Under Cabinet Lighting

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by cibula11, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Mar 27, 2008 #1

    cibula11

    cibula11

    cibula11

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    I am planning my kitchen remodel and have some questions about wiring for under cabinet lighting. All cabinets and backsplash will be replaced, so access should not be an issue.
    I currently have an outlet inside a base cabinet that is not being used. (I think it was for an older gas stove, we know have electric). Could I use that as my power source? If so, can I just run romex to the needed areas and connect at this power source junction box? Can I install a switch at the end of this run or do I need to install it close to my power source? Any help would be well, helpful.
     
  2. Mar 27, 2008 #2

    handyman

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    since we dont know what the outlet was used for ..i would recomend..running new 14-2 wire to the panel box with its own single pole breaker..handyman
     
  3. Mar 27, 2008 #3

    Square Eye

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    Use a plug-in test light and determine what else is on that circuit.
    If you're doing a remodel, you'd just as well get all of your small appliance circuits GFI protected, if they aren't already. If the receptacle under your counter is already protected and isn't a fully loaded circuit, you can use it. Switch it anywhere you want but installing it close to the source would simplify things. Most kitchen circuits are 20 amp circuits so you will need to use #12 wire. Keep your wiring protected and out of the way. A screw through a wire can cause a whole mess of trouble :)
     
  4. Mar 27, 2008 #4

    triple D

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    You definitely want your switch to be before the lights. But you can run wire from plug to switch then back to lights. I usually run a wire for each light from switch box if there's only 3 or 4 lights. It's a little tight in the box, but it's a minor "technicality". This makes life easier in that little area they give you inside the light for wiring. Let us know what you find sharing that circuit though, I don't think the little load of u.c. lights will bother none. Probably only a couple hundred watts your adding? Good luck.....
     
  5. Mar 27, 2008 #5

    cibula11

    cibula11

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    Thanks! I'm sure that I'll have some other questions as I get further into it. I even thought about using low-voltage wiring, so yes, it won't be much wattage.
     
  6. Mar 27, 2008 #6

    Parrothead

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    You do indeed need to run a couple 20-amp circuits for the countertop receptacles, but you don't want your lighting to be on those circuits. I see no reason why you couldn't use the existing one for the undercabinet lighting, and then add your two (yes, you need two) separate GFCI circuits for the countertops.
     
  7. Mar 28, 2008 #7

    BimmerJon

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    Parrothead? You wouldnt happen to be member on a BMW board would you?
     
  8. Mar 28, 2008 #8

    cibula11

    cibula11

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    I will be keeping all the current receptacles, but just using the one below the cabinets as my source for the undercabinet lighting.
     
  9. Mar 28, 2008 #9

    speedy petey

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    As Parrot head so very clearly pointed out, this is NOT code legal, or a good idea.
    Find another source for your lights.
     
  10. Mar 28, 2008 #10

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    Are you sure you have everything up to current codes as far as receptacles spacing and circuit requirements???
    A kitchen remodel DOES require this you know.
     
  11. Mar 29, 2008 #11

    Parrothead

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    Nope. I post on one of TxBuilders other forums (homebrewtalk), but I use a different name there.
    :)
     
  12. Mar 29, 2008 #12

    triple D

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    You said your going to run low voltage wiring? Will you have a transformer maybe at that plug your talking about? What kind of wire are you planning on running and what size? If they are low voltage lights, the wire sizing is critical. Just a brain fart, always here to help. Good luck....
     
  13. Mar 30, 2008 #13

    cibula11

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    The kitchen was remodeled in 89'. We are just replacing the cabinets and countertops. I just figured the unused receptacle would be okay to use for 3 or 4 undercabinet lights.
    I don't have any room on my panel to add another circuit and there are no junction boxes in adjacent rooms that I could access. If it becomes too much of an issue I found some low voltage (plug in) that run on dimmer touch pad that I could resort to.
     
  14. Apr 1, 2008 #14

    triple D

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    If you were going to resort to some plug in style lights, your load would still be on the plugs, right? So if you don't have a bunch of load on that circuit like a micro, refer, or 3 fry daddys and an espresso maker, then you might as well pull power from that plug you spoke of, to a switch, and put up a nicer line of lighting. Sure it is against code, but if you match the wire size, it's as safe as any other wiring in your house. Hell, it might even be a dedicated circuit, we still haven't even heard from you about what is on that circuit. Many people are probably stirring right now, but when it boils down to it, your safety lies in your installment, proper wire sizing, and breakers. There it is, another opinion from me. Good luck again....
     
  15. Apr 15, 2008 #15

    cibula11

    cibula11

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    While I was considering this outlet under a base to use, I realized that there is romex hooked up to a fluorescent light that is sitting on top of my cabinet above the sink. There is a double switch that powers the garabage disposal and this light (which has not been used). Is there any way to tie my cabinet lighting onto this switch? I realize that each time I turn on the switch both the light above the sink and the cabinet lights would come on.

    I guess my other question is, would that be weird to have the light come on above the sink with cabinet lights? If so, is there a way I can use the wire coming out of the wall to power my sink light and my cabinet light. ( I would assume on seperate switches)
     
  16. Apr 15, 2008 #16

    Square Eye

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    You can do anything you want to. :)
    Putting a light circuit on with other lights is what many electricians would opt for in a kitchen.
    BUT
    What else is on this circuit with that light? That would be the determining factor.
     
  17. Apr 15, 2008 #17

    cibula11

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    I would assume that is it just the garabage disposal and that light. It could have other outlets on it, but I would think that all the outlets would be on another circuit because of the proximity of them all. Is there a good way to test what else is on the circuit since the light is not working?

    If this does work, could I install a double switch in place of the single light switch? One would control the light, one the cabinet lights and then the other single controlling the garabage disposal?

    I shut off the breaker (15 amp) and there are 3-4 outlets, garbage disposal, sink light, range hood (will be microwave) and two ceiling lights on this circuit. Do you think 4-5 cabinet lights will be okay?
     
  18. Apr 15, 2008 #18

    Square Eye

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    It's going to be busy with that microwave. Where are the other receptacles?

    Look, I agree with triple D, if you add your lights on this circuit or any other in your kitchen, it won't be much different than using plug-in units. A garbage disposal and a microwave at the same time plus whatever the other receptacles are powering may be a bit excessive but the odds are that most of that stuff won't be on at the same time. I lived in a home where the washing machine, the microwave, the range hood and the toaster were all on the same circuit. Was aggravating at breakfast time lol but the worst thing that ever happened was the breaker tripped. I eventually moved the washing machine circuit to a dedicated breaker/circuit. You should consider adding a circuit or 2 but if you call an electrician in, he may wire the lights to that box, add a duplex switch for the lighting exactly as you have suggested and then tell you to call him back if you have a breaker tripping problem. Existing work is not always dealt with as if it were new, I'm not saying that that makes it right. I'm merely suggesting that you may have to look at this thing practically and make a decision. Is it worth it to you to run a new circuit for the microwave and maybe another for the receptacles? Or, are the appliances and lights on that circuit not going to interfere with each other enough to justify running a new circuit or 2?
     
  19. Apr 15, 2008 #19

    cibula11

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    Thanks for the input. I really don't want to mess with adding a new circuit since there is not really any room available on my panel. I just thought since a switch and power source existing in this area it would be easier than having to add lights and a switch.

    So, if I do end up putting my cabinet lighting on this switch with the disposal and kitchen light. Is it as easy as replacing one light switch with a double switch and reconnecting the light and the new cabinet lighting to the other end?
     
  20. Apr 15, 2008 #20

    Square Eye

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    Should be :)
     

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