Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Anybody have an easy electricity site?

Prin
August 23rd, 2005, 02:11 AM
I have to do so much "easy" electricity stuff here in the new house (like light fixture installations, changing plugs etc) and I am clueless. (Every site I find says it's easy- but they don't get that it is only easy AFTER you're taught how to do it...)

Does anybody have a website that explains things simply with a lot of easy diagrams? It's so frustrating trying to figure out which wire goes where and what to do with the ground... (there's no frustrated smilie!! oh wait!! http://bestsmileys.com/frustrated/7.gif)

Basically, this time I'm installing a reading light on the wall next to my bed. But it came all in pieces!! http://bestsmileys.com/frustrated/7.gif So it's basically wired for easy installation on the ceiling, but I want it on the wall, with a plug. But what do I do with the ground then? I'm not putting a box in the wall, just a back plate. And then the plug is polarized, so as far as I know, the black wire goes to the small prong and the white goes to the big one... http://bestsmileys.com/frustrated/8.gif LOL

Sorry this is so long to say so little... Can anybody help?

Dogastrophe
August 23rd, 2005, 06:59 AM
Prin,

Take a look thru the following. May find what you are looking for.

http://www.diynot.com/pages/el/
http://doityourself.com/electric/index.shtml

Cheers,

Prin
August 23rd, 2005, 12:13 PM
Thanks Dogastrophe, I looked through them and I think the first one is mostly UK (they still didn't have anything about putting a plug and cord on a light fixture...), and the second is too advanced for me still. They assume you know how to wire a plug... :o :o

raingirl
August 23rd, 2005, 12:41 PM
I had this program back on my windows 3.1 that had animated diagrams! Darn if I remember the name.

I know how to do it all. As long as wiring in quebec is the same, i can walk you through it.

To replace outlets, go to home depot (or whatever you have there) and buy new outlets (they are less than $1). Tell the sales person there how old your house is and they will give you the right ones (unless you house is more than 60 or 70 years old, you can probably use the newest kind).

Turn off your power. If you want to be REALLY safe, buy a line tester. It will test the wire before you touch it to make sure there is no current running through it.

Take off the old outlet. Watch where the different colour wires go. Unattach it. Reattach the new outlet by putting the same wires in the same place. Needle nose pliers are great for this. Make a loop out of the wire, hook it on the small screw, and tighten the screw. Stuff all the wires back in place and screw the outlet into place.

There you go.

Now, this is assuming your wiring is up to code. If the outlets are so old that they are not grounded (usually green wire) then you need an electrician.

Next lesson, lights!

Prin
August 23rd, 2005, 12:50 PM
Oooh next lesson, next lesson!!

Where do I put the ground on a light fixture that is being used as a wall mounted light with a back plate? (ie no hole in the wall)

Bearsmom
August 23rd, 2005, 01:09 PM
Simple electrical rule (hubby's an electrician) is NO MIXED MARRIAGES. White wire goes with white wire, black wire goes with black wire. Mix the two, and you'll get a helluva zap (or a fire). Your ground wire should be brass in colour, and will go into a tiny screw that's either on the face plate of the fixture, or on the wall itself. (loosen the screw and wrap the wire around it, and tighten the screw). What is it exactly you're trying to do?

Dogastrophe
August 23rd, 2005, 01:26 PM
Simple electrical rule (hubby's an electrician) is NO MIXED MARRIAGES. White wire goes with white wire, black wire goes with black wire. Mix the two, and you'll get a helluva zap (or a fire). Your ground wire should be brass in colour, and will go into a tiny screw that's either on the face plate of the fixture, or on the wall itself. (loosen the screw and wrap the wire around it, and tighten the screw). What is it exactly you're trying to do?

She is looking to convert a light that is intended to be hardwired into a plug-in model. Prin, you are correct, the black wire goes to the small prong and the white goes to the big one. Sry, can't be of much use regarding where to wire the ground on the plug.

Prin
August 23rd, 2005, 02:02 PM
K, my dad said that because the plug is polarized, I don't have to worry about grounding it. ***shrugs***

raingirl
August 23rd, 2005, 06:42 PM
Hmmm...I'm not sure about that. I ground everything if there is a grounding wire. Better safe than sorry.

As for the light fixture. You want to put a ceiling mounted fixture on the wall, but have no wall box? Is that right?

I can think of two options.

One, get an electrician to put a wall box in.

Two, rewire the fixture to make it a plug lamp. Pretty easy actually. I build lamps (it's really fun because you turn almost ANYTHING in to a lamp). You need a few things. A plug (three prong if you have a grounding wire in the fixture or two prong if you only have two wires, and no grounding). A cord (go to hardware store and tell them you need household appliance electrical wire cord. Make sure to get the kind that matches your plug and fixture: ie three wires for three prong, two wires for two prong, and get it the right length). Strip the cord on each end about 2 to 3 inches. Connect the wires in the cord to the fixture at one end with those connector thingys (they look like pen caps, and you put the two wires you want to connect and stick the cap on and twist until just tight-again, ask the hardware store for the right kind and size for your wires). Take the plug apart as per it's instructions, and connect the wires inside the plug. Put the plug back together. Make sure there is no exposed wire outside the plug. Hide the fixture end wires and attach the fixture to the wall and plug in. Should work.

