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long island, NY
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
how do you tell if a pot light (already in the home) is safe for contact w/ insulation?

Another novice DIY'er confession :(

my husband just added insulation in the attic. We forgot to double check ahead of time whether the pot lights are safe for insulation contact. a few days later, I'm smacking myself in the head.

As this room is FAR FAR away from the attic entrance, I'm praying there's a way to determine whether the lights are ok from the room below, rather than the attic. If they are not, is there a quick way to uninstall them, cut the insulation, and re-install them? Or would it be likely easier to crawl into the attic and try to find all of them?

thanks for your help

oh, is there anything else that is electrical up there that we should have avoided? there are 1 or 2 ceiling light fixtures on the 2nd floor (chandelier) that obviously have boxes somewhere up there..... are the backs of the boxes ok to cover with insulation? are there any other obvious attic electrical hazards?

sigh. So stupid to not think of this sooner....... thanks.
 

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Remove the light trim and look inside the can for the number.
If it is a halo can, it will have the model # and end with ic if it is rated for insullation, or it will not have ic and must have the clerance around the light.
If these are new constuction cans, you will have to climb back into the attice to cut out around the lights.
Everything else is fine.
 

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long island, NY
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382 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks. I will definitely do that when I go home. Man, my fingers and toes are crossed.... I pray I don't have to crawl all the way back there! argh......

As for question #2, is there anything else electrical up there that we should have avoided like the plague, but may have inadvertedly insulated too close to? such as the electrical boxes for the chandelier, or some connection in the HVAC system?

The only thing worse than having to go up there again, is having to go back up there multiple times!

thanks......
 

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Everything else is fine.

I only use halo cans, so I'm not sure my info will help with another brand.

Try installing those cans, and forget to take a tool with you!
 

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long island, NY
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382 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
awesome. thanks so much for your responses.... It really makes me feel better.

What on earth would I do without this site?!

I simply had this thought too late and have been in a DIY'er panic for about 30 minutes :eek:. I knew well enough to tell my husband to make sure he didn't insulate too close to the eaves, but it simply lapsed from my mind to mention the can lights.

Well, it could have been much worse. There could have been a myriad of additional items.

thanks again
 

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long island, NY
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382 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK, I finally figured it out. our current fixtures are made by commercial electric (obviously a HD special!) and are, of course, NOT IC can lights. blah.

My husband would prefer to replace the lights rather than cut the insulation, since that would compromise the energy efficinecy of his recent insulation job.

So, I intend to shut of the breaker, pop out the current lights, and replace them with recessed lights (that don't attach to joists) of the same diameter. I'm fairly certain the current lights also are not attached to beams becuase they were added to a pre-existing ceiling.

You mentioned you only use halo products. Why? Is there anything else I should look out for when purchasing IC lights?

thanks......
 

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The only reason I use halo, is the supply house I use carries them.

The trim you choose will affect the size of lamp you can use.
 

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long island, NY
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382 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's DONE! :thumbup:

I replaced the cans with halo IC cans for remodeling. It was super-easy to do, especially since the can-to-can wiring was already in place. We did 3 cans in under an hour.

one really creepy note:
The original cans (installed when a contractor built our legal accessory apartment in 2002) were pressed directly against the original attic insulation, and were NOT IC rated. While the 2 kitchen cans did not damage the neighboring insulation, the insulation around the bathroom can light was black and melted. Holy [email protected], we were on the verge of a fire!

This aggravates me. We obviously had all building permits in place, and the town inspected all of the electrical work as it was being done.

I'm really glad this problem is now gone for good.
thanks for your help!
 

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Great. Glad to help anytime.
 
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