ceiling fan w/cfl and dimmer switch

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  #41  
Old 06-26-13, 04:25 PM
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It sounds like it has a receiver. The directions show how to wire both a receiver and the transmitter http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdf...a092aa6d73.pdf

And the reviews talk about installing the receiver. I found a Hunter one on the HD site but there's no directions so I couldn't tell if it would work or not.

I'm going to wait 'til I get my fans (they're on order) then go to HD or Lowes and buy 2 of these or similar. I'll try them out and see what happens. Can always return one or both.

It might be awhile since I'm 1.5 hrs from a city w/big box stores but when I find out what happens I'll let you know.

Thanks a million for all the help!!!
June
 
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Old 06-26-13, 07:22 PM
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Thanks for the link, June. I suspected that it might have a receiver/controller. And thanks again for the photos.

If that's a true beam that is part of the framing and can support a fan, then you can mount your new fans the same way. Many Hunter fans actually come with instructions for mounting them that way. You should install a pancake box with the center knockout removed centered on the wiring entrance, but it can be an ordinary pancake box - even a 3" one - since it won't be supporting the fan. PCboss reminded us the other day that the volume of the fan canopy must be marked on (in) the canopy for it to qualify as part of the volume for the wires and connections, so look for that when you're shopping. (I overlooked that you were looking for new fans, or I'd forgotten it, BTW.)

Also, I'm beginning to like the idea of remote receiver/controllers, provided you have room for them. We know that those have separate hookups for the fan motor and the lights, so you can definitely control the [lain lights as well as the fan lighta.

You can buy two sets and just install one of the wall controls if you want to, or you can have a separate wall control for each fan/light and plain light pair. Your call.

I'm still not a fan (yeah, I know) of Hampton Bay products. I'd get controls made by Hunter or some other established, independent company if it were up to me. But that's a decision for you to make also.

Good luck, and enjoy the journey!
 
  #43  
Old 06-27-13, 07:08 AM
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Thought I was done but I do have a couple more questions. First, I already ordered the fans so that's a done deal. I'll pick up some pancake boxes when I'm in Reno next week.

I'd get controls made by Hunter or some other
I did look at a Hunter control but it didn't have directions so I couldn't tell if it would work for me.

Ray said first thing that I should use all remotes. I balked because of the extra expense and the fact that I don't see how I could fit anything into the base of the lights. Maybe I could carve some of the wood out of the beam where the light base rests to make room. Also, when I first started this thread my mind was a blank about how it all worked and I couldn't really get it to think of how the remotes would work. All the questions from you and Ray have really made me think. Now I'm pretty sure I could figure out which remotes would work. I'll look at remotes next week when I'm in Reno and can actually see them & read the info. Also, now I want to really do it right.

So my questions:
* Do you know how big the receivers are?
* If I had a receiver and transmitter for each of the four would they interfere w/each other?
* Also, if all four were on wireless controls I assume I'd keep the wiring as it is but wirenut all 3 blacks together w/o the dimmer?
 

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  #44  
Old 06-27-13, 11:00 AM
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Ray said first thing that I should use all remotes. I balked because of the extra expense and the fact that I don't see how I could fit anything into the base of the lights. Maybe I could carve some of the wood out of the beam where the light base rests to make room. Also, when I first started this thread my mind was a blank about how it all worked and I couldn't really get it to think of how the remotes would work. All the questions from you and Ray have really made me think. Now I'm pretty sure I could figure out which remotes would work. I'll look at remotes next week when I'm in Reno and can actually see them & read the info. Also, now I want to really do it right.

So my questions:
* Do you know how big the receivers are?
They vary, but they're all made to fit inside a fan canopy. Kinda tight fit sometimes. I'd say the average receiver/ controller is a little narrower, thinner and longer that a pack of filter cigarettes. There's no way you can mount one above one of your illegally-screwed-to-the-wood light fixtures. We can talk about what you need to do with those later.

* If I had a receiver and transmitter for each of the four would they interfere w/each other?
Yes, until you reset the dip switches to have them all work together. The good news id that you don't need four of these $60 toys. Two is plenty.

* Also, if all four were on wireless controls I assume I'd keep the wiring as it is but wirenut all 3 blacks together w/o the dimmer?
With the ones I'm thinking of, the transmitter would mount in the wall box and hook to the wires. If you wind up getting something that doesn't do that, you should still mount an on/off switch there to act as a service disconnect.

