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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm installing a new light and I wanted to install a new circuit. However, my condo has a subpanel and I can't access the main breaker box to turn off the power.

So, I want to splice into a existing circuit. I've installed the fixture, but haven't connected to any power source yet.


Here's my question- can I test to make sure that I have wired the light fixture correctly inserting the bare 14/2 wires running from the light into a live outlet?


This is unorthodox, I know.
 

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A better idea would be to use the end of a old power cord or extension cord that still has the male plug on it, spice the wires together with a wire nuts. Turn off the circuit breaker for the receptacle you are going to use to test your light, plug in, and then turn on the breaker to test.
 

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First, your sub panel should have a breaker that can cut the power to that circuit. You do not need to kill power to the entire sub panel. If access to the main palen is required, than they must provide you with that access.

Sticking bare wires into a receptacle is not safe.
Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was going to install a whole new circuit, hence the need to kill power to the subpanel.

OK. I'll kill power to an existing circuit, wire the new light to it, and test it that way.
 

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You of course have to be careful, but you should be able to add a circuit to a sub panel without killing power to it. As long as you understand where the power comes in and kill that input at the sub. Some electricians here can help identify how the sub is powered.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I bumped into an electrician and he said there is no problem inserting the wires into the live socket just to test if the fixture was wired correctly. Short side black, polarized side white. Just don't cross the wires. It worked, just as I suspected.i connected the new light correctly. All is well. Thanks for everyone's help.
 

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LOL, that electrician has insurance just in case his advice zaps someone, we don't. Did he explain how to add to your sub-panel?

Glad it worked,
Bud
 

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I've done it before in a pinch. No worse than inserting multimeter probes into a receptacle, just don't grab the uninsulated part.

Wrong! Your multimeter is fused, and the poles are isolated from each other.
So worst case scenario you blow a fuse in your meter.

If you jab wires into a live receptacle, and in this case will say the OP's lamp was wired incorrectly, the wire would have immediately thrown a big spark, tripped the the breaker and scared the you know what from whoever is on the end of the wire.
 

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If your subpanel has lots of spares it should also have a Main disconnecting it to kill power to everything in it. If that's the case you just kill that and not have to worry about having anything live in the panel.
 

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Here's my question- can I test to make sure that I have wired the light fixture correctly inserting the bare 14/2 wires running from the light into a live outlet?
If your circuit is still COMPLETELY isolated from the house then I don't see a problem with that, but if you have already connected the neutral and just searching for the hot then I do see a problem.

Never make assumptions about wiring that you didn't wire. Maybe some hack didn't understand polarized outlets and wired the outlet you're about to use, backwards, and if so you're going to blow something. You would need to test the outlet first with a meter to make sure it's properly wired.
 

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There is no master shut off on the subpanel, as far as I can see.
If it is truly a SUBpanel then it does not need a main disconnect within itself. The main disconnect will be in whichever panel is feeding that subpanel. If it's a 100 amp subpanel for example then the panel before it will have a 100amp breaker feeding the subpanel.
 

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There is no master shut off on the subpanel, as far as I can see.
There HAS to be, and you should have access to it.

Are you even allowed to do electrical work in your condo?? Sometimes it is prohibited by other than a professional with proper insurance due to the fact that the structure is a multi-family dwelling.
 
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