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Old 09-01-2009, 06:16 PM   #16
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please help! I dont know what went wrong


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
Speedy

The thread was reopened so we can get the ladies lights working and prevent any trial and error by Ajax. I agree also but at least Ajax came here to get some help to fix her lights and didn't run and hide.....
Here's my problem with this whole situation. The home owner was too cheap to hire a licensed, insured, professional electrician to do the job correctly the first time and instead hired some handyman hack who doesn't know even basic electrical concepts. Now we are supposed to sit here, feel sorry for this lady who got exactly what she paid for, and hold this guy's hand through a problem that never should have occurred in the first place.

Nope, I'm all set. Thanks anyway!

Like I said before, I come on this site to try and help legitimate DIY homeowners but I will not help guys like this. He took money to perform a job that he is unqualified to do, and did the job illegally also, ie.. no permit/inspections (I assume). That's where I draw the line. If this lady came here asking for advice we would probably help her. If she was in over her head we would tell her to hire a professional, but as soon as she hired a non-professional the line was crossed. No sympathy from me.


Last edited by EBFD6; 09-01-2009 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:45 PM   #17
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please help! I dont know what went wrong


Quote:
I left the breaker on for the customer to view her new lighting.
She loved it. But when we left the room, she went to turn the lightswitch off and pointed out that it was already in the off position
Are you a Craigslist sparky?

The time to learn electrical work is before you start charging money.



That's all I got.

I try to be helpful with DIY homeowners but this is different.



Quote:
It explains why there is power lighting the bulbs when the switch is off, and why the breaker trips when the switch is turned on.
There's a reason we call a switch loop a "suicide switch".

Last edited by 220/221; 09-01-2009 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:04 PM   #18
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please help! I dont know what went wrong


Ajax I hope you understand what is going on with the situation.

Sure I can help the homeowner to do it own repairs that fine but someone else help the homeowner's repair that kinda cross my line due with electrical system there is not much margin of error in there and many states start to crack down unlicensed works.

I do not know what state you live in there I know couple of states have not much regulations and and pretty good percentage of states really watching it close on it.

Merci,Marc
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:10 PM   #19
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please help! I dont know what went wrong


Quote:
Thanks to all of you for the replies. After replaying it in my mind last night, I did determine that it had something to do with the lightswitch being wired in. It explains why there is power lighting the bulbs when the switch is off, and why the breaker trips when the switch is turned on. Ive informed her to keep her breaker off, and plan on returning today. When I took the old fixtures off yesterday, the closest light to the panel had three cords attached to it,(to the breaker, to the switch, and to the next lights) and I attatched the new potlight with all three cords connected to the potlight. There was however, a white wire with red tape on it. Like I said, Im no electrician, but I should have looked more into this. To fix the situation, I need to attach the wire at the potlight fixed in red tape to what exactly??
I appreciate the feedback, and to EBFD6 - no problem, blunt is good. I should explain further - I am not really selling electrical service, a friend of a relative had asked me to do some work around her house for money, including demolition and removal of a shed, a couple of vents put on her duct work, some holes cut in her t-bar ceiling panels, and 3 light replacements. I explained to her that I may not be the best suitable person for the electric work, but I would give it a shot, and she acknowledged and accepted. Part of the money I was paid was for the other jobs as well.
Like I said, I plan to go there today and resolve the issue. I just need to figure out where this red tape wire should be attached to. If someone could elaborate on the subject, would be much appreciated, otherwise its trial and error
thanks again to all of you
This is the post that made me think otherwise. I don't see a hack. I just see a guy trying to make a few dollars and gave himself a little too much credit on his electrical ability. His poor judgement caused him to find out otherwise. To me he is standing up to his mistake and just wanting to get it done right. A hack would be telling us to stick it where the sun doesn't shine cause he didn't fool us and he would have never told us he was hiring out.....and... wouldn't come back for more bruising and grief. Maybe my defintion of Hack is different than some....

!
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:18 PM   #20
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please help! I dont know what went wrong


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I just see a guy trying to make a few dollars and gave himself a little too much credit on his electrical ability. His poor judgement caused him to find out otherwise. To me he is standing up to his mistake and just wanting to get it done right.
I can agree with that. I just like to vent.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:40 PM   #21
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please help! I dont know what went wrong


Okay..
Lets start with an update on the situation. Something came up, and I was not able to
go to her house today. The truck had to go in the shop, and stayed longer than
expected. And tomorrow, she is leaving town until Saturday, so I will be returning on
that day.

Now, Id again like to take a moment to thank the people who replied here. Though some
of you disagree with what I am doing, and I can appreciate that, I appreciate your
feedback. And to those who defended me, and helped the situation, thanks a lot.
Now let me deffend myself a bit here. First of all, Id like to clarify that I am
Canadian, eh. Dont worry, Ive braced myself for your jokes. Now, let me point
something out that is pertinent to this situation. I currently live in a small town.
She lives 45 minutes away in another small town. There are plenty of electricians (and
plumbers, and carpenters, and tin bashers etc..) availible for hire. But there is one
small problem; each and every one of them choose to drive an an hour each day to
cottage country for work, where the big bucks are, and to get an electrician to your
home (even if its a 15 minute drive) for a small job like this for so few dollars is
next to impossible. Everyone I talk to around here sais they cant get anyone to come
for anything, no matter what they are willing to pay. If someone comes to do a small
job on your house, they dont see it as a small cash profit, rather a lost opportunity
to make huge dollars an hour away. So the proffessionals go where the money is and
leave the homeowners with small jobs to suffer. Thus resulting in the hiring of non-
professionals. I can understand the drive to want to search out the best profit,
thats any professionals right, but what are the home owners of the small towns
supposed to do? They say things like "yes, I can do it, but not for 18 months! seriously.