I'm thinking of two of these: Turns out they do have remote receiver/controllers after all. If you put one of the receiver/controllers above each fan and connect the fan light and the second light to the light feed off the receiver/controller, and get their DIP switches set together, you can use one wall-mounted transmitter to control both fans and all four lights. Plus the pull chains, of course.

If you want separate controls for rverything, you'll need to rewire or get some automation controls from X10 or Insteon.

I did look at a Hunter control but it didn't have directions so I couldn't tell if it would work for me.
Find the model # anywhere and look it up on the Hunter site. When you find that product, click on the Owner's Manual link.
 
  #45  
Old 06-27-13, 11:24 AM
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For the lights if you want to use a separate receiver you might need to use a surface mount box. If the box was painted the same color as the beam it would blend in. I have some ideas if the light canopy is larger than the box but I'll hold that till I know if your interested.
 
  #46  
Old 06-27-13, 03:31 PM
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I thought I'd have to get one receiver and transmitter set for each of the 4 fixtures because I'd need a receiver for each. Do they sell multiple receivers w/one transmitter? The hunter fan/light remote set is $50; I assume one for the plain lights would be cheaper. I haven't done a lot of searching on them tho - just looked at the HD site. You've both mentioned the X10 or Insteon a couple of times. I don't see that they're any different from the ones on the HD site except that they're more expensive. Am I missing something?

Ideally I'd like to have two wall-mounted (rather than handheld) transmitters - one for the plain lights and one for the fans. I figure they'd have to be completely wireless since all four fixtures are on the same cable. Good idea to put an on/off on the wires in the box.

I'm hoping that adding the pancake boxes to the fan mount would give enough room for the receivers. And surface mount boxes sound good for the lights. Don't think it would be too noticeable up there. But Ray, you said you had another idea? The light canopy (is that the part that covers up the wiring?) is about 5 3/4" wide and 1" deep. The beams are 5 1/2" wide. HD has a surface mount box that's about 3" x 5".

June
 
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Old 06-27-13, 04:10 PM
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My Idea was to make up up a medallion out of two layers of 3/4" plywood with a hole in the middle of the medallion for the box. Edges of the medallion would be finished with a router using an ogee bit but your rafters may be too narrow for that.
 
  #48  
Old 06-27-13, 04:27 PM
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Oh I like that idea, but the rafters are too narrow. the corner of the cut out piece would come to w/in 0.08" of the edge. If I made the wood part bigger it would look funny. But I don't think I'd mind having the box on the rafter if it were brown. Haven't found any remotes for plain lights yet that aren't hard wired though. They're all basically dimmer switches like I have now.
 
  #49  
Old 06-27-13, 06:27 PM
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Here's something to read. I don't know enough to know if it might help. http://www.smarthomeusa.com/Products...WS1Dlowres.pdf
 
  #50  
Old 06-27-13, 06:49 PM
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Sounds great but still needs to be hardwired. I can't find a light dimmer anywhere that doesn't need to be hardwired. Hardwiring a "wireless" dimmer into the circuit doesn't seem any different from using my old dimmer. It would still affect the fans.

If I used remotes for the fans and hardwired them in the plain lights would run off of the fan controls. Don't know if that would work and it seems I'd have to run the fans to run the plain lights. Doesn't the remote fan/light control override the chains?

How frustrating. Thought I was almost there. Could I use a fan/light control for the plain lights? 'Course now we're talking about $200 for four. I'm already over budget.

After all the time invested (mine and yours) and all that I've learned so far I'd really like to do this right. But I'm stuck on finding non-hardwired light dimmers.
 
  #51  
Old 06-27-13, 07:25 PM
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It sends a signal over the wire that is unique to the receiver at the light if I understand correctly. Wait for Nash to weigh in. This is outside my knowledge area.
 
  #52  
Old 06-27-13, 07:40 PM
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That would be almost too good to be true! That's why he said I could get away w/buying only one. Ah...hope blooms eternal.
 
  #53  
Old 06-28-13, 04:53 PM
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Sorry, got tied up.

I'm not familiar with the product Ray linked to, so I read the page pretty closely. I saw
"The WS1D Wall Switch Dimmer is the first combination wall
switch/light dimmer to incorporate the patented Universal Powerline
Bus (UPB™) two-way powerline communication technology. UPB™ is
the perfect low cost alternative to hard-wired and RF control
technologies, requiring no new wires and providing ultra-reliable
communications between transmitters and receivers."
and then I couldn't find another word about receivers. Hmmmm... Looks like a typical master/slave setup to me. We could have linked you to the Lutron Maestro series a long time ago if that was what you needed.

