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stupidgringo

11:00AM | 01/26/05
Member Since: 01/08/05
7 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I just bought some new light fixtures to install in my 1984-built home. They are labeled: "90 degree C supply conductor minimum. Most houses built before 1985 have supply wire rated 60 degree C."

First, how can I tell what my wire is rated? Maybe mine is not one of the "most houses" referred to in the warning.

If not, does anyone have any suggestions for finding light fixtures rated for 60c?

Thanks.

Ron

Wireman

06:52PM | 01/26/05
Member Since: 12/19/04
62 lifetime posts
Ron,

Disregard what you are reading on that fixture box. It does not mean that the wiring in the ceiling box has to be 90 degree rated. It is ul rated to be connected to house wiring. That was a question every electrician was asking when that label first appeared. I have forgotten the technical meaning of the label but you sure aren't required to change the wiring in the box. I am impressed that you as a consumer actually looked at the box, read that and questioned it. thats cool. But just install it and don't worry about it.

Ron

Wireman

06:55PM | 01/26/05
Member Since: 12/19/04
62 lifetime posts
Ron, forgot to mention. I believe that in 1984 sheathed electrical cable cable already had the 90 degree rating so that might even make you feel better about hanging those fixtures.

Ron

stupidgringo

05:21AM | 01/27/05
Member Since: 01/08/05
7 lifetime posts
OK, so I've done some poking around on the internet and in my attic, and I've got new questions.

First, in my attic, the sheathed electrical cable is marked NM (60 degree) not NM-B (90 degree), so while 90 degree may have been available in 1984, it wasn't used in my house...

My understanding is that the fire risk is from light bulb heat igniting the wire jacket. Is this the case?

If this is the risk, is the risk lowered by using 14 watt compact fluorescent bulbs instead of 60 watt incandescent bulbs? Is this only an issue with flush mounted fixtures? The chandelier I just installed has no such warning.

With regard to your comment about reading and heeding the warning, I have to wonder how many 20 year old homes there are with new and potentially incompatible light fixtures.

Thanks for your help.

Ron


Tom O

01:41PM | 01/27/05
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts
Ron,

That label means exactly what it says. If you have the old NM cable, you are not supposed to connect this fixture to it. Doing so would result in at least 2 code violations, one administrative and one that could be a potential hazard.

As you have determined, a pendant or chandelier does not pose the same problem as one that is surface mounted.

Yes, a 14 watt CF lamp will make less heat than a 60 watt lamp, but who is to say that someone won't eventually screw in some 60 watt lamps.

The following is from the Underwriters Laboratories "Marking Guide for Luminaires"

"37. SUPPLY WIRE TEMPERATURE — luminaires that require greater than 60 °C supply wire are marked “MIN ___ °C SUPPLY CONDUCTORS” for which blank space is replaced with the temperature. Luminaires intended to be installed in a dwelling, connected to or over an outlet box, and marked for supply wire rated 75°C or 90°C are additionally marked “CAUTION - RISK OF FIRE. CONSULT A QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN TO ENSURE CORRECT BRANCH CIRCUIT CONDUCTOR.”

This should make it clear that the supply wires must be rated for the temperature that the label on the fixture requires.

Tom

joed

02:55PM | 01/27/05
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
Since you can poke around in the attic and find the wire type, I think this will be easy to fix if there is only one cable in the box or both cable come fromthe same direction.

You can disconnect the current wire and pull it out of the box from the attic. Install it into a new box mounted about a foot away from the old box. Now connect a piece of new NM-B from the new box to the old fixture box. Install a cover on the new box and you are good to go.

Wireman

11:40AM | 01/29/05
Member Since: 12/19/04
62 lifetime posts
Ron,

If you could hold off on that total rewiring project for awhile I will get back to you regarding connecting that fixture to the existing sheathed electrical cable. This was a discussion we had a long time ago regarding those labels when we all thought we had to change that existing wiring and the state inspectors gave us the real meaning for it. I will take the time to get the proper interpretation for you.

Ron

dbellagio

09:31PM | 01/30/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
4 lifetime posts
I never knew this existed until I got a new fixture to replace an old one. My house is 1980. I've added on, so all that new wire and fixtures are OK (I guess). But this spot I am working on now is on an old section. I just installed the fixture, even though it said 90C required. Is my house going to burn down? That light is not on that much (in the washer/dryer room). Plus, the wires are up in the box, and the fixture has a plate and space between the plate/shield and the box. So, I don't see it getting that hot up there. But I wish these manufacturers would not waste my time. That really ****es me off. I don't have time to go to the store, come home, unpack, then read this warning. That is the screwed up part.

Sorry, I'm ****ed. Wireman, looking forward to your info if you post it.

Super

Wireman

04:12AM | 02/01/05
Member Since: 12/19/04
62 lifetime posts
In my state they have concluded that the amount of repairs needed to accommodate the installation of 90 degree wiring for these fixtures is quite involved and they do not enforce replacing the existing wiring. Their thought is that the new fixture is an improvement over the old type fixture and for safety sake they feel it is acceptable. I have always installed them with no problem. Call your local inspector and they may give you the same answer. Hope this helped you.

Ron

bink

04:52AM | 02/01/05
Member Since: 01/18/99
47 lifetime posts
I agree with 'wireman'. Replaced some fixture that said 90 degree to my old boxes. I haven't had any problems. It has been over five years.

Let us know how it works out.
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