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Shed Switch

Posted By: JoeKP

Shed Switch - 05/26/09 05:41 AM

here is a switch that i found in my grandfathers shed, it is just a replacement pull chain switch, oh, and an extension cord going to the lights (end cut off, coming out of the top)

[Linked Image from]
Posted By: JoeKP

Re: Shed Switch - 05/26/09 05:44 AM

oh, and on the right is the wire feed to the shed, (the splice on the wall. and fed to the shed with water-type PVC pipe, with NO connectors)
Posted By: EV607797

Re: Shed Switch - 05/26/09 06:12 PM

Ah, yes. A shining example of "Yankee thrift". It is amazing how someone will spend twice the amount of time making something improper "work", when they could have done it correctly in half the time, including a trip to the store to buy the $10.00 worth of parts to make it happen.
Posted By: lukemon2

Re: Shed Switch - 06/16/09 06:27 AM

Nice Nice Nice
Posted By: Theelectrikid

Re: Shed Switch - 07/13/09 05:55 AM

Amazing what people will do, well, Ed already said it!

Ian A.
Posted By: ChicoC10

Re: Shed Switch - 07/13/09 09:37 PM

Amazing what people will do, well, Ed already said it!

Out of curiosity, do you honestly think it will burn down anytime soon? Maybe take a life by means of electrocution or arc flash? Have you personally come across a similar installation that has been in place for decades without indecent? I know I do regularly.

While its true that a quick trip to the hardware store with the correct information in mind would have yielded a superior and code compliant installation, I think at times we might be forgetting exactly where the roots of everything we take for granted came from. Seat of the pants innovation and engineering. We seem to blatantly disrespect the very spirit that lead to the development of not only our trade but all things technical in a routine manner here on this board. We all sound like lobbyists for major manufacturers or trade organizations some times.

Would you see that spirit killed in the name of "safety"?

Safety is an illusion that one chases when they feel insecure or one sells when they perceive a market. Not that things can't be made safer but the trend today is disturbing. Its like a giant boa constrictor that slowly, code cycle by code cycle is squeezing the life out of new construction, all phases of it. People don't want to pay for BS and we are the ones who will suffer when they have had enough.

I apologize for the rant and I do believe that safe installations are important but I see a lot of reactions that I think would be comparable to the reaction Galileo received when he proposed that the Sun was center of the solar system.

And no, I wouldn't have wired that way.
Posted By: mikesh

Re: Shed Switch - 07/14/09 12:35 AM

Unfortunately I can't see the pix as my computer at work does not have the right software but in response to the rant. I investigate fires when it is suspected of being electrical. They can't call it an electrical fire until I agree. I have seen fires that started 80 years before the first flame in the form of a bad splice. There are lots of things that are done that don't reveal the hazard until long after the responsible person is dead and gone. Lots of things work so people just assume it is also done correctly. Telephone wire can power a plug and if you plug a clock into it the clock will work fine but we here all know it is a time bomb where no one knows the detonation time.
I am of course also assuming there is some kind of maintenance issue or other form of DIY ingenuity. Mcguiver might be able to get out of a tight situation with a swiss army knife and a few clothespins but longevity and safety are not the objectives.
Posted By: ChicoC10

Re: Shed Switch - 07/14/09 01:40 AM

I've heard that all before and I hope you don't doubt my ability to appreciate truth when told.

But you failed to answer the question:

Would you see that spirit killed in the name of "safety"?

The spirit of ingenuity is what is in danger of being squelched and while it does tend to be in direct conflict with safety (an illusion at best) is it really something we want stamped out of our society?

Call me a troll if you must.
Posted By: mikesh

Re: Shed Switch - 07/14/09 06:40 PM

I appreciate you are being the devil's advocate and I agree that safety can go so far as to prevent everything from happening.
Posted By: EV607797

Re: Shed Switch - 07/15/09 04:23 AM

Very true. You simply can't fix stupidity. I agree that many of today's codes, laws, rules, etc. do get a bit carried away in the interest of our own good. What I often see is the only people who do things correctly are the ones who know and adhere to the rules. Those who don't know the rules obviously don't see any harm in what they are doing.

