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Minor Electrical Question (I Hope)

687 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  silentcrow
I have a pull-chain light in the basement that "jammed". The chain no longer pulls, but is locked in place. I picked up a new one (the entire light fixture).

If I trace the wiring to the circuit and shut it off, is it safe to work with? This is old wire. Some kind of black insulation, I haven't crawled up there to see exactly what it is. Should I check with a meter to be sure power is off?

I'd be tempted to replace the wiring, but have no desire to play around in the breaker box. I can do simple wiring, but the main box scares the beejeebers outta me!
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I'm a bit paranoid myself when it comes to working with electricity. What I do is throw the breaker, use a volt/multi meter to confirm the line is dead then I carefully disconnect the existing fixture w/o touching any of the bare wires. Before I put the replacement fixture on I rub the exposed wires together, just to make sure.

FYI, if you aren't sure which breaker works which light you can use a ******* circuit tracer: two 1500 watt space heaters or one heater and a hair dryer plugged into an outlet and turned on to throw the breaker.
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