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Old 09-06-2015, 05:20 PM   #1
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Replacing a fluorescent fixture: DIY or go Pro


I have fluorescent fixture that no long works. While I am comfortable removing most light fixtures in the house, I see that this one has a rather large wire running into it. See photo below. The question is, is this something that a newbie should attempt replacing or should I leave it for the pros?

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Old 09-06-2015, 05:30 PM   #2
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Is there a wire leading out to it and going to another fixture?

If not...

With most conventional fixtures the connections are made in a grounded box; with yours, they're made in the fixture itself and the fixture's cabinet is grounded.

If you're comfortable doing the physical work and connecting wires, I see no reason why you shouldn't change it yourself. Just follow the instructions carefully and make sure the fixture is properly grounded. That's really important when the connections are inside the fixture.

Check for power with a non-contact voltage tester before touching wiring; shut power at breaker/fuse.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:09 PM   #3
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What is that wire; I've never seen anything like it. Anyone?
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:15 PM   #4
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looks like it could be NM (romex) or an appliance cord
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:18 PM   #5
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If you're happy with the existing light changing the ballast and possibly the lamp holders is easier than replacing the fixture
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Old 09-06-2015, 07:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toller View Post
What is that wire; I've never seen anything like it. Anyone?


That's a standard wire, most likely 14/2, has hot/neutral/ground in it.

The same type of wire feeds regular light fixtures - you just don't see it, it's covered by drywall or plaster.

--------------------------------
Ballast replacement is an option, but you have to select the right ballast for the tubes and be able to follow the diagram on it for wiring.

If you have t12 lamps now, best thing to do is get a t8 ballast and tubes; in most cases, if i'm not mistaken, t8s can fit in t12 sockets. There may be some electronic ballasts that can run t12s, but t12s are less efficient, often produce lower quality light and is going obsolete anyhow.

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Old 09-07-2015, 08:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary.m87 View Post
The question is, is this something that a newbie should attempt replacing or should I leave it for the pros?

Nobody can really answer that question for you. It's a simple procedure to some and a complicated one for others. Most often a home owner can do something like this on their own, but it all depends on how comfortable you are working with line voltage applications.

Most of it is pretty simple and straight forward. The connection box is actually inside the the fixture itself (the fixture is a connection box). Take a picture of the outside first for reference. Kill the power to the fixture, open the fixture cover plate, take a picture of the inside for reference, loosen that cable clamp your above picture remove the wire nuts, and the ground screw, pull the cable out, remove the fixture from the ceiling, then do everything above pretty much in reverse. I wouldn't count on the new mounting holes to match the old screw holes in the ceiling. You may have to make/use new mount holes. Make sure you hit the studs or something solid other than just plaster/drywall. The most complicated part for you would most likely be the wire nuts. Study up on how those work.

The only complication I can see is if the existing fixture is not done to code. Since you are basically copying what you already have then you won't know what proper code is and you may end up copying over the same mistake(s).

Post the pic of the inside so people here can tell you if anything needs changing.

Again, I am not telling you it's okay for you to do. You have to decide for yourself if you feel comfortable with it. On the other hand, if you supply the fixture then I doubt an Electrician will charge you a lot to mount and connect (make sure it's roughly the same fixture).
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Old 09-07-2015, 12:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
What is that wire; I've never seen anything like it. Anyone?
It looks like NMD90. NMD90 is the Canadian equivelent of romex.

They often refer to it as Lumex.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
It looks like NMD90.
It is.
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