Adding Outlet To a Lightbulb Socket

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Old 06-21-20, 08:30 PM
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Adding Outlet To a Lightbulb Socket

My house was built in the late 1800s, and had the electrical updated within the past 20 years and they got rid of all the old knob-and-tube wiring. I have a large closet on the third floor that is like to make a small home recording studio, but I have no power outlets in the closet. I was thinking of installing a light socket with a power outlet on it, and running my computer, mixer, and digital piano off of that (via extension chord and power strip), but when I opened up the old light socket, I saw it has no ground, but my new socket has a place to hook up a ground. Is this not recommended, running this without the ground? Am I stupid for trying to power all of this through a light socket outlet?



 
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Old 06-21-20, 09:30 PM
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The updated electrical work was done by an electrician ?
That looks like 14-2 NM-b cable. It should have a ground in it.
Check where the cable enters that box for a bare ground wire.

You need to make sure that if there is a ground wire present that it is actually grounded.
If you have a ground present you could add a box next to that one with a receptacle in it.

Without a ground present.... I wouldn't count on using it for recording.
 
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Old 06-22-20, 07:19 AM
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In addition, a light socket is normally 15 amp breaker using 14 gauge wire. . What else is on that same circuit? Even today's electronics can draw enough amperage to trip a 15 amp circuit if enough is on at any given time. I would want 12 gage wire and 20 amp if trying run a recording studio.
 
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Old 06-22-20, 07:46 AM
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I peeled back the casing/paper a bit and Iím assuming this is probably a ground tucked away in there?




There are two bedrooms and the third-floor playroom all on this same circuit, which, by looking at the breaker box seems to be a 15.
 
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Old 06-22-20, 07:53 AM
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Yes that is a ground. I hate when cut that back for no good reason. Now you need enough slack in the cable to get accesses to the ground wire.

Add up all your electronic wattage and determine the total draw. That will tell you if you're OK with 14 ga and 15 amp.

I would not use a lamp socket with a plug adapter. If you can, tap off the light socket and install a GFIC outlet.
 
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Old 06-22-20, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Norm201
I would not use a lamp socket with a plug adapter. If you can, tap off the light socket and install a GFIC outlet.
I've got essentially the same setup running computer/electronics in an circa 1828 "attic office."
I used a big-box-store APC/Battery backup instead of a GFCI.

I'm curious, any data on which is "better"
1) the control chip in a GFCI outlet,
or
2) the control chip in a APC?
 
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Old 06-22-20, 08:50 AM
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Hal,
My uneducated "guess" is that for security the UPC is better. For safety the GFCI is better.
 
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Old 06-22-20, 08:59 AM
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The problem here is that a ground is required for noise reduction in the recording equipment.
If the ground wire was cut off on that end..... it may have also been cut at the other end.
If that work was all done by the same person..... the grounds all may have been cut off.
15A is fine for recording work.
 
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Old 06-22-20, 12:02 PM
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That's an interesting point....and I'm fearful that may be what happened here. There are two outlets up in the third floor, (near where the closet is) and according to my outlet tester, one of the outlets checks out fine, and the other has an open ground. I'm assuming if the light is tied-in to the outlet with the open ground, then I have a bigger problem because that ground near my light socket isn't connected to anything on the other end.

Is there a way to test if that ground is active with a multi-meter? (My electrical tools are pretty limited) If not a mulit-meter, anything else?
 
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Old 06-22-20, 03:04 PM
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Hi, I hope this isnít intended as a permanent install, cords canít be used for this purpose.
Geo
 
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Old 06-22-20, 03:38 PM
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That's why I suggested installing an outlet.
But lets face it, when it comes to electronics we all use power strip and extension cords. I have nine electronic appliances going through two Power Command surge suppressors boxes which in turn is going through one outlet in bedroom using a six outlet tap. Not all the appliances necessarily are working all at once but sometimes yes. Along the same circuit but different outlets there several fans and a shredder. It's 14 gage wire on a 15 amp breaker.





My concern with post # 5 was if the electronic recording devices are older, they will draw a lot more current than newer equipment.
 
 

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