installing 15 amp cabinet lights into a 20 amp circuit

Page 4 of 6  


The canonical terminology (that you'll find in the NEC) is:
Black/Red/Yellow/Brown/Orange/etc. - Current Carrying Conductor White - Grounded conductor. Green/Green-yellow/Bare - Grounding conductor.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/25/2016 4:02 PM, Scott Lurndal wrote:

Dear Father Lurndal, I thought the white carries current, also?
--
.
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 25 Feb 2016 21:02:22 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) wrote:

Those are BOTH current carrying conductors. That becomes important when you are derating
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks everyone. Continued thanks for all the feedback and comments. If the right person is someone who has all the answers then I'm not the right person I guess. But, I'm not an incapable person either.
If there's no safe way to do this, then I'm totally ok skipping the lights. But what would you guys do? Code-compliant or nothing? Or wire to the outlet?
To answer DerbyDad03's concerns:
[DD03] One of my concerns is that if we just tell you to drill a hole in the wall and fish that cord into the receptacle box and use wire nuts to match the wires colors by color, are you going to be able to do that safely? [C13] Yes, I can confidently do that. I tested it it "outside" the wall to check functionality and overall lighting effect of the LED panel.
[DD03] Will you know if the box is so over crowded that you are so out of code that it is now unsafe? [C13] I don't know. I'd have to look it up. Any advice here?
[DD03] Do you know how to safely attach stranded wire to solid wire? [C13] Yes, I've done that before. Wire nuts, plus add a bit extra length to the stranded wire? Or wrap some stranded wire around the solid wire before the nut?
[DD03] Do you know how to safely secure the wire to the box? (You might recall from my previous posts that I'm not even sure that it is code (or even safe) to run that cord inside a wall and into a junction box. [C13] I'd have to look this up too to check. I was going to copy the securing nut/grommet I see on other boxes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 4:08:16 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@google.com wrote:

Please see the other posts related to the fact that you have a 20A circuit.
The cord on the fixture is not 12g, so I don't believe that it can be brought into the box, which it probably shouldn't be anyway because it is probably not code to wire the fixture into an counter receptacle circuit.
This is what I was trying to say earlier. You are already going off the reservation by using the receptacle box. Now you have wire size issues and a wire type that probably shouldn't be in the wall anyway.
You want it to be safe for you and everyone else in the building, yet it appears that you will have at least 3 code violations if you continue down your current path. Forget the receptacle box and do it right.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
What if I do this? 1) Connect the supplied cable to a 12-gauge cable (Romex?) outside of the wall and tuck both cables under the cabinet and behind the LED panel. So the entire cable from the LED panel and some length of the 12-gauge cable would be outside the wall. 2) Route the 12-gauge cable in the wall through the junction box. 3) Secure the 12-gauge cable to the junction box.
Alternatively, what would be the right way to do it?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/25/2016 2:41 PM, snipped-for-privacy@google.com wrote:

Hire an electrician.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I haven't followed this conversation, but why are you using 12 gauge wire? Your LED cabinet lights are most likely under 20 watts or so. Even a 14 gauge wire can handle 1800 watts. That's a lot of LED lights.
It sounds like you're wanting to tap power from an existing outlet. Correct? How many wires enter that box now? How deep is the box? If the box is at least 2.5" deep and you only have one cable coming in, you're probably safe to extend the circuit to your cabinet lights. If you have multiple cables and/or the box is shallow, you could exceed the capacity of the box.
What kind of connector/fitting is on the undercabinet light? Is it a standard 3/4" hole with bare wires for hard wiring inside? Or does it come with a household cord and plug?
I would use 14 gauge romex cable (rated for, and easier to fish inside walls). If you have room in the source box, it would be better to join the cables in the box, with short wires to feed the existing outlet. If space is limited, you could use the terminals on the outlet to "feed through" the outlet.
Fish the cable through the wall up to your lights. If the fixture is designed for hard wiring, use a standard cable clamp to secure the cable to the fixture. Then use wire nuts to make the connections inside the fixture.
If the fixture is designed with a standard cord and plug, you could cut off the existing plug and splice it to the Romex (OUTSIDE the wall, don't bury the splice in the wall). I would slip heat shrink tubing over the cable, then more heat shrink tubing over the loose wires. Use crimp connectors to join the wires, then slip the tubing over the connectors/wires and shrink. Then repeat with the outer heat shrink tubing. Make sure to secure the cables with clamps (NOT STAPLES) so they won't get pulled.
Obviously, turn off the power before doing any of this!
Done right, this is a simple and secure installation. Done wrong you can electrocute yourself or someone you love and/or cause a fire that will burn your house down.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Friday, February 26, 2016 at 11:46:30 AM UTC-5, HerHusband wrote:

Obviously.
but why are you using 12 gauge

So far, you're the only one here who thinks it's simple, with no major code problems.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yep, I only have partial information to go on.

It is not a complicated circuit, but yes there are code issues to consider.
1. It is standard practice in remodel work to extend a circuit for a new outlet or fixture. The biggest issue I can think of would be box fill requirements in the source box. I did mention the number of cables and size of the box as a factor in my initial reply.
2. Wire gauge. I DID ask the OP "why" they were using 12 gauge wire. Obviously, if the circuit is protected by a 20 amp breaker you would need to use 12 gauge wire on that circuit (14 gauge wire could overheat before the 20A breaker would trip). Otherwise, 14 gauge wire would be more than adequate for an LED fixture.
3. Obviously, you can't use standard lamp cord inside a wall. You would need to use rated cable such as Romex.
4. Connection at the lamp. Ideally the fixture would be designed for hard wiring, with a proper cable clamp and space in the fixture to make connections with wire nuts. Unfortunately, many undercabinet fixtures are made to plug in. The obvious solution would be to install an outlet near the fixture where the lamp could be plugged in. Unless the lamp manufacturer provides a certified junction box of some type, there aren't many low profile options that can fit under a cabinet.
My use of crimp connectors is certainly "NOT" code compliant, but done properly it is a safe installation as long as the splice is not buried in a wall and the cables are properly secured.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 27 Feb 2016 05:50:24 -0000 (UTC), HerHusband

Crimp connections are legal splices if used in the proper enclosure. I see the real issue with this installation is the cord to the lamp. This is using the provisions of "fixture wires" that allow an 18 gauge conductor to be hard wired to a branch circuit. Typically that will be in a box that is part of the listed product or where the fixture canopy acts as the cover for a regular device box. If he ran this cord to a surface mounted box and used a suitable entry connector I doubt any inspector would have a problem with it but if this cord goes into a wall, it is clearly a violation.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 12:07:15 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Thank you! I was hoping you'd respond. :-)
You have essentially confirmed what I considered the main issue with this installation: That pesky flexible cord.
Could the cord be attached to the bottom of a cabinet, go through a hole in the cabinet bottom and into a junction box inside the cabinet? From there a properly sized run of Romex could go into the wall and to the source.
I suggest this as means to avoid having a surface mounted box out in the open.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 27 Feb 2016 11:28:15 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

Absolutely but at that point, why not just put a duplex receptacle in there and put a plug on the cord. Then you would have another outlet for something else. A "wiremold" box is designed for surface mount and really does not look that bad. They are also pretty shallow.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 6:08:18 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I assume you mean a duplex inside the cabinet, right?
Just in case you missed it, the OP has stated he does not want to plug the fixture into the existing counter receptacle.
Would it need to be GFCI protected? It couldn't be on the counter appliance circuit, could it?

Just curious, if that was mounted outside the cabinet, how would it be distinguished as not being a counter receptacle?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 27 Feb 2016 15:44:41 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

yes

No it doesn't need to be GFCI, unless it is within 6' of the sink but it would still be on one of the small appliance circuits. We have 2 different issues. All 120v receptacles in the kitchen, dining room, pantry etc need to be 20a with no other outlets (except for a 15a refrigeration outlet) but only the ones serving the countertop need GFCI. You will also be picking up wall receptacles in the dining or similar rooms on the SA circuits but they don't have to be GFCI. If you do not avail yourself of the reefer exception, you can put the fridge on a SA circuit, before or after the GFCI. There is nothing to say you can't have more than 2 SA circuits. It just says they all have to be 20a and only serve the areas that require SA circuits. (you can't go through the wall and serve the outside deck) After the 2014 is adopted in your area, it would need to be AFCI (including 30ma GF protection)

210.52(C)(5) specifically says receptacles in appliance garages (a cabinet) are not accessible as counter top receptacles. It ia also likely to be greater than 20" above the countertop (another qualifier).
As long as you have 2 "clean" SA circuits in a kitchen remodel they will usually give you a break if some of the other circuits are shared. At my house, the fridge is on with the bathroom vanity light and the lights in the attic. I didn't see it as an issue and when the Lee County guy inspected me he never even asked because that wall was not opened up. I did pull in 2 clean circuits and left the old ones so I have lots of power in the kitchen.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 7:48:32 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

As always, thank you for sharing your expertise.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I recently replaced our old fluorescent undercabinet lamps with new LED fixtures. Unfortunately, I could not find a junction box thin enough to mount under my cabinet. The romex cable already came out of the wall, so I used crimp connectors and heat shrink tubing to connect the transformer cord to the romex. I'm sure it doesn't meet code, but it's secure and easily accessable from under the cabinet.

Could he install the outlet above the cabinet, then run the lamp cord through the cabinet to plug in the outlet above (with some kind of physical protection for the cord)?
I used that method when we remodeled my in-laws house, but I had built dedicated chases in the cabinets for the cord to pass through. Once the cabinets were installed, I simply slipped the lamp cord up through the chase and plugged them into the outlets above. The outlets aren't visible from below unless you stand on a ladder.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 1:13:46 AM UTC-5, HerHusband wrote:

Could you describe the "dedicated chase"? It sounds as if it's inside the wall. It that correct?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The upper cabinets at my in-laws kitchen are L-shaped in the corner of the room:
http://www.watsondiy.com/2011kitchen.htm
Because the walls were out of plumb and the cabinets referenced off the stove area, I planned a one inch gap in the back corner where the cabinets met. I simply passed the lamp cords up this gap and plugged them into a switched outlet above.
On the left side of the stove I built a special cabinet with two layers of plywood on one side. I routed a half inch groove in each layer, giving me a full one inch slot to pass the cord up from the bottom to the top of the cabinet. You can just barely see the slot in bottom right side of the cabinet, in the photos where they are laying on my garage floor (a bit easier to see in the unfinished cabinets).
In both cases the cord is on the outside of the wall, just passing through the empty spaces in or around the cabinets. The cord is protected and completely out of sight, but plugs into a standard outlet. As you can see in the final photos, the outlets are not visible above the cabinets, even when standing on the other side of the room. I did mount those outlets horizontally to minimize how far they stuck up above the cabinets (visible in the photo with the bare sheetrock).
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 6:06:06 PM UTC-5, HerHusband wrote:

Nice planning. Nice kitchen.
Man, the old one was pretty beat!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.