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Old 08-01-2010, 11:50 PM   #1
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Wiring fluorescent fixture to ceiling box


Hello guys!

I am having a new house built and in the workshop area the electricians have installed a single lampholder to a ceiling box.

I want to change this to a high output 8' fluorescent fixture for work I will be doing there soon. This in itself is a really is a simple task but the house won't have the final inspection for a month yet and I want to make sure I do this the proper way so the inspector doesn't make me change it.

There is a ceiling box flush with the drywall and the fluorescent light is going to be mounted to the same framing member that the box is nailed to, which will leave some of the box exposed.

What is the code friendly way to have the wire come out of this box and go into the fixture but still cover the box? All I can think of is a metal box cover with a knockout and a romex cable clamp but I have no idea if it would pass electrical inspection.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 08-02-2010, 06:00 AM   #2
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Wiring fluorescent fixture to ceiling box


The box is probably not strong enough to support the new fixture. It may need to be screwed to the joists, or suspended on chains and a plug installed in the box. Fan boxes will support up to 35lbs, if the fixture weighs less than that.

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Old 08-02-2010, 06:57 AM   #3
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Wiring fluorescent fixture to ceiling box


Here is the proper way. You need access to the whole face of the box. Here is a graphic from mike Holt.

http://www.mikeholt.com/reprint_request2000.php?id=3199
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:32 AM   #4
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Wiring fluorescent fixture to ceiling box


Hang the fixture from the framing so the whole face of the box is exposed. Install a receptacle in the box and an cord and plug on the fixture.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:47 AM   #5
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Wiring fluorescent fixture to ceiling box


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Here is the proper way. You need access to the whole face of the box. Here is a graphic from mike Holt.

http://www.mikeholt.com/reprint_request2000.php?id=3199
This.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:55 AM   #6
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Wiring fluorescent fixture to ceiling box


This is a plain old round plastic electrical box so it definitely does not have the strength to hang a fixture.

Regarding the suggested diagram, I can't easily mount the fixture to cover the entire box because it does need to be mounted to the framework unless I use the corkscrew style wallboard anchors. They work great but I've never used them on a ceiling before so that brings up another question of code.

Quote:
Install a receptacle in the box and an cord and plug on the fixture.
This did come to mind but there are going to eventually be a total of 4 of these fixtures wired together, again what does code say about that?

I've already dealt with a nitpicky building inspector over another issue just last week so I want to make sure I'm covered here.

Thanks again
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:04 AM   #7
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Wiring fluorescent fixture to ceiling box


You could always use more than 2 anchors to spread the load out or use toggle bolts.

This fixtures can be wired to other fixtures if they are for "raceway use".
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:29 AM   #8
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Wiring fluorescent fixture to ceiling box


If you going to mount the high output flourscent luminaire there one very important part you have to do is do not put them right agaist the drywall you will need to leave a spacing between the high output flourscent luminaire { 1 1/2 inch spaceing } the reason why due the heat from the ballast.

And that is my standard pratice to keep a space on it otherwise you will get the ballast overheated or burnout early for no reason.

A simple 2X4 stud just cut to the short peice something like 4 inches so they look like a block that will work very slick.

Merci.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:46 AM   #9
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Wiring fluorescent fixture to ceiling box


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richo View Post
This is a plain old round plastic electrical box so it definitely does not have the strength to hang a fixture.

Regarding the suggested diagram, I can't easily mount the fixture to cover the entire box because it does need to be mounted to the framework unless I use the corkscrew style wallboard anchors. They work great but I've never used them on a ceiling before so that brings up another question of code.

This did come to mind but there are going to eventually be a total of 4 of these fixtures wired together, again what does code say about that?

I've already dealt with a nitpicky building inspector over another issue just last week so I want to make sure I'm covered here.

Thanks again
I usually just toggle bolt these right up to the drywall.

You said you were going to connect more, now would be the time to get the wire fished into the ceiling before the first fixture is up so you won't have to take it back down again.
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:07 AM   #10
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Wiring fluorescent fixture to ceiling box


Thanks for the tip on the blocks, had no idea about that. But this brings back the original question....if there is a 1.5" space between the light and the ceiling how should I cover the box?

Quote:
now would be the time to get the wire fished into the ceiling before the first fixture is up so you won't have to take it back down again.
Well, I had no intention of trying to hide wires. This is just a workshop and I'm not concerned about making it pretty. If I have Romex run on the outside from one fixture to the next is that something you think an inspector is going to have a problem with? I can't see why there would be a problem since it's done with basements all the time.

I might not be adding the rest of the lights until after the inspection is complete but I'm not sure so I want to cover my bases
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:16 AM   #11
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Wiring fluorescent fixture to ceiling box


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Thanks for the tip on the blocks, had no idea about that. But this brings back the original question....if there is a 1.5" space between the light and the ceiling how should I cover the box?
Mount the fixture directly to the ceiling.
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:20 PM   #12
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Wiring fluorescent fixture to ceiling box


I was planning to mount them right to the ceiling but then Frenchelectrician recommended this:

Quote:
If you going to mount the high output flourscent luminaire there one very important part you have to do is do not put them right agaist the drywall you will need to leave a spacing between the high output flourscent luminaire { 1 1/2 inch spaceing } the reason why due the heat from the ballast.
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:19 PM   #13
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Wiring fluorescent fixture to ceiling box


Well now that the drywall ceiling is installed, there is just a romex wire poking through a small hole in the drywall. I could have sworn there was a box there but maybe I'm losing my mind.

Anyways, this negates my original question because I can just mount the light to the rafters and wire it direct, BUT I'm now concerned about the post from frenchelectrician suggesting mounting the fixture on spacers due to the heat of the ballast.

2nd opinions anyone?

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