Grounded... SHOCKING!

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Forum topic by rantingrich posted 11-25-2014 02:55 AM 1134 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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372 posts in 766 days

11-25-2014 02:55 AM

I have been wondering about something. I am in the middle of making some STEAMPUNK LAMPS. They are all iron pipe. From what I have read “ANYTHING for outdoor use or anything made out of metal should be grounded.”

Okay that’s fine… BUT I have played hell finding 18-16 gauge 3 wire or LAMP WIRE with a ground. Certainly not at lowes. Menards or Home Cheapo. They look at me like my head spilt open and a UFO flew out asking for lamp wire with a ground….

I have found some specialty online sites that do have VINTAGE 3 wire.

Also why is it that almost all residential electrical building codes require than all outlets and, everything for that matter, be grounded. My TV isn’t grounded. My computers and peripherals are not grounded. My power tools are not grounded except for the stationary ones.

What’s the point of grounding every outlet if none of the stuff your going to plug into them are not grounded.

I feel anything I make and sell, specially ANYthing with power, BE GROUNDED. And planned on doing that, but its not easy to obtain sundry items to-wit

-- Rich

21 replies so far

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4030 posts in 1619 days

#1 posted 11-25-2014 03:11 AM

Never seen a lamp that was grounded.

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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372 posts in 766 days

#2 posted 11-25-2014 03:20 AM

Never seen a lamp that was grounded.

- MrUnix

Thats part of my point

-- Rich

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367 posts in 1495 days

#3 posted 11-25-2014 03:38 AM

If the chassis is metal, ground it. The live cable could possibly come loose and then contact the metal chassis. With the ground in place it will save your life.

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372 posts in 766 days

#4 posted 11-25-2014 03:48 AM

For what I am doing see a similar object SOLID IRON!

-- Rich

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367 posts in 1495 days

#5 posted 11-25-2014 05:28 AM

Looks good. I like wood better :) Will u be welding the joints?

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3969 posts in 1772 days

#6 posted 11-25-2014 05:44 AM

Don’t use lamp cord, buy a grounded extension cord and cut the female end off.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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8287 posts in 2453 days

#7 posted 11-25-2014 06:28 AM

I just went through about the same thing. The only extension cords that you seem to be able to buy with a Ground are the Big Long Ones for plugging other power tools into.

By accident I walked a little further down that isle. There sat exactly what I wanted. (Home Depot, Canada)

“Power Tool Repair Cords” (With Ground Line) in various lengths. I bought a nine footer but I think they went up to twelve feet. Not sure what the Gauge is, right now. But if it handles Power tools it should be okay for Lamp Cord.

-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

View Mike's profile


406 posts in 2108 days

#8 posted 11-25-2014 07:00 AM

Big Orange and I think Lowes sells a black three wire cable with a black sheath. I use it for all of my lighting. I wire up the white and black sub wires to the socket and plug. The green I wire to the ground on the plug and using a metal screw, attach the free end to the metal light housing / body. That’s really it for grounding in many cases. I’d check with an electrician if you’re not sure on what to do or use. Also, lighting stores are a very good source of info.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - -

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2127 posts in 1445 days

#9 posted 11-25-2014 08:12 AM

A lot of stuff doesn’t have a ground wire, but does use polarized plugs, which provide some (but not all) of the same measure of protection. That’s why there is a wide and a narrow prong on the plugs. For it to be effective, the black and white wires have to be connected to the correct terminals. Also, some light power tools are “double insulated,” which is supposed to protect as well.

But I do remember a time when nothing was grounded, power tools, etc.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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2410 posts in 1935 days

#10 posted 11-25-2014 12:49 PM

Just as a sidenote, if you sell electrical items such as lamps, wood, pipe, whatever, you are liable for the safety of this product, cradle to grave. That is why a lot of galleries and such will not handle them unless you get UL approval, a very long and expensive process.

My local gallery/museum where I show my stuff told a lamp maker to pull his wares when they discovered they were selling non-UL approved lamps to the retail public. They also were open to lawsuits, should the lamp fail and pass electricity through a person.
Grounded or not, they just didn’t want to take the chance.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

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4189 posts in 3155 days

#11 posted 11-25-2014 01:19 PM

When I was a kid in the late 50’s, the push was on to ground everything. My father diligently grounded his ancient Craftsman table saw, and then—whammo—the B&D drill with the metal housing, the Wen jigsaw with a aluminum housing, and other metallic power tools were suddenly lethal if you touched them and the table saw at the same time. Growing pains.. it had to be all ONE way, or the other, all grounded, or all NOT grounded.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View rantingrich's profile


372 posts in 766 days

#12 posted 11-25-2014 01:35 PM

Looks good. I like wood better :) Will u be welding the joints?

- JohnChung

No its black gas iron pipe. Just screw them together

-- Rich

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7370 posts in 1427 days

#13 posted 11-25-2014 01:58 PM

Neat lamps Rich!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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1137 posts in 2487 days

#14 posted 11-25-2014 03:22 PM

Cool lamps. The need for the ground is to protect you. Does it have to be there to run, no. However, in the event of a short, you want that path to ground other than yourself. It will go to ground, and if it goes through you, it will not be a good day. Lamps, if insulated will not have the third plug requirement. Same is true for your tools that only have the two plug outlet. You may hear the term double-insulated. They engineer it to prevent the electrical source coming into contact with any metal you may come into contact with. If the sockets in your project are double insulated then you don’t need to ground.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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5676 posts in 906 days

#15 posted 11-25-2014 05:12 PM

Almost all lamp cord is 2 conductor.

Anything that doesn’t have a ground on the plug is either double insulated or has no exposed metal parts that need grounding. Why lamps arent grounded I have no idea. Light fixtures are grounded. Don’t know what the difference is.

Tool cord or SJO cord is what you need. Same thing pretty much.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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