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KC10KEVIN 05-08-2008 07:56 PM

Recessed Lighting under hot/cold supplies??
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Good Evening,

I am about to install some recessed lighting for my basement build. I would like to add some recessed lighting into a soffit built between some supply/return ducting. Attached is picture of my soffit.

I was wondering if it is ok to put in recessed lighting directly under hot/cold copper piping and a gas supply? I do plan to wrap all the pipes prior to installation. The opening is 14 inches wide and is 10 inches in height. I placed a recessed light in the opening and I have about 2 inches to the piping to spare. I will probably use some low profile cans to increase that space.

I did go to the code department here and the inspector again said it “should” be ok. It has been very hard to nail these folks down here and I don’t have much confidence in them at this point.

Thanks in advance,


Termite 05-08-2008 10:21 PM

There are no clearance requirements from sources of heat such as can lights to copper supply plumbing. I would avoid touching them together, but there's no code-based justification for not allowing it.

If you wrap the pipes with insulation, be sure to have a good inch of clearnace. Foam pipe insulation will melt if it is too close to a can light, and that could cause some problems. Cans reach something like 190 degrees, which will melt plastics such as flexible ductwork if it touches. If you're insulating, be sure you use the correct can light with an IC rating.

The only supply plumbing that has clearance issues to sources of heat is PEX, and there are minimum vertical and horizontal clearances established by the manufacturers.

Sorry to hear your building inspector won't give you straight answers. If you need any code information, give me a hollar.

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