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Old 01-23-2010, 11:05 PM   #1
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Junction boxes for garage T8 fixtures


I purchased eight T8 fluorescent fixtures from Home Depot to install in my garage. They house two 4' bulbs. I asked their "certified electrician" the best way to install them and he said to run the 14/2 wires in the ceiling INTO the fixture, wire nut them up, and then parallel to the next. I said, "Don't you need to use a junction box in the ceiling?" and he said no. I asked him if he was sure, and he said he was positive.

So, I check the net just now and sure enough, to install them to code I need to use junction boxes. Bravo, Home Depot! Here's my question. I have the lighting layout all figured out (small 20x24 garage) and I know the holes aren't going to line up right next to a ceiling joist for the junction box to attach to. I found a picture with a bar hanger bracket that I'm thinking I'm going to need to get this job done:



This is what I need, right? My plan is to hang the lights, then drill a very small (like 1/4 inch diameter) hole through the drywall to run the very small light wires into the ceiling. Then, I'll pull the 14/2 wires into the junction box with the lighting wires, wire nut them up, then finally attach the junction box last. I want to avoid cutting huge holes of drywall for the junction boxes and this would make installation much easier for me. Is it ok to not cut a hole the size of the junction box, only big enough for the lighting wires to be fed up into the ceiling? I don't see why not, but I always like to check before I do anything.

Thanks in advance!


Last edited by mazeroth; 01-23-2010 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:12 PM   #2
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Junction boxes for garage T8 fixtures


Unless it is specifically prohibited in your jurisdiction, the Home Depot guy was right. You can run the wire directly into the light fixture, then on to the next one. Be sure to use a connector and you are good to go. We usually just stub the wire out with a loop of cable when the drywall is installed. Make sure the drywallers don't bury it.

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Old 01-23-2010, 11:23 PM   #3
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Junction boxes for garage T8 fixtures


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Originally Posted by Jupe Blue View Post
Unless it is specifically prohibited in your jurisdiction, the Home Depot guy was right. You can run the wire directly into the light fixture, then on to the next one. Be sure to use a connector and you are good to go. We usually just stub the wire out with a loop of cable when the drywall is installed. Make sure the drywallers don't bury it.
...And what about the Fluorescent supply wires needing to be thermally protected to 90oc??!!
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:33 PM   #4
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Junction boxes for garage T8 fixtures


SP., If the OP did use the NM-B then it will have 90C rated conductors in there but if using the older one like NM { with out B letter in there } then it is a 60C rated conductors. That will raise new issue there. The only way you can slove is run short run of NM-B or the OP did stated he start to wire up the place so with new wires it pretty much MB-B for sure. That is not a issue at all. But check with local code some may have additional requirement. Merci,Marc
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:42 PM   #5
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I'll post a link to the lights I purchased at the end. The way the lights work is you take the reflector off and then you can see the two bulbs (duh!). The ballast is on one end and the wires are in the middle, between the bulbs. If I were to bring the wires into the light fixture the wire nuts and wires would likely be touching the bulbs, unless I electrical tape them to the top, but I'm not sure if that would hold with the very cold winters we have. Just wanted to throw that out there for you!

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...0&ddkey=Search
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:23 AM   #6
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Junction boxes for garage T8 fixtures


Normally there is a cover plate for the ballast area where the splices are made. Sounds like you might be missing parts.

If you were to install the junction boxes you need access to the whole face of the box. Yes that means a 4" hole in the back of the fixture over the box. The method posted by the OP is not correct.

Last edited by Jim Port; 01-25-2010 at 08:10 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:08 AM   #7
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Normally there is a cover plate for the ballast area where the splices are made. Sounds like you might be missing parts.

If you were to install the junction boxes you need access to the whole facwe of the box. Yes that means a 4" hole in the back of the fixture over the box. The method posted by the OP is not correct.
The instructions show the need for a junction box and don't show any sort of cover plate for the wires.

I was afraid I would have to cut a full 4" hole in the ceiling. Not like it really matters as it will be covered by the lighting fixture, but I just thought this would be a relatively simple install after talking to the Home Depot "expert".
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:19 AM   #8
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The top of the fixture should have knock outs for an NM-B cable connector, at least mine did.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:22 PM   #9
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The top of the fixture should have knock outs for an NM-B cable connector, at least mine did.
Yes, it has two knock-outs you can choose. Does this mean I can use a connector and forgo the junction box?
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:32 PM   #10
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Junction boxes for garage T8 fixtures


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Normally there is a cover plate for the ballast area where the splices are made. Sounds like you might be missing parts.

If you were to install the junction boxes you need access to the whole facwe of the box. Yes that means a 4" hole in the back of the fixture over the box. The method posted by the OP is not correct.
Jim, why would you need to access the whole face of the box? Just like a standard ceiling fixture (or wall sconce), you take the fixture down to access the box.

Running the NM cable into a fixture knock-out with a connector is the most common method.
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:16 PM   #11
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Junction boxes for garage T8 fixtures


When I installed 8' twin bulb fixtures in my shop, I wired in a 14 ga. whip with a molded plug on the end and put outlets in my ceiling boxes and just plugged them in. Haven't had any problems and it makes it easy to replace a unit if it goes bad.
Mike Hawkins
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:19 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
Jim, why would you need to access the whole face of the box? Just like a standard ceiling fixture (or wall sconce), you take the fixture down to access the box.

Running the NM cable into a fixture knock-out with a connector is the most common method.
Check Article 410.14. Here is a graphic from Mike Holt.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:53 AM   #13
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Junction boxes for garage T8 fixtures


Quote:
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Check Article 410.14. Here is a graphic from Mike Holt.
Thanks for the info, Jim.

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Old 01-25-2010, 09:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazeroth View Post
Yes, it has two knock-outs you can choose. Does this mean I can use a connector and forgo the junction box?
Yes that is what the knock outs are for.
The light box will serve as the j-box, very common set up.

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