Driving a car is a perfect example of how those who never paid enough attention to learn the rules think their driving is just fine. They just memorized them long enough to squeak by on the driving test.
Posted By: kale

Re: Shed Switch - 07/16/09 09:11 PM

What I often see is the only people who do things correctly are the ones who know and adhere to the rules. Those who don't know the rules obviously don't see any harm in what they are doing.

I would argue that while these threads are full of unsafe ways to do things, you also can find here alternate but safe ways to do things that are not allowed by the "rules".
Posted By: EV607797

Re: Shed Switch - 07/17/09 05:35 PM


I was actually referring more to the original picture where a pullchain switch had been placed through a hole in a toggle switch face plate. I'm sure it worked, but I seriously doubt that the leads on that switch were any larger than #18.
Posted By: wa2ise

Re: Shed Switch - 07/17/09 06:13 PM

The pullchain probably won't cause an incident, but it would likely work itself loose after several on-off cycles. Then being loose may cause a splice inside the box to break, and so on, to create a hazardous condition.

Oh, you've likely seen wiring done so bad that you could accuse the installer of attempted arson, but this shed switch kludge would be classified as "mildly hazardous". Even if it has odds of 1 to 10,000 of causing an incident in a year, that would still mean that if that kludge existed in each of the, say, 100 million dwellings nationwide, you'd have 10,000 incidents every year. Which is way too many, so the code is written to get that down to just a few incidents a year. Or none at all.
Posted By: Flux

Re: Shed Switch - 12/02/13 09:06 PM

Not to resurrect this thread from the ashes, but as I was reading, I turn my thoughts to the relatively new AFCI devices that are now code mandate. I understand the reason for the desire to have made them a requirement. But in this case is the code not catering to stupid people ? It will prevent that person from burning their house down who doesn't mind their extension cord or their appliance cord that is obviously past it's usable life. I'd like to hear some discussion about that. Because there may be other reasons for their employ, I just may not be aware of it. In relation to the thought of too much safety, as crazy as that thought is.

Posted By: Tesla

Re: Shed Switch - 12/02/13 10:57 PM

AFCI devices are not going to object to that Yankee's ingenious 'solution' for there is no arc faulting failure.

The problem with that particular install is that there is no suitable OCPD up the line. Consequently, there'd be no logical reason why one could not overload the conductors, melt through the insulation so quickly that a flame started before even an AFCI tripped.

If the short is SMOOTH and regular, the logic of an AFCI is going to see the cook off as merely a 'hot plate' pure resistance load.

AFCI are going to object to universal motors much more readily -- the commutator -- of course.

One simply can NOT use conductors undersized versus OCPD -- unless the tap rules are obeyed.

Beyond that, as previously commented, the slack installation is not going to stay tight under use. Of all the flaws I've witnessed in installations -- loose EMT, boxes, fittings come at the TOP of the list for hazard. They are the source of rubbed conductors and frayed terminations. When not correctly bonded, they are the source of electrocutions. They happen ALL the time -- typically killing a kid so young as to not recognize that something's gone amiss with the electrical system.


Beyond that, the trade, generally, does NOT favor DIY kludge-ups -- if only for economic reasons. With knowledge comes realization: the DIY crowd is dancing with death -- and dares not know it.

Lousy DIY plumbing attempts reveal themselves as drips and ugly noises. No-one dies.

Lousy DIY electrical installations are not apparent to most -- and the perils include loss of structure and loss of life.

Add to that the commonplace DIY attempt to work on hot circuits! DIY are willing to take chances that no experienced hand would tollerate.
Posted By: HotLine1

Re: Shed Switch - 12/03/13 03:41 AM

Whatever subject youmay want tostart a discussion on, just start a newthread in 'Discussion' or Code
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