Code compliance when adding switches to ceiling lights

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Old 12-22-10, 09:26 AM
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Code compliance when adding switches to ceiling lights

I have 5 bedroom closets in my home with pull string lights. I would like to add wall switches to these lights and replace them with recessed fixtures. The wiring in my house is the original cloth romex from 1960 so I assume there is some code updating that needs to be done.
  1. Does the work I plan on doing require the entire circuit be brought up to code? (for example, the thin grounding conductor is NOT code compliant however I obviously cant replace the entire circuit)
  2. Given the age of the wire, can I run the wire directly into the recessed fixture if I plan on using CFL bulbs or do I have to run the old wire to a junction box first as a transition?
 
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Old 12-22-10, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by k19_1234 View Post
I would like to add wall switches to these lights and replace them with recessed fixtures.
If you use a recessed fluorescent or CFL fixture (tube or bi-pin, cannot accept an Edison base bulb), then it only needs 6" clearance from the nearest point of storage (shelf, hook, etc). If you use a recessed fixture that can accept an incandescent or CFL, the bulb needs to be enclosed with a lens trim and it must be at least 12" from the nearest point of storage.

The wiring in my house is the original cloth romex from 1960 so I assume there is some code updating that needs to be done.
If the light fixtures you pick out say "90C wiring", then you'll need to splice modern NM cable to the old cloth romex in an accessible junction box a few feet away from the fixture. If the new fixtures are suitable for 60C wiring, you can use the old romex directly.

Some places have a local energy-efficiency code that requires occupancy sensors or door switches on closet lights, but this is not a national requirement.

Does the work I plan on doing require the entire circuit be brought up to code?
In my opinion no, but an inspector could see it that way because you're removing the old fixture box and adding a new one for the recessed cans.
 
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