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  1. #1
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    Help me before I electrocute myself...

    I need to install a lighting fixture in the living room. I have nobody who can help me do it. My mother's boyfriend is a complete JERK and we have been begging him to come and put this simple light fixture on the wall for the past two weeks now. A simple 5 minute job and he never helps with anything. What a class act. My mother has had enough and has finally kicked him to the curb. So I'm stuck installing the fixture myself.

    I know I have to turn the main power circuit off of course. And I read the instructions here:

    http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache...+fixture&hl=en

    But does anyone know how I'm supposed to connect those ground copper wires? I understand how to connect the white and black wires but I'm confused about the ground copper wires. Do I just twist those two wires together? How many times do I have to twist the ground copper wires together? It doesn't say anywhere...


  2. #2
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    Twist together, and use a wire nut to keep them together.
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  3. #3
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    I see thanks. But the fixture only included two nuts. The two nuts are for the white and black wires. I don't have a third nut. Plus I thought the nuts were *only* for the white and black wires... not for the ground copper wires.

    And in the instruction link I pasted in my first post.... see where it says I'm supposed to secure the ground copper wire under that tiny green screw? I'm confused.

  4. #4
    Just take a pair of pliers and twist the ground wires about an inch or so in legnth put the pliers on the very tips of the wires side by side and it will give you a tight twist, then take some cutters and cut the tip off so its nice and even, and you can throw a wire nut on and it will be good to go..

    Some fixtures like the one you have has a grounding screw on it, simply bend the ground wire around it and tighten the screw..
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  5. #5
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    Ah, I see thanks

    ... and once I'm done twisting the ground copper wires together I'm supposed to secure it under that tiny green screw right?

    EDIT: Nevermind I see you edited your post. I got it now. I'm going to turn the main power off and give it a go. That's easy enough, thanks

  6. #6
    Originally posted by Frosty
    Ah, I see thanks

    ... and once I'm done twisting the ground copper wires together I'm supposed to secure it under that tiny green screw right?

    EDIT: Nevermind I see you edited your post. I got it now. I'm going to turn the main pwer off and give it a go. That's easy enough, thanks
    Yes that is correct, however it most likely won't fit under it, don't worry about it because it just grounds the box, which is probably just nailed to wood anyways so it makes no difference, just as long as the ground from the light goes to the ground in the panel (breaker box) you will be fine..

    There is a special kind of wire nut thats used in that application, its green and has a hole in the tip to add a 3rd wire, so you could technically wirenut like 5+ grounds together and just have 1 wire come out to attach to the scew, but its really not that big of a deal..
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  7. #7
    i'll be honest with you, if you never dont any electrical work dont bother with this one, get some pro or a neighbour to do it, No 1 Its dangerous.
    No 2 it will not be a perfect fit, or in the future there will be something wrong with it, It may fall or something...

    (i am only saying it because you seem to have never installed anything electric before)

    I know because when i opened my LCD, first i Almost died from electricution, (There was still some electricity left in the adaptor wire even though i turned off the mains!)

    And when i put the lcd back togather it didn't look right and it hasn't looked right ever since.

    In the uk doing these things on your own is now officially illegal, you need to get a expert to do it or check it for you!

  8. #8
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    Dont forget to put electrical tape around the twisted wire, or heat tubing if you have any.
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  9. #9
    http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/e...h/elwkbn44.JPG Thats the pic of a ground wire nut, another way to get around it, if you need to, is just take a 3rd piece of wire and "Pigtail" it out of a regular wirenut
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  10. #10
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    I see thanks for the help

    I was wondering, you know how most of those fixtures have a ground copper wire, a black wire and a white wire?

    Well when I looked up at the ceiling mine has a ground copper wire, a black wire a white wire AND a red wire... what on earth is that red wire?

    I know I have to connect the white with the white wires and the black with the black wires... but in the celing I also have a red one. That's odd, I wonder what th red one does. I guess I just need to leave that one alone?

  11. #11
    Originally posted by Philipf
    Dont forget to put electrical tape around the twisted wire, or heat tubing if you have any.
    Huh? Where do you live that they do that? You NEVER use heat tubing on 115v wires, Heat shrink as its more known as, is for low voltage, And there is no need for electrical tape the wirenuts take care of that just fine..
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  12. #12
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    You guys were posting at the same time I was. So I shouldn't try it msyelf then?

    Great, maybe I shouldn't mess with it then. I'll try to see if my neighbor can help but he's out of town

  13. #13
    Originally posted by Frosty
    I see thanks for the help

    I was wondering, you know how most of those fixtures have a ground copper wire, a black wire and a white wire?

    Well when I looked up at the ceiling mine has a ground copper wire, a black wire a white wire AND a red wire... what on earth is that red wire?

    I know I have to connect the white with the white wires and the black with the black wires... but in the celing I also have a red one. That's odd, I wonder what th red one does. I guess I just need to leave that one alone?
    The red wire is there because most likely the house was wired up for that particular fixture to support a ceiling fan, hense the third wire, the switch that supports that box, probably has a red wire in there as well.. because they can share the common (white wire)
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  14. #14
    Originally posted by Frosty
    You guys were posting at the same time I was. So I shouldn't try it msyelf then?

    Great, maybe I shouldn't mess with it then. I'll try to see if my neighbor can help but he's out of town
    Frosty, you seem very savvy up to this point, go ahead and do it, LCD's and 2 wires with a breaker are two totally different things, if you cut the power off, there is none, none hiding anywhere.. Its OFF period..nothings going to sneak out and bite you..

    If you wire it up wrong, it will trip the breaker, your house won't burn down, you won't get shocked or what not.. Just make sure that the black wires have 0% copper showing outside the wirenut and you are fine..

