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Old 04-09-2013, 07:17 PM   #1
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Plugging fixture into light socket?


I have two light sockets on my basement ceiling, and I have two fluorescent fixtures with plugs on them.

I can buy adaptors that let you plug into a socket, or I could replace the existing light socket with new boxes and outlets. The first will be much easier and cost about 20% of the second, but the second will be grounded.

Is being grounded worth the time and money?

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Old 04-09-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
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Plugging fixture into light socket?


Yes. grounding means A LOT in today's world. Grounding could mean the difference between a breaker tripping or you being electrocuted/dancing uncontrollably like a monkey if there was a short in one of the lights.

If it is one of those basic porcelain light fixtures, just remove the fixture, wire in a basic $1 outlet, and put a $1 octagonal box outlet cover over it. No need to change the box.

Personally $2-$3 and an added ground is worth the extra $1 to me....

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Old 04-10-2013, 01:02 AM   #3
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Plugging fixture into light socket?


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Originally Posted by Toller View Post

Is being grounded worth the time and money?

Is staying alive worth it?

I never liked those "adaptors" to use an old style porcellain light bulb socket for an outlet, especially an ungrounded one, even more especially in the basement.
Run a piece of conduit with a ground to a real outlet and be safe.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:30 AM   #4
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Plugging fixture into light socket?


Funny.....how many decades did our country survive on just 2 wire AC?

On a serious note....the 'proper' choice would be to use a ground.

On a 'realistic' note....assuming there is no wiring mistakes in the fixture.....no one will die....if unsure....don't touch the fixture while power is one.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:45 AM   #5
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Plugging fixture into light socket?


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Funny.....how many decades did our country survive on just 2 wire AC?
Some people didn't survive; that's why things have changed. And while I think we may have gone a bit overboard, it is proven over and over that these changes save lives.

To the OP, post #2 is relatively easy, is low cost, will accomplish the goal of a ground, and will look decent too.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:46 AM   #6
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Plugging fixture into light socket?


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or I could replace the existing light socket with new boxes and outlets. The first will be much easier and cost about 20% of the second, but the second will be grounded.
Go with option number #2.
4" square box, 4" raised duplex cover and a receptacle
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:52 AM   #7
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Plugging fixture into light socket?


Just curious about that last picture. Assuming that the current NM-B colors are in affect. Why is there a 12AWG (yellow) cable feeding a box and two 14AWG (white) cables coming out.

Just curious.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:06 AM   #8
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Plugging fixture into light socket?


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Just curious about that last picture. Assuming that the current NM-B colors are in affect. Why is there a 12AWG (yellow) cable feeding a box and two 14AWG (white) cables coming out.

Just curious.
All three cables have #12 conductors.

The left top white is 12-2 from the breaker and bringing power into the j-box.

The left bottom white is 12-2 and is taking power downsteam to other receptacles for lights.

The yellow is 12-3 and is taking power to switches.

Last edited by hammerlane; 04-12-2013 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:11 AM   #9
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Plugging fixture into light socket?


I still have a mile or two of the white #12 NM, bought many years ago and stored for a rainy day. As I recall, I paid about 20 bucks for a 250 ft roll.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:14 AM   #10
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Plugging fixture into light socket?


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I still have a mile or two of the white #12 NM, bought many years ago and stored for a rainy day. As I recall, I paid about 20 bucks for a 250 ft roll.
Yes...the morale of the story is pay no attention to the color of cable sheathing Daniel-Son
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:38 AM   #11
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Plugging fixture into light socket?


But don't you know that the white NM has an expiration date?
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:01 AM   #12
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Plugging fixture into light socket?


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But don't you know that the white NM has an expiration date?
Wow, I didn't know that. I suppose I should pay someone to get it out of my loft. Wonder what they'd charge me to get rid of 50 or so rolls?
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:30 AM   #13
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Plugging fixture into light socket?


Another reason to make sure that a fluorescent fixture is supplied with a ground connection is that many of the new electronic ballasts require a connection between the ballast and ground (green or bare wire) in order to function. These ballasts utilize a capacitive conduction path to ground in order to start the fluorescent lights.

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