Sunday, August 21, 2011

Me - the electrician

I've put up my first ceiling lamp. I have. My very first.
And about time it was too.
We bought the lamp in the big white box for my daughter's room about a year ago and it's just silly that I didn't put it up sooner.

I am really challenged on this area, and it was a long and winding process but this is how I did it, step by step.

Step 1: Turn off the power.
In our five year old electrical board there is no switch labeled Main fuse!
Instead I had to turn off the switch labeled Overload protection.
To me this was not at all obvious; I thought the purpose of the Main fuse was just a collective on/off switch of the entire power system. Instead it's a safety not to overload the electrical system - hence the label.
In the end, though,  I just closed the fuse for this particular room.

Step 2: Dismantle the existing ceiling lamp.
I thought that would be easy - but nooo. I just didn't have a clue as how to pull out the wires from the thingys they were attached to. Turned out there were these tiny small screws behind the light bulb that had to come loose in order to pull out the wires.
I used a really small screw driver to unscrew the tiny screws holding the wires to the electrical system.

Step 3: Put up the fastening device for the new lamp.
There was a metal thingy to put up in the socket in the ceiling and then fasten the lamp itself to this.

But as the metal thingy was too small to fit in the socket I used a plastic disc that I cut additional holes in for the screws and the flex, fastened this to the socket and then screwed the metal thingy to the plastic disc, put on washers and nuts to ensure that the metal thingy would keep in place even when carrying the weight of the lamp.

Step 5: Put up the lamp itself
The lamp came with a surprisingly long flex (usually the flexes are a bit too short) and I had to cut it to size. I saved as much as possible of the flex and lay it round and round in the lamp cup. I used a sharp knife to cut through the plastic layer of the flex making sure I didn't cut into the wires. A bit fiddly work but I managed in the end. 

When I was to connect the wires in the connecting box (in Norwegian sukkerbit), I didn't remember which wire had gone into which hole/letter. Apparently it doesn't matter much which go where, but I put the wire with the black trace in the letter   L and the plain wire in the letter N. The yellow/green wire is for earthing (in Norwegian jording) and is not attached to the electrical system when not in use.

Det electrical conductors from the electrical system are color coded: The black or brown, or as in my case grey, connect to the letter L (leading electricity in to the lamp),  the blue wire connect to the letter N in the connecting box (leading electricity out of the lamp).

It was a bit tricky to work with my arms above my head and fit the wires in the connection box and tighten them while holding on to the lamp.
Turned out I had misplaced the original screws for fastening the lamp to the metal thingy so I had to find alternative screws, they were a bit longer but did the job. (Turned out I had used the missing screws to fasten the metal thingy to the plastic thingy earlier in the process:)
Finally I put in a light bulb.

Then all the electrical work was done, I just had to let loose all the butterflies and turn on the switch and it was finished!

There were more obstacles than I had anticipated in doing this, took a bit longer and required a couple of trips to the store for additional supplies, but once I figured out the how-tos, it wasn't really complicated. 
(Not like writing this post about it afterwards, 
which has been both difficult and time consuming :)

This is how I did it, to the best of my ability and with some help from internet, and so far so good.
Soon ready for the next electrical job.

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