Wiring my basement. I've got 20 amp circuits using 12/2 wire. The rough
wiring passed the town's inspection. I need to wire two troffer lights.
Due to their location, I need to use the armor cable to wire the lights to a
junction box. Since I don't have the tools for the armor cable, I found a
pre-wired 6 ft whip at HD. The wire in the whip is 14/2.
Questions: Can I use this whip to connect the light to the 20 amp circuit at
a junction box? Are there such things as 20 amp light fixtures? I had to
use 20 amp plugs and switches, but I've never seen such a thing as a 20 amp
Thank you for your time.
You can do it, but you will need to use a 15 amp breaker on that circuit.
The breaker is supposed to protect the circuit, not what is connected
to it. A 14 gauge wire is rated for 15 amps, so that is all you can
use for a breaker.
*All you need for BX or MC cable is a hacksaw and a pair of diagonal pliers.
You strip the cable back by cutting the armor with the hacksaw at an angle.
You then twist the armor off. I use diagonals or BX cutting pliers to trim
the sharp edge. That is how it was done before RotoSpilts were invented.
To answer your question; No you cannot use 14/2 on a 20 amp circuit. Light
fixtures are usually rated only for the load that they will carry.
I'd also remind the poster to pick up a pack of the red plastic
bushings that you're supposed to use on the ends of armored cable.
*Good point Chip. The antishort bushings usually come with a roll of BX or
MC. I don't know if they are supplied with prefabricated whips.
Tools? I just bend it till the spiral pops, then use standard wire
cutters to clip the spiral, trim it square, put in a plastic anti-
shorting bushing at the end before it goes into the box connector.
I rarely see an electrician in Chicago do it any other way than this.
Ive never seen anyone use a hacksaw either because its so easy with
the bend pop and clip method I described.
I agree with the other posters who say that the tools required are
very basic. You should expect to need some tools when doing your own
wiring. But that being said, if you want to use the whips, you can
replace the wire in them. Just attach your 12/2 wire to the wire in
the whip (e.g., by twisting them together) and pull through. --H
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