Monday, 10 August 2015

An electrical tip

I have put one light in an inaccessible place already and intend to do another one (or two).  I would like to be sure if it/they work and I don't want to have to rig up the final fit for my connector block on the back of the house just to test them.

Putting in lights and taking them all to the block one by one will just produce a mish-mash of wiring at the back.  When the lighting is finished all the lighting and fireplace wiring really needs to be tidied up and rationalised so, I would then have to remove all the stuff I had connected and start over.  That seems daft.

There is a solution .....

9 volt power pack battery

All you need is a 9 volt power pack battery.

Look at the 'round' wire coming from your light or fire and you'll see it is actually made up of two wires joined together.  It is easily pulled apart into two strips.  You then expose the copper wires inside and touch each bunch of wires to the terminals on top of the battery.  Doesn't matter which way round they go.  This sort of wiring does not have positive and negative.  (You might buy something out of the ordinary which does?)  The bulbs may not light up as brightly as they will when they are properly powered but it at least tells you whether or not something is working without having to set up the connector block and transformer just for testing.

copper wires inside

You can strip the plastic coating off the wires with just with your fingernails (not your teeth!) but if you want to invest in the greatest little tool for the job - here it is:

Wire cutter/insulation stripper. I put the battery there to show you how small it is.

adjusting gizmo

It has a screw which can be adjusted up or down to determine the size of the hole at the cutting end.  I have never moved it.  Mine seemed to come with the right size hole for stripping these wires.  If you are doing a lot of wiring it is a joy, not to mention using the cutting part of the tool when trimming wiring saves the life of your poor scissors.

I have no idea what it costs as this was a much appreciated gift.

Bit of a footnote:  Before binning something which doesn't light up there is a checking process.  Bulbs very often become loose - just give them a gentle turn to be sure they are tight and have made a good connection.  Still not working? - change the bulb.  After that check the wiring where it goes in to the light you just might be able 'repair' a break.  I make no claims to the latter as in four projects and many, many lit objects I have never had anything which didn't work!  They seem to be tough little items.

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