Electrical Outlet Wiring

Page 1 of 3  
I recently began a project where I built a shelf and moved lots of my computer stuff under the floor and into my basement. Part of it was a mount a power strip with a 15' extension cord onto the ceiling and then use those U shaped nails to neatly get the cord to the electrical socket. I spent a whole day doing it and when I was done, everything was great - except that when I turned off the basement light, the battery backup started beeping. The electric socket is switched...
There are two flat cables leading into the socket (which is mounted on the ceiling) and one that comes out. This one goes to a light. That light does NOT go on or off with the switch. It's my intention to open the box and rewire it to not be switched. Before I cut the power, can anyone give me an idea of what I'll see when I open it, and what the best way will be to make it not turn off when the switch is thrown.
Maybe one line just happens to pass under the switch, and all I'll have to do is switch between the outlet and the light (I wouldn't mind if the light were switched...)
Thanks
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 18 Oct 2007 22:39:29 -0400, Proch wrote:

Unless you are absolutely certain of what you are doing, hire an electrician. Electricity is nothing to take lightly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
All you have to do is connect your wires to the same wires as the unswitched light, and you'll have an unswitched outlet. If you want the light to be switched, connect the wires going to the light, to the wires your outlet is currently connected to

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Proch wrote:

Just go to the cutlery drawer, get a regular dinner knife and jam it into the socket in question while a friend flicks the switch on and off...
Seriously - it may not be an easy fix. You don't sound too much like you know what you're doing.
If you just *have* to do it yourself - your local library has tons of books on electrical repairs and would be a perfect place to start. I recommend this book: http://amazon.com/gp/product/1589232135 /
a
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well I was a EE in college, but I know alot more about stuff that runs at 5V than 120. I'm not worried that I won't be able to figure it out, I'm just looking for a heads up because I can forsee being in the basement with a flashlight trying to figure the whole tihng out while everyone is whining about the power being out...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

[snip]
I was studying digital electronics in college, but did once take an elective course in NEC. I remember getting one test question "wrong", in one of those cases where you get penalized for knowing something you aren't expected to.
The question was about a 3-phase wye-connected motor, and asked True or False: the current in each leg is the same. The supposed "correct" answer was True, although I knew that was impossible. One of things they taught in electronics was that the sum of the currents in a node is always zero (electrons are flowing FROM somewhere TO somewhere). The currents could never be equal unless they were all zero.
--
67 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sounds like a classic case of both answers being right!
Measured instantaneously, you're correct - the sum of the 3 legs will be zero, but different currents (or 0) will be flowing in each leg.
But on an average basis, like if you connected an ammeter, you'd read the same current on all 3.
Eric Law

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

It doesn't have to be instantaneous for the currents to be unequal. There is a difference in phase. My "problem" was in failing to know that one of the important characteristics (phase) was supposed to be ignored.
BTW, in a different class I had just been taught about phase, and the way the phase of the voltage and the phase of the current can be affected by components in the circuit (power factor). Obviously, 120V @ 0 degrees is NOT the same thing as 120V @ 120 degrees.

Since ammeters don't show phase. Phase is still real, as you should know.

--
67 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They were asking about time-averaged current of some sort, probably RMS current, while you were thinking in terms of instantaneous current.
That's sort of like being asked a question on a high school physics test about the validity of Newton's laws when you already know about relativity. *You* know that Newton's laws are not always valid, but at the same time you should be able to figure out that *in the context of the physics class*, they are.
    Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 21 Oct 2007 05:10:19 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@cs.ubc.ca (Dave Martindale) wrote:

At one particular time, you would see different voltages (and could figure out the current would be different). You could not see phase without seeing more than a singe instant.

There's many cases where honesty is NOT the best action. I often get into trouble for that reason.

--
65 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

By "instantaneous current", I really meant "instantaneous current as a function of time". If you look at the phase currents with an oscilloscope, you can see that there is a phase shift between phases, so the current waveforms are not equal. The question was asking about average current as a scalar, not vector, quantity.

Or more generally, providing the "full" answer to a question when the asker only wanted the quick one-sentence executive summary. Most people just want an answer, they don't want to understand the reason behind the answer. I'm one of the people who always wants to know where the answer came from, and how approximate the answer is, but I seem to be in a distinct minority.
    Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 22 Oct 2007 20:33:34 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@cs.ubc.ca (Dave Martindale) wrote:

And a "scaler" is a "vector" with some information ignored. In that situation, I did not know just what information was supposed to be ignored.

One that's wrong.

That seems to be true. This mental laziness contributes to a lot of problems. Things are much easier to understand when you know what's going on.

And there's nothing wrong with that, as in the quote on my homepage '"I was almost normal once, but then I got better.". Simplistic, but generally true.

--
64 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

You can buy a thing that fits over the screws on a standard switch cover that prevents anyone from turning the switch OFF (or ON if it's reversed). You dont need to even touch the wiring. just remove the screws from the switch plate, stick the thing on the plate and put the screws back. I saw them at Ace Hardware (I think thats where). The cost is under $5
By the way, did you try BOTH of the halves of the DUPLEX outlet? Often half is switched, the other half is not.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yeah, but then I wouldn't be able to turn off the lights ;-) Right now I've got duct tape performing the same task so the kids don't zap my internet connection.
Yes, I did try both... I was sure that one was going to stay on, like you suggested, but that wasn't the case.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do you know anyone like that who can do you a favor? Otherwise, it might not be a great first project. Depending on the competence of you electrician you could find just about anything under there.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree, but if he dont know electricity he has to call an electrician and we all know what that costs. He could just put a pull chain on the light too, or another way would be to buy a long extension cord that is a #12 or at least a #14 and use another outlet further away. That's not necessarily the ideal situation, but computers dont use that much power, and the wire gauge is the same as whats in the wall anyhow.
It's sort of odd that BOTH halves are switched. Usually it's just one.
If this was my problem, I'd just put another dedicated outlet there and leave the old one alone.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why would you bother saying that in a DYI group? This is an easy as cake project.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Terry wrote:

If you take on some of the projects discussed in this newsgroup without additional instruction or knowledge, you may indeed be DYI -- Doing Yourself In.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 18 Oct 2007 22:39:29 -0400, Proch wrote:

Perhaps the better choice would be to create a brand new circuit just for the computer equipment. Add a circuit breaker, string some wire and you're done.
Sometimes computers like to be isolated from everything else. There would then be no dimming of lights when the printer kicks in. Less chance of breaker blown because of something else on the line.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

What the heck kind of printer do you use to dim the lights? I have never had that happen. Printers are low power users.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.