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    tdub4's Avatar
    tdub4 Posts: 13, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Feb 7, 2010, 09:33 PM
    ELectrical Wiring for lights in Ent. Center...
    We are having a built-in cabinet/entertainment center installed for our tv/stereo equipment. Across the very top are 3 can lights that will be turned on by a switch on the inside wall of the cabinet. The installer ran the electrical wire from the lights to the new switch and then from the switch ran the wire to to an existing electrical outlet in the wall. He then connected the end of that wire to the terminals of the existing outlet (inside the wall plate).

    My question is that he basically took the wall plate off the wall to get access to the terminals, connected the new wire from the front and then just screwed the wall plate back to the wall. So, when looking at the outlet, it basically is a standard outlet with wall plate except the new wire is coming out from the side of the wall plate (as opposed to running it behind the wall and into the junction box so that it would be invisible). This outlet will not be visible as it will be behind the doors where the stereo components will be, but I am curious if there is a safety issue with this? Is it a problem to still plug my surge protector into the outlet without any issue? I am not sure if the pressure the plate puts on the wire is a problem.

    Any feedback would be appreciated and any ideas as well. Thanks in advance!
    tkrussell's Avatar
    tkrussell Posts: 9,655, Reputation: 724
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    #2

    Feb 8, 2010, 05:44 AM
    The cord from the lights should have just plugged into a receptacle.

    What was done, with a cord connected to terminals inside a box and coming out between a plate and the wall is just plain wrong.

    Ask the "installer" if they have an electrical license, are insured to do electrical work, and if they would like for you to contact the electrical inspector to check their work.

    I doubt they answer is yes to any of these questions.

    The cord should not be left as is, coming out of the box under and crushed by the plate.
    tdub4's Avatar
    tdub4 Posts: 13, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Feb 8, 2010, 12:38 PM
    Thanks for the reply. As far as the comment of plugging it into the receptacle, I assume I can pick up a plug at the hw store and connect it to the end of the wire to make my own plug? And you are correct, the answers to your questions would be "no".
    tkrussell's Avatar
    tkrussell Posts: 9,655, Reputation: 724
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    #4

    Feb 8, 2010, 01:52 PM
    Yes, disconnect the wires from the outlet, and put the appropriate male cord plug on. And you will be fine.

    Of course, shut off the breaker serving the outlet before working on it.

    Any plug you get will have one blade larger than the other, this will be for the white, neutral wire in the cord. If it just a flat two wire cord, one wire will be identified as the neutral by ribs or marks of some sort stamped int the insulation.

    Amazing what some "technicians" will do. Any chance of getting you to report this company or person? Chances are his little wiring job has been done in other innocent unsuspecting people homes.
    tdub4's Avatar
    tdub4 Posts: 13, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Feb 10, 2010, 06:26 AM

    Okay, I have removed the cord from the outlet and have a male plug to connect to the wire so it can be plugged in normally.

    My question now is... the main shield that covers all 3 wires is cut back to reveal the white, black and copper cord (not green shielding just bare copper). I understand how to connect it, but that primary shield is cut back enough so that once I connect the plug, there is about 6 inches or so of the white, black and copper wire running from the back of the plug to the main shielding that covers all 3. Is that a problem to have the copper wire exposed for that 6 inches?

    I realize it would be ideal to have the main shielding go all the way into the plug but I do not have enough wire to do that and still be able to have enough slack to plug it in. Could I use electrical tape to tape those 3 together from the back of the plug to the main shielding? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
    tkrussell's Avatar
    tkrussell Posts: 9,655, Reputation: 724
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    #6

    Feb 10, 2010, 06:54 AM
    What a mess.

    Report that tech yet?

    Electrical tape will work, several layers to try to restore the sheathing back to original.

    Any chance you can get some heat shrink tubing?

    At least now the cord is out of the wall and box and not crushed by the plate.

    The absolute best would be to replace the entire cord if possible.

    I hate to beat a dead horse, but this tech who did this sloppy, unsafe installation really needs to be reported.

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