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Christy 05-07-2006 02:02 PM

Do I have a Fire Hazard with New Recessed Lights - Help!
I am in the process of an entire kitchen remodel. I hired an electrician to put in nine Nicor recessed low voltage cans (4"). He put seven on one switch and two on a different switch.

When he went to put three of them in, they did not line up with the cabinet dimensions so he modified the housing and put the can right next to the wood floor joists. He bent part of the metal frame and attached them to the underside of the floor joists and not the side. I watched him do it but was unaware that there is a 1/2" code for these lights. He also should have been aware.

Do these cans get hot enough that they can potentially catch fire? They only take a 50 watt bulb (I'm not sure it that matters). Should I have him try and replace the inner can and put in the one that is made for insulation? The ceiling is already sheetrocked and spackled. I am trying to get in touch with my contractor, who won't be too happy to have to open up the area.

Obviously, I need to make a very informed decision. If there is any potential for the wood floor joists to catch fire, I need to do something with the lights. I could really use some help. Thanks...Christine

Christy 05-07-2006 02:06 PM

The model number of the Nicor lights are NA1400A, if that helps. Thanks

Glasshousebltr 05-07-2006 02:08 PM

If the code says a half inch at least make sure he gets that.

All the information you need for fire prevention should've been in the box with the can. If not Google the manufacturer or call the supplier.

Hope this helps


Sparky Joe 05-07-2006 02:13 PM

Wood ignites at over 400 degrees I think and the cans shouldn't ever get that hot.
But glasshousebuilder is right

Christy 05-07-2006 02:26 PM

Thanks for your replies. I just went in the dumpster and got the box from the lights, but I don't see any instructions. I had the model No. wrong. It is NA14000A. I have the manufacturers number and will call tomorrow. These lights have already been installed and sheetrocked in. I didn't question it until I was searching online for information as to why these lights hum and came across this info.

I didn't know that wood ignites at 400 degrees. That is very interesting. I doubt my 50 watt bulbs would ever get that hot.

Thanks again for your replies!

Christy 05-07-2006 02:52 PM

I just saw a picture of the housing of the Nicor 4" light and noticed that the can is set back in a metal frame. What is directly touching my floor joists is the metal sheet that holds the can in. Does anyone know if this heats up or how hot it can possibly get? Now I know why I never purchased recessed cans for my home. What a pain!

Mike Swearingen 05-07-2006 08:37 PM

And check with your Building Inspection Department for local code.
Good luck!

Sparky Joe 05-07-2006 10:37 PM

That metal can on the outside is what keeps the actual can in the inside from getting too hot, it's most likely designed for insulation contact. I honestly wouldn't worry about it. Recessed cans are actually a lot more safe than most other lighting because they are thermally protected, which means that if the fixture itself gets too hot it automatically turns itself off until it cools down then comes back on. I'm not sure what temperature the thermal protection is set at, but I'm sure its a lot lower than when anything starts to burn. Were the people you hired licesned and insured, or would you hire some fly-by-night company to do work in your house?

Christy 05-08-2006 07:31 PM

Thanks again for everyone's replies. My contractor thinks it is ok what the electrician did. I trust my contractor's opinion.

The electrician I hired is licensed but I had never used him before. He made one mistake, which I caught, - putting the wrong dimmer on low voltage lights. I know so little about electricity but it definately pays to do research.

Again..many thanks!

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