Freaky wall lights w/outlets in them in 100 yo house

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  #1  
Old 07-16-05, 03:26 AM
Bubblefly
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Freaky wall lights w/outlets in them in 100 yo house

Hey there,

I'm just trying to find out some information on how to best approach this without getting hurt.

I bought a 100 yo house. It has a fuse panel box, not the knob and tube stuff. It actually has two because its a two family building. So my thing is this. The bedrooms have only one light in them and its mounted on one of the walls. Each of these freaky lights have outlet plugs on them. In the first bedroom, The wall sconce or light is ceramic and has on double wholed prong under it and you turn it on with a little pull string. The second room has a more modern light you twist on and has one 3 pronged outlet on it. The third room has a light with a pull string with 2 outlets on it but they are both double wholed. I would like to simply replace all of these lights with my own decorative sconces. Which does not seem like it is a big deal BUT one of the things with these lights having these outlets is that they are they ONLY outlets in the rooms and I can not find any modern wall sconces with outlets on them (which is ugly anyway).

Sooooooooo What I want to do is update the wall lights. And bring the wires used on the old sconces for the outlets down the wall, cut a whole for a wall outlet and use these wires to wire a new (proper) outlet.

Can this be done?

Can this be done safely?

I can provide pictures if neccessary.



The electrical system in the house is updated. Both Apartments have complete remodel jobs in both the bathrooms and the kitchens that all required the installation of modern outlets. I have another question about moving one of the 220 V dryer outlets from the basement up to the second floor apartment but I will post it in another thread.

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 07-16-05, 06:37 AM
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Sure it can be done. Just make sure you turn the electric off to that fixture before working on it.
 
  #3  
Old 07-16-05, 07:24 PM
Bubblefly
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Thanks. I'll give it a whirl with one of the outlets and see how that goes. I wanted to make sure I was looking at the setup right. I'm assuming these outlets have their own wiring behind there and its not getting it's power from the same wires powering the light.
 
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Old 07-17-05, 05:59 AM
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I would say the outlets are getting their power from the lights. You just wire in a piece of romex to the wires that juiced the outlet in the light fixture and fish it down the wall to your new outlet.
 
  #5  
Old 07-17-05, 06:19 AM
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Unless these lights are wired with a proper ground wire you cannot legally extend them to add new receptacles.

The best and most appropriate solution to your problem is to add new circuits to the bedrooms. Use the new circuits for the receptacles, and use more than one circuit. If you want, these circuits can also have lights on them.

Depending on where you live, these new circuits most likely need to be AFCI protected, so you may need a to replace the main panel so you can add AFCI breakers.

Then you can either keep the circuits(s) that the wall lights are on or completely abandon the circuits.
 
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Old 07-18-05, 03:12 AM
Bubblefly
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The main panel is new. There are AFCI breakers in the main panel. I'm not sure exactly when it was done but it definitely had to be done for the remodel jobs done on both apartments.

I can run new wires for the outlets, just didn't think it was neccessary considering these lights already had outlets on them and could be rewired.

I guess I should inquire about what is a proper ground. I went in the basement and looked at the panel. There are wires coming out of the top and side of the panel. One of the things comming out of the side of the panel is a bunch of bare metal wire all twisted together. This rope of metal wire was then bound to a metal pipe sticking up out of the concrete floor. Is that a proper ground?
 
  #7  
Old 07-18-05, 04:46 AM
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What you are describing is the panel ground. I am talking about the circuit being grounded.

The circuit is grounded if there are three distinct electrical paths to the circuit. The hot wire is one. The neutral (or return) is two. A ground wire is the third. In older homes the ground is usually not present except for a few circuits.

Sometimes the ground is provided through metal conduit.

If you have no ground wire, you cannot add to this circuit until and unless you properly ground it.
 
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Old 07-18-05, 03:54 PM
Bubblefly
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ok. I understand about the grounding.

But I don't understand how I'm adding to the curcuit. I'm moving the outlets, not adding to. The outlets are on the light fixture. I'm just putting in a new light ficture with no outlets and taking the remaining wires from the outlets on the old light and moving them to a terminal. So I'm trying to understand the difference. The outlets have wires going to them so why would moving them to another outlet be any different?
 
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