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Hello,

I recently purchased some utilitech undercabinet low voltage LED puck lights from lowes, slim seek polished metal ones.

I didn't quite think things through though as I started to install them. I mounted all the lights and had to splice some wire onto some of the lights to extend them so essentially I can't return them. I'm trying to figure out how to plug the lights in though. I have the transformer/dimmer mounted under one of the cabinets and I was planning on running the cord up above the range to an outlet in the cupboard but my cabinets are flush with the wall so it would require drilling holes through multiple shelves and multiple sides of the cabinets and just wouldn't look good inside, plus the wire would potentially be in the way. What I really want to do is to hard wire the transformed to a switch so that when I turn on all the overhead cam lights the under cabinet lights would turn on to.

So I have a few questions.

1. Is it possible to cut the plug off and hardwire it in? (I know there is a difference in cord rating and what not but it's the same cord that all the chandeliers I have installed use and those are much higher wattage).

2. I know that running the flexible cord through the wall is a violation but can I run a class II wire from a switch up to the bottom of the cabinet and mount a box or something under the cabinet where I can hardwire it into so that way the flexible cord is not technically run in the wall and is accessible?

3. Lowes sells a plug to direct wire conversion kit but I'd rather now have to do that since it's more expensive than just splicing into wires (Yes I know it's only $10 but I am remodeling the entire house so every little bit helps).

4. Lastly as just a question that interest me why can't you hardwire the flexible lamp type cord directly to a switch. I get that the new code doesn't allow it to be in a wall and the rating of the cord isn't designed to be inside a wall and all that can void insurance but apart from that is there anything else that makes it not a good idea. It's just confusing since as I mentioned all the chandeliers I bought have the same cord type and those are spliced right into a junction box in the ceiling. I guess my big question is whether or not it's a matter of the constant power damaging the thinner gauge cord but that seems like it wouldn't be an issue if it were wired to a switch and were only receiving power when it's flipped.

I hope all these questions don't make me seem to incompetent, I just like to tripple check things that could potentially kill me or burn my house down. I figured the puck light installation would be quick and easy (my original plan was to just run the wires along the wall, cover in thinset, and put up my travertine backsplash but apparently the code doesn't allow for buried low voltage wires and the lime in the thinset can supposedly damage the wires) so now I have to rethink everything. While I do respect the code and the reason behind a lot of it I'm willing to bend it a little bit to get the job done as long as it's still safe. Just like they have speed limits but most people will ignore them, unless it's poring down rain in the middle of winter and you are going through a sharp turn alongside a cliff (in which case those people that still ignore them deserve to go over the edge i.e. natural selection).

Thank you for your input/advice
 

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You already know what you can do and it seems you also know what you cannot do. Now you're just asking permission to do what you already plan to do anyway to ease your guilt.

If somebody else wants to go through the plethora of reasons as to why you cannot run flexible lamp cord through walls or into switches, be my guest. But if you think doing electrical work wrong is a home improvement, I cannot help.
 

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FWIW, our regional building department does not allow the changing, replacing, splicing, or 'reassigning' of cord caps - or splicing cord caps into hard-wires - and the like. Period.

It's wrong because - when you buy a pre-assembled product with a UL certification, if it catches on fire then that manufacturer is at fault for not protecting you, the consumer. If you decide you can wire anything you want, any way you want, and it catches on fire, you are responsible. What if it happens 20 years after you move out and sell your home, and it kills a complete stranger, his wife, and his whole family? Are you ok with that?

America started implementing the National Electric Code for regional standardization of 'best practices' in 1897. It has, since then, used every revision to protect ourselves from ourselves, prevent fires, and eliminate as many fatalities from civilization as possible.

If you know better than 118 years of documented experience with a power we still don't fully understand that has the ability to kill us, then IslandGuy is right and you're really just asking someone to justify you doing something you know is wrong.
 
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