12/2 Romex or 14/2 Romex for Recessed Can Lighting?

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by savatreatabvr, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Jan 5, 2014 #1

    savatreatabvr

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    I'm installing 6 can lights in my kitchen and I bought 12/2 Romex for the wiring, a friend said I need 14/2 Romex, will 12/2 work or do I need to spend the money and get 14/2?

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  2. Jan 5, 2014 #2

    bud16415

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    12-2 will work fine. Number 12 is a little harder to work with and costs more. Other than that it's fine even better than 14.
     
  3. Jan 6, 2014 #3

    speedy petey

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    Are you adding to a circuit or wiring a new circuit?
    If you are adding to an existing you must stay with the size of the circuit.
    Either way I'd return the 12 and get the 14. MUCH easier to work with in those boxes.

    And your friend was wrong, they don't have to be on #14 and a 15A circuit, but they can. Unless you're in Canada, I believe up there lighting must be on 15A circuits.

    Have you done any wiring before?
     
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  4. Jan 6, 2014 #4

    JoeD

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    Yes in Canada lighting is limited to 15 amp circuits.
    The circuit breaker for the circuit determines the wire needed. If the circuit is 20 amp then you must use use the #12 cable. If the circuit is 15 amp then you can use #14 or #12 although #12 is a waste of money and harder to work with.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
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  5. Jan 6, 2014 #5

    savatreatabvr

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    Yes, I install commercial/residential security, fire, access control and CCTV systems but normally it's only 12vdc to 24vac max. We sub out the 120vac that powers our panels so as MORONIC as it sounds I've never really made it a point to learn 120vac wiring. Another issue I'm having is I hired a couple laborers from HD parking lot, (big mistake) but it never crossed my mind to have them ID the cables once they ripped out the appliances and lighting so now I've got several mystery cables that I have no idea were they go. Is there an easy way to ID these cables without ripping out drywall to see where they go?
     
  6. Jan 7, 2014 #6

    savatreatabvr

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    I'm basically deleting one ceiling light and replacing it with 6 can lights throughout the kitchen ceiling. Since I didn't demo the cabinets I'm not sure where the power for the original ceiling light comes in at, there are several unidentified cables that seem to disappear in the ceiling/floor, (2 story house) so I'm not sure how to power the new can lights now. Is it possible to get power from a kitchen outlet without overloading the circuit?
     
  7. Jan 7, 2014 #7

    bud16415

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    I would think the first step is to figure out what those existing cables are and what you are going to do with them. You can’t just leave live feeds in the ceiling joists. First step is to figure out what breaker they are on and then figure out what switch if any controlled them. You could reuse them even if they will reach your first light. If not you need to kill power to them at some junction box. I would suggest breaking the 6 cans up on 2 or 3 switches. I just did something similar on my remodel the center light location became a ceiling fan and light unit and then I added 4 can fixtures. I put the fan on one switch and the fan light another and then 2 cans on one switch and two on another. We found that highly desirable as we often just need light on one end of the kitchen or the other. I added one more hanging light above the sink with its own switch. The one thing I didn’t do that I wish I had was wire at least one of the lights as a 3 way switch, we normally control all the lights as we come in from outside and all the switches are located there. But at night it would be nice to not have to walk across the dark kitchen to the far side. I did leave a wire unused in the wall from that side of the room to above an upper cabinet with the plan of adding an up light for just this reason. Really glad now I have that wire ready to go. Take your time planning because you will never have good access to that area again most likely.
     
  8. Jan 9, 2014 #8

    speedy petey

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    WOW! You actually hired men off the parking lot at HD to do this???

    Unless you are really good at electrical troubleshooting, at this point my only advice is to bite the bullet and hire a pro. It might really bother you to pay a professional for a well earned day's work, but sometimes you have to do it.
     
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  9. Jan 12, 2014 #9

    savatreatabvr

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    Some of us don't make as much money as you do so I'd rather do it myself and hire "men off the parking lot at HD" then hire an over priced arrogant pro that MILKS his time and charges for every single wire nut!!!
     
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  10. Jan 12, 2014 #10

    speedy petey

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    Well, I don't make as much as you might think, which is why I DIY pretty much everything in my home.
    And what makes you think that EVERY professional tradesman is A) arrogant, and B) "MILKS" his time on a job??? Have you fallen victim to a shady fly-by-night contractor? If so I am sorry. There are unfortunately plenty of them out there to give us legitimate honest guys a bad name. This is why you should always go by recommendations and word-of-mouth.

    Also, WHY would we not charge for every wire nut???? I paid for them, I use them on your job, WHY would I give them away for free??????
    What do you do for a living? Is it customary that you give things away? Or work some of your time for free?
    Every been to a layer, or an accountant, or Target?? Not many freebies there either.
     
