Installing a wall sconce

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Master Brian, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas
    I recently purchased a set of antique wall sconces on **** for my bathroom. They need to be re-wired, which I am getting ready to do. I purchased some lamp cord, which is heavier than what was originally on the lights.

    The problem is the base, where it mounts to the wall, is very small and I can't mount a junction box in the wall behind them. I am going to have to mount the box in the wall under the medicine cabinet. The cabinet would have to be removed to access the wiring.

    The lamp cord will have to run a short distance in the wall to get to the junction box. I worry this could pose a problem and am curious about options.

    Also, these will be installed on a 20amp, GFCI dedicated circuit in the bath. Again, is the lamp cord going to be a problem? I'm not certain of the wire size, it may be stamped 18AWG, but I'm not certain. I worry about this because I know you can't use 14/2 on a 20amp circuit.

    What are some good options? I can change this to a 15amp circuit, but I prefer to keep it 20amp.

    Thanks
  2. brownizs

    brownizs In the Trades

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    Springfield, IL
    You cannot use Lamp Cord in walls. You will need to use a properly rated wire for in wall wiring.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Unfortunately your desire to reuse an antique does not trump the requirement to comply with the building codes. Lamp cord inside the wall...even a little....is a potential danger, and a good electrician can probably come up with a solution to how to mount this lamp and comply with the code.
  4. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
    You can always hire someone to rewire the fixture.
  5. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas
    That's why I'm asking! I was hoping for a good electrician's response, verses having to call out a dozen or so electrician's of which maybe half a dozen might come out.:confused:

    What about the lamp cord on the 20amp circuit? Is that ok, if it is only in the light fixture and a covered box?

    I am trying to think of ways to cover a single box and have it not show under wall-paper. I can always re-wire the light after the fact.

    What about running the lamp cord inside a flexable metal conduit inside the wall? (if not safe, I won't do it)

    If I could find a 1" wide x 3" tall box, I would be good to go!
  6. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas
    rewireing the fixture isn't the issue. I can probably have both fixtures wired in about 5 minutes and that is drilling a little larger hole in one part of the fixture to accomadate the larger lamp cord.

    What I am perplexed by is a good, safe way to mount these to the wall, keeping the wires safe inside the wall and not having a 3"x4" junction box showing behind the tiny base of the fixture. They are designed to hang on an "L" hook, or something similar. I found some hooks that will work.

    I'll try to post a picture later. There has to be a good way to do this, as I'm not the 1st person ever to try to hang a vintage fixture.
  7. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
    I know what your talking about, I see it all the time with new yorkers bringing their old fashioned candle holders that have been rewired up to Connecticut,

    The only thing I can recommened is that a BOX is required, so you need to modify the fixture. or add a blank plate on the box behind the fixture, or just get new fixtures that were actually designed for todays codes.
  8. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas
    What about lamp cord on a 20amp circuit?

    New fixtures isn't an option, these match my chandelier almost to a "T".
  9. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Messages:
    392
    It actually doesn't matter. The lamp cord only has to be rated to carry the current required by the fixture. Look around your house and try to find a table lamp that is wired with 12/2 or 14/2.

    >>I worry about this because I know you can't use 14/2 on a 20amp circuit.

    Correct, thats because the wire is not part of a fixture, its part of a structure.

    >>The cabinet would have to be removed to access the wiring.

    This is borderline IMO. Boxes must be accessible. It is illegal to bury one in a wall. Some day some poor electrician may need to find that box so at least break out your sharpie and write a note on the back of the covers of any boxes that connect up with it as to where it is.

    >>I am trying to think of ways to cover a single box and have it not show under wall-paper.

    Ah, stop worrying about the cover showing. Here is what you do; Wallpaper the box cover separately and do it in such a way that it matches the layout of the pattern of the wallpaper on the wall when installed. I've seen this done with light switch plates and it actually looks decent - blends right in. It also holds up well over time. As an added bonus you'll meet code:)

    -Doug
  10. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas
    Thanks for clarifying the structure vs. fixture thing. Seems logical now that you type that, but sometimes what seems logical isn't.:confused:

    As for marking and labeling I am actually trying to do that with everything. If there is a question on any wire I am running, I am labeling it and I am trying to label which wire goes to where.

    One this will help me keep it straight when I go back and actually install the recepticals and switches, but also at a later date, if/when something needs servicing. Plus I am slowly working on eleminating my knob and tube wireing so when I run new wire to a room, before I install the box and close it up, I am also running the line wire for the next room. It may not be hooked up at that point inside the box or in the next room for that matter, but it's there ready to be hooked up when I'm ready for it.
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