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Old 09-15-2011, 07:07 AM   #1
eek
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Log cabin re-wire advice on lighting (nec questions)


A little background, I'm an electrical engineer and am in the process of rewiring a 50 year old log cabin and most of the carpentry required is done so the hard part is over. I'm pretty well acquainted with most of the NEC, but would like some advice on a few things. The exterior of the cabin is solid d-log construction, the rafters are 4x6, and the ceiling joists are 2x6 wrapped with 1x6 to give the appearance of being 4x6 in part of the cabin. The roof decking is tongue and groove 2x4. The interior walls are rough sawed 2x4 construction with some creative framing that makes things more fun. I'm working with an electrician (who has limited availability at the moment) but doing most of the work myself.

Chandeliers are the predominate type light fixture in use, and the present install has lamp cord stapled directly to the ceiling joists running to a box which is fed by exposed romex. The chandeliers hang from hooks installed in the roof decking.

So now the question which of these options to get power to the chandeliers do you think is the best and which would be code compliant or do you have a better idea?
  1. Conduit with bushing extends from the middle wall to a junction box located on top of the ceiling joist the lamp cord from the fixture enters this junction box. This option may be a little uglier but should pass, right? Would is be ok if the junction box is slightly wider than the bare 2x6’s in half the cabin.
  2. A junction box is installed in the middle wall just above ceiling joist, the lamp cord runs along the ceiling joist from the fixture and enters this box. 2008 code sections that complicate this: 400.8(4), 400.8(6) (flexible cords can't be secured to building or installed in a raceway)

    2.1 The chain from the fixture is extended and lays on top of the ceiling joist (the chain may be secured in some manner) the lamp cord runs in the chain
    2.2 The lamp cord runs inside a piece of emt with bushings on both ends is this technically considered a "raceway" or not
    2.3 The lamp cord runs inside a piece of wiremold
    2.4 The lamp cord runs inside a piece of cord mate

Would the lamp cord be considered a flexible cord, a fixture wire or both?

Thanks for your help

My internet access will be more limited after I head up there so my responses may be delayed a few days starting this afternoon.
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Last edited by eek; 09-15-2011 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:59 PM   #2
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Log cabin re-wire advice on lighting (nec questions)


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Old 09-15-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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Log cabin re-wire advice on lighting (nec questions)


I would help if I could, but I dunno squat about log cabins. The only fixture wires I am used to are remote ballasts and such.

I cannot help but think there has to be a better way.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:18 PM   #4
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Log cabin re-wire advice on lighting (nec questions)


Derek, my wife's dad & step-mom have a Log built home, and it is wired using just plain old vanilla Romex. Junction boxes for lights are carved into the beams in the ceiling, with a hole drilled through for the romex to pass through. From there, the romex runs to where it goes to the basement. It is the same way with the walls on the first floor, but the holes are pre-drilled at the time during manufacturing on site, or in the yard of the company making the builing. Theirs is a mix of stick built in the upstairs, log built on the first.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:34 PM   #5
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Log cabin re-wire advice on lighting (nec questions)


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Derek, my wife's dad & step-mom have a Log built home, and it is wired using just plain old vanilla Romex. Junction boxes for lights are carved into the beams in the ceiling, with a hole drilled through for the romex to pass through. From there, the romex runs to where it goes to the basement. It is the same way with the walls on the first floor, but the holes are pre-drilled at the time during manufacturing on site, or in the yard of the company making the builing. Theirs is a mix of stick built in the upstairs, log built on the first.
How do you cut in switch/receptacle boxes? Chainsaw?
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:13 PM   #6
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Log cabin re-wire advice on lighting (nec questions)


You don't. You use wire moulding to chase it down the wall, etc.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:20 AM   #7
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Log cabin re-wire advice on lighting (nec questions)


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How do you cut in switch/receptacle boxes? Chainsaw?
My wife and I built our log home by ourselves. All the switch and outlet boxes on the first floor are recessed into the logs. It is tedious but actually not difficult to do. I made templates for 1-, 2-, and 3-gang boxes from scrap 1/4-inch plywood and used them to trace an outline where each box was to go. I then drilled a hole in each corner and cut around the outline with a jig saw. Do this carefully or the hole will end up too big. Using trial and error, I removed wood with a spade bit and sharp chisel until the box would fit.

The harder part for you will be getting the wires to the boxes. All my outlets are in the bottom course of logs, so I just bored a 1-inch hole down into the crawl space and ran the wires up that way. For wall switches, I notched the nearest door opening enough to run the wires and bored horizontally to where the box was. Trim covers everything.

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