Changing garage light socket to outlet, found wiring problem


Hello icanfixit. Welcome back!

There are lots of garages out there fed by a single 20 amp circuit. It is the wiring that limits you to 20 amps, not the circuit breaker.

I will assume for now that what you currently have meets code and is safely installed. You can add on additional outlet boxes. Having 3 or 4 outlets on one circuit is not unusual. You can tap off of your ceiling box using 12 gauge wire to accomplish this. Just keep in mind that you are limited in how many items you can feed with power at any one time.

I would like you to think in terms of how you want to use your garage. This also needs to include your requirements for lighting. Planning to install an air compressor? How about banks of strip lights or outdoor flood lights? Running a table saw, power tools, a welder? Setting up power feeds based on your future intended use will save you lots of headaches.

If you have an attached garage, running extra circuits for lighting and outlets off...

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Yes, absolutely!. You can do this by pulling out the switch, and splicing together the two wires that formerly went to the switch. Then put a blank cover plate over that switch's electrical box.

You should know however, that you don't have to have a constant power outlet for a garage door opener. You can have a garage door opener on a switched outlet just fine. And you can use that switch as a lightweight form of security lockout.

I would recommend instead you put a switch guard like this over it, and just keep that switch on forever. It's less work and easier to undo. It also would let you cut power to your opener if you wanted to without getting up on a ladder.

Put a descriptive label on it "Garage door, do not turn off" if you want.

You can also get adapters that give you two outlets and a light socket with a pullchain, into which you can plug your garage door.

This way you can keep the light in place and also avoid having to do any wiring in...

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Just had a similar problem in my house. Was changing a regular outlet in the bathroom for a GFCI one and lost power in all bathrooms. Apparently, the breaker didn't trip but a GFCI outlet in the garage did. When I installed the GFCI in the bathroom and reset the GFCI in the garage the one in the garage was working fine but in the bathroom I saw a green light on the leviton receptacle, but there was no power in the wires! Very odd I thought, so assumed some other outlet was either burnt, not passing the power to the next in circuit or there was a loose wire connection. But why would it happen somewhere if I just replaced an outlet? Anyway, to cut the story short, as the garage outlet was the only operational one to be still regulated by a breaker (all in the same circuit), I uninstalled it (took it completely off) and wired it back again to see whether it would do anything and what do you think? Everything is working again! So, the bottom line, GFCIs can be operational but only...

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What it means: Your house's wiring has no way to safely conduct any stray current that escapes the confines of the wires.

Code violation? No; grandfathered in. (Today's code requires grounded circuits and receptacles.)

Danger level: Minimal, as long as you don't use an adapter to fit a three-prong plug into a two-prong receptacle. Doing so could destroy the device you're plugging in, and increase the chance of electrocution.

Solution: Replace two-prong receptacles with properly grounded three-prong ones, if wiring allows it (see . Also, test all existing three-prong receptacles with a GFCI circuit tester to make sure they're grounded. Rewire any that aren't.

10. Plug Falls Out of Receptacle
What it means: Worn contacts in receptacle no longer grip the prongs firmly.

Code violation? No.

Danger level: High. Loose contacts can cause arcing, which can ignite dry wood and dust.

Solution:Replace the old receptacles as soon as...

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We added these to a Genie screw driver opener, but really if you don't have a Champerlain opener with the dedicated input for these laser lights then all installs will be the same. Your objectives is to:

a. Mount each light on the ceiling with a single screw. We mounted two lights because we had two parking spaces in our garage.

b. Run the wires to the garage door opener control head. We chose to run the wire up through the ceiling and into the crawl space above, and then drill a single 1/4 hole above the door opener and drop them down to the opener through this hole. If you drill the holes at the light end, where the middle of the light will be when mounted, then the wires won't show. A much cleaner installation for very little extra effort.

c. Attach the wires to one of your openers bulb socket so the laser lights go on/off with the garage door opener when you open/close the door, and off when the lights automatically turn off. This is made easy by buying a lamp...

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Reports from Field Editors

“No special training or online course is needed to fix a garage door opener. The only requirements are patience, a DIY aptitude and determination.”

Dave Pike is a Field Editor from Stillwater, MN. DIY is his approach for everything, except furnaces and new cars.

