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Old 07-18-2009, 10:04 PM   #1
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Recessed Lighting wiring


I'm installing recessed lighting in my basement. Each of the recessed lights I've installed has an exterior can attached for connecting the wires to the lights. When the ceiling drywall is install, these boxes will become "hidden". I always thought that hidden connections in a box within a wall was not allowed by building codes?

If the boxes are legal, can I make the power connection from the breaker panel to the box attached to the light and then run a pair of wires to the switch to control the light or must the power source connection be made in the switch box?
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:00 AM   #2
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The boxes are accessible after the trim is removed. It isn't easy, but it is there. Either of the connections you have described are acceptable, but having the can light being the harder to access, I prefer to bring the line side into the switch.
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Old 07-19-2009, 01:32 AM   #3
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There are usually 3 screws holding the can to the frame. You can remove the screws and access the jbox thru the round hole....barely.

If it's a 4" can you need to have little girl hands.

Make sure your connections are bulletproof. You don't want to have to get in there after drywall.

You can use a suicide switch (switch loop) but, given the option, I never do. I like to have hot and neutral at the switches, just because. You may want to add a recep from the switch some day ot add another switch leg. Also, some dimmers/timers need a neutral.

Last edited by 220/221; 07-19-2009 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:07 AM   #4
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The cans are all 6". The switches I'm installing are for lighting only. I already have enough convenience outlets tied to their own circuit. One set of switches are buried in an existing wall. Running power into the switch would be harder as I have no idea how to fish a line into an existing box without opening up the wall where the switches are.

I plan to connect everything and check it out before closing up the walls. One set of switches is for a three way control, so I will have to remove those switches from the box after checking the circuits so I can drywall that wall.

I did learn from the DIY site to check the power rating of the switches and now have to go get 1000W switches for one circuit.

Thank you for your help. Now to make sure my connections are bullet proof.........
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Old 07-19-2009, 04:19 PM   #5
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If anyone else can tell me how to fish a power source line into an exiting switch receptacle, I'd love to hear from you.
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Old 07-19-2009, 04:42 PM   #6
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Question of accessibility for recessed lighting


Quote:
Originally Posted by DandHJohn View Post
I'm installing recessed lighting in my basement. Each of the recessed lights I've installed has an exterior can attached for connecting the wires to the lights. When the ceiling drywall is install, these boxes will become "hidden". I always thought that hidden connections in a box within a wall was not allowed by building codes?

If the boxes are legal, can I make the power connection from the breaker panel to the box attached to the light and then run a pair of wires to the switch to control the light or must the power source connection be made in the switch box?
The issue of accessibility is solved. As "Speedy Petey" (I think) pointed out, that when the TRIM is removed, the box is accessible. Or, (adding my own Two Cents) when the fixture is dropped, the box is accessible. Just like fixtures that are hung on a Suspended, or "Drop" Ceiling. As opposed to a junction box that is left inside a wall or ceiling and is not considered accessible!(No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive!!!
Correction; The original quote was from Goose 124. p.s. It would be very helpful, if while posting a reply, one could view the original quotes.

Last edited by spark plug; 07-19-2009 at 04:47 PM. Reason: incorrect attribution of Quote
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DandHJohn View Post
If anyone else can tell me how to fish a power source line into an exiting switch receptacle, I'd love to hear from you.
Into a box on the wall?
Are there any other wires in the box - or just the switched wire?
Is the ceiling open or closed in?

Quote:
I did learn from the DIY site to check the power rating of the switches and now have to go get 1000W switches for one circuit.
I assume you mean a dimmer switch?
They are rated for specific wattages
A normal light switch is rated 15a/20a



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Old 07-19-2009, 07:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Into a box on the wall?
Are there any other wires in the box - or just the switched wire?
Is the ceiling open or closed in?
Ceiling is open, at least above the finished wall where the switches are. The run to the breaker panel is also open. There are three switches for the stairwell, two are three way switches for the safety lights at the baseboards and then the lights above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I assume you mean a dimmer switch?
They are rated for specific wattages
A normal light switch is rated 15a/20a
The dimmer I originally purchased is rated for 600 Watts. With 8 - 75 Watt cans on the circuit, I'll need the 1000 Watt dimmer for that circuit. Are these the ones that need a neutral wire as well?

All of the other circuits are below 600 Watts(80%).

Last edited by DandHJohn; 07-19-2009 at 07:07 PM. Reason: forgot to answer part of the question
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:21 PM   #9
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Is there a top plate on the wall?
Can you see other wires coming out?
Is there room to feed another wire down an existing hole?
Is the existing box a triple gang box?

What I would try:
Shut off ALL power to everything in that switch box
VERIFY there isn't any power
You would be surpised (shocked maybe) at the number fo times people have thought everything was off & it was not
I would then try to send a snake down from an exisiting hole that has room to the box
This is not easy with a box in place

Its easier to send a snake up from the box
I would drill a hole in the top plate 3/4"
MAKE sure it is far enough away from other wires
The problem is that someon may have run one of those wires along the bottom of the top plate to an existing hole
It can take a few tries to thread the snake thru the hole



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