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#45629 12/03/04 08:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 174
bot540 Offline OP
I'm installing some track 12 in a customers home and was wondering if I could use 16-2 (w outer jacket,like speaker wire)that I have left over from another job. This question is not about wire size and watts or amps either.

Jesus may have been a capenter,but God was an electrician.Genesis1:3
#45630 12/03/04 10:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,333
Likes: 7
As a wild guess, NO.
Substantiation....not enough information, and yes, watts, amps is pertinent to your question along with more details.

BTW, what is "track-12"


#45631 12/03/04 10:09 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 625
I was wondering that, too. I googled it, and came up with:

Feed at regular times, at least twice daily with three daily feeding preferred. Feed according to the amounts shown below which are based on the weight of your horse and their level of work.
I'm still trying to figure out what you use the 16-2 for. [Linked Image]

#45632 12/03/04 10:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 558
Track-12 is a small low voltage track from Juno. It is fed from a 12 volt transformer and low voltage lights can be connected directly to the track with out the use of individual transformers.

If this wiring is going to be installed in the walls or ceiling article 411 requires a chapter 3 wiring method (NM, MC, EMT, ETC.). If this wiring is not goi9ng to be concealed low voltage cable could be used but remember the proper overcurrent protection must be used to protect the wire. Most magnetic transformers use at least 15 amp circuit breakers so a minimum of 14 AWG wire must be used.

Edited to add link:


[This message has been edited by caselec (edited 12-03-2004).]

Curt Swartz
#45633 12/04/04 01:22 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 156
No you can't use 16-2........once you hit the transformer and switch to DC the farther away you get the more problems you have. The more lights you put on your load the more amps you draw. The farther you get from the transformer the dimmer the lights get from voltage drop. You can solve these problems by using the correct wire size. Should be 12 minimum.....but better to go with 10 gauge if your anywhere near 15 or 20 feet away from the transformer.

#45634 12/04/04 02:13 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391

This question is not about wire size and watts or amps either.

Why do you think that?

Low voltage does not mean low current and many times it means high current.

I followed the link to the Track 12 components and they show transformers for it capable of 2.5 to 20 amps of output power. Which one are you using, how many VA?

At a minimum you must size the wires for low voltage lighting the same way as line voltage.

As a design issue you also should consider voltage drop as kinetic has pointed out.

Wire size aside as has been pointed out you must use a chapter 3 wiring method (NM, MC, etc) if you will be concealing the wire.

411.4 Locations Not Permitted.
Lighting systems operating at 30 volts or less shall not be installed (1) where concealed or extended through a building wall, unless using a wiring method specified in Chapter 3, or (2) within 3.0 m (10 ft) of pools, spas, fountains, or similar locations, except as permitted by Article 680

There is a change coming in 2005 in this section for class 2 power supplies.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
#45635 12/04/04 02:20 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391

No you can't use 16-2........once you hit the transformer and switch to DC the farther away you get the more problems you have.

I would say you shouldn't use 16/2 but you can with the proper OCP. The NEC does not care if there is voltage drop only that the conductor is protected at or below the conductors rating.

Voltage drop is strictly a design issue.

As a side note most, if not all low voltage lighting systems run AC power.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
#45636 12/04/04 04:05 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
I often use remote transformers for low voltage lighting and will most often use #12 - #8, and once #6. Depending on the fixtures and collective load/wattage/amperage of each circuit section, and especially voltage drop. (Not to mention tranformer type and dimmer types.) Your best tool for installing LV lighting is a calculator. Granted you're probably refering to a small section of track, and only a few lamps on it, with the transformer relitively close. Dare I say it, its the same animal. It might look really cool when you turn it on, but you'll feel really silly calling the fire department.

My inspectors for this area would have you pull out anything short of chapter 3 methods. But as far as any method you use I would suggest a 90 degree or better wire, as the fittings on these have a tendancy to get hot if anything short of properly torqued. I often will leave them on for a while and check the fittings for heating after installation.

And iwire, voltage drop is not a design issue it is a safety issue. These little do dads (meaning the fixture itself) will self destruct with improper voltage. I've seen some that have nearly caught fire, and completely melted. This particular track type of design, the fittings will often fuse together from the heat if improperly seated. And, they give you a handy VD calculation reminder with the listed transformers you must use with this fixture.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
#45637 12/04/04 04:37 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391

And iwire, voltage drop is not a design issue it is a safety issue.

Well I strongly disagree and that is supported by the NECs silence on voltage drop.

FPNs are strictly suggestions, good ones, but voluntary none the less.

Two questions

1)Show me where voltage drop for any lighting system is referenced in the NEC other than 110.3(B).

2)I have no idea what you mean by self destruct with low voltage.

All the lamps I see in the link for track 12 are incandescent type lamps, they run cooler, draw less current and last longer supplied by less voltage.

Shoot, you can dim these lamps with a dimmer matched to the power supply.

An argument could be made that the lamps and fixtures are safer run under voltage. (Not the power supplies)

For what it's worth we we use 10 to 8 AWG MC cable depending on distance and load when feeding low volt lighting. [Linked Image]


[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 12-04-2004).]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
#45638 12/04/04 08:04 AM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,291
(Despite evidence here at ECN to the contrary, not everybody from CA is named Scott- It just seems that way. [Linked Image])

BTW, bots are worms (fly larvae) that grow in the stomach and intestines of a horse, and they'd love to get a load of Track 12, a feed supplement.
(no offense meant to bot540)
[Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 12-04-2004).]

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