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loshaj 01-28-2013 10:10 PM

# of wires in 1 1/2" octagon box
Hi I am new to this forum and also to electrical work but I have read some books including Residential Wiring to the 2008 NEC by Jeff Markell.
I am running (in emt) switched porcelain sockets in parallel. There is also a hot wire passing through to downstream. So each octagon box has a red wire in to pigtail to porcelain fixture, then red wire out to the next box. Also white neutral in, pigtail, out. Black wire in a loop passes through the box. It's 12 gauge wire.

Per sources, I am counting six wires: two red, two white, one black, and the fixture. Pigtails to fixture it seems do not count? Did I count this right? Do those porcelain fixtures get hot at all? I am looking at the actual roughed-in work and it seems like a lot of wires for that box. I will add extension if I have to but would rather not 'cause then the light is a little lower off the ceiling.

k_buz 01-28-2013 10:15 PM

If you are in the US...

Count the number of wires entering or leaving the box, not the fixture wires or pigtails. Multiply that number X (2.25). If that number is less than 15.5 (the volume of an 1 1/2" octagon) then you are OK.

loshaj 02-01-2013 09:54 PM

Thanks K Buz for your reply.

I ended up putting the extender on. Just seemed to make sense to use caution here, I could envision those boxes getting very crowded. I will not be hitting my head on the light bulb, so I will be ok.


Racine, WI

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