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View Full Version : Can I 'splice' Romex?


sj-steve
January 25th, 2004, 10:12 PM
OK, I know I can if it's in a box, but does the box need to be accessible? Can I cover it with sheetrock after the inspection?

Here's my problem. I am remodeling my kitchen, and the switch for the disposal would be more convenient if I moved it to the next stud closer to the new sink location. It's fed from a 12/3 Romex cable from the breaker box (one circuit for the dishwasher and one for the disposal). Moving the box requires that I add a couple of feet to the 12/3.

Can I use the existing box for the junction, put on a blank plate then cover it with sheetrock?

If not, can I put a box in the attic to make a junction to a new run of 12/3 to the new box location?

6pack
January 26th, 2004, 01:41 AM
All boxes must be accessible! No you can't blank and cover with sheetrock. If your asking if you can bring that existing 12/3 into the attic and make your junction? Yes but that box also must be be accesible.

joed
January 26th, 2004, 05:06 PM
Everything you said was Ok until you said "cover it with sheetrock". Blank cover is Ok. In the attic is OK. Cover it with sheetrock is not OK.

sj-steve
January 26th, 2004, 06:50 PM
Thanks for the replies. I was hoping to not go into the attic again, but it turns out that I have another junction box that I need to add. I was planning to use a switch box for a switch and also as a junction box for an unrelated circuit, but my box fill calculations precludes that. I can't use a bigger box because the cover would be partially behind the kitchen cabinets.

Steve Mann

mdshunk
January 26th, 2004, 07:17 PM
Can you use a deeeeeper box in your case and get all the wires in you need?

sj-steve
January 26th, 2004, 09:43 PM
My original plan was for a single-gang box and a Leviton 3-section switch. (Three switches on one single-gang housing.) Going into the box would be a 12/3 from two 20A breakers (L1,L2 below). Black would go to the common of the switches. Coming out of the box would be a 12/3 and a 14/2 from the three switches, a 12/2 to another switch box and another 12/2 from the red of the 12/3 line.

I know it's hard to describe a schematic in text.


L1 (Blk) ------ SW1 ------- 12/3 some lights
. |--SW2 ------- 12/3 some more lights
. |--SW3 ------- 14/2 to even more lights
. |-------------- 12/2 to another switch box

L2 (Red) --------+--------- Line to Microwave receptacle

By my calculation, I have twelve #12 and two #14 for a total of 31 Cu In. Add 3Cu In for the switch and the grounds and I am up to 34 Cu In. The deepest single-gang box I can find is only 21 Cu In. (A dual gang box won't fit because it would be partially covered by the kitchen cabinets.)

I can put a box in the attic to split off the two incoming circuits to the other switch box and the microwave receptacle. That leaves me with a box fill of 20.5 Cu In.

Do I have to do the box fill calcs for every box, or just the ones that are stuffed?

Thanks

Steve Mann

Ohm1
January 26th, 2004, 10:31 PM
You are over box fill. You could run a j-box in the attic, and take power off the red for the Micro and blk leg for your lights. But, before you move too fast, it would be best if you explain what you are trying to do. Is this house finshed? Why use a 3 stack switch? Can you locate another box just to the side behind the box you plan to put the 3 stack in?

Get back to us

sj-steve
January 26th, 2004, 11:11 PM
You are over box fill. You could run a j-box in the attic, and take power off the red for the Micro and blk leg for your lights. But, before you move too fast, it would be best if you explain what you are trying to do. Is this house finshed? Why use a 3 stack switch? Can you locate another box just to the side behind the box you plan to put the 3 stack in?

Get back to us

Thanks for the concern.

I am remodeling an existing kitchen. The location for the room light switches is only four inches from the edge of the cabinets to the last stud on the wall before the doorway. There's just room for a single-gang box. I am already planning two boxes, one over the other. I could as easily put three boxes in the space. The lights I am controlling are: in the top box with the three-stack switch, (1) under-counter lights, (2) LV lights over the kitchen workspace and (3) LV lights in the perimeter of the area opposite the room from the kitchen prep area. (It's a big room). Under that will be a dimmer for six incandescent recessed lights in the middle of the room.

