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Lodestone25

Question on running wires along steel

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That sure came out beautifully. well doe all round.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I think you did a very nice job.  BUT next time pay some attention to the symmetry of the hanger.  It does not hang vertical.  You should have put a gooseneck it.  But you already know that.

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Yeah i made an S hanger because i thought it might look neat, but I agree with you ciladog-- it would have been better with a gooseneck.  maybe I'll do that next weekend!

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Jimsship,  The Underwriters Laboratories are a testing agency that certifies that a given assembly meets industry standards for it's application.  What might be fine for a dining room light is utterly wrong for a mine shaft.

 

Electricians in North America use the National Fire Protection Association's guidelines written as the "National Electrical Code".  It's part 70 of an omnibus covering many, many, things.  It's the lone example in the United States where a trade has only one code book for the entire nation.  Builders use different code books depending on their region - electricians don't.  Technically it's international because Canada recognizes the NEC as well.

 

The National Electrical Code requires that all equipment shall be listed by and organization acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.  I have yet to encounter an authority having jurisdiction that didn't recognize the underwriters laboratories label.

 

http://www.ul.com/global/eng/pages/solutions/services/finder/detail/index.jsp?cpath=/global/eng/pages/solutions/services/finder/detail/data/101_safety-certification.xml

 

The thing about light fixtures is that although parts are available in hardware stores which might be used to assemble a lamp, there's no guarantee that the assembly will function safely.  There's also no guarantee that what's sold in a hardware store meets current code standards.

 

A very, very common mistake people make is failing to consider the effects of heat.  A lamp-holder that's pointed down will place the lamp-holder  and the connected conductors above the heat source.  Over time that heat will bake everything and it will degrade.  Hardware stores still have cardboard sleeved lamp holder replacements for sale. Those are not only hopelessly outdated, they're a fire risk when the lamp is pointed down.

 

The difference between a riveted, bolted, crimped, and soldered wiring connection might not appear any different on the surface.  Consider that wirenuts must be capable of supporting 14 lbs of weight.  Why?  To hold the light fixture up in the case of a catastrophic failure (earthquake, severe weather, etc.) that knocked the fixture loose of it's box.  This stuff seems less complicated than it is.  The standard "Edison base" lamp-holder will accept a wide range of lamp wattages.  Higher wattage fixtures are built to dissipate heat.  It's not an arbitrary decision to rate a fixture for a given wattage.

 

Being UL Listed doesn't necessarily make it perfect, but it signifies that a sample passed their tests.  The Authority Having Jurisdiction is in most cases the electrical inspector.  I've had four occasions where an unlisted  fixture was approved by the AHJ after they inspected it.  On two of those occasions, I was directed to modify the fixture to suit the inspectors demands.  I've also had more than a dozen instances where the inspector flat out refused to allow unlisted fixtures at all. 

 

It's asking a lot of an inspector to take on that liability.  I'd recommend that blacksmiths either go through the trouble to get their fixtures properly UL listed, or simply leave out the electrical.  Some larger cities have small scale light fixture manufacturers that will do one-off wiring deals including the UL Listing.

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thank for you for posting that, I have gotten tired of people telling me I am wrong, and some even getting angry when they dont understand or agree with code.

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Thanks for the info.
I never get mad at anyone, I was just curious to how this all works.
So you're saying if I buy a UL listed lamp kit and install it myself in a base I create, I still need to have it cerified by an inspector? How expensive is that?
Seems a bit excessive . I mean, if I were wiring an entire house yes get a professional, but I would never think I'd have to involve code officials for a simple lamp.
Guess it's better to be safe than sorry when it's going into someone else's house.

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Jimsship,

 

The underwriters laboratory lists the entire finished assembly.  They're taking everything; the trim, base, and intended application into consideration when they test it.   

 

A little known thing is that the National Fire Prevention Association was created to help insurance companies determine who's at fault. It's a standard practice for insurance companies to require that everything in the system be to code. The insurance companies rely on the Authority Having Jurisdiction to enforce code standards at the construction phase.

 

Taking this to it's logical extent, an insurance company may deny a claim because an unapproved light fixture was plugged into the system.

 

The examples I gave of inspectors signing off on fixtures was limited exclusively to individual hard wired fixtures that were hand made. The inspectors didn't charge extra for it, their inspections are typically paid for with the permit fees.  Their word is final and binding (keep in mind that it's rare for them to allow this).  You could argue with them but you'll eventually learn that they just enjoy it!

