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Wiring in cold-air return duct.

Posted By: brsele

Wiring in cold-air return duct. - 07/10/09 12:04 AM

I'm wiring a basement and installing pot lights.
I'd really like to install some pot lights where the cold air return ducts are located.
I was thinking that if I used IC pots with the air sealed housings, that it would prevent the duct from sucking air through the pot light.
I asked the furnace guy if the housing would would restrict enough air to cause any problems and he didn't think that there would be any problem.
Since these ducts are formed by the bottom of the upstairs ceiling, plus two floor joists and the drywall ceiling completing the box, I would think that 12-010(5) would cover this installation and allow the install.
Anybody else agree or disagree?

Thanks... Bruce
Posted By: Eddy Current

Re: Wiring in cold-air return duct. - 07/10/09 01:05 PM

12-010(5) covers the wiring but it does not mention installing a light.
Ask the inspector
Posted By: mikesh

Re: Wiring in cold-air return duct. - 07/10/09 05:59 PM

If there is any prohibition it is in the building code. Loomex can be installed in the cold air as Eddy said previously. I have seen lighting outlet boxes installed there but I have not seen a pot light. I think you'd want at least an IC just to ensure the bulb doesn't get dust encrusted and use a gasket on the trim too.
I don't know of any prohibition in section 30 either for the luminaire.
Posted By: brsele

Re: Wiring in cold-air return duct. - 07/12/09 07:37 PM

Thanks for the responses guys.

FWIW I did ask the inspector and he said that he wouldn't allow it. He couldn't explain what part of the OESC prohibited it, but said that he thought that it was against building code. I never knew the electrical inspectors enforced building code, but he's a new inspector and this will be the first job of mine that he will be inspecting. I'd rather not start off our working relationship by having a pissing contest and this isn't a big deal so I'll just drop it.

As I said, I did ask a furnace guy and he didn't see any problems with doing it and didn't believe that there were any restrictions in the building code. In fact his response to me was: "You guys (electricians) run your wires through the cold air returns all of the time, so what's the difference?"

I was just curious to know if anybody else saw this as acceptable, or if I was spending too much time in the vicinity of plumbers glueing pipes together.

Thanks again... Bruce
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