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Old 06-23-2011, 09:22 PM   #1
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


We are installing cabinets at the entryway (no where near a kitchen). It's a dark corner in the living room and we are installing glass front wall cabinets, so I want to add above cabinet lighting as well as in cabinet lighting. Nothing too fancy. A quick trip to Home Depot shows that all their lights are the plug-in type. So, my plan is to have receptacles (not controlled by a switch) installed under the wall cabinet, but extend the cable to two switches (stacked) right next to it, which will control receptacles right above the cabinets (these higher receptacles will not been seen by anyone standing on the floor). Then I can plug in the puck lights (for in cabinet lighting) and T5 Fluorescent linear light (for above cabinet lighting) into those receptacles.

Currently, this section of the wall wall is blank with a receptacle above the floor:
'

This is how I plan on wiring for the cabinet lighting:


The red lines indicate NM-14 cables. Since the lower receptacle would be behind a base cabinet anyway, so I will take it out and make all the splicing from the outlet on the other side of the wall (will need a deeper switch box for that).

Will this wiring plan comply with code? And is there a better way to do the wiring for what I want to achieve? Thank you!

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Old 06-23-2011, 09:25 PM   #2
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


What room is on the other side of the wall?

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Old 06-23-2011, 09:28 PM   #3
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


A bedroom.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:34 PM   #4
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


A subsequent question is will 14/2 Romex cable be okay?
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:50 PM   #5
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


14/2 cable will be fine if the circuit is a 15 amp circuit. If 20 amp then you must use 12/2 cable.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:55 PM   #6
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


I see. It's on a 20amp circuit (as shown on the circuit breaker). What's the rationale behind the requirement though? In this case, from the switches on, the cables will only be used to run a few lights (high efficacy for that matter), so we know there will not be much current running through those wires, right? Sorry I ask so many questions.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:13 AM   #7
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


14 g cable is only rated for 15 amps and you said this is a 20 amp breaker circuit. For that you need 12 gauge cable or change the breaker to 15 amp and use 14 gauge. Issue is someone later may see 12 gauge at the breaker box on a 15 amp breaker and change it to a 20 amp breaker not knowing that the circuit is a mix of 12 and 14 gauge cable. Stick to the 12 gauge and all will be fine.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:10 AM   #8
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


It's only a few lights now. You don't know what will happen in the future. Also if one of the light fixtures fails the breaker won't trip until 20 amps and then the cable will be damaged.

Breakers are there to protect the cable.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:10 PM   #9
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


Got it. Thanks for the explanation! So, otherwise, my wiring plan will work for the above and in cabinet lighting?

Now, I also want to add under cabinet lighting. I don't need a wall switch for it. I can get those ones that have a little switch I can mount under the wall cabinet. So, I suppose I just need to extend a cable up from the receptacles (not controlled by switches) and thread it behind the sheetrock and out of a hole just where the bottom of my wall cabinet will be, right?

This is pretty much the very first "install" task in my DIY remodeling project. Can you tell I'm nervous?
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:00 PM   #10
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


As long as you use NM (Romex) cable and the lights are approved for being hardwired in this way.
In my experience, the little switch on the light is a PITA to find and turn on/off vs. a dedicated wall switch. Also, if you want to change the lights out in the future to a dimmable type, you will have to put in a wall switch dimmer. These are just personal preferences to consider.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:17 PM   #11
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


Thanks Bob! I just looked up and found a 3-rocker switch made by Leviton. That would be perfect for my above/in/under cabinet lighting as I don't want to crowd the wall with individual switches.
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Old 06-25-2011, 07:56 PM   #12
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


In order to show to my husband that I know what I'm doing, I drew up this wiring plan. It's good that I did it because it forced me to think about all the details. One idea came up -- why don't I use a 12/3 cable to the split duplex receptacles and make them share the neutral? I know that with MWBC, if connected wrong, an appliance may accidentally get 240V. But in this case, the two receptacles share the same circuit. I just don't see how it can go wrong. Does my wiring diagram look right to you? (Please click on the image for full size.)


Last edited by mudworm; 06-25-2011 at 09:07 PM. Reason: Edited the diagram again based on Jim's feedback below about not splicing neutral
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:10 PM   #13
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


This would not be a multi-wire branch circuit. You are using one circuit and splitting the same hot going to multiple places.

You only need to take one hot to the triple switch.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:17 PM   #14
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


Got it! I've updated the diagram in my previous post based on your comment. I've never seen a triple switch in real life yet. Thanks Jim!

Also, using 12/3 Romex to lead to the split duplex above the cabinet (for above and in cabinet lightings) is totally legit, right?
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:43 PM   #15
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Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)?


The 12-3 to the split receptacle is fine.

You would not need the neutral splice. It would connect directly to the screws.

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