wiring question, take 2

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Any issues with wiring lamp wire to 14/2 wire? I am going to wire some undercabinet lights to a switch. I was going to use a transformer, but the HD guy said no need to. Just run the lamp wire from the lights into a junction box, and connect it to the wire (14/2, since it will be going through my attic) coming from the switch. Is that okay?
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Well, I assumed I needed a transformer, but when I asked the guys at HD, he said I didn't.

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I'm curious why that is, and why the guy at HD told me it was okay.

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Yes, I think I'm mixing and matching terms. This is the wire coming out of the lights. They are 120 volt halogen lights. I think they are 18 gauge wire.

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They are 120 volt.


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Joseph Meehan wrote:

Not now. Not ever.
Art. 400-8 ...Flexible cords shall not be used as a substitute for fixed wiring; nor where run thru holes in walls/ceilings/floors, or concealed (little editing)
Jim
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I put under cabinet Halogen lights in during my kitchen remodel. I wire stapled the wire under the cabinet, ran it through a sheetrock wall (with just a drilled hole) and into the same switch box as the garbage disposal (seperate switch, of course). The wire I used came with the lights. It was actually flexible wire, like an extension cord, with a plug in on it. I cut the plug off and attached it to the switch (and the neutral, of course).
Works fine, but I'm guessing, it's not up to code.
I'm wondering why it's against code? I'm guessing the cord does not have enough insulation to pass through a hole in the wall? or enter a junction box? Or is it that it's not color coded...or what?
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Well, I called it lampwire cuz that is what I was told to use to connect one set of lights to the other, but when they found out it was going through the attic, they said use 14/2. So I'm guessing it's fixture wire. It is white, and one of the wires is ribbed (I was told that's the neutral). Is that fixture wire? How do you tell the difference?

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From here, it looks like you're unsure of the voltage your lights use. Either you need a transformer or you don't. This would be a good time to put on the brakes.
If they're 110v (and you're sure of this), I'd add a plug to the end of the run. Construct a legit receptacle from your switched 110v (#14) source and plug the undercabinet lights into this.
JK wrote:

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If you are connecting to a circuit with a 15A breaker, then no issue at all. If the breaker is 20A and the #14 wire goes only to the lighting and never to a receptacle then it should be OK. #14 to the lamps is equivelent to a power cord (rather than a branch circuit conductor) if no additional things can be connected.
Some lights do need transformer but you evidently got the 120V kind.

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JK wrote:

I may be wrong, but I don't believe lamp wire can be hard wired under current code.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia\'s Muire duit
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Lampcord MUST NEVER enter a J-box.
Put a receptacle on the junction box (or wire another receptacle nearby), and plug the lamp cord into it.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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We may be running into a translation problem here. When you say "lamp wire" are you talking about the flexible stuff that is used for garden-variety extension cords and lamp cords or are you talking about some (I assume) stranded wire that is already a component of the undercabinet lights? Do you have a link to the lights that you're planning to install?
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Taking electrical advice from the guys at HD isn't any wiser, and may be considerably *less* wise, than taking electrical advice on Usenet. Here, at least, it's a public forum, and if someone gives you faulty advice, it's likely to be corrected promptly by several people.
I agree with the other poster, who said that if you're unsure of what voltage you're dealing with, it's time to put on the brakes. FIND OUT first before you go any further. The equipment should be marked.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Good. Now: are we talking about fixture wires? or lamp cord?

-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Why would you do that? The manufacturer obviously intended for it to be plugged into an outlet.

You guess right. :-)

Probably all of the above. Main thing, though, is that the cord has not been verified (by UL or a similar agency) to be safe under those conditions, and therefore the Code does not permit its use in that manner.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Doug Miller wrote:
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

the
be
The manufacturer, I believe, was marketing their product to the masses. Not everyone, within the masses, would know how to wire the lights into a switch themselves. That's why I believe they included a plug.
Now, I could certainly have plugged it in to an outlet. In fact, I could have installed a switched outlet during the remodel and had them on a switch and still plugged in, rather than directly wired. But really, who wants all that wire hanging around on your kitchen counter? Not to mention, using up 1/2 a receptacle.
Thats why I did it. Hope that makes some sense. Maybe not completely kosher, but I'm comfortable with it. And I don't take such things lightly. I will say, that the wire I used, was more heavily insulated, than normal lamp wire.
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Well, this is already attached to the light fixture.

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I'm going to give my version the way I was taught. I'm an industrial electrician in Pa. We're not required to get state certification because we're industrial. I'm telling you this because I'm hoping a "Master Electrician" will jump in and identify himself as one because he /she will definately be able to set you straight. The smallest gauge wire you have in a circuit should be protected by a fuse/breaker that will trip before the wire burns. a 15 amp breaker is typical of lighting. That would require 14 gauge wire. Some lighting fixtures use 18 gauge wire. I believe that is because the 18 gauge wire is contained in a metal housing which would protect you from a fire long enough for the wire to burn through and open the circuit before heat in the housing could cause a fire? Don't quote me on that. If you run 18 gauge through walls into a junction box and connect to 14 gauge and you draw enough amperage to overheat the 18 but not enough to blow the fuse/or trip the breaker you have the makings of a fire. Until a "Master Electrician" chimes in, I wouldn't do it. Always size the fuse/breaker to the wire.

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Actually, it's a 20 amp breaker, so it's even more or a risk if I'm reading this correctly? Would you use a transformer than?

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