Prin
August 23rd, 2005, 06:50 PM
That's the thing- the plug came with the light fixture but it's a two prong one...

raingirl
August 23rd, 2005, 06:53 PM
Hmm..ok. Is there a grounding wire anywhere in the fixture (usually green)?

Prin
August 23rd, 2005, 06:57 PM
There's a short, thin copper one (maybe 4 inches long). But there isn't anywhere to put it!

raingirl
August 23rd, 2005, 07:07 PM
Is there any way you could take a picture? Or what brand is the fixture and maybe I can find it online. I'm a visual learner.

Prin
August 23rd, 2005, 07:26 PM
I tried to find it online already, and I can't. It's made by Nadair, called the "illusion series". It's nowhere on the web. Hey, if you have a fax, I can fax you the little instruction diagram that doesn't make sense to me?

raingirl
August 23rd, 2005, 08:15 PM
Sorry, no fax. Do you have a fax machine at home? There is aparently a way to fax to email. Wait...that's only sending by email. Oh well.

I "coperniced" the company and nothing. Do you have an address for them? Or phone number on the instructions?

Prin
August 23rd, 2005, 08:16 PM
Nope!! Nothing. I wish I had a scanner! :(

raingirl
August 23rd, 2005, 08:20 PM
I found a few references to the Illusion Series, but not much info.

So, describe the light to me. You said it is meant to be put in the ceiling or in a lighting box right? But it came with an unattached plug? Did it come with cord as well?

Prin
August 23rd, 2005, 08:27 PM
It's a single light attached to a round flat base. Underneath, there are two wires coming from the light, a white and a black one. The black one goes from the light to a little box, then another black wire comes out of the box and is free. The white one is free as soon as it gets out of the light end.

There is a nut-like thing that the black and white wires come out of, and from under that, there is a metal washer with the ground wire attached to it.

Separate from all that, I got a silver colored cord with a two-prong polarized plug already attached. And that's it. So the light is basically wired to go into a box, but you can choose to put the cord on it (oh, ya, there's a back plate too, in case you decide to put the cord on..)

Bearsmom
August 24th, 2005, 07:24 AM
There's a short, thin copper one (maybe 4 inches long). But there isn't anywhere to put it!

If the plug is polarized, you don't need to ground the fixture.

The thin copper wire is the ground, if you choose not to ground the fixture, just roll the wire back into itself, wrap with a bit of electrical tape, and tuck it back into the fixture itself.

As raingirl said, is there any way you can take a picture of the electrical fixture, and where you want to put it (be sure to include a picture of the wiring, and I can talk you through it.

Bearsmom
August 24th, 2005, 07:28 AM
It's a single light attached to a round flat base. Underneath, there are two wires coming from the light, a white and a black one. The black one goes from the light to a little box, then another black wire comes out of the box and is free. The white one is free as soon as it gets out of the light end.

There is a nut-like thing that the black and white wires come out of, and from under that, there is a metal washer with the ground wire attached to it.

Separate from all that, I got a silver colored cord with a two-prong polarized plug already attached. And that's it. So the light is basically wired to go into a box, but you can choose to put the cord on it (oh, ya, there's a back plate too, in case you decide to put the cord on..)


Okay, I get it now, you want to put a plug (that came with the fixture) onto the light itself, wall mount it, but without a box, so that it will have a plug running to it for power? If that's the case, I can talk you through it. (Sorry if I didn't read that sooner, I've just worked 14 hours overtime (cha ching), and am a wee bit fuzzy. Let me know if that's what you want to do, I'll get you through it.

raingirl
August 24th, 2005, 07:38 AM
Oh. I get it now.

Do as Bearsmon said, and roll up with grounding wire and tape it with electrical tape as it isn't needed.

Is the plug attached to the silver cord, or are the separate? If they are attached, just follow my instructions above to attach the cord to the wires on the light.

I imagine the back plate has a hole in it to put the cord through right? first, pull the non-plug end through the hole in the back plate, so that the end without the plug is on what will be the inside of the back plate.

Get some wire strippers and strip the cord about 3 inches (just the first layer). If you take the first plastic layer off (silver you said), there should be separate black and white wires inside. Strip those as well about 1 inch. Make sure to leave a little of the colour so you don't get them confused.

Did it come with connectors? Like these:

http://ace.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pACE2-1000003reg.jpg

You need two, one for each the black and white wires, and they have to be the right size. I would take the cord and/or fixture to a hardware store and ask which ones are proper for your job. Once you have the connectors, take the two ends of striped wire of the same colour (black and black together or white and white together) and put them beside each other. Lightly twist the ends together a tiny bit, then put the little connector on top and twist till it's just finger tight. If you twist too much, it will get too loose and fall off. Just twist till you have resistance, and can't pull it off easily. If it falls off, you may have a size too big or the wires are too twisted. In that case, untwist the ends of the wires, and start over. Sometimes I just buy a variety pack of different sizes of general connectors, and try what works best.