“After several years of operation, nylon gears will wear out, especially if your door isn't properly balanced. I found that replacing mine was an easy and relatively inexpensive fix.”

Pete Grealish is a Field Editor from Pocasset, MA. His favorite project was restoring his 1982 John Deere 214 garden tractor, but his wife's favorite project was the central air conditioner he installed.

“Always use rough-duty bulbs in your opener. You won't have to change them as frequently.”

Steve Yaeger is a Field Editor from Eagan, MN. He is on a lifelong quest to design and build the perfect...

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Ceiling Fan Wiring

We are in desperate need of help! We are trying to install a ceiling fan with a light kit and a wall switch that control both the light and the fan separately. The problem is that we have three wires plus the ground coming from the ceiling instead of the two wires and ground stated in the instructions.

The wires from the ceiling are red, black, and white. We tested them and the red is hot from the light switch and the black is hot also. The fan/light switch we purchased has a controller that wires directly to the ceiling. The top of the controller has two wires, black and white. The bottom of the controller that goes to the fan has white, black, and red wires. Here we wired black to black, white to white, and red to the black/white wire as the instructions said for the light kit. The ground from the ceiling is threaded through the middle of the controller and connected to the two green wires.

The problem is that we don't know how to...

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Given that there is no ground wire, do I need to connect my own ground wire from the box to the green screw,

That will only work if the boxes are connected with metal conduit.

If you have Romex and no ground wire you have four options.

Simplest replace the lamp holders with ungrounded, two prong, receptacles. They are still available but you might have to special order them.

Next up would be to install a GFCI at the first receptacle and feed the downstream ones from the load side. This would allow you to install three prong receptacles but they would have to be marked No equipment ground.

Next option would be to use a GFCI breaker. This would also allow you to use three prong receptacles but again they would be ungrounded. They would have to be marked No equipment ground.

Some florescent lights seem to work better on ungrounded circuits then others. Since none of the above provide a ground I would buy one light and test it using a screw in...

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This article is from the Fishing bass FAQ, by Bass Rogue with numerous contributions by others.

- Bass Rogue

Troubleshooting Approaches

The wiring between a tow vehicle and a trailer is quite simple. However, when
something goes wrong, this simple wiring can become very complex and confusing.
Here are some thoughts about trailer wiring that might help when the boat is
spending too much time in the garage waiting for you to get a couple of light
bulbs working.

There are two approaches to troubleshooting. The first approach is
based on knowing what is wrong. For example, the right rear turn
light stops working. You venture a guess, the bulb is burnt out. You
change the right rear bulb, and the problem goes away. This can be
describe as the "I've seen this problem before" or the "what's the
most likely thing that's broken" approach to troubleshooting.

Finding the most likely...

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Helping Pops out on this one...

He's got a spare room with a small adjoining bathroom. The wiring breakdown on the fusebox indicates that these two rooms are wired as part of the same circuit on the main breaker. In the two rooms there are: 2 outlets, 1 GFI outlet, and 4 switches controlling 2 lights and 1 bathroom ceiling fan. In the last few months this room has been experiences some abnormalities in power: flickering lights, occasional outage, GFI tripped. The outages usually lasted less than an hour and would occur with or without any load and any time. GFI trips sometimes, but other lights will work on the circuit when it's just the GFI.

Recently all power to this room has stopped. The main breaker never trips.

With everything unplugged (including the ceiling fan) I checked the outlets in the room. Screwdriver voltage tester was used. The probe registers a 'charge' in the outlet and 'no power' on the return. Normal.
However when any load (light,...

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Two light switches and wiring, as installed in the United States. Switches are fastened in a non-metallic box, then a cover plate is installed. This installation uses non-metallic-sheathed cable and twist-on wire connectors.

In building wiring, a light switch is a switch, most commonly used to operate electric lights, permanently connected equipment, or electrical outlets. Portable lamps such as table lamps will have a light switch mounted on the socket, base, or in-line with the cord. Manually operated on/off switches may be substituted by remote control switches, or light dimmers that allow controlling the brightness of lamps as well as turning them on or off. Light switches are also found in flashlights and automobiles and other vehicles.

Wall-mounted switches[edit]

Switches for lighting may be in hand-held devices, moving vehicles and buildings. Residential and commercial buildings usually have wall-mounted light switches to control lighting within a...

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