Wiring questions

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-23-01, 07:24 PM
G
Guest
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I wired 2 outside free-standing lamps, what size of switch do I need (15/20amp)?



I wired my first 3-way switch and the light seems to work properly, can I assume it is wired correctly?


Could an improperly wired switch or outlet in an electrical box cause a fire or would the circuit breaker blow first?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 04-24-01, 09:39 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
Posts: 1,052
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
First we would need the wattage, number of bulbs in each fixture, etc. Outside light fixtures can range from 40 watts to 500 watts. Can't advise on amps till we know the watts.

In general, if it works I would guess it's wired right or it wouldn't work. That's not an absolute, though.

Yes, if you are protected by a circuit breaker it would open in most cases before you're at the point where it was on fire.

By "switch", do you mean receptacle, or light switch which you have already installed??

Juice
 
  #3  
Old 04-24-01, 11:37 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Juice already provided a good answer, but I'll add my two cents:

Q: I wired 2 outside free-standing lamps, what size of switch do I need (15/20amp)?

A: If you used 14-gauge wire, you need a 15-amp breaker. If you used 12-gauge wire, you can use either a 15-amp or 20-amp breaker. If you really mean a switch, you can use either a 15-amp or 20-amp switch in all cases.

Q: I wired my first 3-way switch and the light seems to work properly, can I assume it is wired correctly?

A: Probably yes. About the only mistakes you might have made would be if you switched the neutral rather than the hot, made poor connections, didn't get everything well grounded, interchanged the hot and neutral at the light, didn't use the right size wire nuts, didn't twist them on properly, didn't protect the cable, didn't secure the cable, didn't strip the right amount of sheathing, used the wrong size wire, used too small of a box, nicked the wire when you stripped it, didn't leave enough wire in the box, stripped too much insulation, stripped too little insulation, didn't pack the wires neatly inside the box, etc.

Q: Could an improperly wired switch or outlet in an electrical box cause a fire or would the circuit breaker blow first?

A: If you made a high-resistance connection, or nicked the wire when stripping it, the temperatures could easily rise to combustion levels before the breaker would trip.
 
  #4  
Old 04-25-01, 09:13 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
Posts: 1,052
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
John, I liked your "About the only mistakes you might have made..." article. This should definitely be a general purpose FAQ item!

Juice
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: