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Old 10-13-2011, 01:43 PM   #1
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Recessed Lighting help needed


Hello,

I am trying to replace 2 ceiling fixtures with 2 recessed light cans. The issue is I don't have access to the fixture from above

I successfully (albeit slowly) replaced the first outlet - it was in a (approx)
18-inch cavity in the ceiling underneath the second-story floor. There was no insulation so it wasn't much of an issue.

This second fixture opens into the attic (not easily accessed) and there is insulation stuffed right up to the ceiling drywall. When I took the fixture off and looked at the pan box, I saw this:



I should've stopped there, but I unscrewed the pan box from what I believe to be a bracket supporting the fixture between two joists. Now, I can't get it back since the bracket clip just rests on the bracket and there is no longer any downward pressure to have the screw from the pan box grip the bracket clip. So, I think I'm stuck with continuing on my recessed light install.

My problem is this:

1. Should I go ahead and take off that metal thing (in the picture above) that I believe to be a bracket? Or is it something else that I will further mess up if I continue.

2. Once the bracket is removed (either by cutting or prying off) there is still about 6-8 inches of pink (fiberglass?) insulation (batt type?). Can I just push the lighting can up and have the insulation bulge over it (it's an IC-rated can) or are IC cans only meant to touch blown-in insulation?


Basically, looking to figure out how I should proceed! Thanks!

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Old 10-13-2011, 02:08 PM   #2
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Recessed Lighting help needed


That bracket allowed the ceiling box to be installed between the framing and not alongside. You should be able to bend it out of the way.

IC rated fixtures are fine in contact with either batt or blown in insulation.

Given the age of the box shown I doubt if you have the 90 degree C rated NM-B cable that the recessed light will call for. Most likely you have NM cable that was 60 degree C rated.

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Old 10-13-2011, 02:12 PM   #3
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Recessed Lighting help needed


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Given the age of the box shown I doubt if you have the 90 degree C rated NM-B cable that the recessed light will call for. Most likely you have NM cable that was 60 degree C rated.
Can you elaborate a bit on that? The electrical wire itself would need to be replaced? (The house was built in 1987 if that helps anything.)

edit: I just went up into an attic crawlspace and looked at some of the wiring - it said NM-B on it. However, I couldn't check the specific wire for the circuit that the recessed light is on, and the sheathing is cut away at the junction box *right* where the info is printed (and I can't look at the cable farther down the line to check it out). Is there any way to visually tell? I'm fairly confident that it's NM-B considering the strands i found in the attic are NM-B, but i'd like to be 110% sure.

Last edited by to3032; 10-13-2011 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:24 PM   #4
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Recessed Lighting help needed


The only way is the labeling on the sheath. The cable was changed right around the mid 80's. It sounds like you may have lucked out.

If there is any doubt you could add a junction box with a new piece of cable to feed the recessed. The junction would need to stay accessible.
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