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  11. Jan 14, 2014 #11

    nealtw

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    That's really not fair, you come here looking for opinions and Speedy has one, he may charge full value for his labour and nuts but he is here giving his time.
     
  12. Jan 14, 2014 #12

    bud16415

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    I also find it a bit ironic that someone would come here and explain how some workers they picked up off the back of a truck at a home improvement box store and they didn’t know what they were doing caused a problem and asked for advise on how to fix it. A professional on his own time offered some advice as did a few other of us nonprofessionals but nonetheless time is time. The comments were very uncalled for. From the beginning I was surprised that someone in the security system installation field wouldn’t have at least a basic understanding of residential wiring. I can understand not knowing code and such but was just surprised at some of the questions. I guess we live in a specialized world now. But for one “pro” from one trade to talk bad about another in quite a similar trade I don’t understand that at all.

    I don’t really have a problem with people picking up workers wherever they can find them but people have to understand a lot of what you are paying for with a professional is the obvious stuff like years of training and experience, but also the overhead of such a profession. These pros come into your home insured and bonded and will take responsibility for their actions. If they damage something it’s covered and if someone is hurt they are covered for that. One of these non-pros gets killed on the job look out.

    It’s not just building trades you need to worry about. Around here snow removal is a biggie you can find some guy with an old pickup truck and a plow and he will plow your drive for 10 bucks. Maybe 999 out of 1000 times there won’t be a problem, but it only takes once and you can be in big trouble. They call these guys lowballers and there is no way someone following the rules can compete with them even close.

    When I hire a pro I know up front the cost and I expect to pay for all materials used. If the job is quoted it should all be in there. There will also be terms for extras. If I find the pricing to high I don’t bad mouth the man I simply don’t hire him. There really should be very few surprises if done right.

    You get what you pay for.
     
  13. Jan 14, 2014 #13

    savatreatabvr

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    My trade is called Special Systems, it's the installation of commercial fire, security, access control, CCTV & life safety equipment. I know what it takes to properly complete a job. I don't take 12 wire nuts, I take boxes just in case I lose some or accidentally end up at home with a few in my pocket "LIKE WE ALL DO" so if I charged per wire nut like you say you do I'd be screwing my customers, correct me if I'm wrong? Same with wire, do you charge by the inch? Have you ever used wire bidded for a specific job in your own personal home projects? Do you toss scraps in the garbage after a job is complete? Guess what, the customer is paying for that! I didn't mean to offend you, no not every tradesman try's to get rich off one job but the ones who do give the construction industry a bad name so yeah in this economy I'm cautious!
     
  14. Jan 15, 2014 #14

    speedy petey

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    I was not offended since your examples of shady contractors don't apply to me, but I do get bothered (not offended) when folks throw a blanket over all contractors as shady.

    It really sucks that the few bad ones make the rest look bad. Also location has A LOT to do with it. I know in the NYC/LI area there are plenty of guys willing to take your $$$ and never do a day's work.
    At the same time, the SAME can be said for customers. I have seen more crooked customers in my day than contractors. Then again, in my area we are lucky to have very many decent contractors, yet at the same time A LOT of weekenders that come up from the metropolitan area, and some do bring their bullsh*t "screw anyone you can" attitude. Again, the select bad few make the rest look suspicious.
     
  15. Jan 16, 2014 #15

    savatreatabvr

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    Funny, I never said "ALL CONTRACTORS" are shady! I'd be putting myself under that category if I did! Don't get me wrong we have our share of inexperienced morons who think they can strap on a tool belt and call themselves electricians or any tradesman! You see, here in Arizona we have something called "The Right to Work" (look it up)!
     
  16. Jan 16, 2014 #16

    nealtw

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    You never said ,some or a few,or most ,you said contractors. There are contractors of all stripes here that would take that wrong.
    We all expect contractors to be responsible for there mistakes, can we expect the same from you.
     
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  17. Jan 16, 2014 #17

    nealtw

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    Back to the original problem, a simple continuity tester with long lead can be used to trace wires. Hook one lead to a black wire and find hit other black wire with the other lead until you find the other end of that wire. Map all the new wires. If you find some don't connect you have bigger problems.
     
  18. Jan 16, 2014 #18

    bud16415

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    If using the continuity method you still need to kill the power to the wires first as per post 7. If not you will likely get a surprise. I think everything he would need to do could be accomplished with just checking voltage and flipping switches though.
     
  19. Jan 16, 2014 #19

    nealtw

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    He has rough in with drywall over it, so nothing should be powered up.
     
  20. Jan 16, 2014 #20

    bud16415

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    I never saw where he said that. I thought he had some guys he hired off the back of a truck demo it and they left a bunch of old wiring hanging and leading to points unknown in the walls. With the potential to still be powered up.
     

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