DO NOT use line cord.
Use romex. The ground wire goes to the metal box.
It also looks like you neglected to install the strain reliefs.
Considering they cost only pennies, that's not a wise way to try to save
On Fri, 17 Jan 2014 14:22:48 -0500, Stormin Mormon
playing with electrical wiring Sorry if that sounds harsh -but it's a
safety thing. Kinda like guys who don't know the difference between
brake fluid and washer fluid (or trans fluid) shouldn't work on
On 1/17/2014 2:39 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
And, how does one learn the trade?
About twenty years ago, I met a man who had just
brought a rifle home home from the gun store.
AK-47 clone, IIRC. He was having trouble inserting
the magazine. I laid out some cartridges on the bed,
and pushed them together, banana style. See... the
curve goes THIS way.....
I want weapon without a clue is bad. Even if it is only a knife.
Not getting instruction at the "gun store" is criminal. There
is a reason why the military essentially has you get very
intimate with your weapon(s). Not all are for killing the bad
On Fri, 17 Jan 2014 15:07:45 -0500, Stormin Mormon
like a trade school, or by mentorship - as in an apprenticeship.
Or by asking the right questions of someone who DOES know - and knows
enough to know what you need to know, and to tell you when you are
over your head..
Some things are common sense - like the curve of an AK mag - while
other things are less so - like, for instance, the REQUIREMENT that
all non metallic sheithed cable be firmly attached to all boxes and
devices - and BX cable has anti-shorts inserted between the wires and
the metal sheathing - and that you only put one wire under a screw
contact, and that all metal objects in an electrical installation are
GROUNDED, and all those more arcane things.
And that there is a difference, chemically, between brake fluid and
power steering fluid, and antifreeze - and that they cannot be
interchanged without causing potentially VERY DANGEROUS damage. - even
though 2 out of 3 smell similar, 2 out of 3 feel similar, and all 3
CAN look similar. You won't live long enough to make all the mistakes
required to learn everything from your own mistakes - and it is
possible you will kill quite a few others before you finally purge the
gene pool of your own brand of ignorance.
You wouldn't believe some of the stuff I've seen as repairs, and even
construction, on vehicles being driven on public highways by their
proud owners/builders - vehicles that I've had to call "the law" about
to have them taken off the road when they wouldn't listen to me when I
told them they were unsafe.(scrutineering at rod shows)
On Friday, January 17, 2014 4:26:35 PM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote:
In my view there are two parts to this. The first is to learn basic
electricity concepts, voltage, current, resistance, how current flows
in circuits, etc. That is essential, even if you're just trying to
debug something that is already there that isn't working.
Once you understand that, the other aspect is how to make it code
compliant. If you're going to put in something simple, like a new light fixture,
one place to look is how the existing work was done, assuming it's
relatively new construction. If you look at some other metal boxes,
you'd see that they use cable clamps and are grounded. You would hope
that just considering a romex going into a hole in a metal box with
no clamp would give one pause that it doesn't seem right and they
would ask someone, even at HD, how it's supposed to be done.
There are plenty of books at HD, bookstores, etc that cover both
aspects. And there are online resources too. I just googled
"install new metal box" and there are pages of hits with photos,
videos, instructions, etc.
Interesting that you've brought up cars. When I need to diagnose or
replace something, unless it's obvious, the first thing I do now is
to use google. It's amazing what is out there. For example, my
vintage MB 300SD was making a little rattling sound near the dashboard.
I figured out it was actually coming from the automatic tranny shift
lever and that by just pulling it back a tad, it stopped. I also
noticed that it had some play in it that I hadn't noticed before.
So, I just did some googling for MB 300SD transmission rattle, and
in just a few minutes I found what it almost surely is. There are
3 plastic bushings connecting the lever to the tranny and over time,
they eventually crack and start to fall apart, leading to exactly
the symptoms I have. A few mins more googling lead me to a company
that has a kit for $40 that includes the bushings, two special tools
to put them in and instructions. It sounds like the tools are almost essential, because it has to be done from under the car, reaching up into between the tranny and tranny tunnel. If I started going in blind,
I'd probably waste hours trying to figure out what it was, how to
do it, etc.
That's just one example. In other cases, a little googling lead
to several videos people made of how to do the car repair. As I've
said many times, google is your friend....
Though lamp cord will be sufficient for handling the current it is not
code. That should be reason enough. I can't imagine there would be more
than a few cents difference in price anyway.
Plus...being in a garage , the wire would be subject to degradation by
weather and possibly animals.
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