did I do a Bad Thing?

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Not sure if this is the appropriate way to handle this situation or not, looking for feedback...
anyway, background. In my living room there are two boxes for wall sconces. The PO's of the house had blanked them off and then hung oil lamps in their place. It is really frustrating to come home after dark and not really have any light that can easily be turned on from the front door (there is no ceiling light in the really small foyer area.) So I determined to remove the oil lamps and reinstall wall sconces. SWMBO and I have been discussing this ever since we moved in with no agreement as of yet as to what to install. (She's sort of a Frank Lloyd Wright girl; my tastes run more in a Raymond Loewy sort of direction.)
Being constantly frustrated by the lack of lighting, I started looking around the house to see what I could temporarily put up there to serve as light. I found some old 1940's porcelain bathroom sconces that she'd picked up at one of those salvage places for possible use in the bathroom, cleaned them up, found them to actually be quite nice. (hey, it was either that or some porcelain lampholders that I'd removed from the basement.) Being porcelain, they also gave the added benefit that I didn't have to feel guilty about not grounding the wall boxes. I disassembled them and found that the sockets were connected to the wires by screw terminals, about the same size/shape as those found on a standard receptacle. I dug out some 14AWG THHN and rewired them. The original wire appeared to be 16 or 18 AWG stranded cloth covered wire, just wrapped around the screw terminals. The 14 wouldn't fit under the terminals neatly, but after tinning them with solder and treating them like solid wire they worked perfectly.
So now I have light in my living room, which is nice and functional, but they look awful enough that perhaps now she'll get serious about picking out some permanent sconces :)
Question is, are there any negative implications of tinning a stranded wire that goes under a screw? (loosening over time, etc?) Should I try to find some smaller wire and redo them, since they may actually be permanently installed elsewhere later on?
thanks
nate
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Geez Nate, the only thing you left out was what you had for dinner. Tinned is fine, hell, solder the wires to the terminals if you like
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RBM wrote:

Nothing yet, but I suspect it will be served with beer and/or bourbon.
I was just trying to forestall the "why the hell did you do it THAT way" comments :)

I guess after I did it and got 'em up I thought about it a little and wondered if I shouldn't have used Sta-Kons instead. Was thinking that maybe the tinned wire ends would have a higher coefficient of thermal expansion or something, sort of like aluminum wire. Was one of those deals where I already had the soldering iron out anyway (the sconces have little receptacles built into them, and the wires are soldered onto those... I went ahead and put new wires on them "while I was in there" but didn't bother to hook them up in their current location)
nate
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And I though rouge was something a SWMBO put on her face
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That's the problem with spell checkers. It didn't detect the rogue "g." :-(
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I'm with you on that. I've never been able to spell, and I've become so dependent on the checker, but I still sometimes forget to check for proper words used improperly.
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What you did is fine, but there is an easier way. Put a light on a timer. I even have an X-10 setup so I can turn on a couple of lights from my car if we come home after the timer shuts them all off.
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Can you explain how you did this? Our outsde lights in front are X-10, and our car can be programmed to open the garage door, but does that mean it can also turn on X-10 operated lights? I don't see that in the manual.
thanks, Keith
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K wrote:

I'm guessing that he must have had an X-10 xmitter/receiver setup with the xmitter in his car.
I still have a little bit of X-10 stuff; mostly because I am hard to wake up in the morning. They used to have (still do?) an X-10 alarm clock, and I liked having that because I'd program the lamp next to my bed to come on when my alarm went off. However the alarm buzzer is pretty wimpy and the thing wouldn't keep time when the power went off (it had a battery backup but it'd be off by an hour or two by the time the power came back on) so I moved on to more modern technology.
Once upon a time, you used to see alarm clocks, especially clock radios, with a receptacle in the back of the case to plug in a lamp. Haven't seen that in years.
nate
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Depends on the car. My 01 Buick and my 07 Sonata both have multiple programmable buttons. You also need a receiver in the house for it to work. www.smarthome.com for more information.
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wrote:

