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I screwed up...fluorescent fixture ordered incorrectly
Old 11-20-2011, 05:57 PM   #1
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I screwed up...fluorescent fixture ordered incorrectly

Hi everyone
I recently ordered a 4 foot fluorescent bulb fixture for my indoor gardening project. I did not notice the fixture was a ceiling mount model, i.e. no grounded plug.

Rather than return it, I need to find a grounded plug properly connected to a 4 foot long power cord terminating in 2 bare wires and a ground wire. I have no spare power cords on hand to take apart and want to do this right. I have the necessary wire caps on hand and know how to connect everything up.

No rocket science involved...what is the name of the doo-hickey I need to connect the open wires/ground screw on the fixture to a wall outlet type grounded plug.
I think it is called a "pigtail" but I know you all will have the answer and associated vendor link for me in less than 60 seconds.
Tick tock tick tock...

Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:24 PM   #2
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Do not understand the question. Did the fixture come with or without a wire with a plug on the end?

If it has a wire with a two pronged plug, a pigtail adapter will do no good.

Are you wiring it to an in ceiling box? Then there should be a bare ground wire. Or else the mounting screws through the metal housing, affixing the fixture to the ceiling box will provide a safety ground. Assuming the the box itself is properly grounded via BX cable jacket or copper ground wire in Romex.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:35 PM   #3
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I would start over. Buy the correct fixture locally and hold on to the other til you build your dream greenhouse.

Good time to review the term sunk costs. Also to review your fire insurance policy if you go forward with plan A.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:35 PM   #4
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Wire clamp

Connector, Cable/Cord - Cable Connectors - Strain Relief - 3LK50 : Grainger Industrial Supply

Grounded cord

6 Ft. Grounded 3-Leads Line Cord - Electromagnetic Lock Power Supplies - Supplies - 4TGA7 : Grainger Industrial Supply
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:54 PM   #5
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BINGO!

This is what I need, only in a shorter cord length. Mr B said he will look for that locally at Lowe's. We have a Grainger's locally, but they will not sell over the counter.

To answer other poster's questions...
- There is no cord supplied with the fixture. I didn't see the "ceiling mount" description when I ordered it. I thought it was a "ready to plug in" type of shop light. Next time I will read the product specs more carefully.
- No, I am not wiring it into the ceiling.

I will use electrical wire caps (supplied with fixture) to connect the wires, and ground it properly using the ground screw already inside the fixture. Piece of cake.

We are good friends with a licensed electrician, so I will talk to him just to be sure. Knowing him, he will take it home, do the work for free, and bring it back.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:06 PM   #6
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You will want to use the wire clamp, too, to secure the cord. The wire nuts are not adequate to restrain the cord. Lowes or HD will have replacement cords. If too long, cut it shorter, then strip wires.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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You will want to use the wire clamp, too, to secure the cord. The wire nuts are not adequate to restrain the cord. Lowes or HD will have replacement cords. If too long, cut it shorter, then strip wires.
Gotcha.

I think I will ask our licensed electrician buddy to do this for me, as he probably has the parts on hand.
Or I'll give him this one (he has done unpaid favors for me before) and go buy a new one with a "ready to plug in" configuration.
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
Or I'll give him this one (he has done unpaid favors for me before) and go buy a new one with a "ready to plug in" configuration.
That's probably smart. If you just get a regular shoplight it will cost about 10 bucks (especially on sale), will have a three-prong plug, and will likely come with some cheap chain for hanging the lamp. Every Home Depot and Lowe's has 'em. The ones approved for "residential use" use quieter circuitry less likely to cause electronic problems with TVs, radios, etc. Also, you might want to avoid anything fancy with a plastic cover, etc unless you can be sure the cover is transparent to the UV frequencies you're going to want for your plants. They'll probably have the plant light bulbs there, too.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:00 PM   #9
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I feel your pain! My house has several 4' ceiling mount flourescent fixtures that are flush mounted into the ceiling. When the ballasts fail or the connectors break, it's a real pain in the you-know-what to replace same. It would be cheaper to buy complete new fixtures. However, I'm afraid the new fixtures would not fit the openings in the ceiling without doing sheetrock and painting work. So, I have become expert at rebuilding these fixtures without removing the metal housing from the ceiling.

The good news is that Lowe's has all the parts required to totally rebuild most flourescent fixtures, replacing everything except the metal housing.

Disclaimer: I worked with all sorts of electrical stuff for my entire working career. Low voltage, high voltage, AC, DC. I have the tools and test equipment required.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
..... for my indoor gardening project............

So.....whatcha growin'?
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:24 AM   #11
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So.....whatcha growin'?
I was gonna suggest she ask T-Al to see if his ex-neighbors had any used lights for sale.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:35 AM   #12
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Geraniums, guys, geraniums.

I just did the Return process at Amazon. I suffered a return shipping charge, and left a review indicating they should make it clearer that this is not a plug in fixture. I was fooled, and I usually don't miss things like that. Oh well, live and learn.

Thanks for all your help, folks.
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