Recessed Lights


Old 08-28-15, 10:38 AM
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Recessed Lights

Hey guys,

I am going to tackle recessed lighting in the kitchen this weekend (no attic access, remodel cans). I am looking for any tips on fishing the wire through the ceiling joist. I did a rough mockup of the layout last night and it looks like my longest run will require it to go through 3 joist. Just looking for any tips.

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Old 08-28-15, 11:57 AM
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A few tips:

Drill your center holes about 1/4". Use a stiff coat hanger bent at 90 degrees and half the diameter of housing. Insert this into center hole. Rotate it and move it up and down to feel for obstructions.

Once you're sure the lights will fit, you can cut the holes and use those holes to rout your cable.

A right angle drill with stubby spade bits and a spade bit extension helps. Also fiberglass fishing rods are great.

I wouldn't drill blindly. You want to feel on both sides of joists for any pipes or cables before drilling.
Old 08-28-15, 04:21 PM
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Every electrician I know would locate the cans (making sure no studs are present where the remodel cans will be) then they would cut the openings for the cans out with a hole saw and then they would "drill blindly" through the joists with a 4 or 5' long auger style bit.... bending it into the opening so that it runs level through the joists... (takes some getting used to to run fairly level) Once the bit comes out the other side, you tape the wire to the end of the bit and use the bit to pull your wire through the holes you just drilled.

Obviously they would probably use whatever detector they have in their toolbag to try and make sure they aren't going to run smack dab into a bunch of home runs or something. But if you want to do it without making a bunch of holes in the drywall, that's the risk you take. In most of the houses I'm in, making a bunch of exploratory holes is just unacceptable.
Old 08-28-15, 05:49 PM
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Before you attempt to drill the joists see if ceiling is strapped,if it is fishing the wires will be a breeze no more holes need to be drilled,I like the idea of the stiff wire and a small hole to check what is above.
Old 08-28-15, 06:45 PM
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I should point out that the 1/4" hole I recommended is not exploratory. That is your center hole and it's just nice to know that your planning is correct before cutting large holes. I've installed hundreds of can lights and only had to relocate maybe once or twice due to obstructions.
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