Wiring 3 Fluorescent Wall Strips Together

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Old 09-20-07, 10:28 AM
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Wiring 3 Fluorescent Wall Strips Together

I have 3, 4 Foot Fluorescent Wall Lights. They are designed to be attached to each other as a continuous strip. Two of them come pre-wired together, but the 3rd is not wired to the other two. I have a single feed from a light switch at one end. Can I run two #12 wires and a ground, inside the fixtures from my feed through the first two to the third?
 
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Old 09-20-07, 01:03 PM
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What are you asking? Are you asking if this will meet code? Are you asking if this will be safe? Are you asking if it is possible to do this?

This will only meet code if the lights are designed to be connected this way and if the manufacturer has approved this. Sometimes the manufacturer sells two versions of lights, ones designed to be interconnected and ones designed as stand alone. The ones designed to be interconnected come with the wire necessary to do this and perhaps cost a couple of dollars more. If you accidently bought two that are designed to be interconnected and one that isn't, instead of three that are then you cannot connect them together and still meet code.

Will this be safe? It is certainly possible to connect the lights together in a safe manner. If you purchase the appropriate sized cable and connect them together in the same manner as the other ones then you can make the installation safe.

Is this possible? Sure, it's possible. But doing so may not meet code and may not be safe (see above).

What aren't you telling us that may make it easier to answer the question?
 
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Old 09-20-07, 01:54 PM
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The 3 strips were ordered as a set to be connected. Two are wired together, using the same ballast. The third has its own ballast, becasue the manufacturer says the ballast can only handle 4 tubes (2 in each unit). All three have connecting plates in the end that have "pass through holes". The plates are cast pieces. When you mount them, they are mounted end to end on the wall and a band covers the joint between the connected fixtures. They way it is set up you would need to have 2 feeds from the switch, one for the 2 lights on one ballast and another for the 3rd unit. What I would like to do is run individual #14 wires for the neutral and hot leads plus another for ground from the connection in the first light through the 2 connector plates to the 3rd unit.

I wanted to know if that would pass code.
 
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Old 09-22-07, 12:22 AM
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Hmmm, I've never seen a fixture like that. Something doesn't sound right about the installation... For setups like you describe, usually the end plates come off and the two ends butt together. Usually one of the end plates is used as a coupling between the two fixtures then. If the light's not designed like I described, then you'd have to join the two connector plates to give the wires a continuous raceway. You'd use a nipple to do this. If the end plates have threaded holes, you'd use a close nipple. If not, you can use a chase nipple with a locknut. If the lights are indeed listed for "through wiring" and you install them in one of the 2 fashions I desribed, you should be legal.

You also described #12 wires in your first post and #14 in the second. What size wire are you feeding the lights with off the switch? I'd keep them the same. If you haven't run the wies to the light yet, check to see what the breaker size is. Obviously if you have a 20 amp breaker you have to use #12. If it's 15 amps then you can use #14.

How bout you post back after you take a look at the lights and breaker.
 
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Old 09-22-07, 02:48 PM
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this part i think it need to clearifly somedegrees without getting this >> ,..


in the strip lumiaires and also the troffer lumiaires as well pay attetion to this detail it will get ya by suprised if not carefull,.

there is a " master unit " then a " slave " unit so therefore something like you have 3 - 4footer's one section will have one ballast to drive 4 lamp on both section and it will have specal harness to plug in to run the other lumiaire[s] you have to bring in #12 or #14 gauge wire depending on the incomming wire to the first connection at the ballast

then you run the correct wire size from first ballast to the second ballast in the " third " lumiaire then hook it up as normal way

this is pretty typical we do that in commercal area.

try that with 18 - 8 footers in line with master/slave set up it can get a little headache there been there and done that allready. [ that wired with 277/480 volts ]


Merci , Marc
 
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Old 09-22-07, 03:05 PM
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Lightbulb You are good to go

What you want to do will meet code. Just make sure your wires are well twisted together (so connections does not become loose). #14 Awg is fine (as long as the feed to the lights is also #14's.

I would suggest two pigtails from the feed into the light with one going to the joined ones and one to the separate one (that is being added to the joined ones). This will give you the same voltage to the separate fixture and less likely to have the ballast hook directly to the feed in dying on you sooner. I have been experiencing a higher frequency of ballasts going when they are added directly to the feed WITH a jumper to a second fixture.
 
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Old 09-23-07, 12:58 AM
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Frenchy, you're alright! I get a kick out of your posts.

Sparky, I'm not quite sure I get what you're saying. Are you suggesting that rbouch run 2 switchlegs off the one switch-One feeding the first 2 fixtures and the other feeding the third? If this is true, then what's the difference between that and running 1 swithleg to the ballast for the first 2 and adding another wire at the splice to feed the other ballast? Either way, both lights are in parallel. The only difference would be where you splice the feed for the second ballast. I don't understand what difference that'd make.
 
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Old 09-23-07, 08:04 AM
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Thanks for all the help. I have completed wiring the strips per the suggestion that I run #14 wire from the connection of the first ballast to the feed thru the wiring raceway and end plates of the 1st and second strips to the 3rd strip, where I connected the 2nd ballast in the 3rd strip.
 
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Old 09-23-07, 12:35 PM
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brewci

I have been experiencing a higher frequency of ballasts going (failing) when they are added directly to the feed WITH a jumper to a second fixture.

Yes either way you do it it is still doing the same thing... except if you go directly to the first ballast and pig tail from there to the second one there tends to be with fluorescent lights a voltage change (minor) that impacts the ballast.

I have seen many many many ballasts needing to be replaced when one is hooked up to the direct feed and not pigtailed from the get go before either is connected the ballast
 
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