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Old 03-21-2009, 09:26 AM   #1
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Help with undercabinet lights


I want to install undercabinet lights but have a few questions: I understand that under the NEC I can't hard-wire any lighting to the small appliance circuits above the counter. Does the code prevent me from plugging in undercabinet lights to these circuits?
If not, is there any reason I can't install a single receptacle at the base of the cabinet, at the end of the small appliance circuit, and plug the lights into that?
Another option is for me to wire into the over-sink lighting circuit. The switch for that circuit is in a three-gang box near the sink. There are six NM cables running into that box. In order to wire into that circuit I would have to run two NM cables through one of the knock outs in the box. Is there any reason I can't do this?
Thanks for the help!

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Old 03-21-2009, 10:03 AM   #2
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Help with undercabinet lights


I'm not sure what the configuration of your under-cabinet lighting will have, but you cannot have cords running into concealed spaces.
In theory (but something I would not do) you could run NM cable from the fixture out to a junction box (accessible) in a location near the receptacle, then run SJ rubber cord (with ground) to a plug and plug into receptacle.
Since you would not have any wire other than approved running into the concealed space, and as long as your J-box is accessible and not located where it would be subject to spary, etc from the sink, it might (and I cannot be sure) meet code.

I would run the lighting off another lighting circuit. The one you mention having 6 cables coming into a 3-gang box may already be full. Check your box fill requirements before adding another cable(s) to the box.
It is not a problem to run 2 NM cables through an NM connector, as long as the connector is rated for more than a single cable.

Here is a link for checking box fill requirements:http://www.frentzandsons.com/Hardwar...iresinabox.htm

Oh, and any receptacle within 6ft of the sink must be protected by GFCI breaker or upstream GFCI receptacle.

FW

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Old 03-21-2009, 11:10 AM   #3
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Help with undercabinet lights


Thanks. I was not thinking of running the wire into an enclosed space, but rather adding a receptacle just underneath the cabinet, connecting to the existing small appliance circuit (gfci protected). If I did that, can I plug the undercabinet lights into that receptacle?
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:30 AM   #4
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Help with undercabinet lights


Someone mentioned on here that if you have low voltage lighting you can run the low voltage part of the circuit through the wall no problem, but the line voltage part of the circuit has to terminated properly (if you have a plug-in type transformer or a hardwired transformer). I am planning on getting low voltage lighting and a hardwired transformer and then just running the lighting wire into the basement where I can wire up and mount the hardwired transformer (and it won't be concealed in a wall upstairs then).

I think your outlet for the under cabinet lighting can be on the small appliance branch circuit since its a cord and plug type item, but the outlet must meet the requirements of the small appliance branch circuits. I believe they cannot be higher than 20" off the top of the counter, and of course they must all be GFCI protected as well. I don't know if you would be better off using the lighting circuit, since you'd be putting an outlet above the counter top and on a different circuit where the outlet could potentially be used by an appliance in the kitchen. The circuit itself could probably mangage the undercabinet lighting just fine, but not an appliance im sure.
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:08 PM   #5
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Help with undercabinet lights


You can plug anything youy want into a small appliance circuit
You just can't hard wire anything that will leave the kitchen
I'm pretty sure you can't conceal low voltrage wiring in the wall
But it may depend upon the wiring
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:35 AM   #6
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Help with undercabinet lights


I am not sure how this under cabinet lighting is to be installed. Is it a surface mounted fixture?
If so, then as long as the cord/wire from the fixture does not run through any walls, cabinet spaces, etc then you can just run approved cord from the fixture and plug it into the receptacle.

I would use 3-wire cord, and it must be at least #16 (#18 is not allowed), terminated in a 3-wire plug.

FW

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