replacing kitchen lights

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  #1  
Old 05-20-02, 05:18 AM
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cswalker
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replacing kitchen lights

The hanging light fixtures in my kitchen are falling apart - two have already shorted out. I replaced those with new fixtures, but an extra page in the box had a warning about a fire risk. It said that wiring in most houses built before 1985 had wiring rated for 60 degrees C. and to consult an electrician - no other explanation. My house was built about mid 70s. Is there a problem here? I replaced 60 watt fixtures with 60 watt fixtures - nothing extra.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-20-02, 02:16 PM
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Wgoodrich
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Romex installed prior to 1985 was called type NM cable which was 60 degree rated.

Romex installed after 1985 was called type NMB cable which was 90 degree rated.

Your house is considered as existing if it was inspected and you are doing nothing but minor repair such as replacing a light fixture or a receptacle, etc.

Problem is that the temperature inside the light fixture can get high enough to harden the insulation of a conductor rated only 60 degrees.

Manufacturer's are covering the back side by telling you of this hazard that has existed in your home since it was built.

If a home was wired in the 70s and passed inspection meeting the NEC of that date you are considered as existing and forever it be controlled by the NEC version that was inacted when the construction was approved.

If you are concerned about the wiring being brittle or damaged due to excessive heat and want to meet todays NEC requirements then you may install a junction box in the attic or crawl and install a new piece of NMB cable between that junction box to that light fixture and then you would have the 90 degree rated NMB cable installed today meeting today's NEC version.

A dangerous mistake many make while installing light fixtures is that they remove the fiberglass insulation found in the cone of the light fixture. This fiberglass insulation is a block to keep the heat out of that light fixture cone to protect from the wiring being overheated.

Hope this helps

Wg

Hope this helps

Wg
 
  #3  
Old 05-21-02, 05:25 AM
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cswalker
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Thanks! That tells me what I need to know. Since these are 2-3 foot hanging fixtures, the heat from the lights shouldn't be a problem. I inspected the wiring when I removed the original fixtures and it's still very pliable. I noticed the rating on the new fixtures is 105 C - which is good. Thanks again!
 
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