Replacing Old Fixtures

Merry Christmas

ramsy

Owner/Operator
Location
LA basin, CA
Occupation
Service Electrician 2017 NEC
..I would prefer that the electrician simply mount the new fixture the same way and use the existing wires..
Anyone who does that, without a fire box in violation of 300.15/(E), should be .......

A pancake or bell box is a token cost in material, with typical minimum service-call labor rates designed to accomplish such routine tasks.

When Owners install fire hazards, nothing prevents the installed hazards from voiding property insurance. Thats why AHJ's require indemnity with owner-builder permits.

www.cslb.ca.gov/Consumers/Know_Risks_Of_Owner_-_Builder/
 
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ramsy

Owner/Operator
Location
LA basin, CA
Occupation
Service Electrician 2017 NEC
.. Question 3: If the wiring is K&T, will code require me to get it replaced?
If zip/lamp cord is found behind the walls feeding that fixture, perhaps originating from an outlet under the window sill, the 400.12, and 210.19(A)(4) fire hazard should be abated.

If owners won't allow contractor's alien laborer(s) to attempt hazard abatement, owners have the right to remove any such dog & pony show from their premises.

Contractors that pull permits let inspectors red tag hazards for abatement, and enforce correction with authority to revoke occupancy per UBC 18.90.110 (.30)
 
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Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
I have arranged for an electrician to come by next week to replace the light fixture shown in the attached photo. As you can see, it is attached to the wall with screws, That tells me there is no outlet box behind the fixture. I would prefer that the electrician simply mount the new fixture the same way and use the existing wires. Those wires may well be knob and tube. This fixture has been in place for at least 25 years. I am concerned that the electrician may tell me that the job will require upgrades beyond a simple swap (i.e., install outlet box or replace old wiring). I believe this job will not require an electrical permit.

Question 1: Am I right in believing that no permit will be needed (or is that a local jurisdiction issue)?
Question 2: If there is no outlet box, will code require me to get one installed?
Question 3: If the wiring is K&T, will code require me to get it replaced?

Bet you wished you never asked now, huh..😉
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
You have all given me a boat load to think about, as well as a number of code articles to study. You all have my thanks.

The "big day" is this coming Wednesday, 4/14/21. I will post the results.
 

macmikeman

Senior Member
Vanity lights with a back pan- most of them have an obvious pattern of cutouts to fit over a wall box. Most of them are installed without a wall box. Most of those installs are not to code, so I agree with Knuckle Dragger on this .
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Vanity lights with a back pan- most of them have an obvious pattern of cutouts to fit over a wall box. Most of them are installed without a wall box. Most of those installs are not to code, so I agree with Knuckle Dragger on this .
I went to a home to install new bathroom lighting she had picked out.
She had two full size 4 light fixtures over an 8’ wide mirror.
She bought two three foot three light fixtures.

I took the old lights down and found out the electrician had stubbed out one wire on the initial build, and when the trim out came, he beat out the sheet rock in a groove to put the romex IN FRONT of the stud...

This was supposed to be a simple light change. Ended up being a job.
Installed two boxes, drilled the studs so the wires were proper, Sheetrock repaired, and she ended up painting the entire bathroom since there was no way to match the paint.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
I went to a home to install new bathroom lighting she had picked out.
She had two full size 4 light fixtures over an 8’ wide mirror.
She bought two three foot three light fixtures.

I took the old lights down and found out the electrician had stubbed out one wire on the initial build, and when the trim out came, he beat out the sheet rock in a groove to put the romex IN FRONT of the stud...

