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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Lampholder Here - What's Wrong?

[Linked Image]

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
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Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 220
looks like somebody is using the lampholder as a receptacle. also, the flexible cord is probably being used in place of structure wiring methods

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
See 410.47

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 745
I know those little screw-in plug bodies aren't rated to carry more than 660 watts, or something like that. I wouldn't expect this to last long at all before a failure of the plug body or the fixture socket itself.

A very poor substitute for a properly wired receptacle, hence the code article.

Mike (mamills)

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 812
trekkie76's post reminds me...
At my grandparents' house down in the basement, there is a restroom with a curtain. There is a permanately instlled flourescant fixure w/ two outlets on it fed by an 18gauge black ext. cord. The cord is plugged into one of those socket adapters with the light bulb socket and receptacle. As for the light socket, it is one of two wired in a series behind another light socket with an "incansendant replacement" flourescant bulb in it, both controlled by two three-way switches, one by the stairwell, and the other by the garage door. Oh and by the way, I felt a tingle from the non-grounded light fixture on the wall one time when I plugged something in, that's why I looked for the source.

[This message has been edited by Theelectrikid (edited 10-26-2004).]

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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
Is it just me, or is the rubber plug at the end of the cord disintegrating?

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 57
Yes, it does look like there's 'something' not right about that plug, I tried to zoom in the pic.
In fact, it almost looks like part of a workshop of someone I know, he has lamp cords and 14-2 romex running tools for his cabinet business. Not only does he wonder why the lights dim when he uses any of those tools, but heck, Id be afraid to work in there! One little spark, and with those barrels of laquer, thinner, etc....well, you can only imagine the possible catastrophe that can lead to...

"Live the dream, you only get one chance."
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
I've seen (and replaced) plenty of those round rubber plugs that have cracked and split over the years. The rubber dries out and crumbles.

That said, I've NEVER EVER seen anyone (besides me) who knows how to put one of those rubber open-front plugs on properly. All the ones I've seen have had the following things wrong with them:

1) wires stripped too much.

2) wires wrapped the wrong way around the terminal screws.

3) stray wire "hairs" that can come in contact with metal outlet plates if the insulator disk is missing.

5) terminal screws not tightened properly.

4) missing insulator disks (the old cardboard disks have been supplanted by plastic ones -- yes thesee plugs are still manufactured even though they're "outlawed" by The Code).

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 24
As a non-professional lurker here (I love this site!) I have a few fluorescent shop lights plugged in in this manner in my basement (only one per porcelean fixture). Is this contrary to code? Is this an unsafe practice, as long as the load is within the limits of any connectors used?

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 518
I think Thiggy has a good point- after all, many fluorescent fixtures come with short cords & plugs factory installed, and it's often not practical to remove them!
BUT... now that I think about it, the ones I've seen were three-prong plugs; I believe that fluorescent ballasts often require a good ground in order to work properly.

FWIW, I've had excellent results with compact fluorescents (those funny bulbs that screw into a lampholder).

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