Which wire is which in 3-wire zip cord?

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I bought a Sears workbench with a backwall. The backwall includes a fluorescent light that has no switch. Its cord is grounded zip cord. I'd like to splice into the hot wire a pull chain switch (with pigtail leads) that I can easily mount at the end of the cove top.
The light fixture wasn't designed to be taken apart. Otherwise I'd simply take it apart and use an ohm meter. One of the side wires has the extra ridges. Which wire is neutral, ground, and hot?
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

Are you sure the fixture wont' open? Putting a hole in the fixture and installing a pull chain would seem to be just as easy to me.
The wire with the ridge is the neutral. Put the switch in the other wire.
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No I am not sure. There are a couple of recessed plastic tabs.

But I am sure that it would be impossible to put a switch into the light fixture itself. The ballast and everything is in a small integrated molded plastic housing. It isn't like the old days where you could open it up and there were wires and a separate ballast.

But there are three wires.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

Everything can be taken apart! However, you might have to break plastic tabs or something like that to open it.
Why not just put a regular light switch in a box and mount it on the wall next to the outlet. If you dont know how to do the wiring, and have to pay someone to do it, why not just return that fixture and buy one with a switch already on it. By the time you buy the parts and particularly if you have to hire an electrician, you may as well just spend a few more bucks for a light that is ready to go.
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On Thu, 08 Mar 2012 23:05:34 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@nohoo.com wrote:

Why would I want to mount anything on the wall? The workbench is moveable.

The fixture is an integrated part of the backwall and is designed to fit into the cove top. First I can't return the lamp without returning the entire backwall. And no other fixture is going to fit inside the top. You can see a picture here: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/?keyword914944000

Huh? The pull chain switch was about $3. There is already a hole at the end of the top that I simply have to enlarge to 3/8". Two wire nuts cost close to nothing. Why are you taking a simple project and blowing it all out of proportion?
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

You said you cant open the fixture and will need to put the switch into the cord. This is likely a code violation and dangerous. If the bench is movable, but the switch on the bench itself.
I'd suggest hiring an electrician before you kill yourself or someone else in your family. Killing your children is a federal offense and could get you life in prison!
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On Fri, 09 Mar 2012 11:13:22 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@nohoo.com wrote:

Do you mean "put" the switch on the bench itself? That is what I am doing.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On 3/9/2012 11:13 AM, snipped-for-privacy@nohoo.com wrote: ...

What Code section would that be, pray tell?
You never seen/had a lamp or other plug-in device w/ a linecord switch?
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snipped-for-privacy@nohoo.com wrote in

Nonsense. Code applies to premises wiring, not to things that plug into it.

More nonsense. Nothing dangerous about using a line cord switch, as long as it's properly done.

Also nonsense.
Killing *anybody* isn't a Federal offense unless it occurs on Federal property. Otherwise, murder is prosecuted under state statute.
In the future, stick to offering advice on subjects you know something about. If there are any.
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On Fri, 9 Mar 2012 17:59:17 +0000 (UTC), Doug Miller

Apparently there is at least one exception (plug-in GFCI on hair dryer).

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Where does Code require that?
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wrote:

We went through that about a month ago. I thought the same thing, that the NEC wouldn't have anything to do with a hairdryer, but it does cover it. I read it. It says hairdryers have to provide protection against shock. If you google the group here for it you should be able to find it.
I agree that a properly installed switch in that light cord is OK. There sure are plenty of those around.
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wrote:

Hey Doug,
I agree that there's nothing wrong with using a line cord switch, but I'm a little concerned with the OP simply enlarging the hole in the top of the unit and using some wire nuts to attach the switch to the line.
If the unit can't be opened, I don't see how he'll be able to mount the switch and secure the wirenuts safely. I'd love to hear back from the OP on how he plans to do that.
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I've thought about a junction box. I probably could find one to fit in there. It would require drilling a bunch more holes, instead of simply enlarging one that is already there.
If no box, I would use electrical tape to tape to the top so they don't actually float.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On 3/9/2012 1:01 PM, Don Wiss wrote:

Well, Code does require "workmanlike" manner of installation. I was presuming you would have the connections inside the lamp housing but I guess that's what you meant in the no-access part.
While it is undoubtedly "safe enough" from an actual standpoint to do the latter, I would find a small box and mount the switch there and mount the box permanently to either the lamp housing or the bench.
I would/do _not_ consider the tape solution "workmanlike".
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One reviewer wrote "I solved this by pulling the plug-end off, drilling a hole, and soldering in a $4 chain pulled on/off switch from *****. It should have just come that way."
If I could figure out to pull the end off, the pull chain switch that I bought is deeper than the plastic housing. It requires 7/8" behind, and the plastic housing is only 5/8" thick outside dimension. So less inside between its two plastic walls. Say less than 1/2" deep inside.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On 3/9/2012 2:14 PM, Don Wiss wrote:

There're a million boxes from which to choose--the Shack used to have bunches; the one here has nothing electronic to speak of in stock any longer so don't know what you might find walk-in...what I'm thinking of in general, not necessarily a specific...
<http://search.digikey.com/ca/en/products/M17%20PLN/L210-ND/268786
Pictures/drawings??? As another respondent said earlier, "there's _always_ a way"... :)
Or, if figuring out how mounting the switch is too much a pita, buy an inline cord switch and put it in the line where it's convenient. That leaves no unhidden connections.
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That was my first thought. But the three wire zip cord is too wide. All the ones I found are all designed for 2-wire zip cord.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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Black or Red = Hot
White = neutral
Green = ground

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But this is zip cord, a.k.a. lamp cord. It is all white with a molded plug. I only want to splice into one wire.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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