    May I also note that the white wire (common) in todays pannels are connected to ground, so you really can't go wrong with it..
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  15. #15
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    I see, so that's what the red wire is for. I'll turn the main power circuit off... I mean if I turn the main power circuit off what can go wrong, I certainly can't electrocute myself then.

    I'll have my mother come over so at least if I ZZZ ZZZ ZZZAP!!!! myself I can have someone call an ambulance
    Last edited by Frosty; 06-22-2005 at 07:03 PM.

  16. #16
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    Trifolic,

    Thanks for your help

    I will try it msyelf and make sure the main power is turned off. I'm sure it'll be ok.

    So far I can fix toilets, repair faucet leaks, fix the sprinkler system heads and pipe cracks. I've done just about everything except install a light fixture.

    Geez, I'm half man already.

  17. #17
    Originally posted by Frosty
    Trifolic,

    Thanks for your help

    I will try it msyelf and make sure the main power is turned off. I'm sure it'll be ok.

    So far I can fix toilets, repair faucet leaks, fix the sprinkler system heads and pipe cracks. I've done just about everything except install a light fixture.

    Geez, I'm half man already.
    No problem, let me know how it turns out.
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  18. #18
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    Good Luck!

    BTW: Good idea on having your mom come over while you work on it. You can never be too safe in those situations.

  19. #19
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    You dont have to turn off the main power, just the circuit breaker that feeds that circuit. No need to kill the power to your whole house.

    If you're brave enough, you can actually wire it live. I do it all the time. Yes, I've been shocked a lot by 120 and its not as bad as people think. Now shorting them is entirely different.

    * Connect the ground wire (green, or bare). Use a wire nut if necessary. Most of the time you can get away with twisting them together, then attaching them to the screw.
    * Connect the neutral (white). Use a wire nut.
    * Connect the hot wire (if black and red is present, use the black). Use a wire nut.

    Now, if you want to try it live. put your wire nut on the hot wire in the box. This will keep you from getting shocked. Then do the above.

    Personally, I'd be more worried about falling or dropping the fixture than getting a little bite from the wire.

  20. #20
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    Whoo hoo! I did it and it was actually VERY easy! I did it myself and it only took about 10 minutes and the light works

    But there is a problem, I have no way of turning the light on/off right now because there is no dedicated wall switch to that fixture anywhere like I THOUGHT there was. I have to get an electrictian to come out and re-wire because the light fixture is on a vaulted ceiling super high in the air and I need a dedicated wall switch in order to turn it on/off.

    But at least I installed the fixture and it is working, thanks for the help

    EDIT: Sorry one last question, when I went to connect the black and white wires the wires on the ceiling were completely covered in that plastic coating all the way to the tip so I had to thread the wires about half an inch. I also threaded the wires that were attached to the actual light fixture (just a tiny bit) so that I could wrap it around the wires more securely. But when I threaded the wires with scissors I accidentally cut a couple of those skinny little wires off... that's not a fire hazzard or anything is it? I hope not...

  21. #21
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    Just for the record, the red wire is not for the fan. That is a 'carrier' wire, in the case of three way switches, as in one at each end of the room. This allows for a switch at either end to control the device in the center of the run.
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  22. #22
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    Oh oops, I see.

    But it doesn't matter that when I threaded the wires and was cutting off the rubbery plastic covering that I accidentally cut into those tiny little wires and chopped a few of them off, does it?

  23. #23
    Originally posted by bear
    Just for the record, the red wire is not for the fan. That is a 'carrier' wire, in the case of three way switches, as in one at each end of the room. This allows for a switch at either end to control the device in the center of the run.
    When I was a full time electrician, we always ran 12/3 for ceiling fans, Black/White/Red/Ground.. And then 14/3 for 3 way switches.. It really could be for either, but most older houses don't have 3 way switches..
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  24. #24
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    when twisting the wires together I suggest using some electrical tape and then adding the wire wire cap to it.
    Kerry Jones

  25. #25
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    Originally posted by Trifolic
    When I was a full time electrician, we always ran 12/3 for ceiling fans, Black/White/Red/Ground.. And then 14/3 for 3 way switches.. It really could be for either, but most older houses don't have 3 way switches..
    Well, I live in a house that was built around 1837 and have quite a few 3-ways (retrofitted, of course).

    Curious as to why you'd run 12/3 for a ceiling fan, though. Was it desirable to have it on it's own leg/circuit, apart from the lights that might have been with it? The ceiling fans I've installed only had one set of wires that controlled fan/lights and all, so a separate line wasn't possible...
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  26. #26
    Originally posted by bear
    Well, I live in a house that was built around 1837 and have quite a few 3-ways (retrofitted, of course).

    Curious as to why you'd run 12/3 for a ceiling fan, though. Was it desirable to have it on it's own leg/circuit, apart from the lights that might have been with it? The ceiling fans I've installed only had one set of wires that controlled fan/lights and all, so a separate line wasn't possible...
    I would have to say about 90% of the homes that I worked in were "Richy" $1million+ homes there were times that there would be 2-3 ceiling fans in great rooms etc.. there are plenty of 5-7 blade fans out there that draw around 4-5amps, and since you can't throw more than a 15amp breaker on 14/2 14/3 wire, we just went the the 12/3 the price wasn't much more to do it that way, and it made the wiring so much eaiser in a 5 gang box for all those damn switches..

    If you run a 12/3 (or 14/3 if only 1 fan on circuit) you can have a switch with a slider on the side, where the switch turns the fan on/off and the slider turns the lights on/off and dims as well, that was the main reason for running the 3 wire..
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  27. #27
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    Thanks for explaining. Makes perfect sense.
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