DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Electrical (
-   -   Wiring a light with switch....please help!! (

lindo1951 10-12-2006 07:46 AM

Wiring a light with switch....please help!!
HI everyone. Here is my problem. I have just finished building a small garden shed and I want to hook up a light in there. I just want a 100 W bulb in there and a switch on the wall next to the door.
I have installed the bulb and fixture already, I have ran my wires from the bulb to the the light switch (I am using extension cords for the wires), then I ran another set of wires from the switch to the outside of the shed with the male part of the extension cord still attached. I then connected it to my outside outlet and it came of for a second and then it tripped the circut breaker in my house. Why?? What am I doing wrong? Can someone please help me?? Thanks in advance!!

J187 10-12-2006 07:54 AM

Ok, my first question to you is how did you go about attatching the extension cord to the light fixture? And how to the switch? Are you cutting these extension cords and stripping the wires to connect or are you rigging some sort a plug-in method, IE wiring a receptacle to the light fixture and plugging the cord in or something.

My second question is, why are you intent on rigging this thing up with extension cords, rather than wiring the light the proper and safe way? It sounds like you are going about this in a bizare way, perhaps I'm misunderstanding this, but from the sounds of it....

dougrus 10-12-2006 08:34 AM

Sorry to be blunt but....

You should stop what you are doing now and call an electrician. :eek:

sootybuttercup 10-12-2006 08:46 AM

An important consideration to help decide if you should continue wiring this with extension cords is the distance the shed is from the house. In other words...will the flames be able to reach the house when the shed burns down, or will someone receiving an electrical shock be visible from a location near a telephone (911)?:jester:

KUIPORNG 10-12-2006 09:13 AM

I know outside wiring requires special type of wires.... and other considerations... you probably need to deinstall some of your installations and use proper wire... as outside wiring exposed to temperature/rain/snow abuse... I means even you have no problem... you should deinstall/reinstall... not to mention you have problem...

J187 10-12-2006 09:37 AM

I'm having trouble understanding whats actually going on. I'm trying to give the benefit of the doubt at least until you confirm that you are indeed actually using extension cords to permenately wire a light fixture. There are plenty of people here that can help you but we need lots more info.

redline 10-12-2006 10:06 AM

This may be safer considering your limited electrical knowledge.

lindo1951 10-12-2006 05:16 PM

Ok...I get the point!!
Thanks everyone for the comments. OK, I will use proper wire, not extension cords. Still, how do I go about it? I need to be able to plug the light into the outside outlet of my house to get the power. It won't be wired directly into mu breaker box in my house. Can soemone help?

billinak 10-12-2006 06:10 PM

Have you thopught about buying a light with a plug and a switch already attached? Like a droplight or worklight or something?

sootybuttercup 10-12-2006 07:08 PM

Just to satisfy my curiosity, if nothing else...could you sketch how you had the wires all connected at the light and switch when the breaker tripped. Please indicate white, black, and green for the wires...and what the colors of the screws (or wires) were on the light fixture where you connected the extension cord wires. Also, was the plug on the cord you plugged in at the house a 3-prong or 2-prong...and if it was only a 2-prong...was one prong wider than the other?:whistling2:

darren 10-12-2006 07:17 PM

You have to open up the plug and either use the other two screws on the plug not being used or if they are all being used you have to make joints and then pigtails to the plug, a cord with a male end will not cut the mustard.

Then I would go to the switch and then up to the light. In the switch the whites would get tied together with a marrette and the two blacks would go on the switch. The tie the light in as normal.

As we all know, you know nothing about electrical what soever. Save yourself the hassle and call an electrician. It shouldn't take him more then hr for what you want and then you know that it is done right.

If you are doing it yourself make sure you turn the breaker off before starting. Most electricians can do it live but please don't try it or you will die a slow painful death if you touch the wrong wire. You know the sound that meat makes when it hits a hot BBQ that is what will happen to you.

sootybuttercup 10-12-2006 07:22 PM

darren...i think his/her plug is on the house...hence the need for the "from the house to the shed" extension cord. Also, have to remember to make the hot/neutral correct at the light fixture.

J187 10-13-2006 07:29 AM

Lindo, are we talking about an outdoor receptacle that is close by the shed or far away? You are going to have to use UF cable or some type of conduit and bury the cable in the ground to run it from the outdoor receptacle. You will need to use a box extender on that receptacle to tap power from it and run it out through a nipple and an elbow. The trench you bury the wire in will depend on what you use to encase the wiring or if you plan to just use UF wire (extension cords don't count as UF). There will be codes requiring a certain depth to bury the wires and or conduit, etc. You can then use an LB fitting to bring the power into the shed. You must follow specific wiring codes and or procedures. IE length of wires in junction boxes, stapling intervals, cable clamps, etc etc. If you fail to meet any of these standards and have a fire, your insurance company will not have to pay for ANY of your damages, and failing to follow these codes may result in injury or death to you and/or your family. So be responsible when wiring and take you time and study what you are doing before hand. Depending on far away the receptacle you are tapping is, you may want to rent a trenching tool.

KUIPORNG 10-13-2006 08:34 AM

I think the outdoor receptacles is not designed to be plug in permantly ... as they have cap to cover it when not in used, if you plug in permantly, water can slip through into the hot/neutral/ground and causing short.... from heavy rains/snows...etc.

J187 10-13-2006 09:52 AM


Originally Posted by KUI****G (Post 20689)
I think the outdoor receptacles is not designed to be plug in permantly ... as they have cap to cover it when not in used, if you plug in permantly, water can slip through into the hot/neutral/ground and causing short.... from heavy rains/snows...etc.

This is true. I'm pretty sure we've gotten throught to the poster that extension cordds are not the way to go. Its probably a little bigger of a project then they originally planned.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:52 PM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1