Pendant Wiring

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  #1  
Old 07-10-12, 10:51 PM
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Pendant Wiring

Hi. I bought a plug in pendant kit which I was told by the retailer could be cut and hardwired. The company also sells "conversion kits" which are essentially cover plates for the j-box so I assumed that everything should be fine.

http://www.westelm.com/products/pendant-cord-set-w596/?pkey=e|pendant%2Bcord%2Bset|1|best|0|1|24||1&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-Summer 2012 D1%2B2 Billboards-_-

Industrial Pendant Conversion Kit | west elm

I just cut the wire and comparing the gauge to another fixture, it is smaller than 18. From any info I've gathered (hard to find anything clear) it sounds like 18 ga would be the minimum for a pendant.

But if I follow the max wattage requirements, is this ok to hardwire? I guess I'm not sure what the difference is between the lamp cord being plugged in and hardwired. Wouldn't the same amount of electricity pass through the wire either way?

I'm sure that something is probably wrong here and I should return it but its very confusing given a large company is behind the product, though if you look through the site they never explicitly say to modify the cord set. Any help is greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 07-11-12, 04:03 AM
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Welcome to the forums! You will need to hardwire at least 14 gauge cable to a ceiling junction box in order to use the conversion kit. I am not sure how you planned on wiring this, but from what I read there may be a ceiling box already there. How 'bout taking a couple of pix of the ceiling box and it's wiring so we can see what you see. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
  #3  
Old 07-11-12, 06:30 PM
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First off, sorry I didnt realize there was a lighting section. I found this through google. Feel free to move accordingly.

Ok so for pics:

http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/8581/p1030622p.jpg
http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/3411/p1030623gv.jpg
http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/1719/p1030625mh.jpg

The last one I was comparing the wire of the light I removed (the neutral wire in pic) to the wire of the pendant light to be installed (the hot wire in pic). The pendant wire has no indication of the gauge on it. Frow what I can tell on the neutral its 18ga, so if you are saying you need 14ga, how was that installed by the builder? Also I've compared to a few other sconces I have and they are the same. Am I reading the code incorrectly?

Thanks!
 
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Old 07-11-12, 07:07 PM
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I am assuming you will be hanging directly from the same ceiling box. The wiring from the ceiling box is fine. The pendant wiring is fine. Use the adapter plate and connect the pendant wires to the box wires using b-caps. Your pendant doesn't have much amperage draw, thus the smaller wire. I was suggesting 14 gauge, presuming there was no wiring present for you to hang it from. You're cool with the ceiling box wiring. I do note there is one wire missing. Is it capped off inside the box?
 
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Old 07-11-12, 08:10 PM
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Yes, hanging from same ceiling box. If you are talking about there only being 1 hot wire, that's all that was connected. I checked another ceiling light and it was wired the same, 1 hot, 2 neutral. There are other wires capped up in the box (http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/3764/p1030626o.jpg).

Ok thanks very much for reviewing. So basically the only power going through the pendant wire is what is required for the bulb (MAX 60W on this fixture) so as long as I follow that, the wire shouldn't overheat? Sorry, just need a bit of back story because I've read a few places that 18ga is the min. to use in any hardwired fixture so I'm a bit uneasy. Or if you can direct me somewhere that explains all this. All my searches seem to yield very confusing results.

Also, just for common knowledge, going back to the plug vs hardwired, does that actually make any difference to how the wire functions? I would think that it wouldn't, the same power is running through the wire either way, but I've seen many electricians online saying that you shouldn't modify a plugged light fixture to be hardwired.
 
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Old 07-11-12, 08:32 PM
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The same current would flow through the wire regardless of plug in or hard wired. Only the current required by the bulb would go through the cord. This is different than if the smaller conductor was between two sections of premise wiring where all the circuit load could run through the smaller wire.

More likely the issue mentioned involved the UL listing of the fixture being removed by cutting the cord.
 