Here is some other instructions:

http://doityourself.com/electric/electconnecta.htm

After both the white and black are connected, put the backing back on, and you are done.

Here is a good picture:

http://extimages.smoothcorp.com/pageart/corner/howto/images/ht020_2.gif

happycats
August 24th, 2005, 08:51 AM
Here is something that might be usefull when working with electricity!
http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/DummiesArticle/id-2922.html

Prin
August 24th, 2005, 11:01 AM
Thanks you guys!!!! Your explanations are GREAT!! I got it all put together and it works!! :) Now I can read! :)

By the way, the reason it had to have a plug is because I don't think my electrical box can handle any more... It's a tiny old one... :eek:

Hey, Bearsmom, you know fires, right? If I have three baseboard heaters going into one 40 amp breaker (2x20), and 2 baseboard heaters going into another, can I only run one at a time for each breaker? Like if the bedroom, office and bathroom are on one, if we're heating all three rooms, will the house burn down? :o I don't mind being cold if my house is intact...
Oh and sorry I couldn't post a pic- I don't have a scanner nor a digital camera... I know, I gotta move into the 90's...

Bearsmom
August 24th, 2005, 01:02 PM
Hey, Bearsmom, you know fires, right? If I have three baseboard heaters going into one 40 amp breaker (2x20), and 2 baseboard heaters going into another, can I only run one at a time for each breaker? Like if the bedroom, office and bathroom are on one, if we're heating all three rooms, will the house burn down? :o I don't mind being cold if my house is intact...


Ayish, darlin, I wouldn't run all 3 at a time on high, or you do run a slight risk of shorting out your electrical panel, and that may result in a fire in the walls (by the time the paint is bubbling is usually when people notice, and by then, the damage is extensive). You can, however, keep them on a low temperature setting (the more heat they need to crank out, the more electricity they're drawing from the breaker.

Question: Do you own this house? What's your amperage of service for the house? (much older homes run on 60 amp service which stinks because your hydro bills are usually phenomenal). Find out what your amperage is, let me know. Sometimes it's cheaper to up the amp service (most newer homes run on at least 100 amp service), than to fight with insurance companies, should, God forbid, you suffer a fire loss.

happycats
August 24th, 2005, 01:13 PM
Hey, Bearsmom, you know fires, right? If I have three baseboard heaters going into one 40 amp breaker (2x20), and 2 baseboard heaters going into another, can I only run one at a time for each breaker? Like if the bedroom, office and bathroom are on one, if we're heating all three rooms, will the house burn down? :o I don't mind being cold if my house is intact...
Oh and sorry I couldn't post a pic- I don't have a scanner nor a digital camera... I know, I gotta move into the 90's...

Do you have natural gas in your neighborhood? If so, you can always get a gas fireplace to heat up the house :) (it's easier and cheaper to get a gas fireplace, then to get a gas furnace and have duct work installed )

Prin
August 24th, 2005, 01:38 PM
Ayish, darlin, I wouldn't run all 3 at a time on high, or you do run a slight risk of shorting out your electrical panel, and that may result in a fire in the walls (by the time the paint is bubbling is usually when people notice, and by then, the damage is extensive). You can, however, keep them on a low temperature setting (the more heat they need to crank out, the more electricity they're drawing from the breaker.

Question: Do you own this house? What's your amperage of service for the house? (much older homes run on 60 amp service which stinks because your hydro bills are usually phenomenal). Find out what your amperage is, let me know. Sometimes it's cheaper to up the amp service (most newer homes run on at least 100 amp service), than to fight with insurance companies, should, God forbid, you suffer a fire loss.
Yes we own it (after 25 more years of payments...). I think it's 100Amp but it should be 200 Amp. We're going to have it redone as soon as we have enough money to do it... We have to do some work on the roof and the foundation first... :rolleyes:

Happycats, I would looovve one of those fireplaces that turns on at the flip of a switch (I have an electric one for now...)... We'll see! We don't want to do too much decorating because in a few years we have to put a foundation on it and everything will get all cracked...

Bearsmom
August 24th, 2005, 03:15 PM
I wish we lived closer to you, Prin, I happen to know a great electrician, with cheap rates for my friends ....plus, I'm not yet class 2, but I'm apprenticing with him on my days off (be kind of neat to meet someone from this board!). Kind of annoying having hubby for a boss, LOL.

Anywho, when you get around to quotes, let me know, and I'll let you know what's a pretty good price, ok?

Prin
August 24th, 2005, 06:43 PM
We were told that it would be between $1000 and $1500 but we haven't gotten a serious estimate. :)

Yes, I wish you lived near here too!! There are so many costs with a house, and we don't seem to have connections to help with any of them. :rolleyes: