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Old 05-05-2013, 02:20 PM   #16
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Ok, I need more help lol... Well, more like advice.

First let me start by saying that this home was a flip when we purchased. The flippers installed an island in the kitchen; it's a smallish island, the surface is about 51" long and 38.5" wide. When I installed the two pendants, I halved the island, (picture attached) then made two Xs from corner to corner of each half with painters tape, then hung a plumb bob to the center of the X so I could mark my point on the ceiling. I managed to get the pendants hung fantastically.

So now I'm measuring and planning my final layout for the cans so I can drill my holes... and I've run into a fairly major (I think?) snag. It appears that when the flippers installed the island, they did not center it in the room.... I should have measured before I installed but the way I figured it, there wasn't any way I was going to put pendants that were NOT justified to the center of the island anyway. Well now I want my cans proportionally spaced from the pendants.

The room is 13' wide, and 23' long. I've made a functional division between the dining section at 11'. So the dining section is 13x11 and I hung the chandelier exactly centered at 6.5' from one wall and 5.5' from the back of of the room. That leaves 13(w)x12(l) for the kitchen.

I have [potentially] 6 cans - purchased 6 cans and 6 led retrofit lights, but was hoping to only use 4 and two for the hallway - but now I don't see that happening. So since my newly hung pendants are not centered on the 13' width of the room, should I justify the cans to the pendants, or to the room? The pendants are only 2 inches off of the center mark - 6'4" from the wall to the center of the two pendants. I don't want the cans to look disproportionately spaced from the pendants, but I certainly don't want them looking disproportionately spaced from the walls either!

I'm thinking they have to be justified to the pendants or else it will look ridiculous and amateur. If I put one at 6'4', centered between the two pendants on both sides of the pendants, then go 4 feet (8 foot ceiling) left and 4 feet right that will put me with two rows of 3 cans; first cans at ~30" (+/-2) from each wall and one at 76", in front and in back of the pendants.

Concerns: with one wall having 12 inch uppers, and the opposite wall having nothing, a can 30" at center will be just a bit over a foot from the upper cabinets, but will appear to be floating in white space on the wall with no cabinets. This would look awkward no?

The LED lights have a very wide spread of light, so I'm not really worried about shadows or focused light on any particular area, we just want good light in the kitchen.

Sorry for being verbose. Thoughts??
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Last edited by bobgodd; 05-05-2013 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:03 PM   #17
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Ok, fair enough, ignore the design question lol... But I do have another legit question!

Since I had to run a new circuit for the microwave, I had to access the panel. Went outside, but the panel was locked.. apparently by the utility company - in my area it's San Diego Gas & Electric. I called them today to ask how to get the lock removed and they had all sorts of questions about what I was going to do and why I needed to do it and was I getting it inspected and which electrician was coming out, the questions started getting pretty aggravating.

How much say does the power company have in this matter? Maybe it's because I'm a new home-owner but I sure figured that this is my panel, not theirs and they should remove the lock if I call them and it's not really any of their concern who what where or why and how. Am I way off here? Does anyone have any insight as to what kind of power the electrical company has over this matter?
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:40 PM   #18
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


To get to the breakers of your house, the poco should have no say!
The panel and breakers shall remain accessible for the homeowner.

Got a pic?

Missed the design question.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:51 PM   #19
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Quote:
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To get to the breakers of your house, the poco should have no say!
The panel and breakers shall remain accessible for the homeowner.

Got a pic?

Missed the design question.
This is what the panel looks like. Maybe the bottom parts come out independently? The middle part is locked with a ring around the meter and that's what they'll have to come remove. I would have to drop the circuit in from the top, and the breaker I plan to use is the 20 amp breaker on the bottom row.

As for the design, I've decided to put the cans appropriately justified to the dimensions of the room and if the pendants and island aren't centered then so be it. If the island was in another part of the room it would look normal with pendants and it wouldn't be centered so I'm ok with that.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:55 PM   #20
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


You should only have access to the breakers, not the meter.

That cover on the breakers should come off without disturbing the meter.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:13 PM   #21
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


I can take the cover off, but can't access the neutral or ground? What you see in the picture is the extent of what I have access too...

Also, I took another picture; what exactly is this metal tube?

Thanks again for all the help!!
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:33 PM   #22
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Bob, you got me.
I've never seen one like that.

Can you remove the panel on the lower right?
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:13 PM   #23
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Quote:
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Bob, you got me.
I've never seen one like that.

Can you remove the panel on the lower right?
I probably should have just taken those two panels off to begin with lol, but I guess I needed a little assurance first.

Bottom left panel appears to be IN from the power company. Bottom right is the neutral bus? A bunch of white wires , and also bare wires connected to it, and the metal tube is also attached to the bus. There appears to be nothing in the middle section aside from a pass-thru.

So, allow me to flex my n00bihood: I did not know that there was continuity between neutral and ground. So if I take my multimeter and probe between the neutral and ground sockets on a receptacle, I'll get a short, yes?

So when I run this 12-2 cable for the microwave, I am to attach both the neutral and the bare conductor to this bus on the bottom right?
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:24 PM   #24
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


That is correct.
Might I offer a suggestion?

All the neutrals twisted together should be under their on screw.

Before you remove them, make sure the power is off.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:30 PM   #25
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
That is correct.
Might I offer a suggestion?

All the neutrals twisted together should be under their on screw.

Before you remove them, make sure the power is off.
You absolutely may offer a suggestion! I want everything I do to be as absolutely correct and safe as possible. I'm taking on my own work for a few reasons; because I believe that I am cable of doing quality and safe work (though I'm not an electrician or contractor, I have extensive experience with electronics and I have a healthy respect and fear for electricity), to save money, and because I get a genuine satisfaction in completing projects around the home. None of these reasons take priority over safety though.

So you're saying that all of the neutrals should be twisted together? So the 3 (by my count) neutrals that are separate from the bundle should be twisted around the bundle and added to that screw? As well as the new one I will run?

Is there any specific place where the bare ground should go?
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:32 PM   #26
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Or did I read that wrong, and every neutral should have it's own screw?
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:41 PM   #27
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


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Or did I read that wrong, and every neutral should have it's own screw?
Every neutral should be under its own screw.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:54 PM   #28
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Quote:
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Every neutral should be under its own screw.
Done. I prefer it that way personally... It appears less likely that something will wiggle loose.

Will shutting down power to the main breaker in the panel be sufficient, or will I have to call the power company and ask them to disconnect me?
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:03 PM   #29
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Main breaker will work.
You just don't want to disconnect a neutral with power on it, bad things happen to electronics when you do.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:38 PM   #30
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


I really appreciate all your help, thank you!

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