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Thread: Luminaire Support

  1. #1
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    Luminaire Support

    Currently having an internal argument with myself over fixture support, need some opinions. We hung some exterior coach lights on a house where the box was cut in dead center on the j-block. The fixture strap attaches to the fixture off center towards the top so when we hung the fixtures, mounting the strap to the box, they look like they were hung too low and not centered vertically on the j-block. The fixture uses two decorative nuts screwed onto 8/32s to attach.

    I feel that I can move the strap up, attaching the strap directly to the j-block with longer screws that bite into the plywood behind. I would consider this to be "securely supported" as required by 410.30(A). The box would still be fully concealed under the fixture, just not used for support. I got called on this by an inspector many years ago but I can't remember what his argument was. This is making me doubt myself.

    The other side of me says the method I am using isn't listed in 410.36 as an approved means of support. The first disagrees, citing the many types of fixtures that are hung directly on a building's finish, like wallpacks. Side B argues they don't require a box as the fixture typically acts as one.

    I am leaning towards if the connection is done in a approved box and the fixture is supported securely, either by the box or not, I'm good. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I won't say i haven't done something like what you are describing before...

    I know it maybe little more effort, but if you can move the strap up why not just bring the box up with it and with a clean conscious?

  3. #3
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    If I move the box up I'd be in violation of 314.25(B) as I wouldn't be able to "patch" the j-block where the box used to be.

  4. #4
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    I read "J-block" too.
    Sorry I was thinking wood or composite with my answer.

  5. #5
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    To me, it's no different than ceiling fans that used to hang from large screw-in hooks. Go for it.
    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

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    What Larry said, also if it is a metal box then bond it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNSparky View Post

    I feel that I can move the strap up, attaching the strap directly to the j-block with longer screws that bite into the plywood behind. I would consider this to be "securely supported" as required by 410.30(A). The box would still be fully concealed under the fixture, just not used for support. I got called on this by an inspector many years ago but I can't remember what his argument was. This is making me doubt myself.
    Just curious how would an inspector even know this?
    Rob

    Moderator

    All responses based on the 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by infinity View Post
    Just curious how would an inspector even know this?
    They typically pull a few fixtures down to see behind on these residing jobs. They are looking for box extensions and proper bonding. Just to make sure a real sparky did the work and not the sider with an EC pulling a permit for them.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by infinity View Post
    Just curious how would an inspector even know this?


    Quote Originally Posted by MNSparky View Post
    They typically pull a few fixtures down to see behind on these residing jobs. They are looking for box extensions and proper bonding. Just to make sure a real sparky did the work and not the sider with an EC pulling a permit for them.
    I've never had an inspector pull down a fixture, ever!
    If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Bill View Post
    I've never had an inspector pull down a fixture, ever!

    They do around here, usually only on siding jobs. I've never had one pull down a ceiling fixture but they are really cracking down on siding companies that reside houses. They change the j block out and screw the coach fixture to it with sheetrock screws with no box extensions, sometimes no boxes. The building inspector won't pass the siding without an electrical permit pulled and passed now in most areas of the Twin Cities. The inspectors have gotten wise to siding companies that just have some EC pull a permit for them and have begun spot checking fixtures and receptacles for box extensions, bonding, etc. There is one city that requires a rough-in inspection on siding jobs so they don't have to pull them down. We do all the prep for the lights and stop right before we would hang it. They want to see box extensions and ground tails in place. It's kind of annoying, but it's easy work that can be done without anyone home (scheduling is easy, its good filler for those short days) and its all T&M, which is my favorite flavor of work!

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