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Old 07-11-12, 09:07 PM
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In this case you would probably not be voiding the UL listing because you are using a manufacturer provided conversion kit not jerry rigging.
 
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Old 07-11-12, 09:51 PM
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This is a bit old, but probably still good:
Table 402-5. Allowable Ampacity for Fixture Wires

Size (AWG) Allowable Ampacity
18 *6
...

240-4. Protection of Flexible Cords and Fixture Wires
Flexible cord, including tinsel cord and extension cords, and fixture wires shall be protected against overcurrent by either (a) or (b).
(a) Ampacities. Flexible cord shall be protected by an overcurrent device in accordance with its ampacity as specified in Tables 400-5(A) and (B). Fixture wire shall be protected against overcurrent in accordance with its ampacity as specified in Table 402-5. Supplementary overcurrent protection, as in Section 240-10, shall be permitted to be an acceptable means for providing this protection.
(b) Branch Circuit Overcurrent Device. Flexible cord shall be protected where supplied by a branch circuit in accordance with one of the methods described below.
(1) Supply Cord of Listed Appliance or Portable Lamps. Where flexible cord or tinsel cord is approved for and used with a specific listed appliance or portable lamp, it shall be permitted to be supplied by a branch circuit of Article 210 in accordance with the following:
20-ampere circuits tinsel cord or No. 18 cord and larger
6A = 720W @ 120V. A 60W lamp is a 0.5A load.
 
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Old 07-13-12, 11:33 AM
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Thanks for the additional responses!

Nashkat:
Sorry, while I am in the building industry I am not familiar with the electrical code/terminology. It read to me as: a Branch Circuit Overcurrent Device (breaker) is the protection provided. But the min 18ga wiring specified, is that only referring to what is used in the wall from panel to ceiling box?

Also what do I take from your amp load calculation at the end? I would really like to understand this so any clarification you have would be great appreciated.
 
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Old 07-13-12, 12:02 PM
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the min 18ga wiring specified, is that only referring to what is used in the wall from panel to ceiling box?
Sorry, that was a bit cryptic!

The branch circuit wiring, in the walls, will either be 12AWG*, for a 20A circuit, or 14AWG, for a 15A circuit. Not 18AWG.

what do I take from your amp load calculation at the end
The calculation at the end of my last post starts with the information that the wire supplied with your pendant fixture is 18AWG. It shows that, since the ampacity of 18AWG copper conductors is 6A (that's in the upper part of the post, under "Table 402-5. Allowable Ampacity for Fixture Wires"), the cable that came with your fixture can supply up to 720W on a 120V circuit (6A * 120V = 720W). IOW, the cable that came as part of your fixture can safely supply up to twelve 60 W bulbs. Since you said the fixture is marked for (1) 60W bulb, maximum, no worries!

The rest of that line is just the result of running the same calculation in a different direction, to show that one 60W bulb draws only 0.5A on a 120V circuit.

* AWG = American Wire Gauge
 
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Old 07-17-12, 03:24 PM
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Thanks for the clarification. Makes more sense now. The only thing I would point out is that the pendant wire is smaller than 18AWG. In my second post with links to pictures I have two wire side by side. The white which is 18AWG is from another fixture. The black is the pendant wire. I don't have one of those wire measuring tools to know exactly what gauge it is. Maybe I should get one to be safe?

In any case, good to know an 18AWG wire can handle that much.
 
  #12  
Old 07-17-12, 09:24 PM
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the pendant wire is smaller than 18AWG
Depending on what source you consult, the smallest wire size that is rated for the 0.5 amps that a 60W bulb draws ranges from 24AWG to 32AWG. From your picture, it appears that the wire that came with the fixture is larger than either of those.

Bottom line: Don't over-engineer this. It's just a single-lamp light fixture, and it's a UL rated assembly. Modifying any part of it would invalidate that rating. I would use exactly what came from the manufacturer, and I would follow their instructions exactly.
 
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