Hard wiring under cabinet lights

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  #1  
Old 05-01-07, 11:08 AM
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Hard wiring under cabinet lights

Hello
Thanks in advance for any ideas on the following

My aim is to install under counter puck lights via hard wiring, and if possible, no transformer (use 120v pucks).

I am installing under cabinet lights in my kitchen. To save running romex all through the 3 kitchen walls involved, I am going to replace 3 existing single gang counter top receptacles with 3 x 2 gang old work electrical boxes. I will put dimmers in the extra gangs. (I got that idea from "This old house")

Once that is done, I can run 30" of new romex behind the wall up to the bottom of my cabinets.

Here is my problem.

I definately want to avoid installing more receptacles under my cabinets (that eliminates me using any kind of plug in fixture)

If at all possible I would also like to avoid mounting a transformer, so I think that eliminates low voltage puck lights.

Are there any line voltage puck lights I can "daisy chain" together ( I need 3 in a chain) and then hard wire straight onto the romex that will be hanging out of the wall under my cabinets? And if so, what is the appropriate junction box to use?

I haver seen the fluorescent hard wire fixtures on the web, but was hoping to find pucks I could hard wire.

If necessary I would go with low voltage pucks, and install a transformer, but I need an elctronic transformer that can be hard wired onto the romex.

Thanks to those of you that read this book!

Tony
 
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Old 05-01-07, 11:18 AM
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No can do. In the US you cannot connect lights to the counter top receptacle circuits. You need to run a new circuit, or use an existing non-counter top circuit.
 
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Old 05-01-07, 01:59 PM
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Wow!

I got the idea from "this old house"

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/print/0,17071,1032113,00.html

I don't understand why all the under cabinet light fixtures with plugs attached, can be plugged into counter top receptacles .

Sorry for second guessing you.
 
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Old 05-01-07, 02:12 PM
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The NEC does not allow lights to be on the same circuit as the counter top receptacles. Period. No exceptions.

The installation directions you found are a code violation. This Old House should be ashamed of themselves.
 
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Old 05-01-07, 02:20 PM
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I just called the state inspectors office, you are 100 percent correct! Thank you very much for saving me a lot of trouble.

Tony

edit: I think the plug in type lights are acceptable because they are considered temporary. (to answer my own question!)
 
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Old 05-01-07, 02:27 PM
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Yes, you can install lights that have a cord and plug and plug them in. You just are not allowed to hard wire lights to those circuits.
 
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Old 05-01-07, 02:29 PM
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Thanks Racraft

One last question if I may.

Currently the receptacles are located 5" below the bottom of my cabinets. In order to hide the plugs on the plug in fixtures I will now go with, can I raise those receptacle boxes to within 1" or 2" of the bottom of my cabinets? Or is that a code violation?


Thanks
Tony
 
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Old 05-01-07, 02:33 PM
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The receptacles need to be within 20 inches from the counter top surface.
 
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Old 05-01-07, 02:39 PM
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well that's great.

Even if I raise them the full five inches, so they are snug underneath the cabinets, they will still only be 17" above the counter.


In this way I can completely conceal the plug.

Thanks
 
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Old 05-01-07, 02:43 PM
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I would leave your existing receptacles in place and add new ones where you need them.

Actually, I would use the hard wired lights and power them from a different circuit, but you seem reluctant to do this.
 
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Old 05-01-07, 02:49 PM
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well I have a dedicated dishwasher circuit and a dedicated waste disposal (20 amp each). Could I tap into either of those?

If the answer is no, I presume I would need to run cable from the light switch. That would mean running cable accross the ceiling, and a lot of drilling through wall studs of course.
 
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Old 05-01-07, 02:51 PM
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No, you don't want to tap those circuits. What about a new circuit from the main panel?
 
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Old 05-01-07, 02:54 PM
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Ha!

Looks like it's time for a professsional!

Thanks again.
 
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