But I get what Ray's pointing to - RF (Radio Frequency) and over-the-wire communication. It's a good point, and the Hunter All Fan/Light Wall Mount Control I pointed to earlier uses both, I think. I know it uses RF because they talk about "RF Interference" under Troubleshooting.

My theory: one 2-conductor cable goes to a fan then on to a light. the other 2-conductor cable goes to the other fan then on to the other light... When only the "house 2" and the 3-wire are connected (B to B & W to W) everything works - the 4 ceiling boxes, bedroom and bath lights -
I just got one new thing the test told us. There aren't two cables from the wall box to the fans and lights. There's only one. One of the fan locations should have 3 sets of wires. Since it isn't the one in the picture you posted in post #37, it must be the other one.

So here's the thing. You only need one wall control because you have only one wall location. You also have only one 2-conductor cable going from there to all four ceiling outlets: Both fan/light combos and both plain lights. But you still need two receiver/controllers, because you can't control the second pair of fixtures without it.

What I'm saying is that if you want to control both fans together and all four lights together then you can use one wall switch/transmitter and two receiver/controllers all set to the same channel. If you want to control one fan, its light and the regular light across from it, and then the other pair separately, you can install both transmitters and set each wall switch and receiver pair to different channels. In either of these two setups, one receiver/controller will be mounted in each canopy.

And, as I said earlier, if you want to control the plain lights separately from the lights on the fans, you'll need to move to automation controls such as those made by X10 and Insteon. Maybe something like the X10 SocketRocket.

June, I've got an idea brewing for something to make the mount for the plain lights safer. It will require fixtures that can be mounted to a 3" electrical box. Please measure the distance between the mounting holes on one of those fixtures so we can tell if they"ll work, or if you'll need new ones.
 
  #54  
Old 06-28-13, 06:20 PM
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OMG! You're my hero! The Socket Rocket sounds like just the thing for my plain lights. I've been searching everywhere for something that would work - even some very strange Chinese sites. I use the plain lights all the time; the fans rarely. And the lights that will be on the new fans I'll use rarely. So I want the 2 plain lights controlled together and the 2 fan/lights controlled together.

I know now (thanks to you two!) that there's only one 2-wire cable going to the ceiling fixtures. I've had all four fixtures off. Both plain lights have only one cable; both fans only two. Maybe the cable goes thru the beam to the first fan; back up thru the beam, then branches to the first light and the second fan. The second fan feeds the second light. Something like that must happen. I can only guess because the wiring is inaccessible unless I tear the ceiling apart. Regardless, they are all somehow wired into the one 2-wire cable.

I must not understand how the hardwired transmitters work. It seems like once one is hardwired into the circuit it would control all four fixtures. Is that wrong? I don't know how they work and haven't found any info on the technical stuff. Does the radio frequency mean a hardwired control could pick and choose which fixture it affects? This is where I'm lost when you talk about controllers.

I have the Hunter control you mentioned in my HD cart. I think it's hardwired for the fan control and has a battery-powered (allows it to work on a 2-wire cable) receiver for the lights. So I assume that the fan control affects the plain lights too since they're on the same circuit - no? The smarthome control that Ray sent a link for says it requires no "new" wires but the wiring diagram shows a hardwired setup. So I'd have the same question. I know nothing about how these work. It doesn't seem like I could control my plain lights separately from the fan/lights w/something hardwired. What am I missing?

Anyway, I found a Westinghouse (same brand as the fans I ordered) fan/light receiver & remote transmitter that has a transmitter that is not hardwired Westinghouse Ceiling Fan and Light Remote Control-7784000 at The Home Depot. Could I put one in each fan/light and use a Socket Rocket on each plain light?

My problem w/X10 has been that their website drives me crazy. It has only security cameras on it. How the heck did you find their Socket Rocket? From your link for the Socket Rocket it looks like I would need one for each light plus a Transceiver and an "X10 controller". I assume their Palm Pad would work as a controller. The site says the "Palm Pad Remote works in conjunction with X10 transceiver modules".

This would make me all completely wireless and I could control each of the four fixtures separately or link the fans together and the plain lights together. That'd be great. Expensive, but great.

At this point I'm ready to bite the $bullet$ and get the wireless stuff. Do you think the combos I'm thinking about will work?

