Adding receptacle from attic light

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  #1  
Old 11-28-12, 11:44 AM
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Adding receptacle from attic light

Hi there,

I'm going to add a receptacle to a coat closet that I'm going to re-purpose as a networking closet. My current thought is stealing the power from a flush mount ceiling fixture in the attic. It has a pull cord and is not on a switch.

Can you run a receptacle from a light like this? Is the romex to the light acceptable to connect to the romex for the receptacle, is it legal, etc.

If so...

I assume that the light does not have extra connectors for feeding other devices, perhaps it does? If it does not would I just add a junction box near the light and join my receptacle, light, and source wires together by twisting them together and capping with wire nut?

If there are better alternatives or I'm way off base then straighten me out! There are other outlets nearby that I could possibly get to, but that would involve going in from the crawl and I have to drill new holes from the attic anyway for data cables and thought that would be my best option.

Thanks,
Michael
 
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  #2  
Old 11-28-12, 11:47 AM
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You would splice the new cable to the old splices in the fixture box. The old wiring must be grounded in order to be extended.
 
  #3  
Old 11-28-12, 12:01 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply.

You would splice the new cable to the old splices in the fixture box.
My light fixture looks just like this...

Quorum Flush Mount Ceiling Fixture in White | Wayfair

I'm shooting from memory here, but I think that the piece of romex just goes right to the light and the light base is screwed to the house framing. There isn't a fixture box in the traditional sense that you'd see with an indoor ceiling fixture, fan, etc. Perhaps is it attached to a fixture box though that is nailed to the frame. I'll need to check for sure.

The old wiring must be grounded in order to be extended.
Given that the light is connected directly to the romex as far as I know I "assume" that it's grounded or at least there is a ground wire there in the romex... I think. Are there types of romex that would not include the ground wire? If so I'm dead in the water with this approach, right?

A possible alternative solution would be to run directly to the receptacle and loop the light off of it. In order to do this I would need to extend the existing wire. Would this be done in a junction box just twisting two pieces of the same run (and not adding any additional devices to it) and still be kosher?
 
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Old 11-28-12, 12:09 PM
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Actually, you can ignore this for a bit. I appreciate the reply, but I'm at work and will just need to look at it before wasting any more of your time. I follow your reply so I'll verify that I have a fixture and that the light is grounded before going further.

Thanks,
Michael
 
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Old 11-28-12, 12:36 PM
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I'll verify that I have a fixture and that the light is grounded before going further.
A fixture such as you linked to won't be grounded but there should be a ground wire in the box if it is a newer installation.
 
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Old 11-28-12, 12:46 PM
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Thanks, the installation is ~10-12 years old. I'll check it out tonight or tomorrow.
 
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Old 11-28-12, 01:23 PM
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Wiring that new should contain a ground.

If there is no box installed you need to install one.

That type of fixture should not be installed in a closet. Fixtures in closets have specific types allowed as well as clearance requirements. This is to prevent flammables from being to close to a bare bulb or hot fixture.
 
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Old 11-28-12, 01:28 PM
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The fixture is in my attic. The closet has no light at all in it, but I want to use the closet to install networking components and need a receptacle. When all is said and done the closet will have a receptacle to power a DSL modem and router as well as a second panel to house RJ45 connectors that supply CAT 6 cabling feeding other areas of the house. The attic light just happens to be installed directly above this closet in a very easy to access location which is why I was looking to it for the power source.
 
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Old 11-28-12, 02:03 PM
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Another way if there is a receptacle on the other side of a wall shared with the closet is come from that receptacle. Assuming it isn't a restricted use receptacle that would be even simpler. You would just place the closet receptacle in the same stud bay 5"-6" to one side of or above the existing receptacle.
 
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Old 11-28-12, 02:11 PM
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I don't have that luxury, unfortunately. I have a few switches, a receptacle, and the main panel all about 5 feet away on other walls.
 
  #11  
Old 11-29-12, 06:33 AM
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Ok, so there is a box the fixture is attached to and I do have a ground. There is already another section of romex pigtailed off of it coming from the box and leading elsewhere. So I guess my only remaining question is can I pigtail my receptacle from this fixture even though another device is coming from it or is this not legal/safe?

Thanks,
Michael
 
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Old 11-29-12, 07:17 AM
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I'd probably make a quick check to determine the other device, probably an air handler or roof vent, but there shouldn't be a problem coming off of it.
 
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Old 11-29-12, 08:41 AM
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I'll check tonight, but I'm fairly certain it's either... receptacles, exterior flood lights, ceiling fan, or can lights. This is in an addition and there is no air handler. There is a through-wall unit (220v) on its own circuit and there is nothing else in that direction other than what I've noted above.

Thanks for the help.
 
  #14  
Old 11-29-12, 10:25 AM
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If its just a couple wall-wart items mount a surge strip and use one of these its even self grounding to a metal box.

EDIT I just noticed that you don't have a light in the closet and the light is actually in the attic
you could install one of these in the ceiling of the closet and power it from the attic, don't run an extension cord thru the ceiling


http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...160_AA160_.jpg


[ATTACH=CONFIG]6170[/ATTACH]

Mod Note: The NEC does not allow bare bulbs in a closet in this style of fixture.
 
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Last edited by pcboss; 11-30-12 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Added note
  #15  
Old 11-29-12, 10:36 AM
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Thanks, but I think I'll stick with the original plan using the suggestions offered earlier. That fixture would be *much* easier to install, but I'd still need to fish data cable through the wall so if I have to get the data cable through it won't be much more effort to send the romex with it.
 
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