this is the third time I'm posting this, for some reason the first two
didn't show up.
Google news is being a pain apparently, if you know of a better free
service let me know.
I have a basement/workbench area. Its about 30 to 40 feet long by
about 20 feet wide withshelves at the sides. There are two edison
sockets for normal bulbs there. I would like the replace those two
edison sockets with three or four fluorescent T5 (T8?), thereby
improving the light for the whole area including the workbench.
Putting them where the sockets currently are should be trivial. I
have hard wired stuff before in my kitchen with breautiful results.
What about the others? Could I just take a wire fromone fixture,
twist it on the other wires, cap the connection, and run it to the
next; in parallel? Or is that bad practice?
I'm guessing it would be trivial. Twist/cap white to white, black to
black and green to green.
That's not quite all there is to it, but pretty close. You also need to make
sure that you're using the proper size of wire (14AWG copper for a 15A
circuit, 12AWG if 20A), and that you secure it to the fixtures with the proper
connector and locknut. Other than that, yeah, you're good.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
And make sure that the pigtailed or spliced connections are inside the
fixtures or a junction box.
A (possibly cheaper) suggestion would be to replace the existing fixtures
with fixtures that have a grounded outlet built in to them. They're about
$3 at Home Depot. This way you can plug in your fluorescent fixtures
instead of running new wire all over the place.
On Jul 19, 8:28 am, email@example.com (Doug Miller) wrote:
I posted somethign similar in another thread - I didn't mean to do
it, Google News is slow and my posts are sometimes going into
But yes, it is a 15 amp circuit.
The reason I asked, it because in the kitchen, the overhead lights are
in parallel and we have had trouble with them since day one. They
don't start, and one electrician said it was because they are are in
parallel and there isn't enough current. There are four 4' fixtures,
when the house was built. The kitchen was remodeled, and one was
eliminated - taking it down to three and a half - there's a two fitter
in there to even it out.
Unfortunately, you got bad advice, Edward.
Check the following:
1. Are the fixtures grounded? (They must be for reliable starting)
2. Are the tubes clean? (Dirty tubes, especially in humid weather, reduce
lamp starting voltage)
3. Are the ballasts connected correctly? (The ballast primary black wire
must be connected to the "high" or black wire of the 120 volt circuit and
you might want an electrician -- not the one you had before!! --to check
You can resolve all of your kitchen lamp starting problems and save energy
too by converting your old T12 fixtures to electronic ballasts and T8 lamps.
The new 4-foot T8 lamps will fit into your existing fixtures and the new
ballasts are fairly easy to install as well; but if you're not comfortable
with wiring, have an electrician do it.
apparently, almost anything would be better than Google (other than
for searching text groups).
You can use any newsreader (such as the free Thunderbird at
http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird /) and set it to use the
server at aioe.org.
And I don't think most electrical inspectors would be happy seeing
permenantly connected unguarded wires strung over to the "added" fixture.
I think you should either run a piece of rigid conduit between the
fixtures or perhaps use BX cable.
What am I missing here? SOP in every home shop I know is to add a grounded
outlet hung off ceiling fixture string, and plug the grounded-cord prefab
shop lite into that. Never seen the chain-mounted lights hardwired.
Go with T8, less glare on the eyes, and more common.
Vic mentioned that you should have a professional do this if you aren't
certain of the electrical code.
Unless the fixtures are end-to-end, and sit on top of the existing
junction box, you should run a new junction box for each fixture.
Using pre-fab shoplites is an exeption, but you should still run a new
j-box whereever the built-in cord can't reach. Mind you, there's
nothing wrong with the pre-fab shop-lites, otherwise they wouldn't be on
the market. Just make sure to replace that edison screw base with a
yes, it's fairly trivial, but I think Murphy's Law of Combat applies here:
Professional soldiers are predictable,
but the world is full of amateurs.
I notice you were going to twist wires, which I think means wire nuts.
I've done it that way when I lived in the US. I'm temporarily working
in Germany now. The local hardware stores don't have wire nuts,
instead they have kind of a weird long plastic piece with multiple
holes and what looks like a very secure set screw to hold the wires
I haven't used one myself, I'm renting, but it looks like you cut off
as many holes as you need and stick the wires in. So in your case
you'd probably cut off a strip of three for hot, neutral, and
Maybe somebody who's used these can comment. To me they look like a
great improvement over wire nuts and would take less space in the
box. I'm not sure about proper use (how much insulation, how many
wires per hole, etc.)
Standard 4' fluorescent fixtures don't need J boxes. You splice
the cables inside the fixture, and use proper box clamps where the cables
leave the fixture. The fixture itself acts as the J box.
Where the cable is inside the fixture, it's supposed to be rated for 90C,
but most romex is rated for that these days anyway. As long as you
doublecheck that the wire you use is 90C, no fussing around with boxes
(to splice in "special" 90C wire for entry into the fixture) is necessary.
If the wire is called "NMD-90", it's 90C rated, otherwise, check
the labeling on the spool or the cable itself.
You want a receptacle. (Outlet box, receptacle and cover plate)
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
I stand corrected, I guess I have been spending a little too much time
around commercial grade stuff.
It would still be a good idea to at least have a j-box somewhere in the
room for distribution to the fixtures instead of home runs or chaining
I corrected myself in a later post, but thanks anyway.
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