THANKS!!!!
June
 
  #55  
Old 06-28-13, 10:33 PM
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I know now (thanks to you two!) that there's only one 2-wire cable going to the ceiling fixtures. I've had all four fixtures off. Both plain lights have only one cable; both fans only two. Maybe the cable goes thru the beam to the first fan; back up thru the beam, then branches to the first light and the second fan. The second fan feeds the second light. Something like that must happen. I can only guess because the wiring is inaccessible unless I tear the ceiling apart. Regardless, they are all somehow wired into the one 2-wire cable.
What's inaccessible, or at least not yet discovered, is the junction box where the single cable from the wall box is spliced to two cables, one going to each fan location. At least, we hope it's in a box.

I must not understand how the hardwired transmitters work. It seems like once one is hardwired into the circuit it would control all four fixtures. Is that wrong?
Yes. The device in the wall, that you control, is the transmitter. All it does is send signals to the piece in the ceiling. That piece in the ceiling is the receiver/controller. It will control the devices connected to its load wires. You determine what it will control when you connect it.

Anyway, I found a Westinghouse (same brand as the fans I ordered) fan/light receiver & remote transmitter that has a transmitter that is not hardwired Westinghouse Ceiling Fan and Light Remote Control-7784000 at The Home Depot. Could I put one in each fan/light and use a Socket Rocket on each plain light?
IDK. That's a hand-held transmitter and I couldn't find any more info. IF it cones with receiver/controllers that can be set to work together, then you should be able to.

June, the trick will be to connect the hot wire for each plain light only to the wire coming from the wall control, and then use the SocketRockets for those. For the plain lights to have full power and be controlled by the X10 controller, you will have to not connect it to the ceiling controller. You could do the same for the lights on the fans, and you will have to if you want to use one controller for all of the lights. I would, and set the modules so that I could control the plain lights and the fan lights as two separate sets.

My problem w/X10 has been that their website drives me crazy. It has only security cameras on it. How the heck did you find their Socket Rocket?
I agree - it's one of the most obtuse websites I know of. Even most of the buttons in what should be the navigation bar across the top don't actually link to anything!

I found the SocketRocket page by typing that directly into my browser. I just tried and, after about 5 minutes, managed to get to a page within the X10 site that actually had a working search window, so I got to it from there. But I never found a direct or nav link to it. Stoopid! If their products didn't actually work, they'd be dead.

If I were running X10, two things would change. One would be the web site. No excuse for its being that bad. It could easily be great, and it needs to be able to take a visitor to every product in the line, and to FAQ pages, manuals and on-line help, with just one or two clicks. The other is that there would be fan motor and fan/light controllers, asap. Those should have been in the line 15 years ago, and they still don't exist. The page at Smarthome that talks about using X10 to control a ceiling fan actually talks about dimming switches. Smarthome? Yeah, right. No freakin' excuse.

</rant>
 
  #56  
Old 06-29-13, 07:20 AM
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Thanks Nash.

connect the hot wire for each plain light only to the wire coming from the wall control, and then use the SocketRockets for those. For the plain lights to have full power and be controlled by the X10 controller, you will have to not connect it to the ceiling controller. You could do the same for the lights on the fans, and you will have to if you want to use one controller for all of the lights. I would, and set the modules so that I could control the plain lights and the fan lights as two separate sets.
I don't really want to control the 4 lights together. I want to control the fan lights w/the fans, and the plain lights by themselves. When you say connect the plain lights only to the wall control do you mean they would not be wired on the same circuit as the fans? What do you mean by not connected to the ceiling controller? Is that the same as the wall control?

This "little" project has already become way too big a pain in the neck. I don't regret a bit of it only because I've learned so much. But I'm definitely not willing to tear into my ceiling and try to rewire the whole thing. You can see how the wire goes up into the beam.
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And you can see how little room there must be above the ceiling. The white is that sound-absorbing "tile" stuff. Thru the window you can see the eves. The roofing, of course, is right above the eves.
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So I'm still hoping I can use a receiver & wireless transmitter for each fan/light and the socket rockets for the plain lights. Do you suppose I should just go for it - install those and see what happens?

At least, we hope it's in a box.
This house is pretty well built. All the original work is good quality. It's just the work of the guy who owned it before me that's not so great. I've never found anything actually dangerous tho...yet.

Thanks again,
June
 
  #57  
Old 06-29-13, 07:38 AM
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Looking at the next to last picture I'm wondering are the beams hollow or are solid?
 
