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#26162 - 05/31/03 06:55 AM What would you do?
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
I have a small dilema with a customer. They have some puck lights installed under cabinets in the kitchen. The little sockets on the lights are junk, which I found out when trying to replace the lamps. The pucks need to be replaced. #1 They are recessed in the botton of the cabinet and most manufacturrers prohibit this. #2 The wiring is lamp cord run through the wall which the NEC prohibits. I don't want to replace them and I think I will explain why but I know I will look like a jerk to them (which is fine). What would you guys do?

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#26163 - 05/31/03 07:16 AM Re: What would you do?
The Watt Doctor Offline

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 443
Loc: Mont Belvieu, TX
I can't tell you what to do, but I wouldn't
touch anything until you come to an agreement with the customer on a solution to the problem. It sounds like you would have to cut sheet rock, and any time you do that, you're talking carpenters and painters to fix the walls. I don't blame you for not wanting to fix the problem. It looks like a can of worms waiting to be opened. Just remember though, someone has to do it, and if the price is right, it may be you. Hang in there Scott.

Adding a worm to the can,
The Watt Doctor
Altura Cogen
Channelview, TX

#26164 - 05/31/03 02:47 PM Re: What would you do?
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
It's a problem due to the extent of what is needed to do a compliant job, which many would simply blow off.....

#26165 - 06/01/03 07:01 AM Re: What would you do?
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4229
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
I think WattDoc's right.
Unless you can get them to understand and agree before you start, I'd just take the can of worms and go fishing with them.

#26166 - 06/01/03 07:29 AM Re: What would you do?
Zapped Offline

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 481
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
I have been in many situations frightningly similar to yours.

Just remember that to the homeowner, you were the last electrician in the house, so you are the most likely to catch the blame if anyting goes wrong, even if you only relamped the fixtures (they don't know any better...). It is our legal and moral obligation as electricians, to both ourselves and to our clients, to do everything in our power to help the client understand any potential hazard we find, and exactly what the CORRECT fix of this problem will entail. If they choose to do nothing, that is up to them.

Remember, even if you become the victim of an absurd lawsuit and win, it will cost you a fortune in more ways than one. If someone gets hurt or killed, the cost will be personal and impossible to ever pay off...

In other words, leave it done right or just plain leave it.

#26167 - 06/01/03 08:53 AM Re: What would you do?
txsparky Offline

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 578
Loc: Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
What would you do

[This message has been edited by txsparky (edited 06-01-2003).]

#26168 - 06/01/03 09:02 AM Re: What would you do?
Electric Eagle Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
I understand exactly where you're coming from on this. You don't want the job, but feel compelled to do it. When I get a situation like this, I tell the customer what needs to be done and a price to make it worth doing. If they want it done by me or my guys it will be done right.

Side note, some "lamp cord" looking wire is rated for in wall use. IMHO, On the low volt side, there really is no harm in using this wire. The wire my supply house sells use for low volt work looks like lamp cord and I've never failed an inspection for using it.

As far as the lights being rcessed in the bottom of cabinet, this I think is a fire hazzard. In the top of the cabinet with nothing on top, this is OK, but not the bottom.

I don't like pucks, anyway. I much prefer a Xenon low profile strip.

[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 06-01-2003).]

#26169 - 06/01/03 10:18 AM Re: What would you do?
caselec Offline

Registered: 04/14/02
Posts: 557
Loc: San Jose, CA
Not all "puck" lights are created equal. I have seen my fair share of junk but have also seen some pretty good ones. Hera Lighting seems to make some pretty goods ones. They are UL/ETL listed for pocket mounting which means they can be mounted in a hole cut the same depth of the light without any air space above. I have never had defective socket with their products either.

The lamp cord does violate 411.4 but as long as the wire is not overloaded I wouldn't worry about it. Maybe these lights were installed before 411 existed in which case you would be allowed to replace the existing fixtures.

Electric Eagle - There is not such thing as lamp cord looking wire that is rated for in wall use for low voltage lighting. 411.4 states that the wiring method must be one listed in chapter 3 which eliminates all low voltage cables. You must use NM, MC, AC or raceway type wiring method.


[This message has been edited by caselec (edited 06-01-2003).]
Curt Swartz

#26170 - 06/01/03 01:48 PM Re: What would you do?
wa2ise Offline

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 773
Loc: Oradell NJ USA
One of the members of this board (a licensed EC) mentioned that, when he sees a customer with a serious safety hazard, gives that customer a few business cards from his competitors so that that customer can get some 2nd opinions. He will likely be outbid, but at least the problem will get fixed and the house not burn down....

#26171 - 06/08/03 05:58 PM Re: What would you do?
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
Went back to customers house finally. Told them the only way I could fix the lights was to rewire and replace. Seemed to go over ok. We'll see if they call back. Turns out the wiring for the pucks is individual runs of thhn. Permit on the original job? I wonder. The original work I was there for was wiring speakers and gear rack for home theater. Rear speakers are built in with their own power supply SIX GRAND EACH!

[This message has been edited by Electricmanscott (edited 06-08-2003).]


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