This was supposed to be a simple light change. Ended up being a job.
Installed two boxes, drilled the studs so the wires were proper, Sheetrock repaired, and she ended up painting the entire bathroom since there was no way to match the paint.
Very common approach back in the 90s
 

tortuga

Code Historian
Location
Oregon
Occupation
Electrical Design
I run into old fixtures like this with no box all the time.
If its romex or knob and tube you typically dont have enough wire to add an exterior bell box.
I usually carefully cut in a 3/0 or 4/0 old work box like one of these:
But with vinyl siding I'd be tempted to use a

WAC 296-46B-901
(7) As required by chapter 19.28 RCW or this chapter, an electrical work permit is required for the installation, alteration, or maintenance of all electrical systems or equipment except for:
(b) Class A basic electrical work which includes:
(i) The like-in-kind replacement of lamps; a single set of fuses; a single battery smaller than 150 amp hour; contactors, relays, timers, starters, circuit boards, or similar control components; one household appliance; circuit breakers; single-family residential luminaires and line voltage smoke or carbon monoxide alarms; a maximum of five snap switches, dimmers, receptacle outlets, thermostats, heating elements, luminaire ballasts or drivers/power supplies for single LED luminaires with an exact same ballast or driver/power supply; component(s) of electric signs, outline lighting, or skeleton neon tubing when replaced on-site by an appropriate electrical contractor and when the sign, outline lighting or skeleton neon tubing electrical system is not modified; one ten horsepower or smaller motor.
 

suemarkp

Senior Member
Location
Kent, WA
Occupation
Retired Engineer
If Charlie's in Seattle proper, the WAC may not apply. Some cities have their own code and inspection departments. But I would think that above rule would be pretty common in most areas -- I don't know of many places that require a permit to replace a light, switch, or receptacle.
 

tortuga

Code Historian
Location
Oregon
Occupation
Electrical Design
If Charlie's in Seattle proper, the WAC may not apply. Some cities have their own code and inspection departments. But I would think that above rule would be pretty common in most areas -- I don't know of many places that require a permit to replace a light, switch, or receptacle.
The state rules supersede any local rules (generally), and a local jurisdiction can not adopt different permitting rules in Washington (and Oregon).
A local jurisdiction can adopt its own fees, and add to the code, but not lesser rules in Washington (and Oregon).
The WAC WAC 296-46B-901(7)(b)(i) gives reference to the exemption from a permit.
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
The state rules supersede any local rules (generally), and a local jurisdiction can not adopt different permitting rules in Washington (and Oregon).
Here is what the Seattle Electrical Code has to say on this topic:
80.2(B) Chapter 296-46B Washington Administrative Code. An additional purpose of this Code is to provide equal, higher or better standards of construction and equal, higher or better standards of materials, devices, appliances, and equipment than those required by the State of Washington under the provisions of Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 19.28.
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Here is what the Seattle Electrical Code has to say about my having to get a permit for this project:
80.50(B) Like-in-Kind Replacement. An electrical permit shall not be required for the like-in-kind replacement of the following electrical equipment: (1) no more than 5 single-family residential luminaires, snap switches, dimmers, receptacles, lamps, or luminaire ballasts with an identical ballast;
 

tortuga

Code Historian
Location
Oregon
Occupation
Electrical Design
This suddenly reminded me of a time when I had to replace few motion lights for a home owner last appointment on Friday, it was late in the day, and my day got all buggered up so they got bumped, so I offered to do it on Saturday no o/t.
I showed up with my personal van and a too short ladder, the home owner turned out to work for OSHA, he's like 'why dont you borrow my ladder'....
:rolleyes:
 

ramsy

Owner/Operator
Location
LA basin, CA
Occupation
Service Electrician 2017 NEC
Thanks for the update Charlie. Thats 1 fire-hazard down, and 1 less cause for property insurance to void claims
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
Occupation
electrician
Question 1: Am I right in believing that no permit will be needed (or is that a local jurisdiction issue)?
Question 2: If there is no outlet box, will code require me to get one installed?
Question 3: If the wiring is K&T, will code require me to get it replaced?
1) most 'maintenance' is permit free
2)yes but, what 'fits' the situation is relevant>
1619216578091.png
3) actually it''s your insurance company that may make that call

~RJ~
 
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