  #58  
Old 06-29-13, 11:41 AM
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I don't really want to control the 4 lights together. I want to control the fan lights w/the fans, and the plain lights by themselves. When you say connect the plain lights only to the wall control do you mean they would not be wired on the same circuit as the fans? What do you mean by not connected to the ceiling controller? Is that the same as the wall control?
One of the confusing things about trying to understand or explain this sort of thing is that we use the term "control" in two different ways. Everybody does this but it's not really accurate.

The "wall control" doesn't actually control anything. It transmits commands to the receiver and the receiver controls the power. It's like the "remote control" for your TV. That doesn't control anything either; it just tells the controls in the TV what to do.

You might prefer 4 SocketRockets so that you control the lights from anywhere, but you can buy two more later.

The receiver/controllers for the Hunter controls will have one lead for power in, one for power out to the fan motor, and one for power out to the light(s). The neutrals are made up separately. I think that if you connect the black wire going to a plain light to the black wire from the wall and the lead for the power into the receiver/controller then you can control the plain light on its own with the SocketRocket. Any lights that you connect to the power out of the receiver/controller will be controllable from the wall only.

I have no knowledge of how the Westinghouse control works.

There's a missing splice somewhere. It needs to be found to make sure that it's safe.

How far apart are the mounting holes for your plain light fixtures?
 
  #59  
Old 06-29-13, 12:50 PM
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answer to Ray's question

They're solid. Looks like they have about 1/8" veneer on them.
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Old 06-29-13, 01:02 PM
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answer for Nash

How far apart are the mounting holes for your plain light fixtures?
They're 1.5" apart. But there's another set of holes that are 2" apart.
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  #61  
Old 06-29-13, 01:30 PM
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They're 1.5" apart. But there's another set of holes that are 2" apart.
I was asking about the holes in the fixtures, not the holes in the beam. But never mind. I hadn't noticed that there were boxes already there, and that's where I was headed.
 
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Old 06-29-13, 02:36 PM
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The house was well built to code by a reputable local contractor 53 yrs ago. All of the original work is good quality. And any changes made by everyone except the last guy who lived here were also well done. The man who was in the house for 6 yrs before I bought it did some pretty sloppy stuff. The plain lights are original; the fans are his - replacing two of the original plain lights.

What a can of worms I've opened. I'm going to try going all wireless. Will let you know how it all works - or doesn't.

Again, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all your help!!

Ju e
 
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Old 07-19-13, 05:53 PM
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Cool Woohoo! Woohoo! Woohoo!!!

It works! It all works!

Each fan/light has it's own remote. The receivers are wired into the fans but the remotes are wireless. I can control each fan separately: on/off/dim the lights, on/off/3 speeds for the fans, and set the fans to go on/off automatically at certain times or when the room is a certain temp.

Each plain light has a socket rocket that's operated by a "palm pad" remote so I can operate each light separately. It will only on/off - no dim but that's OK since I use these lights for reading. I can use the fan lights if I want dim.

Thanks again you two - I am one very happy camper!!
June

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Old 07-19-13, 06:09 PM
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Good job. Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
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Old 07-19-13, 08:17 PM
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Congratulations! We knew you could do it. And it all looks so nice too, especially your set of switches and controls. And, of course, I'm enjoying your picture of your X10 remote transmitter. It looks just like the two next to our LR chairs.

I forgot that Socket Rockets can't dim. Oops! Glad you're OK with that.

Good job, June. Enjoy!
 
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Old 07-20-13, 07:16 AM
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I'm very happy w/my lights but I'm just as happy w/what I learned from you two. I've done lots of basic electrical - sockets, fixtures, etc. Even ran romex from a fuse to a new outlet (no biggie for you but it was for me). I've always hated doing electrical because I'm afraid of it for some reason. This is the first time I've had to really think things through and I find that now I don't fear it (tho I'm still really careful w/it). So thanks again!!
June
 
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Old 07-20-13, 01:53 PM
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I find that now I don't fear it (tho I'm still really careful w/it). So thanks again!!
That's the attitude. I've learned over the years that 240 tastes saltier than 120 - - just kidding. I've also learned that electricity is an equal opportunity killer and that orr bodies are pretty conductors.

IOW, what you've learned in doing this project is the real wisdom. It's gratifying to hear you say it, because that's exactly what we're trying to convey.

You're welcome, and good luck going forward.
 
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