The under-counter lights are currently planned to be flourescents to meet the code requirements. This is why they have to be on the switch at the room entrance. However, I am unhappy with the selection of under-counter flourescent fixtures. They are all too deep. (I had always preferred small halogen fixtures for the under-counter lights, but code requires some flourescent lights.)

I am considering just installing a large ceiling fixture to satisfy the flourescent requirement, but they are all ugly and my wife hates the idea. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks again,
Steve

6pack
January 27th, 2004, 01:21 AM
Would you have enough room if sw's mounted verticle?Plate may be a problem? Can your U/c light sw go at sink area when wife needs them? Unless you want to impress company when "entering" room? I also would calculate your lighting load? poss only need (2) 15 amp circuit's eliminating #12 wiring. Then run Micro with sep 20amp # 12 wgrnd cable seperate. Lighting circuits can be run at full cal wattage 15X120=1800 watts per cir? Worked with 3/4 U/c flourescent with plastic lenses(expensive) not noticeble at all. Any U/c light visible when sitting down at table. More work involved but you could look into Low voltage "task lighting" also!(isolated transformers)! Noticed LV in your lighting scheme are you referring to LOW Voltage or Low Wattage flourescent??
You mention flourescent(only) U/C light's not halogen!! Can anyone touch on this from code standpoint. Have seen these puck lights?? Seem awfull hot to me, unless I have things mixed up.would'nt want. Any input code wise appre. TY
Just some thought for your kit. GL2U

marako
January 27th, 2004, 08:34 AM
First off, why are you running 12/3 from a switch to "some lights" and "some more light"????? You only need 12/2 from a switch to a light(s). Maybe I'm missing something.

Second, you mention that you will be running some 14/2 to "even more lights". Suprised nobody caught that.... you CAN NOT un 14/2 from the switch that is feed by a 20 amp circuit.

Finally your way over jammed in that box.

ON Edit: I'm from NJ not CA, but the flourescent requirement is a CA requirement. I don't understand it, but to "save natural resources, and reduce pollution" CA requires Kitchens and bathrooms to use florescent lights. I guess the lights in these rooms are alway on, so there is a big savings potential. Of course when you add 6+ incadescent cans in the ceiling that will be on 99% of the time, and you "meet" the requirement by installing under-cabenent florescent lights I'm not sure what is saved.

Perhaps you can ask the local AHJ to allow florescent bulbs in the ceiling cans, then use the hockey pucks below the cabinents??

sj-steve
January 27th, 2004, 08:59 AM
Would you have enough room if sw's mounted verticle?Plate may be a problem?

Can your U/c light sw go at sink area when wife needs them? Unless you want to impress company when "entering" room?

More work involved but you could look into Low voltage "task lighting" also!(isolated transformers)! Noticed LV in your lighting scheme are you referring to LOW Voltage or Low Wattage flourescent??

You mention flourescent(only) U/C light's not halogen!! Can anyone touch on this from code standpoint. Have seen these puck lights?? Seem awfull hot to me, unless I have things mixed up.would'nt want. Any input code wise appre. TY
Just some thought for your kit. GL2U


Thanks for the reply. It's really appreciated.

I thought of rotating a 3-gang box vertically, but the plate would not clear the cabinets. So, I'll vertically stack single-gang boxes.

The LV lights are MR16 recessed cans located over the primary work area of the kitchen (nine cans), and also over the far side of the room (five cans). They are on two separate transformers and two switches.

I really would prefer the thin halogen "puck" lights under the counters, but as I understand the code, I am required to "substantially light" the kitchen with flourescents, and my wife hates the idea of a flourescent ceiling fixture. Thus, the under-counter lights are flourescent, and since they have to be switched at the room entrance, that's where the switch is going.

Is my understanding of the flourescent requirement in the code correct?

