Posts Tagged ‘wire nuts’

Adding Light

March 1, 2023
The accent wall in a Houston Heights master bedroom where I’m working is a little dark.  Here I’ve removed the light sconces , and am getting ready to skim-float to smooth the textured wall .  A little more light would be helpful!
My bright 100 watt light bulb is screwed into a little gizmo that’s quite handy .  It’s a socket for a light bulb that can be plugged into an electrical wall outlet .  Alternately, as you can see, because there are two holes in the bottom of the metal prongs , you can slip the ends of the electrical wires into those holes . 
Of course, you have to be careful that the ends of those two wires ( one white and one black ) don’t touch each other .  That could cause a spark and a shock , and maybe even trip the circuit breaker .  Oh, and, also, be sure to turn the power off at the switch before doing this.  If you want to be extra-cautious, you can kill the circuit at the breaker box – but really, turning off at the wall switch and then taking care not to let the two wires touch each other, will be pretty safe.
When ready to work around this improvised lighting , especially with metal tools or wet wallpaper , I will turn off the power at the switch , remove the socket thingie from the wires in the wall , use screw cap wire nuts to cover the exposed wire ends , and tuck the wires a bit into the electrical box . 
Once the paper’s up in that area, I can reattach the socket and get me some light again. 
I stumbled upon these things at a garage sale decades ago, and got maybe 10 of them for a buck or two.   But they’re still available in electrical departments of places like Home Depot and Lowe’s and our neighborhood favorite here in central Houston – Southland Hardware .  They cost about a dollar or a dollar and a half each . 

Questionable Electrical Connection

December 30, 2019

Usually, according to code, a metal electrical junction box should be in or on the wall before a light fixture can go up. All wire connections should be enclosed inside this box.

In the photo, some light sconces were added to an existing wall. Maybe because of stud placement inside the wall, or maybe laziness, or maybe ingenuity, the electrician fished a wire through the wall and out a hole, and then hooked up the sconces. All without benefit of a junction box.

I do believe this is perfectly safe. The wire connections are all tight and secured with wire nuts, and enclosed inside the housing of the light sconce.

However, while I don’t know electrical codes, I doubt that this is up to code. From what I understand, most such connections should be made inside a metal junction box.

I do have to say, I have seen this sort of thing many times – including in cities like Bellaire, Texas (Houston), where the building code inspectors are really tough.

New-Fangled Electrical Connectors for Wall Sconce

February 15, 2019

I ran into this very unusual electrical connection for a wall sconce today. There are no screw cap wire nuts. Instead, the wires from both the house and the light fixture push into the little orange plastic receptacles, which are built into the sconce’s mounting plate, and they automatically make the electrical connection. I’ve never seen it before, but it’s ingenious. And it seems safer than the traditional screw-cap method.

The only thing is, I can’t figure out how to get the wires out, so I can remove the sconce. I tried pulling, but was afraid to pull too hard. And I can’t find any place where I might slip in a tool to press on some sort of release or clip.

I’m going to do some Googling.