Installing a new basement stair light...

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  #1  
Old 12-14-12, 04:59 PM
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Installing a new basement stair light...

Hi,

Hopefully a quick question...

I have what looks to be a pretty basic circuit--- Power comes out of the circuit breaker panel, and goes into the basement... So far so good... If I shut off that breaker, the whole basement (not including the gas furnace -- it has its own circuit) goes dead. But before the power even reaches the basement for the lights, it first goes to a switch at the top of the basement stairs. When I throw that switch, a single light goes on inside the basement... (Note... Even if I leave that switch off, the rest of the basement still has power...) The problem is that the stairs outside the basement themselves remain dark -- a fall hazard. So what I want to do is take power off that switch-controlled light inside the basement and hook up another light that shines into the stairway itself... When I throw the switch at the top of the stairs, I want both lights to come on...

Here are a couple of links to pics...

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y86...ps9224e406.jpg


http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y86...ps71613f06.jpg

I'm planning on using just a good old fashioned light receptacle like the one above... nothing fancy...

The light will be a low wattage LED, so power shouldn't be a problem, and I'm a sort of a handyman, so the mechanics of actually hooking up the fixture/junction box won't be a big deal...

Thanks in advance...

Alan
 
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  #2  
Old 12-14-12, 05:28 PM
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You could run a xx-2 cable from the keyless fixture to the new fixture location. Install a ceiling box. Splice the new cable to the ones connected to the existing fixture, pigtails might be necessary. At the fixture splice color to color and connect all grounds at both locations.
 
  #3  
Old 12-15-12, 03:03 AM
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"xx-2 cable"?

Is that like a Romex?

Alan
 
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Old 12-15-12, 04:50 AM
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Yes, depending on what you have, now. 12-2 wg, NM or 14-2 wg, NM.
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 12-15-12 at 07:42 AM. Reason: typo
  #5  
Old 12-15-12, 04:02 PM
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Thanks,

Almost there...

I understand the pigtails, the wire... But I just want to be sure... I think I'm wiring these two lights in parallel and grounding everything?

Alan
 
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Old 12-15-12, 04:12 PM
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I think I'm wiring these two lights in parallel and grounding everything?
Yes, that is the correct procedure.
 
  #7  
Old 12-17-12, 01:46 PM
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Hi,

Sorry to be a hassle... I'm almost ready to move electrons... I bought the keyless fixture no problem... but it only has hot and neutral connectors (see: http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y86...psfa96bcf9.jpg
)

Obviously, the wire I'm going to use is three wire... What do I do with the lack of ground? Drill and tap the new metal junction box and attach the ground to that?

Thanks again...

Alan
 
  #8  
Old 12-17-12, 01:52 PM
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There should already be a hole in the metal junction box. Note you would have made life simpler if you had used a plastic box*, no ground need. Just fold it in back of the box.

*Assumes non-metallic cable.
 
  #9  
Old 12-17-12, 02:09 PM
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It's really the box that needs to be bonded to ground, more than the fixture. As Ray noted, there should be a hole in the back of the box that's already tapped to accept a 10-32 ground screw. Just use that to bond the ground to the box.
 
  #10  
Old 12-17-12, 04:18 PM
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Hi,

Thanks for the replies... A couple of thoughts...

i.) There is no screw hole on the back of the box, but I can make one pretty quick...
ii.) Anticipating this sort of problem, I bought two boxes... One metal, and one blue plastic...

Preference?

Also, can I bore .5" holes through the floor joists to run the Romex???

Thanks again...

Alan
 
  #11  
Old 12-17-12, 09:38 PM
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i.) There is no screw hole on the back of the box, but I can make one pretty quick...
Seriously? I can't recall seeing a metal electrical box without a ground tap in it since the 70s, if ever. Got a make and model, or a link, for that jewel?

JOC, how do you mount this box if there are no holes in the back? With ears?

ii.) Anticipating this sort of problem, I bought two boxes... One metal, and one blue plastic...

Preference?
I always use metal, but the code doesn't care. Take your choice.

Also, can I bore .5" holes through the floor joists to run the Romex?
5/8" holes make an easier pull.
 
  #12  
Old 12-18-12, 05:05 PM
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Hi...

Ta Da!!!

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y86...psfa9a2c69.jpg

Now it's just a matter of powering down, removing the test Romex, running wire for real, getting neat...

Confession... I'm a computer engineer (a mix of programmer and EE...) I've got three years of EE labs under my belt, and my first job was working on a 10+ KW system... But I'm a little rusty... So that's why I kept asking questions...

For you newbies out there, my advice is this... Mixing the phrase, "I could have sworn..." with electricity is an extremely good way to hear harp music...

This forum is the best, and the mods rock!!

Thanks again,

Alan

P.S. I got the metal box from True Value... No ground screw to be seen... There is one now!
 
  #13  
Old 12-18-12, 05:12 PM
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Glad you got it. Thanks for the feedback and the photo!

JOC, is that a box or an extension ring the hanging light is mounted to?
 
  #14  
Old 12-18-12, 05:23 PM
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LOL...

I didn't know the difference between an extension ring and a box, and I guess neither did the guy at the hardware store... Well, it's a drilled, tapped, and thoroughly grounded box now!

Still LOL...

Again, thanks!

Alan
 
  #15  
Old 12-18-12, 06:42 PM
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it's a drilled, tapped, and thoroughly grounded box now!
Good to hear! .
 
  #16  
Old 12-18-12, 07:24 PM
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Just to be clear you replaced the extension ring with a box didn't you?
 
  #17  
Old 12-18-12, 11:34 PM
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Hi Ray,

Yes, I accidentally used an extension ring instead of a box... The key-less receptacle didn't come with a box, and the guy at the hardware store mistakenly sold me the extension ring instead of a box... When I found that the ring didn't have a ground screw, I drilled it and tapped it to make my own... I'm assuming that's okay... Let me know if it's not...

Thanks,

Alan
 
  #18  
Old 12-19-12, 11:56 PM
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To wrap up... Is it okay that I used an extension ring instead of a box, and then put in my own ground screw and used that?

Thanks,

Alan
 
  #19  
Old 12-20-12, 02:49 AM
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You can't use the extension ring as a box.
 
  #20  
Old 12-20-12, 05:03 AM
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Thanks Ray,

That's what I needed to know... I think I'm all set... I'll use a box...

Thanks again...

Alan
 
  #21  
Old 12-21-12, 08:57 PM
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Done!

Before: http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y86...pse09beabb.jpg

After: http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y86...ps77c4a34a.jpg

I replaced the extension ring with a real box and grounded properly... Not bad... And the stairs are considerably safer!!!

Thanks again...

Alan
 
  #22  
Old 12-21-12, 09:50 PM
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Glad you got it. Thanks for letting us know how it worked out.
 
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