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Old 10-23-2015, 04:46 AM   #1
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Replacing lighted medicine cabinet with sconces


I am updating a vintage bathroom in a 90yo house. The bathroom was probably remodeled some time in the 1950s. The walls are plaster and lath. I don't know the state of the wiring behind the cabinet because I haven't removed it yet, but I do know with certainty that there is no knob and tube in the house.

My existing recessed medicine cabinet has two fluorescent lights that are incorporated into the unit. There is a toggle switch on one (that controls both lights) and an outlet on the other. I will post a picture once I figure out how to do that. The cabinet will be replaced with a wall mounted cabinet and I intend to add sconces for lighting.

The light switch for the ceiling light does not control the medicine cabinet, so I'm thinking I can add a light switch/outlet combo when I install the lights. I know it will have to be GFCI because it is above the sink.

I have replaced fixtures before but this will be my first time adding a switch and moving wiring. Before I commit to changing the lighting, what kind of potential problems should I consider?
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Old 10-23-2015, 05:09 AM   #2
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Lighting does not require gfi protection. The receptacle does.

If the wiring is not grounded it should not be extended.
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Old 10-23-2015, 05:32 AM   #3
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Jim, are you saying that my existing wiring may not be grounded? If so, I suppose I will have to hire an electrician to run new wire back to the panel.
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Old 10-23-2015, 06:51 AM   #4
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I just saw your location . I know the rules are much stricter there.

You probably have metal conduit that acts as your ground.

Metal conduit is not as diy friendly as other methods .
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:23 PM   #5
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Here is a picture of the medicine cabinet and a close up of the wires, which are located inside the top of the cabinet. Can someone tell me what I'm looking at in there?
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Replacing lighted medicine cabinet with sconces-2015-10-24-18_1445728955735.21.02.jpg   Replacing lighted medicine cabinet with sconces-20151024_145840-1_1445728969049.jpg  
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Old 11-18-2015, 05:41 AM   #6
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Update:
I called an electrician (actually called several) for a quote after removing the cabinet and discovering that the original wiring is BX. When I pulled the permit for the remodel, I also found that code requires that I add a receptacle above the sink on a dedicated circuit. So, two new boxes and a new wire going back to the panel. Cha-ching.
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