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theatretch85 11-12-2012 12:47 AM

RIBU1C Relay in Residential
So I have a RIBU1C relay I'd like to use in my basement to control some fluorescent lights from a Leviton DHC relay control. The Leviton relay was supposed to be able to handle a 10 amp load, however when the fluorescent lights are connected, the Leviton DHC relay buzzes and all around doesn't sound "good" (unplug the fluorescent light and it operates fine with incandescent lights). I just tried hooking the RIBU1C relay up in between the Leviton DHC relay and the fluorescent lights and it operates perfectly (wanted to make sure it worked before I determined the next step). I use a 7 scene control which controls 7 different dimmers and this 1 relay for all my bar/home theatre lighting in the basement across 2-15 amp circuits.

My problem is, what's the best way to connect/conceal the relay and be code compliant in a residential setting? Normally these relays would be attached to a metal junction box and surface mounted to the wall in a warehouse type setting. If I attach this to a metal box in the wall, I would imagine an access hole has to be provided to be able to get to the relay correct?

Anyone have any ideas?

Here is the relay I have:

J. V. 11-12-2012 12:15 PM

Only the wires on that relay require protection. You can open a knock out on any box and install this relay with a lock nut. Then your connections are all made inside the box.

Billy_Bob 11-12-2012 01:04 PM

Perhaps you could use a very large box like 10 inch x 10 inch, then inside of that place a smaller box. Or inside of that mount it with an "L" shaped bracket.

Note that relays tend to get hot - generate heat. So best if the cover had vents for air circulation.

As for the "buzzing sound", with a "mechanical" relay, it should make no difference what was connected! Unless you wired the "coil" in "series" with the fixture (rather than the switch contacts to the fixture).

Some relays are "solid state" (no moving parts). I don't know if that other relay was solid state and maybe the load in that case could cause a problem?

theatretch85 11-12-2012 10:55 PM

What I'm looking for is a way to properly install this onto a box inside a Sheetrock wall or ceiling. I assume the relay attached to the side of the electrical box needs to be accessible correct? What I was possibly thinking is installing the relay inside of a 4" square box (with mud ring, and dual gang blank cover) with that attached in the ceiling to an adjacent box where the connections would actually be made. My thoughts with this is the factory supplied nipple on the relay isn't long enough to allow for enough separation of the two boxes side by side to be able to put both cover plates on (an outlet on the box being controlled, and the blank on the box housing the relay).

Does the nipple on the relay have to be physically attached to a knockout hole? Or can I simply connect these two boxes side by side with a 1/2" offset or straight 2" nipple and let the relay be floating inside the second box with the blank cover? The wires would be protected inside both boxes, and be protected as they pass through the nipple between the boxes.

If this is still un-clear I'll try and get some pictures of what I'm proposing.

Missouri Bound 11-12-2012 11:40 PM

Technically....and if I am wrong there will be a :censored:storm telling me. That device does not need to be put within an enclosure. It is enclosed and a stand alone device. The question is whether or not it needs to be accessed. I believe that it requires access, and that the only way to provide that would be to either have it exposed or installed within a Jbox. Or you could mount it remotely and extend the wiring, using a Jbox for all connections. Just my opinion....:whistling2:

theatretch85 11-13-2012 12:20 AM

I believe it does need the ability to be accessed, which is why I am raising the question of how best to do that (and be least noticeable in my bar/home theater setup). I considered the idea of mounting it remotely and extending the wiring, however it'd need to be with conduit or I'd need to find that rare 4 conductor with ground cable to extend the wires. I need 2 wires for the coil, and 2 wires for the relay switch part of it.

Is Smurf Tube (the blue colored flexible plastic pipe) acceptable for Line voltage or is that only for low voltage? If its OK for line voltage than that may be the way to remote the relay in my utility room (approx 15-25ft run) then I could also use a plastic box, no need for a ground wire (there's no place to attach one to anyway) and I can run the appropriate colored wires.

Billy_Bob 11-13-2012 10:48 AM

Yes it does need to be accessible. If it breaks, you would need to be able to replace it.

Usually those type of things (like doorbell transformer, etc.) are mounted near an electrical panel or in a closet. So the "looks" of the mounting or enclosure does not matter.

And large electrical boxes don't have "nice looking" covers to my knowledge.

Note relays designed to be mounted inside a large electrical box are called "contactors" and look like this...

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