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Adding Light Fixture - Question about Running NM


cai24's Avatar
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04-16-18, 08:29 AM   #1  
Adding Light Fixture - Question about Running NM

I would like to add a light fixture in my family room. I'm planning to place it above the air register. From what I can see, my only option is to tap a receptacle at the bottom of the wall. I have no attic, basement, or upstairs access. I would have to drill across two studs to get to the receptacle box. I've attached a picture showing the location. Do you think that this will be doable? I think that I will have to make 3 cuts in the drywall, but I'm not sure how big they will need to be. I can run my fish tape through the stud holes and then hopefully pull the Romex. I do have a right-angle drill which should help. I assume that I will need to replace the 1-gang receptacle box that's there, since it's nailed to the stud.

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04-16-18, 08:37 AM   #2  
Sounds about right to me.

 
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04-16-18, 09:05 AM   #3  
The box would only need to replaced if it was too small for the additional cable.

You might have an issue with a cable in a plenum return also.

 
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04-16-18, 09:08 AM   #4  
Posted By: stickshift Sounds about right to me.
The air return is off to the right behind the ladders. It is in a different stud bay from what I can see. Is this okay?

 
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04-16-18, 10:16 AM   #5  
I assumed the box was being replaced because it was being cut out to access the space behind. If not, pcboss is correct that it may not need to be replaced.

Maybe we need a clarification - where is the fixture going relative to the HVAC register we can see in the picture?

 
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04-16-18, 11:24 AM   #6  
The return is right behind the grill.

 
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04-16-18, 12:45 PM   #7  
Just to clarify the musings..... more than likely there will be metal ductwork behind that grill. It may go up, down or both. Remove the grill first so you can check for ductwork.

There will be a stud on either side of that grill. You may have to install the light in the bay directly to the left.

Looks like you already started a hole for the new box location (pink circle). You may be able to use the existing receptacle box but you'll need a slightly larger access hole above it to fish down to the box and over to the new location. Find the stud next to the existing receptacle. That will determine how many holes need to be drilled. It may bot be many.

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04-16-18, 12:57 PM   #8  
How will the new light fixture be switched on and off?

 
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04-16-18, 02:50 PM   #9  
Posted By: PJmax Just to clarify the musings..... more than likely there will be metal ductwork behind that grill. It may go up, down or both. Remove the grill first so you can check for ductwork.

There will be a stud on either side of that grill. You may have to install the light in the bay directly to the left.

Looks like you already started a hole for the new box location (pink circle). You may be able to use the existing receptacle box but you'll need a slightly larger access hole above it to fish down to the box and over to the new location. Find the stud next to the existing receptacle. That will determine how many holes need to be drilled. It may bot be many.

Attachment 92596
Thanks for your post. I have to check where the air register goes when I get home (I think it's upward). I cut the full hole for the box, and there was no ductwork in the way. There is a stud to the left of the register. I did make a small hole, as you noticed, to see if anything was there. I am planning to use one of the Madison boxes with interior screws. There is also a stud to the right of the receptacle. My one concern is that there is a NM cable running up the receptacle stud. I'm not sure that I'll be able to drill in the exact middle of the stud. Is it okay to cross the NM perpendicularly?

One issue that I was not expecting is that there appears to be a fire block. I assume that's what it is, but I'm not sure. When I cut the hole for the fixture, I noticed that there was insulation in the wall (it's an interior wall). There was no insulation at the bottom. I put my camera in the hole, and it looks like there is a horizontal 2x4. It appears that the stud bay is only 10", so I'm not sure why it's so narrow. I also see what appears to be ductwork, but it's behind the actual stud bay.

Below is an updated picture of the room. My studfinder is giving me trouble with this wall, so I am not sure if the red line is a stud. I will verify later tonight. I should have measured 16" to double check. The other picture is the 2x4 that I see when I look in the fixture hole. It also looks like there is some type of metal duct in the back.

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04-16-18, 02:53 PM   #10  
Posted By: Wirepuller38 How will the new light fixture be switched on and off?
I'm going to put a smart switch on the wall under the fixture (Insteon or Z-wave). It's not a good location, so I'll add a dummy switch somewhere else. This will let me control the light in a more accessible location.

 
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