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Old 08-07-2009, 08:59 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by xamplesample View Post
even if the light switch is off in that room, and it's the light fixture i'm snipping?
I want more information before answering......

My opinion is why risk it? In a residence it's such a simple thing to turn the breaker or breakers off. But you can't guess about whether or not the power is removed from all wires at the fixture. Could be a mulitwire in there with a neutral carrying current.

But the op is asking a simple question or is it? My question is why are you snipping a wire to begin with? I've done it a thousand times but I'm confident that the circuit controlling the light and any other wires in the fixture box are deenergized. I've done it because some bonehead has wrapped the wirenut with electrical tape or he used a crimp connector. It's one thing to stick your hand into a fixture box to unfasten a wirenut. It's another thing to stick your hand in there and try to get all that tape unwound. There are times you must cut the wire at the fixture to get the freakin fixture out of your way. I don't trust switches unless I can lock them out. I'll likely lock out the breaker if i can. Just me I guess. It's been drilled into me so much in my previous career. And besides nothing opens your eyes more than when the little lady of the house comes around the corner and says...

OH! would you like some light to see by?? And turns the switch back on....

You can argue all you want about the fixture being a simple switch loop and all things being perfect you will not get electrocuted snipping a single fixture wire in a 2 wire switch loop with the switch off. I just don't see the point in it. You have the time to get the breaker turned off. But then again how many panels have a correct index posted? How many trips will you have to make to the load center to finally get the right breaker or breakers?

My answer.... as many as it takes...

What worries me about the OPs question is it begs of someone who can't figure out the right breaker or has no voltage tester or may not understand the wiring correctly to do what he wants and he is GUESSING.

What if it's a 3 way controlled light? You got a way to keep the other switch off if other people are in the house or likely to come home?

All this is why I say... I want more information... but the answer still doesn't change in my mind....turn the breaker or breakers off that removes all power in that fixture box and make sure it can't be turned back on. This might be a note, tape or a lock of some kind. Murphy will get you (or your mother in law) sooner or later but I prefer later...



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