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Old 05-21-2008, 11:44 AM   #1
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Recessed Lighting vs Electrical/Mechanical/Fire Code


I'm installing 4" halogen recessed lights in our home and I've got one dillemma...

In my attic the AC sits right over where I want to install a recessed light. There is plywood covering the area where the recess light needs to go...

So here it is.. I'm pretty sure I can make it work but I want to make sure this follows code. This may be a big no no.. I can cut the condensation line from the ac and move the drain pan back out of the way. Then I can cut away the plywood to reveal open space for the recessed light to come out.

My question is does this violate code in any way? (Ie: do I need to have the lighting a certain distance from any mechanical equipment/pipes/etc.)

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Old 05-21-2008, 12:40 PM   #2
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Recessed Lighting vs Electrical/Mechanical/Fire Code


It depends. The listing of the can will dictate whether or not in can be in contact with combustibles such as wood or plastic. If you use an IC rated can light, you can typically be pretty darn close. Some cans require more like two inches, more or less. Check the paperwork that came with it or pull up the listing on the manufacturer's website.

To PVC drain pipes, typically there are not too many clearance requirements to cans. Either way, I wouldn't let them touch. If you have any PEX lines up there for any reason, keep them several inches from the can.

Will the can light penetrate the floor of the working space in front of the HVAC equipment? The reason I ask is that you're required to have 30" of clear working space in front of your air handler, and a can light sticking up into that space would pose a problem.

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Old 05-21-2008, 12:54 PM   #3
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Recessed Lighting vs Electrical/Mechanical/Fire Code


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
It depends. The listing of the can will dictate whether or not in can be in contact with combustibles such as wood or plastic. If you use an IC rated can light, you can typically be pretty darn close. Some cans require more like two inches, more or less. Check the paperwork that came with it or pull up the listing on the manufacturer's website.

To PVC drain pipes, typically there are not too many clearance requirements to cans. Either way, I wouldn't let them touch. If you have any PEX lines up there for any reason, keep them several inches from the can.

Will the can light penetrate the floor of the working space in front of the HVAC equipment? The reason I ask is that you're required to have 30" of clear working space in front of your air handler, and a can light sticking up into that space would pose a problem.
Well that very well may be the deciding issue, because the can light WILL penetrate the floor of the working space. Although total working area in front of the handler far exceeds 30". Where the can is going it's on the far left. I would cut out plywood with 3" extra space around the perimeter of the can so there's breathing room and then clear out the insulation. I would need to move the drain pan but that's it.

Actually.. come to think of it I should probably remove the "work area" altogether from the left side and cut it right up to the drain pan. This way if an inspector goes into the attic it doesn't look like a workspace or look out of the ordinary.

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Old 05-21-2008, 02:11 PM   #4
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Recessed Lighting vs Electrical/Mechanical/Fire Code


Unless the can really protrudes right up into the workspace, I don't think most inspectors would give you a hard time. I wouldn't, but it is worth mentioning just in case. The clear area in front of a furnace is for service of the unit, and is required at the access panel on the front of the unit. My concern is that the can could be stepped on or tripped over, thereby damaging it and the offending person!
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