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Old 01-04-2013, 09:20 PM   #1
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fixing a wiring installation


I have two under cabinet lights in my kitchen, both controlled by one wall switch. I need new fixtures, but first I need to fix a problem. The current install is "hard wired" by connecting the light (lamp) cord to the romex with nuts and electrical tape, and the "connection" tucked just inside the wall through a one inch hole drilled just under the cabs where the pretty, expensive mosaic tile backsplash meets the upper cabinets. I pulled out the wiring, and found I have have a scant 5" of romex to work with.

I dont want to damage the backsplash, and besides, dont want to go through the expense of trying to fish new romex (cant imagine how it would be done without messing up the backsplash).

My thought was to get a flush-mounted outlet such as the leviton 91-1, but I'm not sure. Will I be able to attach this given the scant exposed romex I have to work with? (I could then buy a corded fixture). If it is possible, then would this small surface mounted outlet be compatible with the wall switch? Would both new outlets be able to work on the one wall switch? Cant get any of these questions answered by manufacturer. Many thanks.


Last edited by Blackkat; 01-04-2013 at 09:29 PM. Reason: misspoke - want to use a SURFACE mount outlet
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:58 PM   #2
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which looks good. what's the difference? Will either Leviton 5238 or Leviton 91 work as an outlet controlled by a wall switch?

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Old 01-04-2013, 10:47 PM   #3
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fixing a wiring installation


Got a picture.
The way I'm picturing it is there is no accessable juntion box and the wire connections where just stuffed into a hole on the wall. Which would be againt code.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:07 AM   #4
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Can I use a leviton surface mount outlet and put it against the cabinet frame, and still use the wall switch?
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:31 AM   #5
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Yes, I believe you could. You may have to mount it horizontally. Five inches of Romex to work with shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:39 AM   #6
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Hard wire the fixture and mount the fixtures at the back of the cabinets.

The two devices you cite will not be code compliant without additional GFI protection and a 20A circuit to supply them since they will be "serving the counter top area".
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:46 AM   #7
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Thank you VM. I was concerned because all the elec videos say to strip like 8 inches of romex to start an outlet wiring job (but I do have small hands and fingers). The only outlets i have put in were replacing ugly discolored outlets (and switches) with decora (more decorative) type. If I do this right (using this surface mount outlet) will I be up to code, do you think? These surface mounts are not gfi, but they are "downstream" from a gfi plug. I don't know - does that count? And both new outlets will work on the wall switch?

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Old 01-05-2013, 10:00 AM   #8
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If you trip the GFI that you are referring to, do the lights go out?
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:08 AM   #9
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i mounted 1 inch deep boxes under the cabinets for an outlet to plug my undercab lights into. painted the blue plastic boxes dark brown like the cabinets and used a brown receptacle and cover.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:31 AM   #10
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Buzz - yes, the lights go out. We want to be "code" but more really want to be safe. I used the "test" button on the gfci outlet.

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Old 01-05-2013, 10:39 AM   #11
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Danny - I could deal with a 1" surface mount box. Even better if it takes a gfi flug. Didn't find any. I could mount it upside down under cab, yeah? any leads to find such a thing let me know. Saw the comment that i should hardwire new "real hardwire' fixtures to rear of the cab, but thought a more esthetically pleasing solution might be accomplished if done safely. Seriously, appreciate everyone's help.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackkat
Buzz - yes, the lights go out. We want to be "code" but more really want to be safe. I used the "test" button on the gfci outlet.
Although there are code issues with the current installation, and will be after installation, I would just hardware new fixtures to the existing wiring.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
Although there are code issues with the current installation, and will be after installation, I would just hardware new fixtures to the existing wiring.
This brings up a good point.....code is code...but at what point is it a 'gray' area and maybe it's ok to let it slide?

I see this as one of those.

Examples.....

Wire nutted connections not in a box and hiden behind a wall....bad
Undercabinet lights not on a GFIC... not so bad...
14Awg wire on a 20A breaker.....bad

I would like to see examples from the experts of things that are common big no no's.....
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:03 AM   #14
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You can get a very shallow plastic junction box that is only about an inch deep. Mount this under the cabinet right against the backsplash and splice on a new piece of Romex to a new hard wired light. With that little to work with, you might want a pro. This is going to be a one shot deal.

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