How to Wire a Tube
Wiring a tube can be difficult. You may have to move a few wires, add a capacitor or other circuit element, and make some adjustments. You will want to get the job done right so that you don’t have to worry about an electrical fire, or a malfunctioning power source.
You need to know the basics before you begin wiring a tube light. Here are some things to keep in mind:
First, florescent tubes require a power wire (a long wire with an electrical socket on the end), a fuse and a ground wire (a short wire with no prongs that goes into a plug). These elements should be connected together to provide power to the tube, and then to the light fixture.
Second, a fuses should be used to protect the power wires from overloading or overheating. This is a common cause of electrical fires, and an important part of home safety.
Third, be sure to insulate the wires. This keeps the electrical current hidden, and helps to prevent overheating.
Fourth, check for signs of damage or rust. These can be a sign of poor maintenance or that the wires are old and corroded.
Fifth, examine the insulation around the knob and tube wires. This can be a sign that the wires have been chewed by rodents or exposed to water leaks.
Sixth, check for improper modifications to the wiring system. These can include extending the original circuit, changing the heat rating of the wire, insulating the knob and tube wires and adding devices and switches to the system.
Seventh, look for a circuit that has not been grounded properly or is improperly modified to meet the requirements of a modern code. In some jurisdictions, a circuit that does not have a ground is considered an unsafe system, so it should be inspected to ensure it’s safe for use.
Eighth, check for excessive use of power bars or extension cords. These are usually overused in older homes, and they can be a safety hazard.
Nineth, inspect the wires to see if they’re too long or are touching each other. This can cause a hum and a short circuit.
Tenth, have a professional examine the entire system and ensure it is code compliant. If it is not, it will have to be replaced with new wiring.
The price to replace a home’s wiring can vary depending on the size of the house, the age and other factors. It’s best to consult with a licensed electrician for an estimate of the costs involved.
If your home is more than 50 years old, it’s probably a good idea to have the entire system rewired from top to bottom. This is the only way to be assured that your home is safe and up to code.
When you think of your home’s wiring, remember that it’s the last line of defense in preventing an electrical fire. The National Fire Protection Association reports that half of all home fires stem from issues with electrical wiring.