Return to the Electrical Wiring Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Put Plug on Hardwire Track Light?

Posted by hillybelle (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 21, 12 at 18:22

I need to convert a hardwired halogen track light to plug-in and I want to know if I can use 15 Amp, 125 Volt 2-Pole 2-Wire, Non-Polarized Angle Plug on the wire and just plug it in a standard electrical outlet.

There is a converter but the cost is about 1/2 the cost of the fixture. The plug is a little more than $1 and I need a shorter wire than the converter plug has so I would have to cut that too.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Put Plug on Hardwire Track Light?

Generally speaking, you can't convert a fixture designed to be hardwired into a cord-and-plug fixture and maintain UL certification. The challenge is properly attaching cordage to a device that wasn't designed to have any.

Even if you decide to rewire this fixture yourself (against code), please make sure that you use a properly connected polarized plug so that the light sockets have the proper electrical orientation.

RE: Put Plug on Hardwire Track Light?

Thank you for your response. I think I understand what you are saying, however, the electrical outlet is in the ceiling and the cord from the fixture won't be removed. I would just add the plug to the existing cord and plug it in. So, I need a polarized plug as apposed to a non polarized plug. Does this mean that one side of the plug is larger than the other?

RE: Put Plug on Hardwire Track Light?

If your fixture was designed for hard wire installation, it doesn't have a cord. Instead, it some wires that are meant to remain inside the fixture. There's a different type of wire that is designated "cordage". Among other things, it's typically made up of stranded wire (as opposed to solid wire) for flexibility.

Yes, a polarized plug has one prong (for the neutral wire) that is larger than the other. It's important that it is connected to the fixture in the proper orientation to reduce shock hazards.

How are you going to turn this fixture on and off? Is the outlet in the middle of the ceiling switched?

RE: Put Plug on Hardwire Track Light?

"Even if you decide to rewire this fixture yourself (against code)"

The NEC does not actually address this.

Internal wiring is covered by NEMA and then the construction passes a listing lab (like UL).

If you use UL approved components in a workmanlike manor there is no prohibition on making things for your own use and using them (you could even se4ll tham if you are wiling to accept the liability that results).

Old fixtures and equipment are rebuilt all the time and used without issue.

Adding a plug is not nearly as touchy as cutting one off and hard-wiring.
In THAT case the standards get very touchy.
Cord and plug connected loads are pretty much outside the NECs purview (except the actual cor used to plug it in).

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Electrical Wiring Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here