What type of NM-B to use when installing track lighting?

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Old 01-23-17, 03:54 PM
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Question What type of NM-B to use when installing track lighting?

Hello everyone, first timer here.

First off, I always kill the power before doing anything electrical Safe first!

I am trying to install track lighting in our living room, tired of the floor lamp lighting. I have a light switch on a wall that I can use to run cable from it > up inside the sheet rock and then via the roof beam (I have an exposed gable roof - at least I think that's what it's called). I'm going to use one of those cable hiding things on the beam.

My question is the cable, I know (at least I think I do) that I have to use NM-B cable that I can get by the foot over at Home Depot. So I was searching today and they have so many options on the cables which I dont know what would be the one to use for the job. Here's the link from HD Cut By-The-Foot - NM-B - Wire - *The Home Depot . You will see 6-3, 10-3, 12-3, etc... what the heck?!?!

Thanks and please correct me if I am wrong in any of my assumptions

ceez


EDIT: ok so I should've watched the video that HD has once you click on one of the products. The numbers 12-3 indicates gauge-number of wires. So 12 gauge with 3 wires. So with that said, what gauge should I get? I assume 3 wires, ground, neutral and hot.
 
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Old 01-23-17, 04:08 PM
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Welcome to the forums! You will need to look at all the information on the cable sheath. 12-3 wg, will indicate there will be a red, black, white and ground wire inside. You only need 12-2 wg, and possibly only 14-2 wg, since you are only dealing with lighting. The size of wire will be dictated by the overcurrent protection in your panel. If your breaker is 20 amp, you will need 12 gauge wiring. If it is 15 amps, then 14 gauge wiring will suffice.

While you are at the store, buy a copy of Wiring Simplified. It is a go-to book for DIY'ers, and can answer a group of questions that you may have. Let us know if we can help further as you go along.
 
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Old 01-23-17, 05:03 PM
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Just as an FYI.... the cable can be less costly in handy rolls than by the foot.
They have 25', 50' , and 100' coils.
 
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Old 01-23-17, 07:40 PM
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And that difference in price can be large. I needed about 100' of 14-2 for a small project. 100' = $25 while 250' = $35, so a no brainer and I have 150' left over.
 
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Old 01-24-17, 07:48 AM
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thanks for the reply.

I was not aware of the breaker/wire relationship, thank you for that piece of information. I will check my panel to check what it is.

I was also going to ask what the heck the red cable is for but you already answered that as well, thanks!

I'll look for that book, wonder if they have it HD.

regarding the length, I saw the spools when I was there but I dont need 25', maybe about 15' and then I am just left with 10' that will probably never be used

thanks again!

ceez
 
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Old 01-24-17, 08:01 AM
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and a follow up as I continue to think about this project..

The light switch and box that I am going to use, I am going to assume that it's attached to the side of a stud as seen on this picture: https://www.icreatables.com/images/e...ox-no-wire.jpg

The light switch box is made of metal and it has two holes on the top of that metal box which already have cables going into it and out of it. My idea is to fish the cable directly from the top of the wall down to this switch. Considering that it only has two holes what would be the correct way to go about getting the new cable in there?
 
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Old 01-24-17, 10:22 AM
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I am going to assume that it's attached to the side of a stud
Yes. Sometimes you can fish the wires in but sometimes it is easier to remove the box by cutting the nails that hold it. That gives you a bigger target to fish too. You would go back with an old work box. If using only non metallic cable it can be plastic or metal. Usually plastic is used.

Name:  images.jpg
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The ears are flat when inserted then turned up behind the Sheetrock to hold it in place.
 
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Old 01-24-17, 11:42 AM
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I've seen those boxes before and definitely easier to attach.

So the recommendation would be to label and undo any wiring in the old metal box, take the cables out, cut off the screws on the side (if applicable). Get one of these new blue boxes and run the old and new cables back through them, make the connections and done.
 
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Old 01-24-17, 12:02 PM
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I just remembered that behind the sheet-rock is a concrete wall. At some point I assume they extended the home. I was wondering if it was attached to a stud of the concrete, I pulled up a picture and I see concrete nails which attaches the box to the concrete. What would be the best way to remove from nails? A good needle nose pliers and lots of pulling?

PS- also, I am trying to upload a picture, so I select to upload pic from my pc, browse and click upload but the screen refreshes and it takes me back to my post, I preview the post and don't see it. Is there some time I need to wait before I can upload images like some forums do?
 
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Old 01-24-17, 01:32 PM
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If you adjust the width of your picture to 600px or less it should upload no problem.Is the depth to the block wall 3"? If less you need to be sure you can find a box that will fit.
I see concrete nails which attaches the box to the concrete. What would be the best way to remove from nails? A good needle nose pliers and lots of pulling?
I'd grind the heads off with a Dremel.
 
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Old 01-24-17, 03:52 PM
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I'll resize and re-upload later. Great, now I gotta add a dremel to the equation

I am not sure about the depth, but it's deep enough to hold a light switch with the cables bunched together behind it. So if that's standard 3 1/2" depth then I should be good. I'll obviously measure...for good measure!

thanks again ray2047 for your quick and helpful replies.

ceez
 
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Old 01-24-17, 06:02 PM
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There are other ways if you don't have a Dremel. You could try drilling off the heads. Center punch first.
 
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Old 01-24-17, 07:58 PM
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Ok, so plan has completely changed. I took off the plate again and it's NOT a regular switch box, it looks like a square box The box is only ab out 1 3/4" deep and it goes behind the sheet rock, I can't just break the concrete nails and pull out without destroying about 1/2" around the area of what current opening is.

I should be able to install a 12-2 (or 14-2 depending or breaker amp) on the hole towards the right of the box which is the power source. Other black/white cables that leave the box power an outlet which I plan to pigtail separately so the switch is no longer controlled by the light switch.

Regarding that hole, I think I see that there might be a tube where the power source feeds into the box. Dont know how far up it goes or if it even goes straight up or turns. So this is my backup plan which is not as nice looking...

buy one of those flat plastic cable concealers, run the cable up the side of the wall, a few concealer elbows to get to the location where I want to install the light.

and nothing I try lets up me upload a pic, IE, Chrome, resized, nothing
 
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Old 01-24-17, 08:38 PM
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Get a free account at MyPCLinuxOS Image Hosting then put the BB code for your image in your post.
 
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Old 01-24-17, 08:48 PM
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Ok, so plan has completely changed. I took off the plate again and it's NOT a regular switch box, it looks like a square box The box is only ab out 1 3/4" deep and it goes behind the sheet rock, I can't just break the concrete nails and pull out without destroying about 1/2" around the area of what current opening is.

I should be able to install a 12-2 (or 14-2 depending or breaker amp) on the hole towards the right of the box which is the power source. Other black/white cables that leave the box power an outlet which I plan to pigtail separately so the switch is no longer controlled by the light switch.

Regarding that hole, I think I see that there might be a tube where the power source feeds into the box. Dont know how far up it goes or if it even goes straight up or turns. So this is my backup plan which is not as nice looking...

buy one of those flat plastic cable concealers, run the cable up the side of the wall, a few concealer elbows to get to the location where I want to install the light.

I was really hoping to run the cable through the wall thought :/
 
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