Steve Mann

6pack
January 27th, 2004, 12:47 PM
I also am looking for the Code requirement answer myself. I possibly miss understood thinking that puck lights were no longer code complyant.As stated earlier, I do not like them do to the heat. Just my opnion and also maybe I'm wrong in my understanding of what a puck light is? Never have used. Tryed in own home and did'nt care for heat in setting I planned to use in.(Curio Cab). Accodind to Marako this is only apparently where your located Cal Ruling for conservation rulings?
Marako good catch on 14/2, I think everyone was looking to help poster in a sw and J box location and box fill.(myself included)Actually this posting somehow floated into what is now being asked and what is now hopefully getting cleared up as we have a much better understanding of what poster is trying to do and what he is working with. Thats why we all try to help as needed. Good catch.
I agree with Marako on just what some of your conn are and what for?? Did you calculate your load and circuit size. Sounds as if you already have your wiring in place not just starting out??
I also now noticed you mention U/C florescents, must be switched at door?? Curious is this also a Cal overide of Nec or just a personal choice. Since you already have switched lighting entering room? Wife may have to go back and forth just as much turning on if sw at sink area or door area.

sj-steve
January 27th, 2004, 05:39 PM
First off, why are you running 12/3 from a switch to "some lights" and "some more light"????? You only need 12/2 from a switch to a light(s). Maybe I'm missing something.

Second, you mention that you will be running some 14/2 to "even more lights". Suprised nobody caught that.... you CAN NOT un 14/2 from the switch that is feed by a 20 amp circuit.

Finally your way over jammed in that box.

Perhaps you can ask the local AHJ to allow florescent bulbs in the ceiling cans, then use the hockey pucks below the cabinents??

The three section switch (lights, more lights and even more lights) is to control three zones in the room. Countertop, LV left and LV right. If we're only at the fridge, then it doesn't make sense to light the whole room. The LV xfmrs are next to each other, so it was easier to run one 12/3 to them instead of a pair of 12/2's.

This is the first that I heard that I cannot go down in wire size either from a J-box or a switch. Hmmmm - is this because the 14Ga wire would not be properly protected? I think that I need to review my drawings. What about my daisy-chains from can to can? The first can gets 12 Ga from the switch, then 14/2 goes from can to can? What if I downsize the breaker to 15A? Would the mix of wire size be OK then? (Assuming that all the lights on that breaker total under 1800 Watts?)

You are correct, the flourescent requirement is a California concoction to "save" energy. I can't use flourescent lamps in a fixture that will also accept incandescent lamps. I need to investigate if there are any flourescent can fixtures that have the ballast built in, making it impossible to use incandescent lamps. That would satisfy that part of the code, and my wife would not have to compromise on the appearances.

Steve

marako
January 28th, 2004, 03:33 PM
Too keep it simple, if your using a 20 amp breaker, you may ONLY use #12 or larger wire.... no 14 anywhere. If you go down to a 15 amp reaker then the mix of #12 and #14 is OK..... odd, but OK. If you didn't pull the #12 wire yet, go with the #14 and a 15 amp breaker. I always run #12, but in your case the amount of wires your going to jam into the one box, #14 would be better for you.

I still don't follow the need for the 12/3 wire? Will you have 1 switch that will "switch" 2 hot legs, or is one leg always hot, and one leg switched? If your switching two hot legs, then use 12/2, and pigtail them at the far end. If one leg is always hot, and the other is switched... where does the always hot leg go at the far end?

sj-steve
January 28th, 2004, 05:41 PM
I still don't follow the need for the 12/3 wire? Will you have 1 switch that will "switch" 2 hot legs, or is one leg always hot, and one leg switched? If your switching two hot legs, then use 12/2, and pigtail them at the far end. If one leg is always hot, and the other is switched... where does the always hot leg go at the far end?

I pulled 12/3 because one leg is going to the microwave. The other leg is for the lights in three zones of the kitchen/dining room area (one large room) which will be on the three-gang switch. If it's OK to use a 15A breaker, the lighting leg will be under 1800W anyway. Biggest problem solved. (I only used 14/2 with lights. All receptacles are on 12/2 or 12/3 branches.)

If I use a J-box in the attic to continue the 12/2 for the microwave instead of jamming the connection inside the switch box, then my box fill comes to 20.5 Cu In, and I have a 21.1 cubic inch box.

Lesson learned - use #12 wire and bigger boxes.

Thanks for your input.

Steve

sj-steve
January 28th, 2004, 05:46 PM
I also now noticed you mention U/C florescents, must be switched at door?? Curious is this also a Cal overide of Nec or just a personal choice. Since you already have switched lighting entering room? Wife may have to go back and forth just as much turning on if sw at sink area or door area.

The rule is loosely called: "First Switch". California requires that the first switch upon entering a kitchen or bath/vanity must control a flourescent light that "substantially" lights the room.

Steve