Install light fixture by tapping into existing outlet

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Old 12-10-13, 11:08 AM
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Install light fixture by tapping into existing outlet

Hello,
I found a few similar forum topics, but not exactly like my scenario.

I have a middle-of-run (non-switched) outlet that has a light fixture running off of it. This is 14-2 + ground wire on a 15a circuit. The outlet is the 4 screw design. I am not using 2 of the screws, instead I'm using pigtails (from what I've gathered, many people prefer pigtails as opposed to actually using the other screws on the outlet because if the outlet goes bad, all outlets after go bad). The rest is pretty standard. My picture should explain it all. I have not included the ground wires in an effort to simplify my drawing.

From my research the concern in a scenario like this is overloading the circuit. I did some analysis and this circuit is very lightly loaded, and, the new light fixture only has 2 30w bulbs.

A previous owner had most of this installed, I'm just moving the switch. The current wiring configuration works fine, but I want to make sure that wiring is code approved and safe. Would it be wise to have an electrician/inspector out?

Thanks.
 
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Old 12-10-13, 01:29 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

I have a middle-of-run (non-switched) outlet that has a light fixture running off of it. This is 14-2 + ground wire on a 15a circuit...

this circuit is very lightly loaded, and, the new light fixture only has 2 30w bulbs.
What is the existing load and what is the maximum wattage rating of the light fixture?

A previous owner had most of this installed, I'm just moving the switch. The current wiring configuration works fine, but I want to make sure that wiring is code approved and safe.
The configuration looks fine. There is no information in your text or drawing to allow us to determine whether wiring methods that would be approved have been used. That is a call for your local jurisdiction to make.

Would it be wise to have an electrician/inspector out?
Electrical inspectors only inspect work done under a permit issued by their office. In some jurisdictions, this level of work does not require a permit. You can hire an electrician, but most are not willing to approve work done by a homeowner. Since that's the legal equivalent of doing the work themselves, and knowing that everything was done in compliance with codes, that's what they're willing to do.

Bottom line, your realistic options are to either do it yourself, with advice here if you want it, or to hire a licensed electrician to do the work.
 
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Old 12-10-13, 02:40 PM
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The wiring show is correct. The issue might be whether the box has enough capacity of 9 conductors.
 
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Old 12-11-13, 11:47 AM
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Thanks all for the responses.

Nashkat1: the current load is ~600w. The wall sconce is max 60w. Based on the 15a circuit, it looks like I have plenty of overhead.
 
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Old 12-11-13, 02:05 PM
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the current load is ~600w. The wall sconce is max 60w. Based on the 15a circuit, it looks like I have plenty of overhead.
IIRC, you said this would be a new light fixture that draws its power from a receptacle circuit. If so, how many receptacles are on that circuit, and how did you determine the existing load?
 
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Old 12-11-13, 07:43 PM
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That is correct. There are 6 duplex outlets on the circuit. I determined the existing load by adding up the max wattage of plugged in devices (tv, soundbar) along with the wattages of all lights(both plugged in and wired into the circuit).
 
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Old 12-11-13, 08:23 PM
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There are 6 duplex outlets [receptacles] on the circuit. I determined the existing load by adding up the max wattage of plugged in devices (tv, soundbar) along with the wattages of all lights(both plugged in and wired into the circuit).
That's fine. What happens when someone plugs an 1800W hair dryer into one of them.

IOW, that's not how circuit capacity is determined. The standard method is to assume 1.5 amps for each duplex receptacle. Using that, you have 9.5 amps on your 15A circuit after you add the sconce.

You're good as far as capacity is concerned.
 
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Old 12-12-13, 11:27 AM
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Great, thanks. You have been extremely helpful.
 
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