Now I reiterate, and elaborate. I warned her I wasnt the best suitable person for the
electric portion of the job. She insited! Her words were "Ahh, youll figure it out,
and then you can add that to your resume." I do carpentry, steel stud framing,
plumbing, stuff like this. I have successfully wired one or two things years ago, and
yes, I am always interested in learning more about it, but yes, I should be learning on
my own place first. Here's another valid point. If I told you how much money she
offered me to do this, you would puke. I talked her DOWN. Yes, I am just a guy trying
to make a buck, but I am in no way out to rip people off, do poor work, or even illegal
work, so I did the best I could, and took only what I thought was fair, and now I am
anxious to get back there to resolve the issue for free. And trust me, I could have
used every cent she offered.

I dont think I am a hack, I do good work in the trades that I know more about, and I
would deffinitely not leave anyone hanging after doing poor work on their home. As for
this forum, I am very grateful for the help I recieved, and the honesty. I can take
critisism and jokes and even anger or hostility. No worries. But for the people who
are strongly opposed to helping me cause she is too cheap, or because I am doing
something horribly wrong, let me help you sleep better at night by saying that I will
be sticking with the trades I am familliar with from now on. I will fix the problem,
and then hang up my "wire cutters" until I know a hell of a lot more about wiring.

And yes, my fathers girlfriend works with her, so no I cant really run and hide, nor
would I. Stubbie, extra thanks for the drawing, and for the defence. You were pretty
accurate with your take on my situation. You suggest I read a good book. I can go to
the store and get any old book, like wiring for dummies or whatever, Im wondering if
you have a really good book in mind? Id deffinitely like to learn more about this,
maybe I suck at it, but it interests me.

Thanks again to all, I value the honesty and appreciate the help.
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:08 AM   #22
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please help! I dont know what went wrong


Hi Ajax

Give me a minute I'm looking for the book that I think will help you most I just don't know if there is a Canadian version.....
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:29 AM   #23
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Found at the big box or online of course,,,I just don't know if Canadian version is available. Wiring Simpified is a good book but lacks good illustration but does have good line drawings similar to the ones I posted...again don't know if their is a canadian version. If you get into a Home depot check them out and see what you think. I don't think this link is the latest version but the name is correct.

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide.../dp/0865734291


Shop the internet for Canadian wiring books and look for ones that have good illustrations

Quote:
You suggest I read a good book. I can go to
the store and get any old book, like wiring for dummies or whatever, Im wondering if
you have a really good book in mind? Id deffinitely like to learn more about this,
maybe I suck at it, but it interests me.
Don't use the word 'dummies' on this forum my friends here will be like vultures on a dead carcuss....the will eat you up.....

220/221 is already formulating his reply.....


I would speculate though that we all were 'dummies' at one time when it came to electrical. Like you we decided to learn about it so we weren't dummies anymore.

Crap I just noticed I used the word dummies.....I am now covering my head...

Interesting thought ...maybe you should become an electrician... sounds like they could use one in your area..someone that wants to stay close. Be multi trade so you can makes ends meet. Get formal training and credentials then learn, learn and learn some more....btw you stood your ground well on this forum...
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Last edited by Stubbie; 09-02-2009 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 09-02-2009, 01:00 AM   #24
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please help! I dont know what went wrong


I would have done the drive out to there Ajax.....and as far as books go, all the ones I used in school on basic wiring are from the states anyhow. There really isn't much difference between how we do things from our country to yours (I think) except who can do it, and codde rules.......but basic 3 way switch wiring, etc, would be the same I would think? Um as far as titles go, well it's late right now and I am in no mood to rummage thru my bookshelves (been avoiding them for the last month since school let out) but if I think of any that would be of help, I will let you know.

And be careful!!!!
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:57 PM   #25
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please help! I dont know what went wrong


The solution to you problem is very simple as was your mistake.


You tied all blacks to blacks and all whites to whites. Seems reasonable except with a switch loop installation


You need to open up the can that contains the three cables and you need a voltage and continuity tester unless you van clearly see where the different cables go to/come from.


The three cables are:

1. Power source (incoming hot wires)

2. Switch loop (cable going to switch)

3. Switch leg (to next fixture)

Power source black ties to switch loop white. This sends power to the switch on the white wire.

All other whites tie together. These are neutral, "returning path" wires.

Switch loop black ties to fixture blacks. This sends power to the lights when the switch is turned on.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:43 AM   #26
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please help! I dont know what went wrong


Right on, thanks. Ill keep that book in mind and pick one or two up in the near future.

Actually, that was part of my plan when I moved out here, to muli-trade and pick up the close by work nobody seems to want. Only, I didnt have wiring in my agenda, pretty much everything but.. Wouldnt that be ironic? After all of this, I pick up a few books and learn it well enough to become an electrician? Ha!

I'm pretty sure the codes are quite similar between our countries. I know for certain that its pretty strict up here, and it tightens even more every year. In fact, just last week there was a pamphlet in the mail from my hydro company explaining the new regulations that take effect immediately on all new home construction, and it advises us to look at their website for updates before working on our own homes. Im sure The US is pretty close to what our regulations are.

220/221 thanks for the detailed solution. I was pretty sure (but not completely) that was what you guys were trying to tell me needed to be done. red taped-switch wire ties to main power hot. Got it! Consider it done.. Its quite clear which cable is which up there, they all go in different directions. I should have no trouble at all. But Ill let you all know how it went in a couple of days.

Thanks a lot once again, greatly appreciated. Maybe Ill make my way to the other sections and see if I can help someone with something I know a few things about..
Good to know I stood my ground well Vultures? I dont know, I felt more like shark bait for a bit there.. lol.
taker easy guys and gals.

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