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Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting

 
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:12 AM   #1
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Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


I'm summarizing this from another forum and looking for some clarity on proper solutions.

Client wants under-cabinet lighting (line voltage) placed toward the front edge of the kitchen cabinets. Contractor tells client the exposed NM will not pass inspection so they're going back and forth with solutions. (I said move the fixtures back a bit, but that's not an option for this home).

As I understand it, they are going to install j-boxes in the cabinets, flush with the back wall, and transition to MC cable, elbow it down, run through cab bottom, etc. This sounds kind of whacky and unnecessary. Is this a professional solution or off-base? What is typically done for exposed NM under there and does it actually get flagged now and then?

If it was going to be a problem, wouldn't wire mould be the solution?

Thanks much.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:17 PM   #2
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


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Old 01-09-2013, 08:53 PM   #3
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


You answered your own question. Wiremold. The install you describe is......

Never put the lights at the back of the cab, very annoying when seated at a table.

My preferances now is POE LED.

Tom
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:56 PM   #4
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


We have always installed outlets flush with the back of the cabinet and routed the plug in lights under like you are describing. One time I thought it would be better to just hard wire the lights and have the outlet box in the actual wall itself. Run them off the switch but that got flagged because code wont alow a hidden outlet box. Thats why I dont pull permits. LOL . I'm no electrician.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:07 PM   #5
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


I was beginning to wonder if I was missing something.

Thanks Tom.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:10 PM   #6
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


As I understand it, if you're running them off the switch, just make sure the cable is long enough, i.e no boxes.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:03 AM   #7
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


In many kitchens that I have done we have exposed romex under the cab from hanging rail to light. Never failed, cannot have it inside cabinet without it being covered.
If it is done neatly looks way better than wiremold.

Same with garbage disposal, electrician runs that in pipe or bx. Inspector said under cab is fine, not considered a contact area.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:07 AM   #8
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


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In many kitchens that I have done we have exposed romex under the cab from hanging rail to light. Never failed, cannot have it inside cabinet without it being covered.
If it is done neatly looks way better than wiremold.

Same with garbage disposal, electrician runs that in pipe or bx. Inspector said under cab is fine, not considered a contact area.
I defy your inspector to define a 'contact area'.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:13 AM   #9
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


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I defy your inspector to define a 'contact area'.
Yeah that's a grey area here...but normally it's kosher to have to under the cab strapped tight in the corner...but inside the cabinet has to be shielded.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:18 AM   #10
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


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I defy your inspector to define a 'contact area'.
Not a chance, it would depend on what day it was and what mood he is in.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:25 AM   #11
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


Next time have the cabinets made so there is a recess for the wires and lights.
With a lot of cabinets you can achieve this by using a 1/4" skin cut tight around the light, make sure the light you use is accessible as a j box.
I hope that makes sense.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:36 AM   #12
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


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Not a chance, it would depend on what day it was and what mood he is in.
Let me rephrase that:

I defy your inspector to define 'contact area' so the definition will stand up in court.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:44 PM   #13
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
Let me rephrase that:

I defy your inspector to define 'contact area' so the definition will stand up in court.
It doesn't really need to "stand up in court". If the chief inspector agrees with him, it probably wouldn't be cost effective to pursue it in court - just change it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:46 PM   #14
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


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It doesn't really need to "stand up in court". If the chief inspector agrees with him, it probably wouldn't be cost effective to pursue it in court - just change it.
That's part of an inspectors' job. To not only make interpretations, but ones that will stand up under legal scrutiny. And that includes going to court.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:19 PM   #15
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


Isn't it easier to find a solution that works and, meets code than it is to argue with the inspectors?
I need to get a job done and signed off rather than arguing over semantics.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:46 PM   #16
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Re: Code - Exposed NM For Under Cabinet Lighting


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
That's part of an inspectors' job. To not only make interpretations, but ones that will stand up under legal scrutiny. And that includes going to court.
Not exactly, in NJ if you don't like his interpretation you can go through the board of appeals if you like. And about 1 year later the hearing will come up and you will get their ruling, if they disagree with the inspector you can do it your way.

But nothing at all happens to the inspector because it was his interpretation, and until "contact area" is defined and in written in the code book he did nothing wrong.

My almost 30 years experience says just do what they want, just explain the situation to them first. Especially when it is an interpretation.

In NJ inspectors cannot be sued for damages, only to overturn a ruling.

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