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Old 01-27-2013, 11:47 AM   #1
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Question about running lamp cord behind drywall


I'm installing lighting in a closet and I have very limited space to work with. I found some small xenon puck lights that were nice and bright and also small enough to fit. These lights came pre-wired with standard lamp cords and I couldn't remove the cords to try to run romex into them.

So I looked up to see if it was okay to run the standard cord behind the drywall and found it was a no-no, so I'm back to square one. What I'm wondering though is why this is a no-no. Why can I use this type of cord on a standard lamp on one side of the drywall, but I can't use it behind drywall?

Just curious - thanks!

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Old 01-27-2013, 12:10 PM   #2
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Question about running lamp cord behind drywall


I have seen lamp cord run inside walls where the insulation was brittle, cracking, and had fallen off at many places. So there was lots of bare wire here and there. Not good to say the least. Big fire hazard!

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Old 01-27-2013, 12:27 PM   #3
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There is a good chance the lights you chose would be a code violation as well. There are rules about incandescent lights and the proximity to combustible materials.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:16 PM   #4
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Not to sound smart, but you don't because the code says you can't.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:21 PM   #5
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Question about running lamp cord behind drywall


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Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
I have seen lamp cord run inside walls where the insulation was brittle, cracking, and had fallen off at many places. So there was lots of bare wire here and there. Not good to say the least. Big fire hazard!
So the insulation tends to break down faster than romex insulation? I guess that would explain it!

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There is a good chance the lights you chose would be a code violation as well. There are rules about incandescent lights and the proximity to combustible materials.
Not sure what you mean. The only thing close to the lights would be the drywall and some ductwork. Unless you were referring to the clothing in the closet in which case they would be more than 2 feet away from the lights.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:23 PM   #6
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Not to sound smart, but you don't because the code says you can't.
I understand. I can't help it though, the engineer in me just wondered why.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
There is a good chance the lights you chose would be a code violation as well. There are rules about incandescent lights and the proximity to combustible materials.

So are you saying no incandescent lights in a closet?
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:34 PM   #8
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I didn't say that.

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410.16 Luminaires in Clothes Closets.
(A) Luminaire Types Permitted. Only luminaires of the
following types shall be permitted in a closet:
(1) Surface-mounted or recessed incandescent or LED luminaires
with completely enclosed light sources
(2) Surface-mounted or recessed fluorescent luminaires
(3) Surface-mounted fluorescent or LED luminaires identified
as suitable for installation within the closet storage
space
(B) Luminaire Types Not Permitted. Incandescent luminaires
with open or partially enclosed lamps and pendant
luminaires or lampholders shall not be permitted.
(C) Location. The minimum clearance between luminaires
installed in clothes closets and the nearest point of a closet
storage space shall be as follows:
(1) 300 mm (12 in.) for surface-mounted incandescent or
LED luminaires with a completely enclosed light source
installed on the wall above the door or on the ceiling.
(2) 150 mm (6 in.) for surface-mounted fluorescent luminaires
installed on the wall above the door or on the
ceiling.
(3) 150 mm (6 in.) for recessed incandescent or LED luminaires
with a completely enclosed light source installed
in the wall or the ceiling.
(4) 150 mm (6 in.) for recessed fluorescent luminaires installed
in the wall or the ceiling.
(5) Surface-mounted fluorescent or LED luminaires shall
be permitted to be installed within the closet storage
space where identified for this use.
You also have to be careful of those puck style lights. Many of them will state in their specs that they are to be used for cabinet lighting.

If there is a shelf above the rod, that is considered a space where combustibles can be stored.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:49 PM   #9
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I didn't say that.



You also have to be careful of those puck style lights. Many of them will state in their specs that they are to be used for cabinet lighting.

If there is a shelf above the rod, that is considered a space where combustibles can be stored.
I was aware of this, was not sure if it changed. Thanks for your response!
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
You also have to be careful of those puck style lights. Many of them will state in their specs that they are to be used for cabinet lighting.

If there is a shelf above the rod, that is considered a space where combustibles can be stored.
These lights won't be above the shelf, they're closer to the front of the closet, so anything stacked on the shelf will be more than 12" away. Thanks for the info, though.

I finally got some of these lights....
http://www.lowes.com/pd_16059-47842-...t_avg_rating|1

I'll have to do some rework to make them fit, but better safe than sorry!
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:04 PM   #11
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Question about running lamp cord behind drywall


Do you know how hot those lights get? I do. I would not install them in a closet even if they were supplied by the customer and I was being paid to. Loosing that work will cost less than when that blanket starts on fire.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:13 PM   #12
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Last time I saw lamp cord used in a permenant situation, they were carrying out the bodies of a grandmother and her two grand children. They died in the house fire that was a result of the unsafe wiring.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:13 PM   #13
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Do you know how hot those lights get? I do. I would not install them in a closet even if they were supplied by the customer and I was being paid to. Loosing that work will cost less than when that blanket starts on fire.
There is ductwork directly over the rod and shelf area, and I'm enclosing all that in drywall. So because of that ductwork the only space I have to install lighting is towards the front of the closet.

I just measured, and where the lights will be is more than 12" from the front edge of the shelf and anything stacked on it. I figure if these lights can ignite a blanket from more than a foot away, they shouldn't sell them!
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:16 PM   #14
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Question about running lamp cord behind drywall


Use a fluorescent undercabinet style light and mount it either on the header of the door, or on the ceiling close to the door side.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:21 PM   #15
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Use a fluorescent undercabinet style light and mount it either on the header of the door, or on the ceiling close to the door side.
I would like to, but this is an older house and this room is in the basement and the closet is only 76" high, thanks to the duct and the main support joist running through the top of the closet. I need a light that's small and flush mounted or I will bash my head into it every time.

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