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robstalker 12-03-2012 10:40 AM

recessed light wiring in attic not to code
I recently had an electrician install 6 or so recessed lights (or pot lights) in our insulated attic. I checked out the job he did and there were at least one code violation and maybe a couple more.

The first thing is that the light type wasn't IC or rated for contact with insulation. I'm going to correct this by replacing the fixtures with IC-type.
The 2 other things I had a question about whether they are legal.

1. He ran the NM cable across the bottom member of the roof trusses kind of all over the place and didn't support with running boards. They are just strung from light to light. Also, they are not perpendicular or parallel to the framing, but are running at odd angles from light to light. Is this legal? I was thinking of adding 1x4 running boards underneath the wiring so that it is supported. Can the running boards be at an angle to the framing (such as 45 degree)?

2. He ran the wiring from an existing junction box that looks like it is overcrowded with wires. Can someone point me to the formula for determining how many wires can be inside a box? Also, the box has no cover on it. Does the box in the attic (so it's accessible) need to have a cover on it?
thanks in advance!

jbfan 12-03-2012 11:05 AM

Why are you going to replace them?
Call him back and make him exchange them.

robstalker 12-03-2012 11:57 AM

I lost my trust in the electrician, since he didn't pull a permit and put the non-IC fixtures in the first place (which he should've known better).

I already bought replacement IC units, so I was going to replace them myself and correct the wiring if needed.

jbfan 12-03-2012 01:06 PM

All junction boxes need a cover.
To get around wires in a box, you can add extension rings.
Pics of the wires running the attic will help better explain the situation.

robstalker 12-03-2012 01:15 PM


Originally Posted by jbfan (Post 1065546)
All junction boxes need a cover.
To get around wires in a box, you can add extension rings.
Pics of the wires running the attic will help better explain the situation.

I'm not at home now, but I'll see if I can take some pics.

Basically, the lights are installed in the ceiling in a semi-circular arc pattern. There are 6-8 lights. I think the lights are 5" diameter. The NM cable starts at the box and goes to the first light, and then is "daisy-chained" to the next light, then to the one after, etc. I'm not sure but I hope that helps you to visualize what's going on.

I heard from somebody that "fished" installations don't need to be stapled. But, would an attic installation count as "fished"?


Speedy Petey 12-03-2012 02:07 PM

It does NOT sound like this guy was a real electrician. NONE of what you wrote would/should have been done by a qualified electrician.

Was this a side-jobber? Maybe a handyman?
If it was a real electrician he is most definitely a hack.

robstalker 12-03-2012 02:26 PM

My wife called him out of the phone book. He gave us no reason to think he was anything but a license electrician, although we didn't ask to see his license or anything. He had his own business and wasn't with a big electrical contracting company, so maybe he was just starting out.

My wife had the work done w/ telling me and didn't know we needed a permit. Needless to say, we'll be more careful next time.

Rochsolid 12-03-2012 05:10 PM

I would NOT be using those pot lights until the proper ones are installed! The last thing you need is for your house to burn down, or worse .....

Speedy Petey 12-03-2012 05:15 PM

Thing is, permits are rarely pulled for small jobs like this. That is not so much an issue IMO.
What is an issue is that a supposedly qualified electrician did such a hack job.

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