04:16AM | 10/20/05
Member Since: 11/02/02
72 lifetime posts
Last night I installed a flourescent lamp in my dining room. The fixture bore a warning tag calling for nm-b. My older house was wired with just nm. Wanting to do things correctly, I put a new junction box off to the side, ran the old nm into that, and ran nm-b from there into the original box holding the fixture.

But what a PITA! Because of the way the house is wired, I was forced to cut not one, but two holes in my ceiling. I had to put a junction box on either side of the new fixture. I spent a lot of time trying to cut the holes in perfect alignment with each other and the old box, but I didn't quite make it (came close though).

Is it really worth all the bother? I must say, I have three more of these fixtures to install, and I'm sorely tempted to just ignore that warning label and slap them into the old ceiling boxes that use just nm (no -b).

I sure hope I did not spend hours last night only because of some tiny, theoretical risk that really isn't worth worrying about.

Well, I won't really "cheat" on the other fixtures. I just need to vent a bit. What I might do is to look around for a fixture that does not require nm-b, if such things exist these days.

Jonathan Gennick


05:47AM | 10/20/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
It is usually easier to pigtail some NM-B on to the existing and pull that into the fixture. When that is not possible, then what you did is your only choice. Look at it this way: now that you have the experience of doing this once, the others will be easier.


06:28AM | 10/20/05
Member Since: 11/02/02
72 lifetime posts
You know, I never thought of that. I could have done that, but then I would have still had plain NM in the box above the fixture. The fixture was one of these flourescent, bubble lights. Going up from the floor, you hit the bubble, the circline bulbs, the ballast, the metal fixture itself, and finally the junction box in the ceiling.

If it is legit to leave NM in the junction box and just pull NM-B through the hole and into the lamp fixture, well, then I just did a whole lot of work for no reason. Could I really have done that? It would save me a ton of work on future installations.

Either way, I forsee a ceiling patch job in my future. The real reason I'm frustrated is that I don't like my results. If I was happy with the "look", the time spent would be no issue. My wife thinks I'm too picky (and I am, very, picky). Even so, I'll probably "do over" this job someday.

Jonathan Gennick



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