Wiring recessed lights

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  #1  
Old 09-12-14, 08:08 AM
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Wiring recessed lights

I'm taking down an old ceiling fan and putting 3 can lights in its place. Is this the correct way to wire them up w/the switch at the end of the run? (See attached image)
 
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Old 09-12-14, 08:16 AM
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It will work and if your local code is older than 20 11 it will pass inspection. However 2011 NEC requires a neutral at the switch box even if not need so you would need to run the 3-conductor cable all the way to the switch box. It would make sense to do that to future proof the wiring even if not required by your code.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 08:33 AM
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There's actually 14/3 going to switch now because of the ceiling fan. I guess I'm not quite sure what you mean. How would that look?
 
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Old 09-12-14, 08:47 AM
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I guess I'm not quite sure what you mean.
The 2011 NEC requires there be a neutral conductor at each switchbox regardless of whether it is needed.

There's actually 14/3 going to switch now because of the ceiling fan.
Then the diagram isn't accurate.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 09:03 AM
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Then the diagram isn't accurate.
The whole story here is that the fan was directly wired... 14/2 wire going straight to the fan. No light, just a pull chain that turned it on and off. The 3-way switch in the wall used to belong to the kitchen lights(I'm guess). The 14/3 wire coming from the switch was just laying up there. That's why I figured I'd just use that as the switch for these new lights.

The attached image is now more accurate since there is a red wire coming up from the switch.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 09:21 AM
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The 2011 NEC requires there be a neutral conductor at each switchbox regardless of whether it is needed.
I do get what you're saying here, I just wasn't sure how I could run more 14/3 to that switch.

Also, this may help. There are two switches in that box. The one I plan on using as the switch for my can lights.. that currently is not hooked up to anything, and a switch that runs the hallway light. Will that help this be up to code?
 
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Old 09-12-14, 09:34 AM
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Here is a quick and dirty revision of your diagram.

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Old 09-12-14, 09:59 AM
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Thanks for the diagram, but what happens to the neutral(white) wire at the switch? Does it connect to anything? I guess this is just because I'm such a novice, but in my diagram I could see how the circuit gets completed and the power returns through the neutral wire.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 05:59 PM
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what happens to the neutral(white) wire at the switch?
Wire nut the end of it and leave it in the box for future. The NEC just says it has to be there, it doesn't say you have to use it.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 06:30 PM
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I could see how the circuit gets completed and the power returns through the neutral wire.
But on a 120 circuit the power never returns from the switch on a neutral. It may return on a white that has been remarked as an ungrounded conductor but never a neutral.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 08:32 AM
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Thanks for all the help! This is very clear now.. however, I've now run into a new problem. The cable running to the fan is 14/2, but it's on a 20 amp breaker. I know the guy who put this fan in about 15 years ago. He's a licensed electrician. Would this have been up to code that long ago? I guess maybe he was just assuming that no one would extend that circuit with something that would draw 20 amps??? I guess what I'm asking is.. is it safe for me to go ahead and put my lighting in and just make sure that we never add on to it?

Part 2: I just want to make sure that the housing for the lighting is the right kind.

Halo 6 in. New Construction Insulation Contact Recessed Housing-H7ICT at The Home Depot

The side of this also says IC rated. These will eventually be covered over by 2 feet of insulation. Also, I'm trimming these with 6" LEDs.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 09:45 AM
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It was a code violation 15 years ago and still is. Replace the 20a breaker with a 15 amp breaker.

Housing is okay but depending on the ceiling joists you might be able to install old work cans from below easier than crawling around in the attic..
 
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Old 09-14-14, 10:47 AM
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Thanks for the response, Ray. The garage is on that breaker as well. I don't see any 20a outlets, but is there something I might be missing that requires 20amps? What happens if I replace that breaker and there's something on there that needs that 20 amps to run?
 
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Old 09-14-14, 11:59 AM
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What happens if I replace that breaker and there's something on there that needs that 20 amps to run?
There isn't much in a house that requires a 20 amp circuit and if it did it should be on a dedicated circuit. What is on the circuit besides the lights and garage?

Just for information. Garages are usually on 20 amp circuits wire with #12. Is the garage wired with #12?
 
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Old 09-14-14, 12:20 PM
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There isn't much in a house that requires a 20 amp circuit and if it did it should be on a dedicated circuit. What is on the circuit besides the lights and garage?
I thought this would be the case. I've looked everywhere, and I can't find anything that requires 20 amps that isn't on a dedicated circuit.

The garage is wired with #12, but all outlets are 15 amp.

Thanks for the advice, I will get that breaker swapped out.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 05:21 PM
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Fifteen amp receptacles are fine on a 20 amp circuit. The code allows this.
 
  #17  
Old 09-15-14, 07:45 AM
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Thanks for all the help, guys. Lights are in and I tested them briefly yesterday. Everything looks great. Going today to get the new breaker.
 
  #18  
Old 09-15-14, 08:43 AM
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Thank you for letting us know the outcome. Glad we could help.
 
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