September 16, 2006

Important safety tip

It is possible for a light fixture to be "hot," even when its switch is off, and the lamp is not lit. This is because you can wire the fixture so that the switch turns the light off by interrupting the hot wire (correct) or by interrupting the grounded wire (bad thing, but not unknown, especially in older houses). The grounded wire is "downstream" from the light fixture.

This morning a bulb broke off, leaving its its base in one of our kitchen lights. I did the right thing, and tested it before poking my pliers in. Good move, John! You earned your pay today. It was hot.

When in doubt, just turn the circuit-breaker off...

Posted by John Weidner at September 16, 2006 7:29 AM
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