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Wire Gauge #35458 03/11/04 08:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline OP
When installing drop in 4X4 fixtures, what is the proper support wire gauge.

"Wire, chain or threaded rod of sufficient strength to carry the fixture."

[This message has been edited by LK (edited 03-11-2004).]

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Re: Wire Gauge #35459 03/11/04 09:57 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 886
hbiss Offline
Certainly most chain you are apt to use or threaded rod (if anybody uses threaded rod for this) would carry the load. You usually use the same wire as supports the ceiling. Even so, since you support diagonal corners or all four corners (depending on local code) you can usually use something like 18ga steel tie wire if the length is not too great.


Re: Wire Gauge #35460 03/11/04 10:09 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,211
HotLine1 Offline

Support of lay-in fixtures is NOT an NEC requirement, it may be local (siesmic/building/mechanical/fire.)

As to the gauge, with my EC hat on, we use the same wire that the ceiling guy uses. If it's a quantity job, I have the ceiling contractor drop 2 for me, and pay him. I find this is a 'good move', especially in a building with a high roof deck. The $$ is well worth it.

On small jobs, we get 'ceiling wire' from either Jaeger Lumber, or an Ace Hardware.


Re: Wire Gauge #35461 03/11/04 10:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
Ryan_J Offline
It depends what siesmic design category you are in. Where are you located?

Here in Utah, we are in "seismic design category D2" which means we have to install ceiling grids (and the lights attached to them) in accordance with the CISCA 3-4 Standard. If I remember right, the CISCA requires #12, but don't quote me on that part.

Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City
Re: Wire Gauge #35462 03/11/04 11:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 524
Attic Rat Offline
... Yep, Ryan,'s #12 gauge,steel,or galvanized,...guy wire..I only know cuz I had to install troffers with well as drive screws thru the casing to the T-bar grid...

.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"
Re: Wire Gauge #35463 03/11/04 11:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
Ryan_J Offline
Attic Rat: Every time I read your profile I laugh aloud. You must be a fun guy to drink a beer with.

Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City
Re: Wire Gauge #35464 03/11/04 11:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline OP
The reason for the gauge question, is while checking a job today, the building inspector was there, and he handed the owner a completion ticket for the ceiling, well we had temp. wire #18 holding the fixtures until the 12ga was installed. I was wondering how it passed with the 18ga., I am still continuing with the 12ga. that we always use.

Re: Wire Gauge #35465 03/12/04 05:31 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline
Here in MA we are required by the MEC (MA Elec Code) to do the diagonal support thing with or without attachment to the grid itself.

We use the 12 AWG ceiling wire and we own all the tools a ceiling guy does, ramset on a pole, 15' tek screw drivers etc along with an open acount at a cieling supply place.

We did have an inspector refuse the 12 AWG steel wire and had us use 12 AWG Jack chain.
[Linked Image]

This is foolish as a 12 steel ceiling wire will support my weight a 12 jack chain will not come close to holding me up.

Had to re support almost 1000 fixtures, GRRRRRR!

It turned out to be an local ordnance that we could not get out of.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician


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