 

Commercial properties in my area are subject to random fire safety inspections by the fire marshal.  Any cord and plug connected equipment comes under their purview.  It's not uncommon for them to write tickets for any violations they find.  They can and absolutely will order a business closed if they feel it's necessary.  Again, there's no appeal. The hierarchy  as it pertains to building out here goes

 

#1 God almighty

#2 The Fire Department

#3 Everyone else

 

Getting back to your question, I'd say your most professional and least risky paths are to either get it UL listed yourself, or pay a light manufacturer to get UL listing for you.  I've never done either but I'd imagine that subbing it out is less trouble for a one at a time maker.  

 

Hard wired fixtures might be approved by an inspector but I'd hate to be in your shoes if your client paid for a fixture that the inspector won't approve on principal.  Some cities can't afford a full time inspector so they contract it out to freelancers who aren't insured by the city.  Those inspectors are much less willing to exercise discretion as a result.

 

I'd say you could easily pass the costs of UL listing on to customers who are discerning enough to want hand made iron work.  After all, you took the time to forge it, why short change the part that keeps their insurance company in check?

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there is anotther thread that stated $ 10,000  for appliing for a listing, cheaper to hire a qualified electrician.  who wouldd have figured a licensed trade requires a license...?

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I think the paranoia is getting a bit out of hand.  The fact that a hand made fixture, one off, must be UL tested or listed is just ridiculous.  And if it is correctly wired using UL listed parts and is designed correctly for heat dissipation then I doubt that it would cause a fire or be a reason that an insurance company could deny coverage just because it is present in the establishment where the fire occurred.  

 

It is not being sold to a mass market.  It is one fixture.  Plenty of people in the craft world produce fixtures and other art that included lighting and I can assure you they do not pay for a UL analysis, testing or listing.

 

Get a grip.

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Ciladog,

 

People buying insurance aren't paranoid.

 

Voiding their policy based on your opinion of what's needed doesn't make it right.  

 

People screw up home improvement projects all the time which is why most property sales require an inspection.

 

I had steady work for years from Realtors who needed weekend warrior stuff fixed so they could sell the property.  Lots of "custom one-off fixtures" wired with speaker wire soldered together and dangling from a drywall screw. I sincerely doubt any of them thought they'd done anything wrong or they wouldn't have it hanging in their kids bedroom.  I replaced plenty of receptacles and plates that were scorched from corded fixtures that shorted out.  Lots of them were right where a bed would go.

 

Insurance company claims adjusters occupy a special place in hades for their efforts to escape liability with any technicality they can find.  I've never met someone who felt they got a truly fair deal out of their insurance company when they really needed it.  A carpenter down the street from me had his tool trailer robbed.  He had an insurance policy on the tools and the trailer that included theft.  The company denied the claim because he'd parked the trailer in the street in front of his house instead of the driveway as he'd told them he would when he applied for the policy.  So the tools would have been covered if the trailer was parked anywhere BUT in front of his house.  A distance of 15' made all the difference on the claim though it had nothing to do with the cause of the crime.

 

You are absolutely entitled to your opinion.  At a minimum I think we should all agree that anything not UL listed must carry full disclosure to the customer.  That means telling them the truth that it may well void their insurance even if it didn't cause a problem.

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I never said that people buying insurance are paranoid. 

 

By the way, are you an attorney?  I could cull it out of your posts but did you say you were an attorney?  The esq in your username leads me to think you are an attorney.  Because if you are an attorney, I have a very bad opinion of attorneys.  You may ask why.  But If I were to tell you I doubt that the IFI website could handle the volume of my reply.  So let's not go there.

 

This website is about blacksmithing.  If you want to contribute something about blacksmithing then go ahead. If you want to talk about abstract probabilities or about spreading paranoia because someone makes a fixture, then why don't you go to one of your lawyer sites.

 

Don't take it personally, but this is also a sign of the times and I for one am sick of it.

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Ciladog, telling members to leave the site, and post elsewhere is rude and could be seen as a personal attack.  It is also a violation of IFI  terms of service.  Lately many of your posts have been close to being personal attacks, Some have had to be hidden from view due to ToS violations, please think how your statements are coming across. Just because you do not agree with existing laws is no reason to jump on people that point them out.  there will be no more of this. thead is now locked and youor last post hidden,

 

the OP's question has been addressed.

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We are blacksmiths and can design, fabricate, build many things. When it comes to installation and usage we must refer to standards of workmanship, codes, and etc. Many of these codes have been developed for safety reasons. We do not want to cause injury to others or place them in harms way. Research is required to select the proper materials and use them in a proper manner.

 

The thread is closed as we have answered the original question, and provided safety concerns that may be an issue.

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