Replacing romex


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Old 09-02-03, 02:06 PM
W
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Replacing romex

I went to replace an old 4', four tube, flush mount florescent fixture in the kitchen and discovered that whomever installed it did not event mount a junction box. Just poked a hole in the drywall and ran the 14/3 into the fixture. The ground wire was haphazardly wrapped around a shard of the knockout metal. Furthermore the wires are slightly burned and cracked.

Needless to say I'm going to pull some new romex for this circuit and install a junction box before installing the new light. I've pulled plenty of romex in new installations but have never done a retrofit/replacement type deal. The run distance is very short, as in ~10' or so. I can touch the wall switch with one hand and the light fixture with the other. I would really rather not have to crawl up in the attic amongst the big piles of blown in insulation to fish a new wire from switch to fixture.

Is it better to hook the new romex to the end of the old romex and pull the new wire that way? Or hook my fish tape to the old romex, pull the old romex out and then use the fish tape to pull the new romex? And is it better to pull the wire from the fixture end or from the wall switch end... or does it make much difference?

Thanks
Wayne
 
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Old 09-02-03, 02:57 PM
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Wayne,
By code romex must be fastened when installed (for open construction, before sheetrock is put up). Chances are pulling won't do it. The direction that the joists go makes a difference.

What kind of Romex are you taking out? Is it from the 80's or before? (Type NM (60d), not NM-B which is rated for 90degrees celcius) Try to keep the wires away from the ballast, or at least not cross the ballast when possible. The wires that come with the fixture are desighned for the heat. Is it possible that the original fixture was incadescent and the wires were damaged from too much heat from high-wattage bulbs?

Ceiling box sounds good, use a grommet on the fixture. A plain nipple & locknut will be just as good. The wires must be protected from the sharp edges.

---
Unless by a miracle the cable is not stapled, you will need to get up in the attic. Cutting up the sheetrock makes even more mess and work than getting in the attic. You'll appreciate your work when done, the sweat earned a well-wired fixture. Also the switch box may need to be taken out to get new wire in. Are there multiple switches/lots of cables coming into the box with the switch?

gj
 
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Old 09-02-03, 03:16 PM
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A fluorescent fixture is consider a junction box. You are allowed to make connections in it. You need a cable clamp in the knock out hole.
 
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Old 09-02-03, 04:00 PM
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The house was built in 1962. I suspect the damaged wires are from the heat of the ballasts in the old fixture. I had completely forgot about the possibility of stapling. Although with some of the other shoddy work I've seen in this house I wouldn't be surprised if the cable was not stapled on this short run. Guess I'll be able to tell soon enough by just yanking on the cable.

I didn't realize that a junction box was not needed with a surface mount florescent fixture. What I might be able to do is cut back the old wire and see if I find a good portion, and then use one of the end knockouts on the new fixture. This of course would mean hacking a slot in the ceiling drywall but I don't that that would be a deal breaker at this point.

I also wonder about just leaving the old romex in place and running a new romex along the same path, without going in the attic. Now that I think about it the joist do run parallel with the wire run and the fixture is postioned parallel with the joists as well. As a matter of fact the wall switch may even be "in line" with the fixture. Probably wishful thinking to get the fish tape to make that 90 degree bend and come down the wall cavity though.

Can you tell that I'm REALLY trying not to have to go into the attic.

Wayne
 
  #5  
Old 09-02-03, 06:08 PM
brickeyee
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Fished cables are not required to be stapled or fastened.
 
 

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