RF system. That really surprised me, but it works with my 2004 Prius. If your X-10 system has any of their RF remotes, just use a transmitter to train the car transmitter.
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GMs built in 2 or 3 button car garage door openers do x10 and GMs pushed brand of x10 which might be "Smart Home". Its been years since I messed with this but I think any 2-3 button garage door system can be programed to run x10. Check out x 10 2 bulb light motion sensor, the one with 10 switches under the panel, I pull in the garage and the x10 light unit turns on 2 more light units outside. But x10 quality is crappy on these units.
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Yes there is an X10 transmitter available that sends X10 signals to the powerline based on either a low voltage current sense or low voltage contact state changes. You can simply plug this unit into a nearby power outlet then run a pair of low voltage wires from the garage door opener relay to the X10 transmitter. Then program the transmitter to send the appropriate X10 address when the garage contacts close or open. The unit actually has 4 digital inputs so you can monitor up to 4 separate low voltage relays each sending its own X10 address on/off commands. This setup also makes a good indoor indicator if you left the garage door opened.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

That'd work, but I still needed to have lights in the first place :)
Before today, you'd have to find your way over to a table lamp or torchiere without crashing into a bookcase, tripping over some shoes that didn't make it onto the shoe rack, etc... (or just go into the kitchen and turn the light on there, which resulted in a lot of mail piling up on the kitchen table rather than the small table by the door that was intended for that purpose...)
nate
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Downstairs we have a small 7 watt night light in the hall. The kitchen has an under counter 18" fluorescent that only gets turned off when it burns out. A couple of other lights are on timers; family room lamp and living room lamp. The timer turns them on, but I usually turn them off with the controller in the bedroom with the touch of a button. I also have a couple of outdoor light on X-10 so I can turn them on if I choose, for security if I hear noises outside. Driveway has a motion detector.
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For some discreet permanent night lights, we have installed a number of Pass/Seymour Legrand combination hallway light/receptacle combos. Cat. # is TM8HWL. They also have a full hallway light cat. # TMHWL which we will be using at the doorways to a room with a different floor level as a safety means. They also have GFCI combo receptacles if that is needed. The LED's are rated 20 year life. You might find those useful for your night lighting issues.
Joe
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Yes. Solder is infamous for both loosening screws and causing wire to slip from under screws.
Makes a dandy lubricant. -----
- gpsman
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Much safer, tinned, than stranded. You did good. Now, the big question. Is she happy with the job?
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Christopher A. Young
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I've got old black art deco bathroom sconces in my living room. what do you think? :P seriously this was just a little thing that I could do since it was raining outside and I didn't have the permanent light fixtures, I just wanted to throw something up there so that a) I could have light and b) if there was a problem with the house wiring I could identify it now rather than later while trying to mount the "real stuff."
However, she did insist on me showing her how to do basic soldering while I had all my tools out, so there's hope yet :) Oh, and for the record, my ancient Weller soldering station (the one with the temperature regulation built into the tips) is still the greatest soldering tool I've ever used.
The worst part about the whole exercise is, now that I've "restored" these light fixtures, I don't think they're going to work in the bathroom. Oh well, there's always eBay.
nate
On May 4, 1:45pm, "Stormin Mormon"

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Not a bad thing, Nate, but actually, 14 gauge wire is a tad overkill, and not likely necessary to handle the current needed to fire up the size bulb(s) used in a wall sconce.
The screw terminals in sconces, table and floor lamps, and the like, is not sized to accept the wire you used - hence the difficulty getting it to fit under the screws, and tinning fattened the conductors a bit as well. The branch feeders in the wall case, of course, must be 14 gauge, rated at 15 amps - but not the pigtails on the sconces.
16 gauge wire, and probably 18 gauge, would suffice, but it must have an insulation rating of 105 C - rated to resist failure from temperatures up to 105 C (221 F).
Joe
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